12.28.2010

A few new Lucy updates

*Monday night = 2 pounds 10 & 3/4 ounces
*Tuesday night = 2 pounds 11& 1/4 ounces
*They've added 2 more calories/ounce to her milk.BM has 20 calories/ounce, and they were adding 4 extra calories per ounce, now she is at a total of 26/ounce. She is eating about 5 ounces a day still.I forgot to ask this morning how her residual has been. Monday night she still hasn't been having much.
*She had blood work Monday AM  to check some things, and it all came back good.
*She is off of the Vapotherm machine, and just oxygen plugged into the wall and still in her nose. It's an even lower flow than the 2.0 flow she had on the machine.They are still able to adjust the % of oxygen if hers saturation starts to drop.
* Luke held her for the 2nd time today, but it was a short time. Her temp. was a little low today, and she was still getting use to the oxygen difference. She has to be sitting just right on us because she isn't strong enough when it comes to breathing and keeping the lungs open; her head and body have to be just the right way.
*Landon got to see her again today. As soon as we walked into the NICU doors, he started pulling his sleeves up (and grunting because he had 2 shirts on , and it was hard) and asking to wash his hands. This was only his 2nd time, so I have NO clue how he remembered that! He had a great short visit with her. She was starting to cry when we were in there ( we haven't heard that much at all) and he enjoyed telling her not to cry and that it was ok.

Blowing kisses
 I did stop by my Dr. office for a minute today to get my BP checked, and it's much lower finally. It was 120 something over like 75. MUCH lower than 174/110. So, I'm down to 2 pills a day, back to the Dr. next monday, and then hopefully off of meds!

12.26.2010

ExhAusTed!

We went to Christmas Eve service at 11 PM, and left a little before it was over right at midnight. We were trying to make it down to the hospital since we were already practically downtown. Landon was still awake at that point, and we only had about 10 minutes once we got there ( they close from 12:30-1:30). So we decided to take him in, wearing his Christmas jammies, and introduce him to Lucy. All the nurses on the way back said "Hi" to him, and he told them all " Baby LuLu". His LuLu still sounds more like doo doo though =)He was SO excited! He kept telling her to WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP, BABY! He wanted to get her paci and give it to her, we got him to blow her a lot of kisses, tell her that he loved her, and he kept saying she was cute. Of course then we still had a few things to do at home, and got to bed past 2 AM, and then I had to wake up at 7. I still physically feel like there is a newborn here because of the pumping--even though I get about 6 hours of sleep at night. Landon came home sleeping 4, but very shortly was at 6. It's draining. Plus the driving back and forth every day. We had to wake Landon and Elyssa up at 9 to open presents because we had to get ready and get where we needed to be the rest of the day. I think they would have slept much later.Landon would have probably slept till noon! After we opened presents, we had to rush to get to the hospital before they closed at 12:30. Of course we pulled in with only enough time for me to run milk in, and poor Landon cried "BABY" and tried to unbuckle his car seat because we had been telling him we were going to see Baby Lucy again. =( As it got closer to 1, I realized how dizzy I was getting & that my head was starting to hurt. Of course, it was time to take my 2nd blood pressure pill for the day, and I hadn't even taken it yet at all. This blood pressure thing is NOT my favorite. We met up with my sister to get my medicine, but the headache lingered the rest of the day. We had planned on getting back home from Luke's family's Christmas long before 5 so I could pump( once again, my life,yay!), Landon could get a good short nap in, and we could stop at the hospital and get just one family pic with Lucy out of her incubator wearing her Christmas outfit and bow. At that point my head was about to explode, Landon hadn't had a nap, and it was just 3 hours until his bedtime. aahhhh I hate when things get off schedule right now, not as we had them planned, and we don't get to fit things into the day that I want to. You think I'd learn by now, right?And my parents had already arrived at my house, we were still eating a Christmas dinner, and opening presents. But I just wanted to see my baby on Christmas and be able to hold her. Luke and I did eventually get back up there after 9ish, so Landon was asleep and didn't get to go with us. We weren't able to hold her that day either, but the pictures the nurses had taken did relax me, make me smile, and maybe shed a little tear.
The snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was awesome, but Luke and I both realized how we didn't even enjoy it like we normally would have. Everything was so rushed and hectic and stressful. I was beyond exhausted. And the cycle continued as we got to bed after 1 AM, and up again to do it all over again and head to church today! 

I did get a nap in today though, and I did get to rock with a little baby laying on my chest for about 20 minutes!  I needed that. I've held her about 3 times now, and she will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. Daddy will get her next time because he's only held her 1 time. If we knew she was going to be able to stay out so long, we would have shared. It was a nice surprise, and it felt great! I can't wait to bring her home and have her fall asleep on me, on OUR couch. She is still doing about the same as far as health. She is up to 22 CCs at every feeding, and her weight is right around 2 pounds 10 ounces. Her jaundice is still looking good, so she has been off of the lights for over a week now. We'll continue to pray that she stays healthy,keeps gaining weight, and continues to do well bringing herself back up on her own when her breathing and/or heart dip.
We took this picture tonight to remember how tiny her head is at almost 2 weeks. It's difficult to not be with her all day like we would if she was full term and at home with us. But we are very thankful that the NICU nurses are so friendly, personable, and try to create little scrapbook items for us to remember this time by. It's still crazy to think that someone else is really raising our child for us right now, several different nurses and doctors actually. I wish that Luke, Landon, and I could be the only voices she hears and knows for comfort, and we know she won't remember any of this, but it's just part of this process that isn't so easy. I think we're all doing great emotionally. We have our small moments, but we know that we can't change any of this, and there is no reason to dwell on the things that have happened. We are where we are, and can't do anything but move forward and try to stay happy! We've had unbelievable surprises of gifts & letters from friends far away. And we are SO VERY thankful for those! We've been so blessed and feel so loved in the past 2 weeks, and every bit of it has helped us get through. Our family has been great too, especially helping with Landon.

12.24.2010

The Juicy Details....

1st off, Lucy got moved to the next level up bed!  She'll be there for the majority of the rest of her stay, until she goes to the regular hospital nursery crib( the wooden stand with the plastic bucket on top).But she has to be to the weight where she can regulate her body temperature, and that is a far ways off. She did weigh in at 2 pounds 7 ounces tonight! Almost back to her birth weight. 2nd, Luke held her for the first time tonight!He said it was wonderful. I did steal her for one minute at the end while she was being fed. Luke got her paci out to stick in her mouth while she was 'eating'. We're all about trying to get her into the sucking motion while her belly is getting filled up, and when Luke was holding her she was seriously rooting. It was a few minutes past when she usually eats. I know this little girl is going to be ready before the normal 34 weeks! And if they show interest in the paci and all that stuff, they will try the bottle as early as 32-33 weeks.She went to town on the paci while she was being fed, AND had the hiccups, AND her breathing didn't dip too much. She did good with it all.
We had a good LONG conversation with her nurse tonight about what all actually 'happened'. She had met Luke before last Tuesday night, but hadn't met me yet. But she had heard all about me and my liver from the other nurses and Doctors, and wanted to know the final story and what all went down. So we actually laughed about it tonight, and it's finally not making me feel like I'm going to pass out when I talk about it. I'm guessing it's easier to joke about it in person. But when we go to the NICU, the first set of locked doors we have to go through is the triage/L&D. When they saw me,those nurses even left from behind their desk to hug me and say how good it was to see me. So I'm that patient everyone has been talking about.
So Sunday afternoon my ankles and shins were numb from being so massively swollen. I sent Leslie a picture to see if that is how hers looked when she had Pre-eclampsia, and I said I was for sure calling my Dr in the AM., and she said to come get her BP cuff so I could check it. I woke up in the night with an awful constant stomach and back pain--so I thought maybe it was early labor. But Luke ran a bath for me, and it actually eased up.My ankles had actually gone down in the morning, but Luke says I was complaining of a headache. I ended up calling, got a few more tips and what else to looks for, laid in bed AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE with Landon here by myself and my feet propped up on pillows, and waited for Luke to get home (early from work)with the BP machine. By the time he got home, I was feeling miserable. My blood pressure was around 154/93 so I called the Dr right then.The nurse told me to rest for an hour on my left side, recheck my BP then call her back.Sometimes the at home machines are a little high.  Luke gated off the hallway so Landon wouldn't bug me, and I just started feeling worse by the second, and could NOT get comfortable on the bed at all, and tried to take a bath to relax. I only lasted about 15 minutes, re-took the BP, and it was around 170/110. I couldn't even talk I was in so much pain, sent Luke a text, and told him to get Landon dressed we had to leave right then. So, finally we got to the hospital, FINALLY got someone to check us in, and as soon as we got to a room they basically told me it was c-section day. My Dr. was there ASAP ( Luke had called on the way, even though they closed early that day, he was on call!) waiting for someone to take my blood and get some results. They explained that they had to make sure my blood platelets were high enough for a spinal, but if not I'd be put to sleep. At that point I just kept saying I wanted to not feel the pain and I'd be fine. They kept assuring me that the only way to get rid of the pain was to take the baby. Luke didn't really comprehend that we WERE doing it because I kept asking him to call my family,and he kept waiting and waiting. My Dr was getting impatient & ordering for the results to get here, and find out where they were ASAP. My moaning and complaining was getting worse, and I remember apologizing to the nurses for having to listen to me, and that I was trying to not be a baby. Finally someone said it was going to be a spinal and we just had to wait 3o minutes because there were twins being delivered, and we couldn't bombard the NICU with 3 at once. About 5 minutes later,  I got loud and told Luke he HAD to go get someone, and we HAD to do this now. Jokingly, but in pain, I said I was going to die if they didn't hurry. I couldn't even breathe it hurt so bad. He told me there was no one to go get, and they had JUST said 30 minutes. So I got louder =) And in ran a few nurses. They could hear me in the hallway, and were rechecking why we couldn't go. They were all mixed up as to why we were waiting, but someone eventually said that NICU could get over it. I opened my eyes, and we were basically running down the hall way with my bed with nurses slamming open doors. Neither Luke or I really knew the severity of anything, but the blood test also showed that my liver enzymes were as high as they can go. I don't know if it will just rupture or what, but whatever happens next, would have been BAD NEWS for me! They just told me that my liver was really irritated and inflamed, and to tell my baby not to kick it please. She was also curled up in a ball on top of it, that didn't help the pain.Not to mention my Dr kept laughing when I said over and over to give me the spinal to get rid of the pain, because " I'm afraid it's not going to help your liver pain at all, it's so irritated and inflamed". Great, I just wanted to pain to stop!ANYWAYS, we got the baby out, had a LONG delay on sewing me back up because of another oddity they found*my bruised uterus*, but I got a good long 35 minute conversation  with my Dr and the plastic surgeon guy about how great modern medicine and technology is, how both my babies would have been still born not too many years ago, and how I'd not even made it through the night if I didn't come in. WHAT?!?! I was still happy go lucky at the moment. I'm pretty sure my body just had all the pain it could handle, and blocked everything out. Because when I got the spinal, it certainly did take away ALL pain. I even had pain up into my shoulders that was gone, but I could  feel everything up top that you are suppose to feel. Thank God!

 So, I was sent  back into the L&D room to be monitored for 1 or 2 days to make sure I didn't " dance without the music" as my Dr referred to seizures. I was pumped with Magnesium , steroids, and more magnesium. My blood was taken seriously about every 2 hours. (AND  since my IV had to be placed in my right elbow crease because I had no veins whatsoever to by found on my arms or hands because they were so massive, so my blood was drawn about 30 times from the same spot.The black bruises are ALMOST gone!)I made it to the next day before the seizure happened. My sister was in the room, and I remember trying to tell her to get help. After that, she says she tried to call a nurse, none of the buttons worked on the bed, so she stuffed some pillows around me, and ran into the hallway yelling. One nurse came in, and had to call the nurses desk with the phone to get more help, and Amanda went into the hallway to call Luke on his phone. The other funny thing that everyone seems to know about at the hospital is how much trouble Luke had getting into the room. There is the set of locked doors,and all the nurses were in my room. Once someone was finally there to open the doors,  they couldn't see his "pass" the green bracelet to get in. So they said they couldn't let him in, and he started banging and trying to open the doors himself. haha He said some mean things, and finally got in when they understood what he was saying. He later went back to apologize, and they came and told me how much of a gentleman he was. They just left out all the bad words he said and that he tried to break down the doors =) To put it shortly, what Luke saw in the next few minutes ( that seemed like a lifetime to him) was me having a seizure, lots of blood from me biting my tongue, Doctors and nurses not being able to find a pulse on me, me being "bagged", and my doctor taking him into the hall letting him know that they most likely will have to do a scan to see what type of brain damage I have. Eventually they found a pulse, got the regular oxygen mask on me, and were relieved when I started pulling it off.I was surprisingly able to answer the questions of where I was, why I was there, what had just happened, and what my name was, so the scan was cancelled. I always tell Luke before he leaves to go or come home from work to be safe because I can't do this without him, but on Tuesday he thought he was going to have to do it from here on without me. Landon, a new 2 pound baby, witnessing that mess, and doing it alone was what he had to think about. And I'm thankful that he is so strong, and what I need him to be! I stayed in that room until Thursday ( not being able to eat until late late Wed. night), and got to see Lucy on the way to the post pardum room. We had a few issues with my blood pressure still, tried a diuretic, tried 2 BP medicines, took an ativan, almost passed out 2 times, felt like I was having an anxiety attack,had to use a bed pan ( haha I asked for it!)took some more blood, finally got a shower, got a good massage, and finally was sent home Saturday! It was a long mess of a trip because of pain in my right side. But now all the nurses know who I am, and can laugh with me at how crazy my week was at the hospital =) Now that I've written a book, it's time to go to bed!

12.22.2010

A NICU Mommy

That's me! My life is DIFFERENT that I ever thought it'd be. Louisville played in the Beef O Brady's bowl game last night; never in my life have I really even missed watching a game. There I was in a lactation room in the NICU trying to catch the score on my phone =) We did hear the last 15 seconds on the way home on ESPN radio, and when I woke up randomly at 3 AM, the game was replaying on TV. Thanks, Coach Strong, for turning around the attitude of the program! That's where it starts, and it feels good again.

Lucy's ultrasounds both came back 'normal'. Her bowels are still good, and her brain shows no bleeding. They will do a 2nd check of the brain before she goes home. I've done good about not looking things up, and reading about what could be, or her higher chances of different disabilities. My child was automatically put on Disability insurance or social security or medicare or whatever it is because of her weight at birth, so I know they are much higher just from that. But it feels nice to know that so far she is still healthy! Her eye does have a little infection in it, but what baby doesn't have that annoying tear duct junk. GROSS. They started her with a little antibiotic in it today. She has also moved up to 19 cc's per feeding today(I think that is close to 5 ounces of milk a day) , and they are adding 4 extra calories into her milk at each feeding.She is also on a multivitamin and caffeine. The caffeine is to help with apnea. She doesn't have many spells, and her machine has never beeped when we are there, but it is supposed to help stimulate their body so they don't have as many. She is still on 3 liters of room air ( whatever that means)  in her nasal tube. I believe she started on 7 liters when she was born. She has also been off of the lights since about Sunday. Since they took her bellybutton IV thing out--they used it for nutrients and also as a way to draw blood-- they haven't pricked her heal to test her blood again yet. As long as she looks good, they will try to do that as little as possible. The less blood they take, the less chance of having to have transfusions. We saw 2 of her Dr's today, and they said her color still looks great! They have also started freezing my milk because we are so far ahead. I enjoy knowing I can provide this for her at least at this time when we can't do much. Pumping all the time is nowhere near as stressful as I thought it would be. Luke has been really helpful with it too. He's ready to slap on the labels, rinse the parts, or pack up the containers and ice packs before we head up to the hospital. I'm getting into a great routine so when Landon gets back here, I'll be ready to go!

I also had a Dr appointment today to re-check my blood pressure. It is MUCH lower than when I left the hospital, but I still don't think it's awesome. So, I'm staying on my medicine 3 times a day for now. I'll go back next week to have the nurse check it, but I'll only take it 2 times the day before, and just once the morning I go. Hopefully it will still be ok, and show I can wean off of it.

I think these are all the updates right now. We might head back up later tonight for a little bit. We brought some blankets home today to wash, and have a few new ones to take back up. We had to buy something 'Christmasy' for Friday &  Saturday. =) She'll have cute,comfy Christmas decorated blankets, and I'm hoping to make her a TINY TINY crocheted hat with a bow on it for her to wear. Hopefully we can get ONE family picture in when we go visit. We're hoping her big brother can meet her Christmas morning! ! ! We also had 2 presents today in her room.2 Former patient's parents left a present for each baby in the NICU. One present was a pack of receiving blankets, they are very girly cute ones! The other present was a Max Lucado Book Just in Case You Ever Wonder, from the great-grandmother of a little girl who was born last year 13 weeks early. So sweet!

12.21.2010

Highs and lows

Who would think you could feel such highs and lows within such a short period of time? The day started  as normal as it could, we straightened up a little, my cousin Katie and her husband Carl came to visit and bring food and Christmas presents, then I napped, and woke up in the lowest low. There were just SO many thoughts running through my mind. I have a lot of guilt running through me--for a few different reasons. The main thing I hate about this whole situation is that nothing is the baby's fault. She was healthy, and I wish I could put her back in me to finish growing. I just feel like I go to the NICU to look at a science project, and we are growing a baby in an incubator. It hurts to look at her sometimes. She doesn't have the girly physical features, or really any at this point. She is still growing them, and forming into what she will look like. I don't have the connection with her yet, I still find it hard to acknowledge that she is here, or that I have 2 kids. It's just a point that I haven't gotten to yet, and I will find a way.
Then I feel guilt that I am even upset over any of this because I have 2 children who are healthy at this point and are both alive right now. I know too many people who don't even get the opportunity to carry children, or lose them during the process, or have lost them recently. How dare I complain that it just isn't happening the way I'd prefer it to? I'm not sure what it is OK to feel. And I'm not sure how much of that I can even feel OK to share, and not feel like a brat.So that is the point I was stuck in today.

I read this poem today in the NICU book from Baptist:
You carried your baby as long as you could.
You cared as much as you could.
You loved as much as you could.
You cried more than you needed to.

Rest now, we will carry your baby for a while.
We will care as much as we can.
We will love as much as we can.
We will cry less than we need to.

Rest now, your baby has our gifts woven
with yours. We will give her our skills,
our touch, our heads, our hearts.
We will seek to cure and pray to heal.
Rest now, your baby is
small in the eyes of some,
large in the eyes of God,
loved in the eyes of us all.
-Mary Thayer

Lucy's health-- It has been a full week and a few hours since she came into this world! Really? A week old already? That makes her almost 31 weeks. I forget how they count her age now that she is here, and if she still goes by gestational age or what. After she lost her initial weight and stayed down for a little bit, she is back up to 2 pounds 6 ounces. She finally had a good poop today, so she stayed about at the same since last night even though her feedings went up. She is now at 17cc's of breast milk every 3 hours. She eats at 8,11,2, & 5 AM and PM. Yesterday she had some residual after she ate--food that stays in her stomach and doesn't digest. They put a syringe up to her feeding tube before they feed her again, and see what they can pull out. Quite a bit came out yesterday when we were there, but tonight her nurse said she had none! We stayed at the hospital from about 8pm-midnight. We took a little detour to see Kellye, Bill, and baby Chase too! =) We got a lot of conversation in with Lucy's nurse along with other nurses that had gotten to know Luke all last week while they were with her. They are all so positive and happy and say how great of a baby she is. She is just a little spastic at times.haha It's so weird how there are 7 or 8 pound babies in there that are really sick, and their monitors are beeping all the time. And here she is, not even 3 pounds, and is healthy. Praise the Lord! Once again, ah, I hate that my body failed her precious little body! She has 2 ultrasounds tomorrow morning scheduled. One of them, we knew she'd have no matter when she was born. Due to the 1 artery in her umbilical cord, they have to re-check her bowels. I'm staying positive that she is clear of anything due to the ultrasound at my 28 week appointment. The other ultrasound is preformed on all preemie babies to check for bleeding in the brain. Now we start talking scary thoughts. Preemies are just more susceptible to this, and need to be checked. But like her nurse said tonight, it has to be done, and doesn't mean anything is wrong with her, and it's just a bridge you wait to cross until you get to it. And then if it is something we have to deal with, there are many different stages, and different solutions.But we just wait now until we know. And here it is , 3AM, I meant to go to bed 2 hours ago.  We will be heading back up tomorrow night to visit a few more hours. We'll use the day time to rest and nap, luke has an eye Dr. appointment in the evening, and then we'll head up to deliver milk and visit. I did get to hold her again tonight for about 15 minutes. It put me in a really good mood being at the NICU tonight, so the day eneded on a much better note that I'd been in the evening. Someone must have been throwing up some prayers tonight. THANK YOU! I'm hoping not to be on edge until we get the phone call from the DR tomorrow about the ultrasound results. So if you're reading this, maybe some payers for Lucy's good health to continue, good results, and peace until we hear!

12.19.2010

Night 1 at home

What a roller coaster already!I've been able to sort through the WHATS and WHYS of physically what happened with my body, and know what caused which things, and what I was worried about for no reason. =)
It was much easier than I had thought to sleep in my own bed, even with a 2 year old who was crying and wanted to sleep with us. He NEVER sleeps with us, but last night was a first.And it was alright. He is gone for the rest of the week to visit family in KY. He is SO ready to go, and has been begging for his poppy for days! Who wouldn't be relieved to have their 2 year old gone for a few days on normal circumstances? I'm extra glad at this point we have gotten past the potty training stage, and he is good to go for a few days.

We will be spending the next few days together( Luke had vacation anyways) hoping to set up some type of routine.I am pumping for Lucy, so we will have milk to take to her every other day, if not every day. I'm trying to rest and heal as much as I can while we have the time to ourselves. I'm hoping that she will eventually get to breastfeeding only. I know this will be a challenge as we go, and some preemies don't get to the point, or even go home at just one BF a day and the rest bottles. But it is my goal as of now, and is keeping me motivated to pump every few hours.

The emotions did hit hard this morning. My eyelids are about 3x's their normal size. I have a newborn child, and it didn't happen the way anyone wants or plans.I won't be able to wear maternity clothes for another 2 months, and celebrate getting ready for a new life. I can't put her back inside of me now that I am healthy.That chapter was cut short, and we have to deal. I am so very grateful that she is healthy, and am so very grateful for technology and doctors that were able to bring her into this world, and keep her alive.I am grateful that they have test to know what was wrong with me, and to save my life as well. While I feel bratty about saying it, I also don't have a child with me. I won't have a child for at least 3-4 weeks, but I am still her mother. I can't wear a sign around my back to let everyone know that I have 2 kids, I just can't have one of them yet. I know there are many mothers, even close friends of mine, who have been through this. Whether they had their baby in the NICU for 3 days or 3 months, it's the same experience. And it might be something you can't understand unless you have been there, and have had to sort through the emotions.I know I have many people who I/we can talk to. I just think that it is a process that we will have to figure out. And I know that in 4 weeks, it will all be even more of  a blur, and she'll be growing, healthy, hopefully breastfeeding, and  then we'll just start to worry about Dr. bills =) I also know that even through the unusual circumstances, I am still blessed with 2 children. I never want to take away the joy and gratefulness of that. I know many people who go through trials and still are never able to conceive. We are just starting on this process of sorting through emotions and facts. We will keep learning more about how Lucy is growing,  how much she is eating, when certain tubes come out, what milestones she has hit, and all the other confusing things I have already forgotten. I know there are certain factors and formulas that go along with each step she will face, but I will have to be reminded daily I'm sure. I will be keeping you updated!

Thank you  again for thoughts and prayers =) If I haven't personally gotten back to you, please know I am thankful for every voicemail, text, e-mail, card, gift, flower, and message I have gotten. I'm still foggy on what happened Monday-Thursday/Friday. So I might have even sent you something, and just not remember it as well. I CAN tell you I have a solution to Starbucks bitter coffee! My mom got Luke a coffee, and it was an americano, because we all know they try to be lazy,and offer that to you, and it sucks! BUT if you want, bite the end of your tongue off, and everything tastes SO SWEET! I took a sip and said "THIS IS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER TASTED!" Yes, I did make the bed awfully bloody from biting my tongue during the seizure. Apparently Amanda and Luke thought it was going to be gone partly. But it is healing, and all in tact =) Hopefully the taste thing will return.

12.18.2010

Lucy Emilia Howell

I will just start by copying and pasting an e-mail I sent out to the SS class. I might be able to go into details later, or maybe not. But I will be able to add more blogs as we continue on the journey and visit and help Lucy grow! Please keep the family in your prayers, it is greaty appreciated!

I'm trying to reply to everyone with this email, and wrap up the last 5 days! Thank you for you thoughts and prayers, it's been a tough time, and I feel we still have a long road ahead. Lucy Emilia Howell was born on Monday as you know from the e-mail. She was almost 30 weeks. There was not anything wrong with her that caused the delivery. I had pre-eclamtic symptoms, and blood test showed I had HELLP syndrome.The only answer is to deliver the baby, and the only time we had was for a repeat c-section. She was delivered, and was healthy and great. I was put on magnesium to try to help me. I don't really know what happened what day after that. I remember moments and feelings before I had my seizure, but that is all. After I had the seizure, I was considered full blown eclamptic. HELLP has to do with elevated liver enzymes and low platelet counts. I was told an average liver count is around 35, and mine was about 600 when I checked in--I'm under the impression it doesn't go any higher than that. Normal platelet count is around over 100,000, and mine was around 25,000 which is considered severe. My blood was taken over and over to monitor my counts, and they did continue to raise/lower the correct way. I was kept in the same room until the Dr.s were comftorable with the direction the levels were going. I saw some visitors and felt GREAT, and was ready to eat and move rooms. I think I moved to a regular recovery room Thursday. Then everything hit me at once, and I couldn't relax my mind. I got to feeling dizzy, about to pass out, anxiety, and needed help by several nurses to move and get up and down. They then put me on another blood pressure medicine, and also a medicine to get water in and out of me that I was holding. Thursday and Friday were very tough mentally--I had to learn to not associate certain physical feelings with anything that had just happened to me. Today was hard to undertand I'd be OK at home, and not overwhelemed. I got to actually hold Lucy today--and wasn't expecting to for at least a week. For me, I haven't been worried about her at all, my main worries were acutally my life itself. I guess all of this is to say what I'd like prayer for! At this point, I need mental peace most of all. Physically I feel good, except for a small headahce and side effects of BP still up.Peace of mind that I am OK, and for my mind not to wander and worry, is the biggest issue I am facing as of now. I know somewhere soon it will hit me that I am at home, and have a 2 pound baby at the hospital. But she is doing so much better that I'd ever thought, and progressing SO WELL. Her food is increasing ( by feeding tube), her jaundice levels are lowering, her IV fluids are way down. She tolerated 20 minutes out of her isolet today, and did great. We will continue to visit and take her milk to her often. Landon will be going to KY for a few days with my family to give us a few days to get things in a routine as well as we can. I will try to keep up with our blog, and will put most of this on there. Thanks for listening. I'm not writing this for any type of sympathy, just so you know what direction you can pray! It is appreciated, and I hope this isn't jumbled and makes sense.I'll try to add a picutre =)



11.30.2010

28 weeks and growing

Today was the 28 week appointment for baby Lucy. We had an ultrasound first to check-up on her bowels. They are able to digest more things now(the blood that was causing them to be bright white), and are looking great. So no complications from the bowels! They measured everything else that I'm assuming would be a red flag from the 2 vessel cord. Everything looks good and healthy, but she is measuring about 2 weeks behind. She seems to be tiny like her brother. Part of this ,my Dr. said, is because Landon was a small baby also, so she will probably be smaller, and when you have the cord issue, there are some cases where it does cause the baby to not get all the nutrients it needs to grow fully. She is right at the 21% right now for 28 weeks, and I remember that Landon was around 40% when we had a late ultrasound. And he ended up being 5 pound 10 ounces. So it seems she will be teeny tiny.

We finally got to see her face too! I took a picture of this one with my phone. I'll have to scan it later on because it is a good picture of her. She said that since I'll most likely be back a few more times, she will try to get one again without her hand over her face.

She is a VERY active baby, and as long as she is still moving, she is doing good. We will have another ultrasound (or a few) to make sure that her growth does not stop at any point. I didn't really ask where we go from there, because I'm assuming we would deliver. I didn't ask either what the chances still are of going VBAC, because I know he isn't going to induce after my previous c-section, and I'm just going to go ahead and guess we will take her early, and it will be a c-section. We go back in 3 weeks, and I will have more questions ready then. Not that I didn't have questions ready--I was just in shock  from my weight gain, that they were consoling me with Kleenexes, and assuring me that my weight and my baby are fine =) What a start to a gloomy, cold, rainy day! 
I'm not going to worry about the weight, it seems no matter what or how you go about it, your body gains what it gains. And really, you can't control it. I knew it was part of it when I signed up for baby #2, and there are plenty of people who would gladly gain 50 pounds if they had the chance to conceive.So if I'm a fatty again, I'll just be a fatty. And at least now I know WHAT I need to do to get rid of it! Even if it means training for another half marathon ( ugh, not what I want to think about right now!) I might as well take full advantage of leaving my kids in the Y for 2 hours a day by getting in a good workout, showering, and getting ready alone without worrying about a crying child. I'll bask in the 2 weeks of nothingness after I have her, and hopefully get to walking with her on the track & letting Landon play in the Y nursery.

On another note, we got our tree up this week. We're not putting the 2nd one upstairs. We have moved the guest bed up there by the window where the tree usually sits. I tried to convince Luke to put it in our room, but I know that means I have to put it up and take it down. And.....I'll pass this year!


4 days until Landon's 2nd birthday!!!!!

11.21.2010

Thanksgiving week!

We've been so busy this past week, and are gearing up for an even busier Thanksgiving week! Thankfully this year, Luke's Thanksgiving day off doesn't count as one of his regular 2 days off--yes, that happened last year. We're going to try to put our lights up outside on Tuesday while he is off, if it's not raining, before it gets cold on Thursday. I think we might also go ahead and make a few pumpkin pies that night too =) We watched Throwdown with bobby Flay tonight that had Pioneer Woman on it {http://thepioneerwoman.com}, and we are thinking of making her mashed potatoes this year! Amanda and Elyssa will be here late Wednesday night. And with her recipe, you can actually make them ahead of time, and then finish them on Thanksgiving!  So maybe they will be up for trying it Wednesday night!We haven't decided yet, but they looked SO good :
We also need to make a carrot souffle to take to the Howell Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if we will do that early, or just wait until Thursday morning. Luke also has some cheeseballs to make! YUM, I'm starving. And our turkey in the fridge thawing right now--my dad will work on that when they get in town Thursday. Hopefully it will be ready, and we won't have to add an extra water thaw that morning.

My Thanksgiving morning will not be including the 5mile Boulevard Bolt that I had wanted so badly to walk. Walking is just NOT happeneing these days--well,for more than a few minutes at a time.

On Friday, Luke is opening at his store. I won't be doing any shopping this year. BUT  will be putting up the Christmas tree! Since we moved things from the new baby room up to the bonus room, we can't put the smaller tree in front of the window upstairs. =( We might find somewhere else to stick it though! Hopefully I will have some help from the parents or Elyssa, or at least someone can keep Landon occupied for me.
Luke is off again on Saturday, and Amanda and Elyssa will still be here. So we plan on going to Opryland Hotel to see the lights. I've heard the inside looks better than ever since the flood. We're SO excited to go!

Of course the week will be over by then, but next week is full of fun things as well: 28 week Dr. visit ( and ultrasound) ,the dentist ( yes, I just went 2 times in the past month already), Landon turning TWO & celebrating with a pool party at the Y!

11.05.2010

My kids!

Baby news: I had my 24 week check-up this week. I didn't hear back from the glucose test, so everything should be OK as far as gestational diabetes. I am finally starting to really POP out there, and did have my big weight gain this past month. As the nurse said, Lucy is growing, and I got hungry . There are too many temptations around the house when you use M&M's as potty training rewards. I also finally found some maternity jeans that fit, and are LONGS! My jeans from Landon's pregnancy we're just NOT working--but in a good way. I really hope there is no way my legs will fit into those pants this time around. TALK ABOUT THUNDER THIGHS =) And I even got a size smaller, yay! We will go back for an ultrasound at my next visit on the 30th to follow up on the bowels, and make sure everything still looks good from my 2 cord issue. We/Dr aren't concerned, but it is just a follow up to ....well, to follow up! We'll also check to make sure the amniotic fluid is still good because of my issues with the 1st pregnancy.Maybe she will be turned the right way, and look at us so we can get a little glimpse of what she looks like.



So, 6 months into this pregnancy, and no complaints so far. OK,so maybe a major complaint. But seriously, it's painful. Imagine trying to turn over in bed, and you have pulled and strained all your pelvic muscles that you use to pull your legs over and lift them and separate them, and it's like really painful. Yes, ouch. And then imagine every time you roll over or stand up, your pelvic * well i think it's the pubic bone, but that word is gross* bone pops so loud, and you can feel it. So, just stay in one position when I sleep--yeah right, sleep? I'm doing good to get about 4-5 hours these nights. Maybe TMI--but I NEVER had to get up to use the bathroom at night 1st pregnancy, but of course this time around, it's been like 2 times a night here lately. And it takes me about 5 minutes to use Luke to push myself up, get off the bed, and slowly walk in pain to the bathroom. It also makes it hard to get up into and out of the car, put on pants....you know, just every day things. =) I try to rush in the mornings to get Landon up to use the potty,and not let him just sit around in his bed, but seriously it takes me 5 minutes to walk across the hall to get him. UGH I should NOT be waddling, and I should not be waddling at 6 months! But if you see me walking VERY slowly, waddling, or grimacing when I pick up Landon, go home and look up SPD during pregnancy. I'm thankful that the elliptical & bike do not hurt at all. But I went from running 3 miles at 21 weeks pregnant to severe pain when walking on a treadmill at 24 weeks. I will make it, just with some added pain.I am still going to try to walk the 5 miler on Thanksgiving morning--at least I have no money to shop black friday, and can be in pain that day, lounge around the house, and let Elyssa play with Landon ;-) I'm just hoping that this doesn't continue to get worse in the next 15 weeks, and will not pay attention to what I have read about that. =) I also am afraid that everything I have read says that if you have this, it will start sooner the next pregnancy. So there might not be any baby #3 in our future!

Big boy news: Sunday will be 3 weeks with no accidents! I use to put those plastic/rubber covers over Landon at naptime, but have also quit that this whole week. He is doing so good holding his bladder. And we have even had some mornings ( quite a few) where his pull up is dry in the morning. And yes, I'm frugal, we re-use it that night--don't judge! He actually gets upset when I throw away his "buzz and woody underwear" in the bathroom in the mornings. He doesn't understand that it is a pull-up, and made to pee in =) Isn't it crazy that when you don't give a kid a choice, and tell them how to do something, and stick to it, they don't know any different?  When my Dr asked this week how the rest of the family was doing ( the boys stayed home since it was an hour Dr visit with the glucose test), I told him we got Landon potty trained. He said " GOOD". I told him I knew that I would NOT want to do this--mentally or physically-- in another month, and once I had the baby, I didn't want to deal with it either. He fully agreed that it was great that we went ahead, got it knocked out in a week, and won't have the added stress. SO, AGAIN,THANK YOU to everyone who gave me moral support during those 6 days of TORTURE! =) I wanted to quit and slap a diaper on his booty so many times, felt like a failure, and didn't have any desire to try. But after day 1 (October 12th) of undies, we never put another diaper on him, and am SO happy we did it this way.
Birthday party #2 is under a month away! Our little boy is growing, and we love him SO much!

Blessed

"Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."
--John Wooden
I'm so excited for Luke. Hopefully soon, he will be moving up again with his job. Things are just starting to get moving along with the process. It seems like it has taken forever--although we all know nothing is in our timing, and there is always a greater reason for why things turn out the way they do. He has worked very hard with his company for the past 6 years, and is ready to move on to the next level. He puts in 12+ hours 5 days a week, has to be there for meetings on his off days, take phone conferences at home in the mornings when he isn't at work, never has a consistent schedule, and stays at work until 1 AM on some days, only to get back up at 4 AM the next day to work again. All this only to come home and play with Landon, help with things around the house, and give me some adult conversation after spending 12 hours with a 2 year old by myself.
We've had to really adjust financially with me staying home, but it was something we decided when we were dating that we would do as a family. It has been a lot harder than I had ever imagined. I can't even walk into walmart and buy new eyeshadow--just because I love it. Ok, so who cares about eyeshadow, but really, every little penny really does count! I know that one day, most likely when Landon starts school, I will go back to work full time, and it will just be a short time span where we have had to sacrifice to be able to raise Landon and Lucy the way we want to as babies. And then I can always hope that in 4 years, Luke will be at the next level he wants to be at (district manager--after 2 to 3 years as a store manager), and maybe I can slide by with some part time work =)
Sometimes it seems like we get dealt sucky hands in life, but it's so fun to try to make the best out of every situation. You learn so much about yourself when you are absolutely pushed to your limit. You learn a great deal about others too--sometimes things you wished you didn't know. I'm learning not to be jealous of what others have, but to fully appreciate all that I do have. I could sit and sulk, and wonder if I made the right decision by not working for a few years. Life might be SO much easier if I was working & making close to 40,000 a year. We wouldn't have to worry about coupons & sales, spending too much on ourselves, if we can afford to buy  big Christmas gifts, being able to make extra payments on student loans. But, I don't feel we would be as grateful for the small accomplishments and details in life.
No matter what we face, I will continue to make the best of it. I am very grateful for my life and family. I have a house, food, clothes, car, a wonderful son, and a loving husband. I do know that life will continue to be great, whatever obstacles we come across. I wouldn't want my life any other way that it is right now!

11.01.2010

My little football player

Landon has such a blast trick or treating! I really had no clue he would understand what was going on. We had a little practice at the Y on Thursday night.
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He knew how to walk up, hold his bucket up to get candy dropped into, and say 'thank you' at the end. And thanks to the extra nice people who let him then pick into their stash and get some extra, he thought it was necessary to pick into the candy bowl after they handed him some already.


On Halloween, walked around with Leslie, Jason, and Buzz A.K.A. Jack.


He LOVED his football costume, and loved going up to each house.He was ready to run up to each house when their wagon stopped to let them off.




We had a great time making his football uniform, a great night together, and a great ending to another week!


Craft Fair

Hobby and Craft Sale
Saturday, November the 13th
404 Overton Drive
Smyrna, TN

It's time to get those Christmas lists crossed off. We will have many items to chose from for the special ones in your life--even adults, and some great stocking stuffers too.

Come out and buy some things from Leslie and me =)
Bows, tutus, clothing,  & custom embroidered items.

10.20.2010

The hardest part of parenting so far...

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is potty training!

OK, so it wasn't/isn't that bad,but I did have a few anxiety filled days in the last week.
The first day was chaos--constantly changing Landon's wet undies, wiping up pee on the floor, and running back and forth to the bathroom.
The second day was much better--half as many accidents, and many of the accidents he stopped before they actually made a puddle on the floor.
From then on , it has just gotten better.
The hardest part was him just letting himself go. I'd never heard of a kid afraid of peeing, just normally #2. Well, he was of both really! It took about 6 days before he was just OK to sit, let it 'flow', and scream YAY!
We are now officially past a week of training. He hasn't worn diapers in a week, just his big boy undies. And he hasn't had an accident since Sunday ( when we tried to leave him in the nursery), but last Friday was the last one at home. OK, so he jumped over Luke and me on the couch and hit his forehead on the CORNER of the end table yesterday. And he peed on himself a little bit, but I won't consider that an accident. If I had the massive hemotobin, blood spot, and bruise on my head, I'm sure I'd do the same =) He held most of it in, and went straight to the potty to finish.
We've had 3 days in a row now where we have left the house to run errands, and he has stayed dry in the car, used the potty at the store, and came home dry.
We aren't doing pull -ups at nap time and he has been dry the past 2 days--even with 3+ hour naps! Let's hope this streak continues today.
At night time, we are doing pull-ups. He sleeps for 12ish hours at night, and he DOESN'T wake himself up to go. We go 2-3 times before we go to bed, and don't drink about 2+ hours before bed time.He was dry the night before last,and this morning he was just a little wet.So maybe he will have a great bladder sooner than later =) We got a package of pull-ups yesterday that had 58 in them, and with a coupon were about $16. So $8 a month is OK for now =)
All of this wouldn't have been as stressful, I'm sure, if I wasn't 5 1/2 months pregnant, trying to get the house ready for new carpet in the bedrooms, finish some big tutus, WHILE following his EVERY move for 3-4 days, asking him 1,000,000 a day " Tell Mommy and Daddy when you need to go Potty, OK?" Of course, I love to hear him say " OOOOTTTTAYYY MOMMMY".
 (My name has changed in the last week from Momma--to Em-- to Mommy. )

Luke has been very helpful with this all. He knows when I've reached my limit mentally & emotionally, and need to leave the house. He's also been great about taking him into public restrooms for Landon to go. I also think Landon needed a break from me, and maybe a different approach a few times a day from Luke.

Landon seems to have grown up so much this past week, even with saying more words.He says "I lub you" on a regular basis now =) He can say " I did it", " big boy", "undies", "pee pee potty", and of course many other things that are non-potty related. Our whole life has revolved about the potty for a week now, and I love it. Even workers at Home Deopt were asking him today if he had on his big boy undies & going pee pee.He has also turned into a SNUGGLE BUG! With mommy and daddy's eyes on him basically 24/7, he has enjoyed more time in our laps, in our bed ( on his towel), and laying on the couch with us watching TV.

It's been so much fun looking back at all the things he has learned in the past 22 months, and we're so ready to enjoy all the  big boy things with him as he continues to grow!
 I feel like potty training is the first thing that a parent HAS to teach a child. The other milestones so far can mostly be picked up by watching and playing, but potty training is just that--training. It takes time, effort, and hard work. And mostly, it takes A LOT OF LOVE!

 Oh--and patience =)

10.16.2010

What a LONG weekend.

Time away from home is always great! It can always be stressful getting things packed, ready, and making sure the house is not a mess when you return, but it is so much fun to spend all day with Luke and Landon.

We have tried to go to Gatlinburg every fall for the past couple of years, so we went out of town last Friday. We met up with Amanda and Elyssa in Gatlinburg ,and we checked into our hotel. Everyone finally fell asleep for about a 3 hour nap --ok, Amanda, Elyssa, Luke and Landon fell asleep--before we headed out for dinner and some walking, caramel apples, rock candy, and of course Fanny Farkles.This was Elyssa's first visit, and we had REALLY talked it up to her. She seemed to have a blast!


 
On Saturday morning we got some breakfast in the room--the fabulous doughnuts and coffee, hot chocolate, or juice--then we got some extra clothes together, and headed to GA.We made a few stops along the way through the mountains.
1st stop was at Newfoundland Gap.
2nd stop was to walk up to Clingman's Dome(have you done that with a 6 year old & a 22 month old & a 5 month pregnant girl?) That was a long uphill 1/2 mile;Fun Times!
 3rd stop was in Cherokee, NC for lunch, and for me to change out of sweats. Clothes are STILL not comfy on me, and maternity don't really fit too well still. Once we got to Toccoa, GA, we met up with some family.

It was their college's homecoming, which means a lot of family and friends. Luke Landon got to meet some of my Mom's cousins, their kids, and some friends of ours. Landon also got to see his great grandma and grandpa Dees--he hadn't seen them since he was 11 weeks old. He got to see his Great Aunt Libby and Great Uncle Bill, and some of my cousins too. We had a nice lunch at my Great Aunts house, and watched the AL football game =(  At the end of the night, we drove over to see the Falls before we headed back to Gatlinburg. Landon and Elyssa were wiped out from playing all day, and slept the entire way.

Sunday was another packed day, starting with another breakfast of doughnuts! Elyssa had some make-up school work to finish, and Luke had some phone calls to make with work. We headed out for a little walking around before meeting up with my parents back at the hotel. We made our way to the Apple Barn to eat for the afternoon, looked around the Christmas Place ( YAY!!!), then headed  back to walk around Gatlinburg, ride the trolley, and hit the bed LATE AGAIN.


On our last morning, we hit up the pancake pantry, packed our rooms up, and headed to the craftsmen village for a little bit.We made a pit stop at Chick Fil A, then headed back to Nashville!


Landon loves his poppy!




Vacations seem to get more and more busy!
But it's nice to get away from the house, and enjoy new scenery for a while.

If only I knew how stressful life would be the next week...
time to potty train, straight to undies!

10.06.2010

*Vacation* (updated)

We are leaving Friday morning to head to Gatlinburg! We're meeting Elyssa & Amanda sometime in the morning, my parents are dropping them off as they head to Toccoa  for their college homecoming. Elyssa has never been, and we're trying to get her pumped up about it! The last time she was supposed to go was in December about 5 years ago. Luke's dad had a stroke an hour or so before we pulled out, so we cancelled that year. Landon and her are just excited to hang out all weekend. My parents will drive back through Sunday morning, and are staying at the same hotel as us that night. We're planning on Apple Barn dinner with the fam Sunday night, and of course Pancake Pantry Monday morning before heading home later in the afternoon.
Luke and I have gone the past 2 years around this time, so we're making it our Fall trip tradition. We also went right after we got married, and have taken a pic at the Gatlinburg entrance sign. But I have also taken a picture the past 2 years that I must do again this year.
{30 weeks pregnant with Landon}
{Landon 10 months old}
{New picture!Landon 22 months, and me almost21 weeks pregnant}

I can't wait to take one next year with Landon & an 8 month old =) We're so ready to leave the house for a few days since Luke has been working SO much. Inventory is finally over. That means him working until 2 am, and getting back to work at 5 am is over! That means working 14 hour days for the month of September is over! That means we finally get to see him every day! AND that means I can get some help with his massive piles of laundry, and leave Landon at home if I need to get out.

10.05.2010

20 weeks!

We have made it half-way!
Today was another ultrasound, and since they just measured almost everything at 18 weeks, it was a lot quicker. I drank a TON of orange juice, a little coffee, and ate a small breakfast on the way to the Dr, hoping it would make her more active and visible than last time! The heart was in perfect view, and they were able to see the 4th chamber that they couldn't see at 18 weeks. Her face was in semi-perfect view, BUT she had her legs wrapped up on her head, so still didn't get a good face shot =) I'm not going to put the ultrasound pictures up because she didn't cooperate all the way, and she looks like an animal! She was moving around quite a bit all morning, and we did see that on the ultrasound as well.
We had several questions today that we wanted to ask the Dr.--from the baby's health, to delivery, to post pardum issues.He did assure us that everything is checking out healthy with Lucy. They did see blood in my placenta still, so it is still most likely the reason for the ecogenic ( I think that's the word!) bowel, and the reason for the triple screen marker coming back high. There is still  the tiny chance of other abnormalities, they did mention cystic fibrosis today as well, but none of those we will find out until she is born. Everything else points towards healthy! So we are worry free, and are still feeling blessed for being chosen to be parents to baby Lucy! The 24 & 28 week visit will be normal, but I will have another ultrasound at week 32 to re-check the baby. He also wants to check the fluid level this time around. The chances of that being low again are not likely, but they are probable. He feels much safer just keeping an eye on all of these things--for his and our sanity, rather than because he expects anything to go wrong.He also let us know that the 2 vessel thing isn't as big of a worry as it use to be because they are able to see everything now with ultrasounds. And also that it causes no life-long issues, that the vessels clot up after the baby is born, and go away anyway, so it only having 2 won't affect it.
We had decided that I wanted to try for a VBAC, and he had agreed that if all went well, no complications, and I was ready to go by or before my due date, I'd have no issues. I had been thinking this week about it a little bit with some of the possible complications with the 2 cord, bowel stuff, and her being small. So Luke asked today about the delivery, and he said we probably can count on a repeat c-section. But we don't have to schedule it until later on, unless I decide I want to sooner. There are just a few 'ifs' still floating around, so I want whatever is safest for the baby and me. But if I'm ready to have the baby, it's descending, and everything is good, I can still go ahead. So =) we still will play it by ear, but we know that most likely she will be a Valentine's baby, and be delivered around 39 weeks!
I've gained right around 6-7 pounds at this point, and I think it picks up to about a pound a week now. I did ask if I was going to start gaining more.And he said to not go out and pig out to gain, but just keep doing exactly what I am doing. He also said keep working out, and doing as much as I can still because it will keep me feeling better, besides keeping me healthy. I did ask about my headaches because they have been SO HORRIBLE the past 2 weeks. I wanted to make sure I wasn't taking too much Tylenol.Thankfully, Luke has been home when they have been the worst, so I am able to crawl into bed--which he also said is another great thing to do.

We know the next 18-20 weeks will be great!
 People have been giving us clothes to sort through, Elyssa gave us her 3 in 1 crib & changing table, and Luke & my mom bought some accessories {valance, wall hangings, wall stickers, diaper stacker, and a blanket} to match the bedding we will buy.
As soon as we get the bedroom carpet installed, we will slowly start to move things in and set them up in her room. We'll keep adding pictures as we go =)




MusicPlaylist


9.29.2010

Presents

A few weeks ago, I mentioned some things that I wanted for my birthday. I basically got 2/3 from Luke. He told me to get some more maternity clothes, so I still might end up with the 3rd! But, they are actually different from what I had said I wanted =) I went to get the shoes I loved, but saw another pair. And they felt SO much better too.
{the shoes}

{the skinny jeans/pants}

I love the shoes, and I love the pants! I have tried to wear the jeans once, but they are still a bit big on my thighs and butt--which was the FIRST place to grow and get stretch marks with Landon! So, at 19 weeks and a few days, I am still in regular jeans and wearing t-shirts. I tried on my maternity jeans from Landon, and they just looked ridiculous. So do my regular shirts with my regular jeans. UGH But as Luke keeps telling me, I'd rather be in this position than way big.

I thought my last 3 mile run might have been last week, but did another one yesterday. I'm doing at least 2 of them a week, and trying for a 3rd. It just depends on when I get to the Y because of babysitting & subbing. Sometimes all of the treadmills are full. And I'm still doing 2 days of some other type of cardio. We will see how much longer it lasts!

I also have been seeing the baby move a bit today! I started feeling her right before 18 weeks, but after the ultrasound she has seriously been felt so much more. Maybe she got tired of being pushed on for half an hour! (I never felt these tiny movements with Landon becasuse the placenta was on top. I didn't even feel any movements until around 22 weeks.) Maybe Luke will get to see/feel her when he gets home today.I've felt her completely roll around; I think that is the most awkward feeling.And I feel random little punches. I'm going to drink a MASSIVE cup of orange juice before the ultrasound on the 5th, and hopefully we will see some good movement.