Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jovie, sweet Jovie...






Need I post anything more? I think the pictures are worth a thousand words...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God is faithful

I know this is the title of a recent post but I thought it only fitting to repeat. God is good and faithful then, now and always.

Monday morning, October 29, I received my most recent lab results which indicated that my bile acids had increased significantly. They actually increased so much that we were not only in the risky range of Cholestasis of Pregnancy, but the high risk stage where the rates of stillbirth go up quite a bit. With that in mind, we, (the obstetricians, Stephen and myself,) decided that we had better take some measures to get little Jovie out of my womb sooner than later as we didn't want to be one of the 5% of cholestasis patients that have a stillbirth.

After going to the office to have an NST done, see how far I was dilated and make sure Jovie was doing alright, we scheduled to be induced the following morning. I was still convinced that I wanted to try to go as natural as possible so we went home and I decided to try the old Castor oil trick. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be. Yes, it does have the side effects you can imagine and yes, it did seem to make my uterus contract, so much so in fact that I was having regular contractions about 3 minutes apart by 8:00 pm. They were not painful at all however. We decided to go and get checked to make sure that I wasn't dilating and after being checked, we found out that we were still only at 2cm, the same as we were earlier that day.

The following morning, Tuesday, October 28, we arrived at the hospital at 7:30 and my doctor broke my water. We then walked and walked and walked trying to get labor going without pitocin but no such luck. 1:30 pm rolled around rather slowly and I was given pitocin and told to lay on my side while they monitored Jovie and myself to make sure we both handled it alright. They started out by giving me 1 unit of pitocin, about 30 minutes later, they checked me and we were progressing, they upped the dose to 2 units of pitocin, (I guess this is a fairly small dose. It's about two little drops through the IV per hour.) This really seemed to speed things up. I won't go into all of the details but I'll tell you it was fast and furious! We decided to get an epidural around 3:00 pm. The anesthesiologist was a little delayed and it seemed he may have gotten there a little too late. I was bordering transition as I was getting the epidural. It didn't take complete effect because Jovie was a little farther down and blocking certain areas so that the epidural couldn't relieve me everywhere. I had feeling just about everywhere and the epidural seemed to help take just enough of the edge off of the pain. We started pushing around 3:50 and Jovie entered our world at exactly 4:00 pm. We made it!

Stephen's parents came and brought me my long awaited chocolate peanut butter milkshake. (They got me a large from Baskin Robbins! It was humongous. It must have been 32oz!) My was that fattening beverage good! My mother ran and got me a cheeseburger, yes with cheese! And french fries, and onion rings. Yum. And then, to top off my night, Claire made a chocolate cake with her delicious harvest moon frosting and bittersweet chocolate drizzle. I snacked on this all through the night. Any time I fed Jovie, I would take a couple of bites and praise God for chocolate!

We were able to be released from the hospital this morning with an excellent bill of health. I feel great as does Jovie I presume. We are both thankful she is no longer stretching inside my womb and is now resting peacefully in my arms.

God is faithful! Things don't always work out the way you'd expect or necessarily wanted or even thought was the best way but that doesn't discredit any of God's goodness. He is still as good and faithful as I'd say he was if I didn't have an ounce of liver problems, made it full term and had a painless deliver. (That's dreaming right? :)
Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

4to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
.... 23It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

26Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Amen!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful bundle of joy. I think she looks much different than Pear, however, there is some resemblance.




Sunday, October 26, 2008

thirty-eight weeks and ready to pop!


I am officially full-term. I have made it thirty-eight weeks pregnant. Twenty-two of those thirty-eight weeks have been spent abstaining from fats. This has been a long journey, but a much more delightful one than I spent a couple of years ago while pregnant with Pear. Although it's been hard sacrificing my one true love -dessert, I think I can do this again if we are blessed with more children in the future. Hey, look at the bright side: I won't have much weight to lose after Jovie comes! For those of you who don't get to see me on a regular basis, I have actually gotten big this time. People still never guess that I'm due any day but at least they know I'm pregnant! I've also gained a whopping fifteen pounds this time. Hurray! Here's a picture of me at thirty-eight weeks.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

a tale of a mouse...

As you read this, keep in mind that mice are my one BIG weak spot. As I've posted before, I can handle spiders, bugs, snakes, worms etc. Mice on the other hand, make me scream like a little girl and run for protection.

This story begins in the middle of July. Stephen told me he spotted a mouse or should I say a shrew in the garage. He was out there and it ran right in front of Pear. A week or so passed and I opened the door to go into the garage and sure enough, I spotted this mouse! I slammed the door and ran inside and told Stephen that I wasn't going anywhere until he got rid of that mouse. My hero ventured into the garage to find the mouse crawling along as if partially ran over by a car. Whoops. He scooped it up and threw it outside, where we hoped a cat might come and eat him up. A couple of weeks later, we began noticing a smell in the garage; a sort of rotting rodent smell. We assumed that he must have came back in the garage, died and started decaying. Once again, my hero went out to search but found nothing this time. We either became accustomed to the smell or it began to fade as the months lingered.

This last weekend Stephen, Pear and I set out to do some yard work. It was beautiful outside and we needed to get some final pruning, cutting and cleaning done. I got Pear all bundled up in play clothes and sent her out with daddy. I then got ready myself to go out. As you can imagine, being 37 weeks pregnant doesn't exactly make putting shoes, socks, or even pants on an easy task. So it took me a few minutes. I went out to the garage to get my grubby tennis shoes. I brought them in the house, plopped myself on the ground and held my breath for a second while trying to slip the shoe onto my foot only to be shocked by a little, dead, decaying mouse sliding out onto the floor in front of me. I jumped up faster than I imagined I could and ran out the door in a panicked state. I was so grossed out and scared that it was almost like one of those bad dreams that you try to scream but you can't...you know what I mean, right? I told Stephen of my discovery and that I needed him to go in the house and do something with that mouse as quickly as he possibly could. He laughed, went inside, got the mouse and told me to put my shoes on and come out. Can you believe that he expected me to wear the shoes again? There is no possible way I could ever put those shoes on again! I almost gag just thinking about it. I dug out some other shoes to wear and went outside to work.

And that is the tale of a mouse. The stench in the garage has dissipated and I will never keep anything outside or in the garage that I have to touch with bare hands or put on my feet again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

God is faithful!

If you haven't heard yet, this last week two HUGE weights have been removed from my shoulders. I am reminded that I didn't need to be carrying these weights in the first place as God would have gladly removed them at any time, if only I had more faith and trust.

The first: My last lab results came back and my liver seems to be functioning normally! Basically, my results came back better than they did months after Pear was born.

The second: Jovie is now head down and engaged! Yes, she turned Tuesday. I knew she had turned right away. (You can tell when a baby's hard head is no longer compressed against your rib cage.) It is fun to feel her little feet poking out now.

God is definitely faithful and good to me. What a God we have and how grateful I am to have Him!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

six random facts about me...

So, I've been tagged. I'm not exactly sure what this means other than I am supposed to list six random facts about myself and then tag others to do the same. So here goes:

1. I can pick up spiders, touch snakes or stand up to a dog but birds overhead give me the willies. (I guess I'm more scared of being pooped on than being bit.)

2. I am missing part of my right eyebrow due to running into a bedpost and getting a black eye when I was 2 years old.

3. I would pay just about anything for a chocolate peanut butter milkshake right now, if only I could drink it!

4. Watching 'I Love Lucy' makes me laugh, over and over again no matter how many times I've seen the episode.


5. My sister, Tara, and I have been locked out of our car while at the Tacoma Mall after closing hours on 3 or more occasions. (I must say, it was always her fault.)

6. When I was 8 years old, I ran into a brick wall while riding my bike. Luckily, I had a helmet on. My face was still severely injured. I had a hole in my upper lip big enough for the doctor to put his finger through and my lower lip was also torn to pieces. I had close to 30 stitches around my face. My parents said that I was so swollen and beat up that they took down the mirrors in the house because they didn't want me to look at my face and be scared of my appearance.

And to continue the game, I'm tagging the following people: Kamille, Chase, Piper and Noble.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pear coaxing Jovie...

Lately, Pear seems to be realizing that Jovie is a baby and that she's in mommy's tummy and that she will come out soon. The other day Pear lifted up my shirt, put her face next to my tummy and said "come out Jovie." I then asked her to repeat it so that I could get it on camera. video

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to get Jovie to move to a head-down position. (She is still transverse.) There are some recommended things to try such as laying upside down on an iron board propped on the couch, kneeling on stairs with your hands a few steps below your knees, playing music low on your abdomen, putting a flashlight at the lower end of your abdomen, etc. Pear has been intrigued as to what I am doing and she ventures to try it herself. The other day as I was on the stairs, Pear came over and tried it right next to me. She had such a hard time holding herself up, she started to grunt and then eventually gave up and backed off the stairs. Pear also gets frustrated at times when my tummy is exposed and she tells me to get "dwessed" and she pulls my shirt down. Here is a picture of her coaxing Jovie to move with the flashlight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A brisk autumn walk...


It was a beautiful day yesterday; a bit chilly, but gorgeous. I decided to take Pear out for a nice walk around Capitol Lake. There is nothing like a beautiful crisp autumn day. So we set out with the nice walking stroller and I was bound to get some exercise in. We made it all the way around the walking trail which goes all the way around one bowl of the lake. After we made it around the lake, I let Pear get out and feed the ducks the last few animal cookies that she didn't eat while on the trail. She was absolutely thrilled!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christmas Stockings...

I know, it's only October! Why would anyone possibly begin thinking about Christmas so early? Well, I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. And with a baby coming anytime over the next 4 weeks, I thought it wouldn't hurt to get a jump-start.

Over the last few years, it has been a fall ritual for me to make a Christmas stockings. I saw an idea that I liked in a Martha Stewart magazine and I took the idea, tweaked it a little, and made it my own. I find an old sweater, (or not so old that is no longer being worn,) and trace out a stocking pattern I made. Then I embellish it with a little critter or some sort of festive design and voila! You have a fun Christmas stocking. I've made a stocking for myself, Stephen and Pear so it was only fitting that Jovie have one for her first Christmas as well!


Growing up, my mom made stockings for each of us kids. We would hang them and then on Christmas morning, they would be filled with goodies, little gifts and fun things. My parents would set them in front of the Christmas tree and it was the first thing our eyes ventured to at 6am on Christmas morning. Because stockings are only so big, you have to find little gifts to put in them, and because the gifts are little, it seems like they keep coming and coming! Yes, I think the Christmas stocking is my favorite thing on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Praise God for SAMe!

Okay, last pregnancy update I gave stated that my bile acids more than doubled which meant I needed to go on medication. Well, the blood tests before that showed that my bile acids went down a fair bit so I put my brain to work and tried to figure out why they went down one week and two weeks later more than doubled. The week before the blood test which showed my bile acids went down included these random facts:
1. I went to Disneyland with my family. This meant I did a lot of walking and I ate hardly any fat at all as I didn't use olive oil.
2. I ran out of my SAMe supplement that I had been taking and therefore purchased a short term replacement from Target. This replacement was different in 2 ways. It has slightly different ingredients and the tablets were 200 mg each compared to 400 mg each.

We waited two weeks to do more blood work as the results came back so good the time before. Those two weeks included these random facts:
1. I was back on my normal routine; active daily life but no vigorous walking.
2. Back to my normal low-fat/no-fat diet which includes olive oil and nuts.
3. I went back on the SAMe supplement that I had been taking for months prior to switching for the week I was gone.
After receiving my blood work back that indicated my levels went up, I decided to go back on the Target SAMe to see if that's what made the difference. I was supposed to go on my medication as well but I thought I'd wait a couple of days to give the SAMe a chance. Well, it paid off! My blood results came back looking great! My bile acids went way down and I am now, not going to take the medication. I contribute these great results to one source: A good God that loves and provides for me! I also must say that I'm thankful for the great mind that God gave someone to create the SAMe which also contributed to my good results.

If for some reason my bile acids go back up, I will then start taking the medication. As it stands, I am going to continue to stand firm, have faith and allow God to take care of me and Jovie. We are still praying for little Jovie to flip around in my womb as she is still poking her little head up in my left rib cage, she is in a transverse position. She seems to move around a lot but she likes to keep her head right where it is. I'm still confident that she will move when she's good and ready but it would sure put me at ease and more comfort to know that she's head down and ready for a good delivery.

Monday, October 13, 2008

gDiapers

Did you know that disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills? And due to the use of high-grade polypropylene used to make the outer covering and various layers, their materials remain intact in landfills for many years. I don't consider myself to be a greener but I will say that I do want to treat this world the way that God designed for it to be treated. In my opinion we are to take care of, preserve, appreciate and glorify God with and through his creation. With Pear still in diapers and another one on the way which will certainly not be using the toilet in the near future, I decided that I didn't want to contribute 180+ diapers to landfill a month. I also know that I already feel busy and seem to hardly be able to keep on top of the house and cook dinner some days, so doing additional laundry and having 2 children in cloth diapers might not be the best thing for me. I found gDiapers to be a great alternative. Granted, they aren't much cheaper than disposable diapers, they are much better for the environment and just about as convenient. Basically they have a cloth outer shell, a plastic liner and a flushable filler which you change out with every diaper change. They are simple to use, comfortable for the child and still convenient. Pear has been using them for about a week and I have some ready for little Jovie as soon as her little buns fit in the "little g". If you are interested in these, I would recommend searching on craigslist or ebay as they are a bit spendy if buying new. I, however, managed to purchase 8 "little g" pants, 16 snap in liners, and over 50 flushables for $30 by looking on craigslist.



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pregnancy Update

Well, today I am just shy of carrying my little Jovie for 36 weeks! At times, the weeks have flown by while in some ways I feel as though I've been pregnant forever. Alas, I am nearing the day that I get to reap the reward of my hard work allowing God to grow this child in my womb!

I have been seeing the OB team weekly for about a month now. Our routine looks something like this: We, (Stephen, Pear and I,) arrive on time. We sit in the waiting room for about 10 minutes. We then move to the Non-Stress-Test room where I am hooked up to the doppler and get to hear Jovie's heart racing and try to track her movements. While I lay there, Stephen and Pear go crazy. Pear usually gets to pull out a snack that I pack for her and then she plays; she opens cupboards, pulls the curtain back and forth, gets Stephen's nice business attire messy, puts my shoes on and off my feet, etc. This is supposed to take between 20-30 minutes. We have yet to see this record time. We have waited there for around 45 minutes every time. After the 45 long minutes, the obstetrician comes in and checks the NST. I then have to remind her that I haven't been measured for several weeks, I need her to order my blood-work and we should probably check the amniotic fluid. All of which, once I remind her and they find the results, she is concerned and says we need to be sure and do this weekly. First off, I am measuring slightly on the small side. This isn't surprising as I measured small with Pear as well and they say I probably won't have a huge baby. Secondly, while measuring the amniotic fluid, we found out that we are borderline for being in the risk zone of too little amniotic fluid. I was also very low on amniotic fluid with Pear. I am still okay but we need to keep an eye on it. Thirdly, Jovie is transverse. Her head is on one side of my waist, her bum on the other. Usually the baby moves by delivery day. However, if she doesn't or if my liver levels go up and we are forced to induce, it means C-section. Lastly, I received my blood results from last week's appointment, my bile acids more than doubled. This was a little surprising as I'm still not really itchy and last time we tested they went way down. This means that I need to start taking Actigall in order to keep them from going up any more and possibly bring the numbers down.

I am feeling good. I am certainly ready to no longer be pregnant. God has provided thus far. I know that he will continue to provide. His grace is sufficient. I eagerly await the day that I get to hold my beautiful baby girl, eat a steak, milkshake, cake, cookies, butter on my bread and the hundreds of other things that I am currently not able to. But, I am thankful to be healthy and whole and I am going to try and treasure these last few days or weeks that I have this blessed child in my womb.

Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Little Baker

Pear is quite the little baker of late. She enjoys helping mommy mix, pat and roll baked goods. She quite enjoys tasting the unfinished products to ensure quality. I encourage all of this and ask her what she thinks as we go along. I believe her favorite thing to do is to put the cupcake liners in the muffin tins. She arranges and re-arranges these several times until I finally say that it is time to pour the batter in them and bake them. She then watches through the oven door as the goodies rise and become fragrant.

This little girl brings so much joy into our household. I don't know where I'd be without her. Sure, I might have a cleaner house, maybe a little more time to actually take up a hobby but oh, the joys I'd miss!