Saturday, August 27, 2011

.:Answered Prayers:.

The girls and I headed into the doctor on Friday for my weekly heartbeat check. After how often baby's heart was skipping the week before (about once every five beats), I was feeling pretty certain that we were going to be spending some time at the doctor's office every week, possibly for the rest of my pregnancy.

Before my doctor put the doppler on my stomach, she said, "Let's see how many PAC's we can hear today." Even she wasn't anticipating what we were about to hear.

We heard baby's heartbeat right away, and my doctor had asked me a question. I started to answer, but stopped mid-sentence when I realized that baby's heart wasn't skipping at all. We both just sat there in silence and listened to a perfectly steady little heartbeat. My doctor said that we should go for another 30 seconds to make it a full minute, and sweet little girl's heart sounded just perfect! We were both so shocked and surprised. My doctor said she hadn't expected it to resolve anytime soon with how frequently it was skipping just barely over a week ago.

She decided to have me come back in two weeks for another listen, which will also coincide with when I need to take my glucose test (barf).

I just feel so grateful that our prayers were answered, and one less stressor was taken from our family this week. To be honest, it's just been kind of rough at our house between the baby's health problems, Josh starting up with school and clinicals again, me having three callings and Josh being in the EQ presidency, and trying to balance it all. I know that everyone goes through stuff like this, but it's just been a lot lately for us - and my pregnant hormones! :)

The Lord has been answering my prayers through small and simple things, like helping me to understand that I pretty much have the greatest friends a girl could ask for. I'm sure I would have cracked under the stress lately if I didn't always have people checking on us to see how we're holding up. I know I've kind of checked out on being a good friend/sister/daughter lately, and I'm hoping I can get my act together soon here!

Just feeling so grateful for the news, and hoping things continue with an upward trend. Just need her heart to stay steady, and that bowel to look normal, and then we'll be almost ready to have a baby! (Yes, almost. I'm still not quite to the point where I prefer her out than in). I know the Lord is mindful of us, and I know we're going to get through this. Just gotta take it one day at a time. Okay, sometimes even just take it one hour at a time!

Luckily I have these two beauties to help me appreciate everything we've been blessed with!

PS - We are down to double digits on my ticker - whoa!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

.:End of Summer Fun:.

We've been busy trying to jam pack a few more things in towards the end of the summer, although some of the things we've been doing we'll still be able to do all fall and winter long! I love being able to get out of the house, and I think the girls enjoy it, too. Who doesn't like a little change of scenery, especially when it's filled with fun activities, family, and friends!

* Fountains at the Gateway with Dawson and Emerson *

All ready to go (those are scrapes on Remi's nose; just one of many battle wounds to the face she's had lately)

I love how Reece and Dawson are both looking to the side when they say cheese!

Remi LOVED having all the space to walk around, and didn't seem to mind the water one bit.

Reece wasn't so sure about the water until about a half hour until we left.

Remi and Emerson

Dawson and Reece

This is how I kept Remi happy in the stroller while we ate lunch. Don't judge, it was mostly just melted ice with a little bit of watered down Diet Coke.

* Splash Park with cousin Jay *

Our girls decided to spend most of their time at the playground, instead of the splash pad.

Eventually they warmed up and played in the water!

* Aquarium with Sam and James *

We got a pass to the aquarium for this year, so it was our first time to go use it. Reece was so excited to go see the penguins and the octopus, but once we got there, she was scared of everything!

They have a place where you can pet the sting rays. One was being very friendly and kept flapping up by where Reece was looking in, and needless to say, she was not a fan.

A couple of penguins were being pretty playful, so it was fun to see them swimming by right in front of the kids!

* Splash Park with Luke and Logan *

We met up with our buddies to play at the splash park and eat some lunch. It was the perfect way to spend a hot day!

The only excitement was that Reece got her first "stung bee" (bee sting) while we were there. There were bees everywhere!

*Discovery Gateway with Calais and Ainsley *

My friend Jill gave me some free passes to Discovery Gateway, so we took advantage and met up with our friends that were in town from Gateway. It turned into quite the outing: I ran into a girl that I grew up with all through high school and got to meet her kids, and then we also ran into cousins Millie and Ty!

Reece loved the babies.

Remi loved....everything, like drinking water from the water tables. Gross.

This black car was Reece's favorite!

All dressed up!

Playing with the veggies

Driving the car

Riding the horse with Calais

Needless to say, we have been busy lately and loving every minute of it! I love having access to so many fun things to do, and I'm trying to enjoy every minute with my girls before our family changes again!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

.:Heartbeat Check:.

We had our first heartbeat check today. (Don't worry, I won't update after every one, but thought today merited some mention. {And hopefully there won't be many more of them!})

First we were able to just sit down and have a chat with my doctor about what we learned last week at the ultrasound. I think we were just taking the news in, plus dealing with tantrum Remi, and didn't ask as many questions as we would have liked.

My doctor said that what the baby is experiencing is called premature atrial contractions. Basically the upper part of the heart is beating too soon sometimes, which doesn't allow enough blood to flow back out into the body. The problem that can arise over time, if it gets worse, is that because not enough blood is flowing through the body, things start to back up. She said the good news was that the ultrasound doctor did not see any evidence of any build up anywhere in baby girl during the ultrasounds. My doctor said that it is actually quite common, and that pregnant women experience this often due to the increased stress on the heart, as well as just everyone else; when you feel like your heart skipped a beat, that's probably what happened. She was very good at reassuring us that it really is most likely to resolve on its own. She said it's very rare that it doesn't, but if for some reason it doesn't, medication is probably the first option for treating it.

We also asked her a little about the bowel. She said we can't 100% rule out down syndrome; the only way to tell that for sure now was with an amnio, and there's no way anyone is sticking a needle in my belly. But she did say that it is a great sign that so far, with the two more detailed ultrasounds, there haven't been any signs of anything like that. And that we get to have another ultrasound that will do another detailed check again. With cystic fibrosis, we could do blood work, but she didn't really feel like it was necessary. She said that is a disease that would be in every cell in your body, and therefore, the entire bowel would probably show up white; not just a small sliver of it.

So it was good to chat through things with her. She definitely helped ease my mind quite a bit. We listened to baby and you could definitely hear the irregularity in her heart. It is a little disconcerting, of course, but my doctor said it is good to hear that she just regulates it back so quickly, and it stays in a normal range. I go back in next week for another listen, and we'll just keep going from there. Who knew I would start my weekly appointments at 24 weeks!

The last five weeks have been kind of overwhelming and scary. Everyone tells you not to worry, but who wouldn't worry? I'm grateful for the news we've received so far, and hope we continue on an upward trend. It is what it is, and I can't change anything, so my goal now is to just try to relax a little bit and start enjoying this pregnancy. It's been overshadowed with the results and the waiting, but it seems like everything is going to be okay. Our little lady is growing perfectly as she should be, and she is quite the little mover in there, and we just love her so much already!

And because blog posts are boring without pictures, let's do a little comparison for fun.

24 weeks with Remi (holy tank!)

24 weeks with baby girl #3

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

.:Follow Up Ultrasound:.

Today was the day! Ultrasound today!

Leading up to today, things couldn't have gone worse. Remi spent all evening last nite throwing up all over me and all over our house. Needless to say there were baths, lots of laundry, and our steam cleaner got a good workout. We were up from 1-4 a.m. with her last nite, which lead to extremely tired parents today. Reece has never been throw up sick before, nor has Remi, so it was definitely a new experience for us.

Combine that with feeling anxious and nervous, and you've got one emotional mama.

Cue Remi having a screaming fit for a good 35-40 minutes while we waited at the hospital. Poor girl is tired and recovering from being sick, and it was just horrible for all of us - including everyone who had to listen to her. Josh actually missed the entire ultrasound because he had to take her out of the room.

Good times.

But on to the results!

The tech went through all of the measurements, pointing out things as she did, and even let me see sweet baby girl's face in 3d. That definitely made it seem a bit more real! She asked me if I had any bleeding earlier in the pregnancy, and that's when I knew that the bowel was still looking too white.

The doctor came in to look again, and confirmed that the bowel was still looking too white. He checked out her brain and the placenta, and said that he didn't see any indications of a virus, which would have shown up there and is a potential cause of the light bowel. He also said that he didn't see any birth defects, and that if she were carrying cystic fibrosis, then the bowel would have been more white. The area that is still too bright is just a small sliver, so he didn't feel that was an indicator of cf. He said that it's still possible that she just swallowed some blood, but that another possibility could be that her bowel is not getting enough blood flow, which can lead to a blocked bowel. He didn't say what the course of treatment would be in that case, but just said he wanted to do another ultrasound in six weeks to see what things were looking like.

While looking at her heart, he also saw an irregular heartbeat. My doctor has never heard this before; I'm not sure if she just hasn't listened long enough to hear it or if it's a new development. He turned the sound on and we were able to hear it. Again, he said it could likely be nothing and would most likely resolve itself on its own, and that he wasn't too concerned since there was still lots of good cardiac output. But until it goes away, I'll be visiting the doctor weekly to check her heartbeat until it clears up. It could obviously indicate something more serious, but the doctor really felt that it wouldn't get to that point.

So mixed news. I definitely feel relieved that some of the major, life long difficulties seem to not be an option anymore. I just definitely wish that it could have all been good news. But of course, grateful for the news we got, and grateful to see our sweet little lady.

She is still a she and measuring right on track!

Don't you just want to kiss those lips?

She's perfect.

And, here is the 23 week belly.

Monday, August 1, 2011

.:Remi - 16 Months:.

Oh, my little Rem-A-Lem.

Remi is turning into such a little girl now. She's definitely losing her baby look and attitude, and it is so fun to watch!

Little Miss started walking right around 15 months. She was taking about 6-10 steps at a time, so I was thinking she'd be walking in a couple of weeks from then. But she decided it was time to walk, and just started doing it on our vacation in Oregon and hasn't stopped since! I guess sometimes the late bloomers don't have as much of a learning period; they just up and do it! It's been really fun to watch how it's changed the way she and Reece play and interact. It's definitely opened up a new world for them, and I love it!

Remi has definitely developed quite the attitude lately. She throws tantrums when she doesn't get her way, and has no problem letting you know when she's not happy. I'm hoping this phase will pass quickly, because it is seriously doing me in lately! Although she's got the tantrum thing going on these days, she also has some cute personality quirks, too! My favorite one is this cheesey face. She does it all the time, and just knows she's being totally silly. So cute!

Remi has taken quite a few spills in the past few months. There have been three separate times where she bloodied up her mouth significantly, and we can now add some scrapes to the list. She fell on some stairs outside at a friends house, and scraped up her forehead, nose, upper lip, and chin. You can kind of see it all in some of these pictures. There is also a large scratch on her side, from the same fall. I didn't expect her to have so many casualties (although, so far, nothing has compared to Reece's black eye) but she seems to be racking them up quickly these days!

Along with the spills has been the teething. Poor Remi only seems to teeth in groups! She got about 5 teeth around Christmas, and then didn't get any for the longest time. Her four molars just came in last month, and now she's working on the last four teeth before we get a break until her two year molars. She still doesn't handle teething well, but can you blame her? Getting multiple teeth at a time can't feel too great!

Remi is now sharing a room with Reece! It is fabulous! They sleep together for naps and night time. They definitely have some play time in there before they fall asleep, but it is fun to listen to them giggling and playing in there. We often have to go in and remove about 5 books and 5 toys from Remi's crib once they are asleep; apparently Reece doesn't want Remi to get bored in there! It's so nice having them in there together, and they really love being together.

At 16 months, Remi likes:

- blowing kisses
- climbing
- eating
- treats
- baths
- books
- walking!
- following Reece around
- pushing things (i.e. walker, cart)
- zhu-zhu pet
- milk
- being independent
- suckers

At 16 months, Remi doesn't like:

- diaper changes (hello thrashing!)
- teething (to be fair, all of us hate it when she's teething!)
- being carried around outside
- being in the cart/stroller, etc.
- floating in the swimming pool (crazy!)

Remi is just such a sweetheart, and I feel like a million bucks when she reaches for me with a smile on her face. I can't believe she isn't going to be my baby for much longer!