Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Team Chunky Monkey

Once again this year  our friends and family came together to make Team Chunky Monkey a huge success.  We raised over $4200 this year which is a huge blessing.  (I will post final numbers when I see them)

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Not only do our friends and family give their time and money so generously, but this year we were given a HUGE blessing from the March of Dimes…a “billboard” sign along the walk path on U of H campus. 

I remember our first march in April 2008 as B and I passed the “honor signs”…I got the chills and tears in my eyes.  I knew that one day I would LOVE to have one of those for our babies.  I looked into them the next year, but they are pricey and usually a corporation will sponsor a family and that is how you get a sign.

You can imagine my total surprise when I got a call from Katie with the March for Dimes in Houston two weeks ago asking us if they could/letting us know they would like to honor our family with a sign.  I was OVERJOYED and so beyond grateful for their generous offer to our family…and our miracle babies. 

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Many thanks to Katie and the entire Houston March of Dimes office for your generous gift to our family…you may never know how much joy that gave us.  We are honored to raise awareness and funds for your organization for as long as we are able and we thank you for all you do to help babies like ours daily.

Many thanks to all of you that made your way to the U of H campus early on Sunday morning.  You took steps that day for all of the tiny miracles, like our Bennett, that will never take steps of their own.  We are so grateful for you and your selfless dedication to Team Chunky Monkey.  I can’t wait to join you next year with our miracle man Cullen!

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Many thanks for your donations and your fundraising this year.  We would never be able to do this without all of you.  This year we would like to say a special thanks to our top fundraisers. 

The Jackson Family

The Potts Family

The Nord Family

The Olson Family

The Boudreaux Family (Chef D cooked ALL the food at the crawfish boil…thank you!!!)

Oakland Elementary School

The Kahl Crawfish Fundraiser (we aren’t thanking ourselves…we are thanking all of our friends and family members that went out of their way to attend and donate)

Shirts were donated by The Vollmar Family

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We look forward to next year!  I can’t wait for the crawfish boil and B is talking about a swimming party after the march…stay tuned!

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Here’s the scoop…

I’m still here!  I know I promised an update yesterday and I DID start one, but then they added sedation meds into my IV and I was OUT!!!

We have had busy days since we’ve been here.  Being at Women’s is like being in our home away from home.  In fact, one of our neo’s asked us how it was coming back up here after everything that had happened.  We were honest and told him that initially it was super hard, but we created a family with our VERY CLOSE nurses and having the neo docs here to make sure our baby boy is in the best hands just puts our hearts more at ease.  We have had visitors every single day.  Yesterday, the charge nurses from the NICU stopped in to say HI and see Ellie (she was totally out of sorts yesterday).  Auntie Kaitlin was on duty, so she came up for a visit and Ellie was thrilled to see her…and wondering where Ayden was I am sure!  Ellie even got a chance to see one of her neo doctors that helped save her life…he was overjoyed to see her and just popped in again this morning to check on me and tell me how great it was to see her yesterday. 

I have had 2 of my OWN primary nurses from the twins pregnancy and it is so wonderful to be taken care of in this way.  We have been blessed during this hospital stay!

Now for the real news:

- Contractions are still frequent.  Every 7-10 min sometimes more ~ sometimes they space out a little.

- On 2 grams/hr of magnesium sulfate.  Thought it was going to kill me yesterday morning.  UGH!  The nausea was horrible and it makes you feel very hot!  They cut the dose in half yesterday, but last night I broke through with contractions every 4 minutes, so I got a shot of terbutaline on top of them turning my mag back up to full dose.  Fun times!  That is when they decided to add sedation meds to my IV in order to get me to relax and go to sleep in order to let my body relax and stop the contractions.  I am pretty sure they gave me an elephant tranquilizer…I couldn’t even put words together.  Needless to say, I was out and today I am still pretty out of it.  I have the same orders for the rest of my stay b/c the doctor wants to give my body the best chance to absorb all of the mag with me relaxed enough to let the meds do their job.  It makes sense to me, but I know I will enjoy feeling like ME again. 

- No cervical change at all on the ultrasound yesterday!  Praise God!!!  Cervix measured 3cm with no funneling. 

- Cullen weighed in at 4 lbs 8 oz and I PROMISE all of you he looks identical to his daddy!!!  Same shaped head and face…it is amazing.  He had the hiccups during our u/s and that was neat to see.  The peri said that hiccups is a good sign and it means the baby has good wellbeing…ummm…Bennett always had hiccups and he was in an amniotic sac with no water and struggling.  But, whatever…he is the pro, so all we can do it take his word for it. 

- I am still in L and D, but I am being moved to a permanent room in the Antipartum unit.  That means better beds and a nicer bathroom!!!  Oh, and I get to wear my own clothes!

- I will be here until Monday (at least).  At that time my doctor is going to transition me back to the terb pump and send me home for the last 4 weeks!!!  I am thrilled!  However, I know I have to make it the next 3 1/2 days in the hospital trying to get my contractions under control and that is no small job!  My irritable uterus has made a name for itself here and I want nothing more to do with it!  We are working on a new nickname for it!

I miss my baby girl more than I even imagined, but I can’t worry about her and get my body straight.  So, I am counting on family to make sure she is occupied and I’ll surprise her Monday.  I am in the final stretch and making it to the finish line means bringing our baby boy right home with us!  My doctors are thrilled that I am 31.5 and that I’ll be 32 weeks on Saturday.  I’m pretty sure all parties involved with this pregnancy will need a strong drink when it is over!!!

Look for a lot of updates to come.  I have a post that was started over the weekend and a ton of pictures!  I’ll get it up asap! 

Many thanks for the texts and phone calls!  We are blessed to have such giving and thoughtful friends and family!




Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Admitted and staying for now…

This will be short and sweet with a long update tomorrow.  I was admitted today with contractions 2 minutes apart. 

CBC showed elevated white count and dehydration and because the terb wasn’t working I am now on an IV Mag drip for at least 48-72 hours.  The contractions are killing me, but the mag hasn’t been bad at all.  I do feel like it is 85 degrees in this room, but in reality it is 60 and everyone (including B) are freezing to death! 

We have visited with two of our neonatologists that took care of the twins and both are optimistic.  I will see the peri and OB tomorrow, so look for a longer update then.

Please keep our family…especially our precious little angels Ellie and Cullen in your prayers.  This is a time of transition for us and will continue to be for the next few days. 



Thursday, April 22, 2010

30.5 Peri update

As promised, here is the update from today. 

Our doctor walked in and said, “I was just talking about you with Dr. LR (OB) and she asked me if I could believe you were still pregnant.”  Well…that’s a good feeling.  When your OB is joking with your peri about you still being pregnant at 30 1/2 weeks.  Makes me wonder if they REALLY think I am going to make it!   

- Cullen is HUGE!!!  He weighs 4 lbs 5 ounces, is in the 76% and is still measuring 10 days ahead of his due date. (Ellie weighed 4.10 the day she came home!!!  At 6 weeks old…which was 34 weeks corrected age!!!)

- No signs of CF based on how the bowel looks on ultrasound.

- Cervix was back down to 3.0…no bueno!  But, Dr. K said he wasn’t worried about that at all.  If it gets to 2.0 or 1.5 he said it is time to worry.  I am of the mind to worry a little now and then when it does get down that low I’ve already prepared myself a little! 

- Cullen was breech, but I know he shifted again already.  He is so big that there is no mistaking when he is doing a position shift!

I put Dr. K on the spot and flat out asked him how much longer he thought I would go.  He said he WANTS me to go to 37 weeks, but he thinks I’ll go at least 4 more weeks.  He did ask me how much the twins weighed (which was 5lbs 6oz together).  Because I am getting close to that with Cullen I think they are going to be expecting something to happen at any minute.  The contractions are often and my uterus is measuring so much larger than it should.  I feel good about Cullen’s weight, but I wish I could do something to help his lungs out should he be delivered in the next few weeks.  It would be amazing to have a strong, fat premature baby that amazed all of the doctors and left the hospital with us despite his gestation…we will just lay back and see what happens.  So, another peri visit next week ~ unless we make an impromptu visit to the hospital before then (NOT planning on it!). 

Team Chunky did an amazing job again this year.  We were at $2915 yesterday (we have 800.00 to deliver still) which is awesome for our situation!  The shirts are being picked up tomorrow and we can’t wait to see all of our supporters at the March.  There is a big surprise coming…but, I decided to wait and tell you about it Sunday!  Stay tuned…



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One day at a time…

11 days since my last post…I simply can’t believe it!  I have a lot to update on, but I will try to do it memo style to save time!

I’ll start with last Tuesday, when I was hospitalized for the…ummmm…4th time.  I was experiencing:

- a small amount of bleeding

- pressure with each contraction (like waves of pressure)

- 13 contractions in 30 minutes

- I sure did cry and tell B that I was sure I couldn’t do it any longer and our little man was going to be delivered…it was a horrible night.

- Took 2 demand doses and had one scheduled dose and took off for the hospital.

- Admitted and checked.  The nurse told me I was 50% effaced and it felt like I had 1.5CM of cervix left.   I was terrified and B was sleeping in the recliner!

- My Ffn was negative!

- At 3am I had only had 3 contractions according to the nurse, so they were SENDING US HOME…at 3AM…with a husband that was dead asleep in the chair across the room!  I was furious…but, glad to be going home to my baby girl!


- My scheduled peri appt…he looked at me funny when he walked into the room and said, “I thought you were in the hospital…”  He seemed irritated that they discharged us at 3AM…whatever!

- Cullen scored 8/8 on his BPP

- Cullen was weighing in at 3 lbs 8 oz…I won the weight estimate again with a DEAD ON guess.  The doc and B have some man code they are in on and he even went back in to see if he could get closer to B’s guess, but mommy still won!

- Good looking placenta.

- No dynamic change in the cervix and it was measuring 3.9CM….WHAT???  That is the longest he has ever measured my cervix by transabdominal u/s…very interesting.  I questioned him, but he was sure about his findings.

- Doctor ordered me to stay pregnant for another week…AT HOME and we would reevaluate my situation in one week.

The rest of the week went well.  We changed the terb site and thought that maybe my left leg was not absorbing the meds like it should  which was causing all of my problems.  We were told to try a new site in my back/love handle area.  Even though I am big…my stomach is stretched so far that I really don’t have love handles, so it hurt like CRAZY, but I took it like a champ.  The weekend went okay (keep in mind that I contract pretty regularly, so when I say okay I mean I was probably having 4-6 contractions/hour).  However, Sunday was very exciting!!!  Sunday morning, Cullen’s bedding was delivered and set up my the truly talented Donna and it looks AMAZING!  I love every.single.part of his bedding!  The colors, fabric combination and quality of the work are outstanding.  (I will post pics asap)  I ordered 3 more fabrics, a rug and some decorations today.  We still have to hang up his pictures and shelves and buy a mirror and a few more goodies.  Our next delivery will include his glider seat covers, more pillows, and changing table covers and we will be as complete as we are going to be until I can get out to shop for a few accessories!  I want to make a lamp shade for him and I need a cute side table to sit next to his glider.  I want something with a shelf on the bottom, so it doubles as book/toy storage as well as a table. 

Monday was pretty good (5 contractions on my strip) and I knew I was going to the doc on Tuesday, so I wasn’t overly stressed.

Tuesday was our OB appt:

- She (our doc) walked in and said, “Well, it’s pretty clear you won’t complete your pregnancy at home…you will going to the hospital at some point we just want to wait as long as b/c you have Ellie at home.  (nothing like starting on a positive note!)  Side note: I would rather know when I am going to be hospitalized, have a Mag drip and try to be sent home a few days later than go week to week wondering if that is THE day they are going to admit me…it’s exhausting to live out of a hospital bag and drag them back and forth to every appt.

- I gained 4 lbs…so, I’m up to 16. 

- Urine and blood pressure look good.

- I am measuring 35 weeks pregnant!!!  Holy huge belly!  (The peri discovered an increased amount of amniotic fluid last week, but he said that is to be expected with a baby THIS size!)

- We scheduled my csection for June 4th at 1:30!!!

- Then she checked my cervix: I am dilated 1 finger tip below the cerclage, but above it felt firm to her still.  That totally stressed me out!  Dilating at all is not what I wanted to hear, but we go to see our Peri tomorrow, so if I am effacing at all I am sure he will make some major changes. 

- The OB did throw in the fact that she “thinks” I will make it to my delivery date with some mag and bed rest…that would be a huge blessing.  I would be thrilled to deliver at 35 or 36 weeks and still bring this little guy home with us.  God will choose what is best for our little miracle.

So, that is the fast version.  Like I said, we visit the peri tomorrow and he is always the “big” appt we look forward to each week.  I will do another quick update when we return home!  I’ll leave you with these two pics…yes, I am wearing the same dress as in my last pic ~ I aim for comfort these days!  Also, the pic of Cullen was taken with my phone, so it is very blurry! 

(if you look at Cullen’s head you can see his hair line on the left side…he is going to have lots of hair!)

30 week side cullen 29 weeks



Saturday, April 10, 2010

Things are changing…

and I HATE change!

Our appointment on Thursday didn’t turn out exactly the way we thought it would. 

The trip started off nicely.  B stopped at Star.bucks, so I could get a decaf coffee to enjoy on the ride down.  We joked around and decided that we were going to treat ourselves to a dinner out.  Actually eat out at a restaurant!!!  We decided on McCormick & Schmick’s and I could already taste the flourless chocolate cake in my mouth! 

After waiting an hour and a half (which flew by with the company of my hubby) Dr. K finally arrived.  The beginning of the visit was pretty routine.  He took Cullen’s measurements and here is where our BIG guy stands:

3.3 pounds

10 days ahead of schedule

69% for his gestation

and “very long”

Then he went in for a cervical check.  I am down to 3.0 CM.  If you will recall, I previously blogged that anything above 3 CM is considered normal.  That is not where our concern lies.  The issue is that in a matter of 2 weeks I have shortened from 3.7 to 3.0…not good news at all.  Dr. K then said, “I am guessing you have 4-6 more weeks at best.”

My heart stopped at that moment.


Because I am a mom and I feel like I am letting my child down once again.

No, not intentionally.  But, my body is a piece of trash and I made the conscious decision to get pregnant again and here we are faced with another premature delivery, another NICU stay and all of the possible issues that go along with it.

I am allowed to grieve the fact that I will NEVER know what it is like to be wheeled out of the hospital with my baby safe in MY arms and I will be leaving my son in the same hospital that his brother died in.  It is not ideal and I am allowed to be scared to death…and I am.

All of the horrible memories of Bennett’s struggle for survival and death came flooding back.

Do I expect for Cullen to be in the same situation as Bennett?  No!  But, if I have learned anything on my journey it is that we have no guarantees in life. 

By delivering Cullen so early we have no guarantees that:

he will not have IVH’s

he will not be intubated

he will not have to have PDA surgery

he will not have ROP

he will not have complications from feeds due to CF

he will not have PICC lines, IV’s or feeding tubes

We have no guarantees at all and I didn’t want that for him.  He deserves the best.  Which would include the best start at life.   I am grieving because this is not what I wanted for our little boy.

However, here we are again.  My fear is ever present, but my determination will overpower it.  I will continue to fight because I would never settle for anything less than the best for any of my babies. 

I am praying that I have at least 4 more weeks.  We have started to prepare for my hospital admittance as a family.  I have talked to Ellie and explained that mommy will probably go to live with the doctors at the hospital for a while, but she can come and visit me to watch movies and eat popcorn.  I have ordered a slew of preemie clothes because we know our BIG man will be very little when he is delivered.  Biddy and I hung all of Ellie’s clothes with matching bows and we had a mini “hair fixing” lesson.  I was really hoping to have Cullen’s room totally done before I went into the hospital, but I just don’t know if it is possible.  We are in the process of washing his clothes and blankets to take up with me, so he has them ready in the NICU.  However, there are a few things that still have to be hung, his decals for the wall  are en route as I type and his bedding is in the process of being completed.  The breast pump is here and B is going to sanitize it and bag it up.  Our hospital bags have been packed for weeks, so we are good there!

All in all, I think we are as well prepared as we can be this time around.  Mentally at least…emotionally, I am still working on things. 

I am not ignorant to the fact that things could be a whole lot worse.  I know that a lot of this might sound selfish.  However, until you have traveled the road we have traveled it would be very hard to understand where we are coming from.  I NEVER WANTED to see one of my babies hooked up to machines ever again.  We will be facing all of our fears once again when Cullen is admitted to the NICU.  We have demons…and unfortunately we will have to face them again.

However, in the end we will have a beautiful new baby boy.  Our family will be complete and eventually we will all be at home living a normal life together. God chose this as our path and from experience I know He will give us the strength we need to make it through.  This truth is what keeps me going. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10



29 weeks side 29 weeks front 

Shaving cream party!

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Fun times with the water hose!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

28.4 weeks!!!!

MILESTONE week!!!  Yes, all of my doctors and nurses consider this week a HUGE milestone week for Cullen and they seem to have taken a breath of relief.  I, however, have not taken a deep breath, yet.  I have delivered and seen 28 weekers with my own two eyes and I know what *real* issues can arise.  I have wanted to get past this week from the moment we found out we were pregnant and I can’t tell you how excited I will be on Saturday when I hit the 29 week mark!  I feel as if I am getting greedy because now I won’t be able to relax until 30 weeks and then I know I’ll up it to 32 weeks and so on.  I guess that is just me being a mom though.  Really, when is “good enough” ever good enough for our children…hopefully, NEVER!

Quick recap of the end of last week:  B and I had a date night on Friday…to Women’s hospital…AGAIN!  I had a little *ahem* leaking issue and that is an automatic admission to the hospital to check for ruptured membranes.  As we passed the board in L and D I saw my name and the letters SR next to it ~ suspected rupture.  My heart did stop for a quick second, but in my gut I knew there really wasn’t anything to worry about.  We were admitted, cleared of any issues and discharged in a matter of 2 hours.  We decided that I am just stocking up on frequent visitor miles, so that when it comes time to REALLY deliver Cullen I can upgrade my room to a super swanky suit!!! 

Easter Sunday, was a little different for us…but, the last 5 months have been a little different!  B took Ellie on an Easter egg hunt Saturday and she had a blast with friends.  Then, Sunday, the Easter Bunny came and left  TON of goodies for our little girl and she got to visit her BFF, Adds.  I even got a basket full of goodies from the old bunny!!! 

Monday, we went to the OB and no major issues came up.  Then again…the only weigh me, measure my tummy and have me pee in a cup, so that doesn’t really lend itself to discovering any major issues!  They read the report from the peri and are VERY impressed with the size of this baby boy growing in my belly.  He was in the 69% at 27 weeks and we go back tomorrow for the next check with the peri.  I did have another Ffn and it was negative, so in reality I am 99.9% not going into labor for 7 days (from Monday) which is reassuring.  I did have 9 contractions on my strip Monday afternoon which was NOT reassuring.  We were threatened with the hospital again, but by the next morning my uterus had relaxed and the last two days have been pretty “normal” for ME. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along:  28 weeks and 4 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  Seriously, still only 12 pounds!  I don’t know why I look so huge when I really haven’t gained much weight. 

Maternity Clothes:  Yes…God Bless maxi dresses!!!

Best Moment this week:  Still being pregnant!  I will get my breast pump in the mail tomorrow and 2 more NEW dresses to wear!  Also, B is hosting our Crawfish boil on Saturday for our Team Chunky Monkey team.  Oh, and aside from the bedding and a few decorations Cullen’s room is almost done.  Clothes are ready to be washed and hung up.  We even have the diapers ready for the basket!

Gender: It's A Boy – Cullen Spencer!

Movement: Yes, and it is AMAZING!  Cullen is a BIG BOY and it is truly amazing to feel his every move.   

Food Craving: Three words: Natural Vanilla Bean!!!  I typically HATE ice cream, but I can’t seem to get enough of the creamy goodness that is Blue Bell NVB!!!  Also, thanks to Julie I have decided to keep indulging in my fresh fruits because her doctor told her that studies have shown that fruit helps strengthen the amniotic sac…hello fruit salad!  I found out I am now anemic, so my “meatless” diet now has to include red meat.  Huge transition for me. 

What I miss: I miss being a great mom and wife.  I want to be the one responsible for taking my little girl to all of her classes and taking pictures at her first soccer game.  I also want to be able to make dinner for my husband after a long day at work and rather than giving him a list of “to do’s” I would like to let him take a break.  Only 7 more weeks baby!

Sleep:  Dr. K decided that I needed to get better sleep.  I tend to contract more when I have sleepless nights, so he gave me something to take a few nights a week and it really helps.

What I am looking forward to:  We go back to the peri tomorrow and I can’t wait to see how big Cullen is.  I can’t wait to be out of the 20’s and into the 30’s! 

Belly Button/Stretch Marks: Still and innie, but getting tight around the edges.  I have a ton of stretch marks…whatever!!

Interventions: Terb pump 2.5ML Q4, pro.cardia 20 MG at 9, 3 and 9pm and monitoring at least once/day.  17P on Thursday’s, Lovenox once/day. 

Contractions: I always have contractions…a lot of them!

Prayers: That I can make it for at least another few weeks at home!  That Cullen’s heart, lungs, brain and eyes are maturing and that he is plumping up!  That my cervix stays closed despite the many contractions my body puts up with daily…and that my contractions slow down with the new meds I am on!

I continue to thank all of my friends and family that spend so many hours thinking and praying for us.  We have come a long way and in reality we only have 7 MORE WEEKS TO GO! 

Team Chunky Monkey: We are nearing the end of fundraising and I feel terrible b/c I don’t feel as if I have done my job to the fullest this year.  There is still time to donate and the SMALLEST donation really can help make a big difference to so many.  Please, if you can, click on our purple fundraising bar to the right and make a donation.  Every $1 counts and is appreciated!!!



28.4 side 28.4 front

Week by week:

20weeks 23w5d 28.4 side

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I have written 2 posts today.  Both on the same topic and both were deleted by WLW.  I am not wasting another minute of my day putting up another post…so, pictures will have to do!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

This is no joke…

I was admitted AGAIN this week for contractions! 

I’m so tired, but I want to blog the story for my sake (as a record) and for the sake of our family and friends that live out of state.

Last Thursday was my last post and it was a  great day!  That evening my contractions started as usual and were the strongest I have had yet.  I made it through and Friday was a day full of irritability…my uterus that is, not me!  By Saturday, I was contracting regularly and by the grace of God, Laurie the head of the nurses was in and called me about my strip.  She went up drastically on my pump settings hoping that would calm things down.  By that evening I was doing okay.  Courtney and Jamie (the worlds best hostesses) came over that night to get a few things ready for the shower on Sunday and I started to feel as if I could actually make it!  Then Sunday morning came and I just didn’t feel like myself at all.  I was on so much medicine that I really felt like I was living outside of my body.  I was still having contractions and it was one of those days that I knew I was going to fly into a contraction vacation very easily. 

My house was transformed into a baby wonderland of blue, green and yellow.

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march 153 march 152

It was the MOST BEAUTIFUL sight to me!  My favorite, blue hydrangeas, were all over my house and pictures of my precious Cullen were everywhere.  The decorations were amazing, but the food was out of this world!  Cafe Express catered with the BEST chicken salad I have ever had along with an assortment of salads, dips and desserts.  My shower was a dream come true for me.  I was pregnant (looking HUGE) and all of my closest friends and family were there to celebrate this miracle little boy. 

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Come gift opening time my house looked like a department store! 

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Ellie got some Big Sister gifts and even passed out ring pops to all of her friends while we opened gifts!

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 As the fun came to an end I could feel my uterus acting up.  Before all of our guests even left I had to change into a comfy dress and put my feet up in our recliner…which quickly turned into me laying flat in bed! 

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On Monday, I was super tired, but I didn’t feel as bad as I did the night before.  However, on Tuesday my body decided that it was just plain tired.

The day started with contractions and they slowly increased in frequency and intensity.  I was being given demand doses every single hour during the day and there was absolutely no change in the pattern of contractions.  My pulse wasn’t changing either…which is strange b/c the terb usually speeds up the heart rate especially when you get demand doses.  By 5pm it was clear that the meds weren’t working.  The nurse called Dr. K (high risk) and he told her he was having me admitted.  She called and told me to head to the hospital…which we did RIGHT after I straightened my hair!!!  I refused to leave here if I was going to have Cullen with a horrible looking hair-do.  I wanted to at least look good for a c-section.  All kidding aside, I had a gut feeling they would be able to stop the contractions with Mag at least which is why I felt I had the time to fix my hair.  B was packing his hospital bag anyway, so I really did have the extra 5 minutes…plus, I felt better about myself.  Right before we left I decided to change the vial in my pump.  When I took it out I noticed it was dripping from the bottom.  I turned the pump upside down in my lap and liquid came pouring out all over my dress.  It actually soaked my lap.  It crossed my mind that all of the meds they were giving me throughout the day had been backing up into my pump ~ therefore, I wasn’t actually getting any medication all day.  It was a fleeting thought…we were quickly out the door with contractions 4 minutes apart.

I demand dosed myself in the car at 6:54 (with the new vial of meds) and instantly felt a difference.  Increase in my heart rate and a decrease in contractions.  By the time we got to the hospital I actually walked myself all the way up to L&D with B…plus, our 2 bags, 2 pillows, and 1 giant purse!  I got checked in and had a really cute, young nurse assigned to my case named Katie.  Turns our we graduated from the same high school, but she was 6 years YOUNGER!!!  The hospitalist, Dr. Morgan, came in pretty soon thereafter and introduced himself and ran through the tests I was going to be going through.  This guy was SUPER INTELLIGENT and reminded me (and B) so much of my dad I almost felt weird with him doing my “exams!”  My contractions had slowed down a ton and I actually felt super relaxed and normal.  The doc even commented on how nice it was to be dealing with parents that were so relaxed.  I told him that if you have walked through the fire before you learn to departmentalize your fear.  We had 2 of our NICU nurses in there with us and we felt at home.  I had confidence they would stop my contractions and our Cullen would be safe for a few more weeks at least!  You know I had 4 million questions for the doctor and at one point he commented on how “well read” I was in the department of preterm labor.  Nice compliment, but I would rather be known for a million other things!  All of the tests came back negative: group B strep, and the litmus test for ruptured membranes.  They did an Ffn, but it turns out my peri really doesn’t believe in doing them, so they didn’t even send in the test to be run!  They did an old fashioned cervix check and then checked for any dynamic change by trans-abdominal ultrasound.  I am still measuring around 3.5, so NO change at all in my cervix from the contractions which is a HUGE blessing!  Cullen sounded great on the monitor, although he was being a wild man and moving all over the place.  After a few hours of starving to death, B ran down to the cafeteria when it opened back up (at 11pm) and brought me up 2 chickfila sandwiches which I promptly inhaled and some waffle fries…healthy stuff!  They moved me to an ante-partum room for the night and gave me meds to sleep ~ which took effect in about 30 seconds!  I slept until my monitoring session at 4 am when I got to hear Cullen have the hiccups for the very first time!  I tried to wake B up to listen, but he was all comfy cozy on his 6 inch long cot/bench next to me…fully dressed and snoring!!!   No contractions again and a healthy baby, so back to sleep I went.  By 7:30 I had compiled a list of questions on one entire legal pad of paper for Dr. K’s arrival.  He spotted it as soon as he walked in the door and chuckled.  I really think my questions helped him decide what to do next in my case.  He decided to try an oral drug called pro.cardia in addition to my terb as a way to control contractions at home.  If/when this combo quits working I am going to be admitted AGAIN for good to be put on Magnesium sulfate (better known as Mag).  If they can wean me off of Mag and back onto the terb pump I will be allowed to go back home again.  Dr. K did his own version of the old fashioned cervix check and said it felt “GREAT” and that he could see me making it well into the 30’s with it.  He said he would discharge me and that I was to head straight over to his office so he could check things out with his mega machine.   B and I got ready and were the best looking hospital discharge-ee’s I have ever seen!  I brought all of my new dresses and my bathroom products, so it was like getting ready at a hotel!  We headed across the parking lot and aside from the hospital bracelets I had on you would never know we spent the last 19 hours in the hospital!  As we checked in at his office I noticed another mom on the terb pump.  Turns out she had just been discharged that morning as well!  We got right in…which was a good thing b/c I started contracting regularly again.  Cullen looked great on ultrasound and is now weighing 2 lbs 11 ounces!  B hit that right on this week…so, he deserves his pat on the back!  Dr. K was a little worried about my VERY low lying placenta.  I told him I was checking that off of my list of things to worry about.  At the end of the appointment he asked me when HE was going to see me again and I laughed and said I would be back next week!  He giggled and said, “Whatever keeps you pregnant!”  So, I’ll be seeing him every week from here on out ~ a huge relief to me!


That is the long of it.  I had a bout of contraction vacation last night and again this afternoon and again tonight.  I don’t know how long I’ll be at home, but for the sake of Ellie (and myself) I truly hope it is a long time.  Truthfully, I know my body very well and I don’t have a great feeling about this new combo of meds.  NOT that I’m not giving it my best shot, but I’m a realist! 

Ellie got a chance to have a girls day out today with Mimi and Biddy.  They went to the mall to see the Easter Bunny and then to lunch.  Ellie ended her day at ballet and now we are all tucked in bed enjoying every single second we can together. 

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I am so grateful for all of your continued prayers.  I know we are in the best hands and that this is all God’s plan.  I truly can’t wait for the next 6 weeks to fly by!