Bennett David Kahl

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

We are READY!

Well, the lack of updates is due to the fact our laptop has been living in the hospital bag with nightly threats of being admitted to the hospital were upon us…AND we have been spending these last few days enjoying our family of three.  I have REALLY enjoyed the last week alone with Ellie and the long weekend with B.  It has been like old times.  We wake up, cuddle, eat a yummy homemade breakfast together and play outside (and even run a few errands together)!  As the days pass I am more and more uncomfortable and exhausted from contractions, but overall I feel like it has been a blessing to have these last few days alone with Ellie and B to feel like our “normal” family.

Funny story from last week: I don’t usually turn the TV on during the day, but for some reason I decided to watch The baby story one day last week while I ate. 

I am not sure if it was hormones or relief that I am actually days away from delivery, but I was bawling hysterically!!  Oh my goodness!!!  I could just picture our family standing outside of the general nursery taking pictures and watching them clean our long awaited miracle boy…and I laughed b/c I am sure he will be the biggest baby in the nursery!  I am most anxious to see B’s face when he sees Cullen for the first time.  I am going to “call Brandon out” by making it public knowledge that he is a sensitive guy…and that is one of the best qualities he has!  I love that he cried the entire time I walked down the aisle at our wedding and when they told him it was time to deliver the twins.  I am not expecting tears, but I do know that he will be overcome with emotion when he meets this little man I have been getting to know for the last 36 weeks.  I can’t wait for him to finally get to experience the footprints on the scrubs and hearing the first cry.  I am so ready for our little boy to be here.  We had to plan months in advance to take a shot in the dark with IVF and genetic testing to get this perfect embryo that is now Cullen and we will finally get to meet him in person in three days (i’m not counting Friday b/c he will be here)!  We are so blessed.

As I am sure most women do at 9 months pregnant…I feel enormous these days!  Cullen is huge and I have extra fluid because of his size.  I also feel as if I am carrying a lot lower than I have been.  I have been fighting an uphill battle with contractions, pressure and cramping since Friday evening.  On Saturday night, I was instructed (by home health) to call the emergency line for my OB b/c my contractions were so bad.  The doctor on call told me to take another demand dose of terb, take tyl.enol PM and said that if contractions got closer together to call her back.  I was sure we were headed to the hospital b/c I literally couldn’t deal with the pain.  Instead, I fell asleep only to wake up at 4am with more contractions and pressure. 

I have SUFFERED through this weekend waiting until my doctor is back tomorrow to be seen for a cervical check.  I am feeling sure there has been some change and that may be enough to be sent to the hospital to deliver a baby.  For a better part of the weekend contractions have been 8 minutes apart or less.  I still worry about whether Cullen is ready to thrive outside of my body…at 36.3 weeks I am hoping he is!

So, the house is ready…and we are ready. 

Ready for a normal day as a family of four. 

Ready to have our lives back.

Ready to “hole up” in our house and enjoy each other.

Ready for homemade meals.

Ready for midnight feedings and dirty diapers.

Ready to see our baby girl with her baby brother.

This is the day we have waited years for and it will be here any day.

We are ready!

Your ways, O God, are holy.

What god is so great as our God?

Psalm 77:13



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Any day now?!?!

If I would have posted yesterday after the peri appt I would have had different news to report.  However, I decided to wait to combine the news from the OB today and I am happy I did because the news is pretty different!

I made it through the cramping and contractions on Monday with three demand doses of terb.  It was a rough day and I really thought the ultrasound on Tuesday would reveal a ton of changes.  Monday night I got horribly sick…one minute I was in bed and the next I was vomiting!  It was terrible.  I was very worried that there was something up with my blood pressure b/c my head was killing me too!

However, I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling great!  I truly felt like I could walk around the block…if I so desired and had permission to do!  B had the idea to pack the car with our bags “just in case” and put Cullen’s car seat in the car.  With Ellie all loaded up we were on our way.  I laughed when I realized that we had the car seat and NO BAGS!!!  Only us! 

No contractions the WHOLE way to the doctor…that is pretty amazing for me b/c usually the car causes contractions immediately.  We got right in to see the doctor this time which was great!

We got started on the ultrasound right away and it seemed as if nothing had changed.  Heart and brain both look great.  Measurements were off the chart as usual!  Cullen is in the 78% weighing in at 6lbs 15oz!  He is estimated to weigh close to 8lbs if we make it to delivery ~ THREE weeks one day early!!!  Then came the cervical check…NO CHANGE from last week!  I was shocked.  We could still see the funneling and it looked a little worse than last week, but no other changes that the dr noted.  We were on cloud 9!  It really looked as if we would make it to delivery with no risk of early delivery. 

This morning was my last scheduled OB appt.  My mom picked us girls up and we were off.  I was anticipating the exact same news.  A little pat on the head and some info about my csection next week. 

That is what I get for expecting…

I do love my OB b/c she doesn’t sugar coat anything!  She is super thrilled that I have made it this far and was laughing about the size of Cullen!  She asked me if I thought we were going to make it and I looked at her and said, “You tell me!!!”  We discussed the csection next week and I’m really only nervous about the epidural.  She thinks Cullen will be fine and said she probably won’t even request that the NICU team be in the delivery room!  That is exciting to me!  We discussed the tubal ligation…yes, I am having my tubes tied and a few other important details about meds. 

Then we got to the cervical exam.  That’s when the news really changed.  Turns out I am 60% effaced (I finally asked) and *not quite* fully ripe.  My OB’s joking went the more serious route and she told me I absolutely couldn’t have this baby this weekend b/c she is going to be out of town until Sunday night!  I knew that she was leaving b/c it was her birthday and it stresses me out, but it is even worse now knowing I am SO close.  She gave me her cell phone number and told me to text her if I am admitted Sunday night or beyond and she will be up there to deliver me.  UGH!  I really don’t want to have come this far and then not deliver with my own doctor!  She knows our story inside and out and we have really become very close. 

So close, as a matter of fact, that I asked her if she was going to bring the champagne to the delivery room!  

In all seriousness, I can go into labor at ANY time from now until my delivery date.  I have 90% less confidence today than I did yesterday about making it.  My contractions are very strong today, but who ever knows what that means! 

All we can do it sit and wait for:

1.  My contractions to be so strong and constant that demand doses of terb are no longer effective…


2.  For my water to break.

I have 2 more full days until I reach the 36 week mark.  At 35 weeks 50% of babies go home and at 36 weeks 90% of babies go home (without having to stay in the NICU).  I would much rather be playing with the 90% odds, plus I would LOVE for my own doctor to deliver me!

However, just like the rest of this journey…the remainder is not up to us.  So, we will wait and be as prepared as we possibly can for any changes that might occur.  Oh, and I am pretty sure we will go ahead and put the bags in the car today…just in case!

Thank you for your continued emails, texts and prayers.  We are almost there!



Monday, May 24, 2010

One more Monday to go!

This is the start of the last full week I’ll be pregnant!  That is totally exciting for me and totally frightening to me all at the same time.

Despite the rocky road we have traveled for the last 9 months, I will miss a lot of what we have experienced.

- Knowing how safe Cullen is inside of me and feeling him move, kick and roll around.  The bond that a mother shares with her unborn child is a true blessing and even though I am ready to share him with B and Ellie I will deeply miss this feeling.

- My weekly doctor visits that have been more like dates for B and me…it has been such a joy to have that alone time with him.

- My big belly and cute maternity clothes…even though I rarely wore them in public I still think bellies and maternity clothes are the CUTEST! 

-Eating more than I should and not really gaining THAT much weight!

- Being on bed rest and having my baby girl cuddle in my nest.  I truly have enjoyed the alone time with her.

- Eating every single meal in bed!  Lazy…yes!  But, it has been kind of fun!

There are a million other little things I will miss, but there are even more wonderful times I am looking forward to.  This experience and pregnancy is closing a huge chapter in our lives, but it is followed by a new chapter full of wonderful times and new beginnings. 

Tomorrow will be my last peri appointment and Wednesday will be my last OB appt.  It just seems surreal to me.  I am hoping that we will make it to 36 weeks, but to be honest my body feels very ready to have this baby.  As I type this I am having contractions every 4 minutes.  I woke up this morning with “that feeling”…like something wasn’t feeling right.  I am cramping terribly in my back and feeling them in the front as well.  I woke up at 4 am super hot and unable to fall back to sleep.  I got Ellie ready for gymnastics and a friend picked her up for me…thank goodness for great friends!  As we sat and waited I felt even worse.  I napped while Ellie was away and when she got home we both showered.  I felt better after the shower, but now my contractions are out of control! 

The most irritating part of these contractions is that they aren’t doing anything!  If I call the OB they will send me to the hospital.  If I don’t contract every 5 minutes the hospital will send me home.  It is a ridiculous cycle.  I refuse to spend the week in the hospital when I can labor right here at home.  Now if my water were to break that would be a different story, but it’s not looking like that is going to happen!  However, my cervix could be dilating even further and in that case I should probably be at the hospital…UGH the internal battle!!!

So, this is my Monday…thank goodness I only have one left!

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create…

Isaiah 65:18




My baby sure enjoys a chocolate popsicle!

giddy up

Mimi giving piggy back rides!!!  Hilarious!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday night fun…

Week 34 went out with a bang! 

I decided that my “what will be” attitude I had prior to Wednesday’s appointment had to be amended due to the nature of our situation.  Rather than being so nonchalant about contractions and pains, I decided that I should probably pay SOME attention to them since my body is really preparing for delivery at any time. 

Yesterday was just a crazy day.  It started with a call to the OB’s office because of a pain I have been having.  I am assuming it is from pressure on the cerclage, but not positive.  Unfortunately, I got a nurse that does not know my situation AT ALL and therefore she was of no help to me.  I asked her if I needed to be worried about this dilating causing any damage to my cervix b/c of the cerclage.  Her response: Usually y’all (us women she meant) call us when you start having contractions…NO KIDDING!  I gave her the 5 second rundown on my situation about being on home health care b/c of contractions and my recent hospitalization with mag and she still didn’t get it.  I threw in the towel and ended the conversation.  I figured if things got worse I would call back and request to talk to my favorite nurse. 

What didn’t help matters at all yesterday is that I was out of bed more than I have been recently because I was here alone with Ellie until my mom got here to help out.  That little change in my daily routine sent my uterus into a downward spiral!  By the time my mom left (B was on his way home at that point) and I laid down to monitor I was having rhythmic contractions every 6 minutes.  When the nurse called me to give the results I knew they were going to be bad.  She decided that it was time to make some changes to my pump settings in order to get more meds.  I decided it was probably time to call my OB’s office back and talk to a real nurse.

So, at 4pm I was told by my OB’s nurse that I had to be sent to the hospital.  My current situation combined with the rhythmic contractions was a one way ticket.  UGGH!!!

I decided to play a little game of let’s make a deal!

I agreed to go to the hospital IF the new pump settings and an additional hour at home didn’t make a change in my uterine activity at all.  She reluctantly said OK, but made it clear that she was very concerned about what could be happening to my body as a result of waiting at home while having contractions. 

An hour later I was up to contractions 10 min apart, but the pressure was killing me.  The rest of the night was up and down.  Constant contractions with pain and pressure in the pelvis and cramping in my back.  Aside from the natural labor I went through with the twins (until my csection) this is the most constant discomfort I have ever been in.

We packed up all of our bags last night and made a plan to get Ellie’s goodies packed up and my mom would just meet us at the hospital.  I was scared to death that my water was going to break in the middle of the night because of the pressure of the strong contractions. 

Thankfully, we made it through the night and we are still at home!!!

Today, I am 35 weeks pregnant and that doesn’t sound so bad to me…if delivery becomes impossible to avoid! 

I think if my body had its way, Cullen would be here sooner rather than later.  However, we know God is in control and His plan will reveal itself in due time. 

So, in the meantime my poor Hubby is stuck babysitting me and our precious little girl. He is such a fantastic husband that he spoiling us with grilled hamburgers and other yummy goodies.  As stressful as these last few days have been, I can’t imagine having any other man by my side during it. 

I want to keep a good record of these last days, so look for frequent updates on the status of my uterus!!!



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stage One of REAL labor

Well, we knew it would happen eventually. 

I have been in premature labor since they put me on ventolin at 14 weeks because of tightening (they didn’t want to call them contractions, but they were!).  I have endured 5 admissions to the hospital and 184 days on bed rest.  I have been on three different tocolytics to control contractions, blood thinners, and 17P to get me to 34.5 weeks of pregnancy…AND…

I am finally in REAL “premature” labor.

I don’t mean ‘finally’ like I am glad that we are finally here…I mean ‘finally’ like we knew my body couldn’t fight forever and at some point it would start to give out. 

Yesterday, was a CRAZY day!  We had to end up taking Ellie to both doctor appointments b/c Biddy had to go home sick.  That was hurdle number one…the toddler sitting through 3 hours of important visits and tests. 

I wasn’t AT ALL expecting anything to be wrong.  In fact, when we saw both doctors I told them that the last week has been so relaxing and fun for me b/c I am not worried anymore.  We saw the OB first and she was thrilled that I had made it so far.  We did the FFn and my group B strep.  I gained 2 pounds and had a little protein in my urine, but everything else looked good.  I did ask her to check out the position of Cullen’s head and he is indeed engaged in the pelvis.  Oh my goodness…he is so low that I can actually feel his head with my own hands below my pelvic bone.  Not comfy AT ALL!  The funny thing is his hiney is tucked up in my right rib cage, so he is a LONG little man!

After a quick visit we rushed downstairs to the Peri for the BIG news.  We waited and Ellie was getting grumpy b/c she didn’t get a sticker at OB’s office.  Try explaining to your 3 year that mommy’s don’t get stickers at the doctor!  So, I rifled through my purse looking for anything that might tide her over.  Ummmm…you can tell I have been out of the mommy loop for some time b/c I had NOTHING in my purse to amuse her!  We tried a fiber one granola bar that she announced very loudly in the waiting room she “HAD to spit out!” oh, it was a fun, fun day!  Finally, they called us back.  (side note: this doctor’s office has a recording when they call to confirm that asks you not to bring your children with you!  NICE!!)  However, Ellie was very well behaved b/c we threatened her with no cupcakes if she acted up and our peri was very excited to meet her.  It all worked out well in the end. 

He started the ultrasound and B won the weight estimate this week with a dead on estimate of 6 lbs 6 oz!  Good fluid, great movement and blood flow through the cord.  Cullen was sucking (like babies do when they sleep) and it was the most precious thing I have ever seen!  He had his fingers up to his mouth like he was trying to suck on them…I told B he was already trying to eat!  Eeekk!  I am hoping I can produce enough milk for this big guy! 

Then B asked about the cervix and funneling.  I almost fell off the table when he said I was 1-2 CM dilated and had started to efface.  Basically, my contractions are stage one labor contractions now and we are on HIGH alert for ruptured membranes AND any change/damage to my cervix b/c of dilation with the cerclage.  I am to watch closely for any bleeding at all and it that starts we are hospital bound immediately.  Things are now on a day to day basis with this pregnancy and Cullen could come at any time. 

There are several parts of this process now that I am concerned about.  It was terrifying to have my water break with the twins.  I was caught totally off guard and I am genuinely terrified of it happening again without B around.  (he is just as terrified of it happening to me and not being around too…it was very scary for both of us last time)  I am also super worried about dilating anymore and causing my cervix to tear b/c of this cerclage.  It is so hard not to get up when you have a 3 year old at home.  Especially when the weather is so nice outside!  However, I am really trying not to move from my bed unless I truly have to.  I am not really worried about delivering Cullen after I hit the 35 week mark because I think we have so many interventions in place that he would be just fine. 

I have so many people saying “Oh you must be so excited” and obviously I am thrilled to meet our son.  However, I don’t know if you are ever ready to deliver your child prematurely.  I don’t know if you truly ever feel ready to deliver your child.  It is as scary this time as it was our first time…I am just as nervous to become a mom again and I have all the same worries I did the first time around.  If my poor husband and I can make it through all of this without ulcers I think it will be a miracle! 

So, here we go into the 35th week of this pregnancy dilating, effacing and head engaged.  Only God knows what Cullen’s birthday will be!  Thank you for your continued prayers…and thank you to all of our sweet neighbors and family members for being on high alert these next 2 weeks!!!  We’ve made it to the safe zone!

If you are wondering…Ellie did in fact get her trip to Crave for a very yummy cupcake because she was such a sweet little lady all day long!

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Psalms 139.13



34 weeks side 34 weeks front

20weeks 23w5d 28.4 side 29 weeks side 30 week side 34 weeks side

Saturday, May 15, 2010

His gift…

Today on the 35 Bennett Day I am 34 weeks pregnant with his little brother.


There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Bennett.  Ellie still talks about him and when you ask her who is in her family she lists Bennett and Cullen first. 

She will tell you that Bennett lives with “Him’s fam-a-wee” in the flower garden and with God. 

The other day she told me she was going to go into her bedroom and get her book about God so we could read about them. 

It still breaks my heart that she will never know him and that we will never have the chance to raise him.

When we first found out we were pregnant and we got our due date I was worried.  Worried because I knew they wouldn’t do a csection past 37-38 weeks due to the cerclage.  That would be the exact week we pulled Bennett off of life support and planned and celebrated his funeral. 

I DID NOT want our Cullen to always share the death of his brother in the week of his birth.  However, the more I thought about all of it the more it hit me…

Cullen is our gift from Bennett.

Of course, God chose our path for us long ago and it was His will for us to have another child.  But, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Bennett chose Cullen for us and chose that week because he does not want us to grieve forever over sending him Home. 

Bennett was selfless every single day of his life.  He NEVER gave up fighting ~ we chose to let him go because we didn’t want him to suffer.  He was the most unbelievable sole I have ever met.  He surprised us, his doctors and his nurses daily with his strength, so it is no surprise to me that he would have a hand in this miracle. 

I am in awe of my firstborn…my precious little boy that had eyes so full of life and wisdom.  Almost three years after we sent him Home he is still blessing us. 


Thank you sweet Bennett.  I know you are sharing in this joy with us and I know we have made it this far with your protection.  You are and always will be one of the three greatest loves of our lives.  

All of our love forever - Mommy and Daddy



Thursday, May 13, 2010

We’re having a baby…

NOT today, but in THREE WEEKS!!!  It is just now dawning on me that we are done with the IVF and almost done with a pregnancy that resulted from a successful IVF.  We are actually going to be bringing home a baby boy in three weeks.  All ours!  A healthy baby that is going to live…it is just a miracle that we have made it this far…a true miracle.

Yesterday, was a great visit.  I’m always a little skeptical of “great” visits because things don’t usually stay that way for me for long, but there are always firsts.  Plus, we only have three weeks left and I feel GREAT about that, so I’m trying not to let my neurotic mind derail my positive thoughts.

Best news of the day:

NO cervical change at all.  Still 3 CM and no dynamic change to the internal part of the cervix.  That is fantastic news after all of my contractions and it gives me hope that this cervix can last the next three weeks through whatever contractions I will have to endure. 

Our big guy is now measuring 5 lbs 12oz!  I repacked his hospital bag today and added a few newborn outfits just incase the preemie outfits don’t fit his extra large physique! 

My OB did mention that if I happen to go back into the hospital because of labor contractions before my scheduled c-section they ARE going to try to stop them with mag again.  I slowly strangled her with my eyes and told her that basically, B and I decided to weather the contractions as long as physically possible or let my water break before I decided to be readmitted to the hospital.  She laughed at me…I hope we don’t have to consider either scenario.  I am hoping that we meet in the OR on June 4th for my scheduled delivery and we spend the next 4 days with our baby boy in our hospital room.  I’m not hoping actually…I am praying. 

So, I have 2 more appointments and then the week of delivery.  21 days is a long time for contractions to pick up and for my uterus to freak out, but I’m taking one day at a time (truly, if I make it 15 more days that would be AWESOME!!!).  I am not panicking when I hit contractions every 5 minutes.  I am just going to take the meds and keep my mind focused.  I appreciate all of the prayers.  I would really appreciate them for the next few weeks until we reach the end of this journey.    

I am pretty sure I am in major nesting mode these days.  My mom and Biddy have been a huge help in getting the last few tasks accomplished.  We are so prepared this time and I love it.  I never had the chance to get diapers in a basket and clothes organized in the closet with the twins and I have done that this time.  His room looks fantastic and will just need some decorative touches after I’m off of bed rest.  I love to just go and sit in his glider and look around. 

At the doctor yesterday B and I picked out coming home outfits for Cullen and Ellie.  I picked out an adorable Feltman bros  outfit for Cullen and B picked out the most beautiful blue smocked dress for his little princess.  Two more big sister presents to buy and a coming home dress for me and we are D.O.N.E! 

I am thrilled.  I am in disbelief that we have made it this far.  I feel blessed and grateful. 

Only 21 more days!!!



Funny Ellie story:  Well, the not so funny part is that Ellie has had MAJOR separation anxiety since my hospitalization.  She has nightmares at night and wakes up every morning at 4-5 when B wakes up and cries hysterically b/c he is getting out of bed and leaving.  It is sad and I am trying to work through it with her.  Yesterday morning I was patting her and telling her to just relax and go back to bed.  She looked up at me with sad eyes and said, “Okay,. mommy I’ll settle down.”  UGH!  I felt so terrible for her.  My poor baby is so deserving of a break and a “normal” life again.  SOON!

Then today, I decided to teach her how to put a real diaper on her baby.  She was adorable and even put the hiney in the right spot!  I decided to let her dress her baby in a newborn outfit (that actually fit!) and she got a real pacifier of her and bottle to put in her very own diaper bag.  Adorable!  We worked on how to hold a baby and protect its head and she did as well as any 3 year old!  I can’t wait to see my beautiful miracle girl as a big sister.  She is going to be the best!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The best Mother’s Day ever!

I know I promised a post last Wednesday and I have a perfectly good reason for not posting…or maybe I have a few good reasons!

Our appointment last Wednesday was great!  Cullen weighed in at 5 lbs 4 oz!  No cervical change and my Ffn was negative on Tuesday.  So, after the meeting with the peri and hearing his professional opinion that “It is possible to make it to 36 weeks” we met with the OB. 

She and I have come a long way in our relationship…basically, because she trusts me now!  She came in and we talked about all of the data and what it meant together.  Basically, the ONE major concern both doctors have is my water breaking prematurely because of my contractions.  She decided that 8 days of Mag probably washed out the terb receptors and I would be okay to start back on the pump and add procardia as I needed.  She said she trusted me to let her know when my contractions became unmanageable and we would make our next move based on my symptoms.  So, I got the green light to go home!!!   My poor husband rushed back up to the hospital in order to bring me home and he had my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies waiting in the front seat for me!  What a sweetie!  I came  home on the terb pump set at .2 MG/4 hours and .07 ML/hour…these settings were dramatically lower than the ones I entered the hospital on.

I came home Wednesday evening as a TOTAL surprise to Ellie (we didn’t tell her at all!).  She heard the door open and screamed, “Daddy” only to see me coming in!  She ran up to me and buried her head in my leg and held on all the way to the bedroom.  She didn’t leave my side the rest of the night.  She did wake up 5 times throughout the night and kiss my skin every single time ~ it was adorable!

The next 3 days I spent in my dark bedroom with the fan on high and total silence.  My body did not adjust back to the terb well AT ALL.  I was dealing with a migraine headache daily as well as stomach issues.  It was horrible! 

Saturday, I was feeling 50% better and broke all of the rules to go to in order to buy all of our last minute baby essentials.  Yes, I probably could have sent my husband, but he would have NEVER found all of the things we needed.  This was one trip I knew I would have to make eventually and no day would be perfect, so we decided to risk it at 33 weeks.  I rode in the wheelchair and lasted about 1 hour before my contractions were 10 minutes apart.  We got everything purchased and loaded and it was back to bed for me. 

Sunday, tied as the best Mother’s Day ever for me!  (the first was my Mother’s Day with Ellie and Bennett three years ago)  My husband started by delivering the most beautiful bouquet of all my favorite flowers to me on Friday.  Then breakfast in bed on Saturday (kolaches and doughnuts).  Then I woke him up at 3:45am on Sunday with contractions 4 minutes apart…bad ones!  I ate and took some medicine and fell back to sleep until about 9am.  Contractions were still constant going from 4-8-10-4 minutes apart.  He told me he was going to go along with the day as normal and if my water broke we would go from there.  So, he brought my favorite candy home from the grocery store along with a magazine.  A few hours later he made the bed with a new memory foam topper for my side…b/c I am so uncomfortable in our bed 24 hours a day.  Then a few hours after that he  and Ellie surprised me with a Mother and Child charm with a beautiful diamond in the center.  UGH!  If I wasn’t trying to control my emotions for the sake of contractions I would have bawled my eyes out!  He then went on to make my favorite dinner of beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, fresh asparagus and homemade lemon cake!  It’s not the gifts that made the day so wonderful…it is that my kids mean the world to me and my husband is so unbelievably thoughtful.  I am spoiled, but in all fairness I think he is pretty spoiled when I am mobile!  We are blessed beyond belief and truthfully, I feel like every single day is Mother’s Day for me.  My greatest blessing in this entire world has been my children…my life is complete because of them. 

Unfortunately, by evening time my contractions were constant.  I spent 3 hours monitoring during the day and had taken 3 demand doses of terb that hadn’t touched the contractions.  We didn’t panic and head for the hospital b/c these are our options:

- Be admitted and stay there on Mag until Cullen is born

- Suffer through these strong labor contractions and wait for my water to break

I think we made a decision to suffer through (as long as I can) and wait for my water to break.  It is completely exhausting to keep going back and forth to the hospital hoping for a different outcome.  However, I had to have some relief from the contractions b/c they are just physically impossible to deal with every 3 minutes when they come all day long.  Plus, by that time I was feeling like Cullen was going to just fall out due to pressure in my pelvis.  I made the decision to start back on the procardia to get some relief (my doc told me to hold out as long as I could without going back on it…I just couldn’t wait any longer).  Side note: Procardia is a calcium beta blocker that basically works to relax the large muscle that is the uterus.  It is a typically a blood pressure medication and causes drastic drops in blood pressure…it is not really a fun medication when you are first starting it! 

One of the horrible side effects of procardia is headache.  About 20 minutes after taking it I had the most violent, throbbing headache I have ever had in my life…like, unbearable pain that I didn’t think I was going to live through.  I was holding my head and crying to B that I would do anything for my kids, but I just couldn’t do it any longer.  I am a strong person and I am proud that I have been able to withstand labor this long without delivering Cullen.  However, there just comes a point when your body is tired and your mind is weak…that was how I felt at that moment.  I cried for a few minutes (until B told me it wasn’t going to help my headache!) and decided to suck it up, take 2 ty.lenol and go to bed! 

Monday, I was still experiencing the headache, but my contractions seemed so much more manageable thanks to the meds.  I even laid outside (in a lounge chair) with Ellie for an hour as we had a fruit picnic and chocolate popsicles!  She let me squirt her with the water hose…it was a fun time had by all!  After our 55 minute excursion I was totally fried!  I guess not seeing the sun in months will do that to you!  Now I am trying to figure out how I am going to explain to my doctors tomorrow how I got sunburned while on complete bed rest…I have thought of telling them we have skylights in our bedroom!!!  Hahaha…

Today has been the best day in a few weeks as far as contractions are concerned (I am knocking on wood!!!).  I have had my normal amount, but nothing out of control.  I go to see both of our doctors tomorrow and I don’t really expect any changes.  We will get to see how big our BIG GUY is this week and that is always exciting for us. 

I will update tomorrow with the news and promise to keep better track of updates.  If I hadn’t been dealing with the violent headaches (and if B actually had 5 extra minutes in his day) we would have updated last week.

Thanks for the concerned emails and thank you to Heather for updating my status on her blog…I am so sorry you had to do that!!!  I really did worry daily about not being well enough to update, but that is just my reality these days.  We are so thankful for all of your prayers and kind, encouraging words.  Thank you for taking this journey with us! 

33 weeks 4 days tomorrow!!!  What an enormous blessing!!!



Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 7…

Today is day 7 in the hospital and I thought it would mean discharge papers…I was wrong!

After visiting with the OB and both of us discussing the past few days, her decision is to keep me in the hospital on my IV mag drip until Wednesday when my peri will scan me and get the most up to date cervical measurement.  Yesterday, I required 3 doses of terb (one during each monitoring session) but, the good news is that one dose knocked the contractions out each time.  The bad news is that when I got contractions yesterday they were 3-4 minutes apart!  YUCK! 

Here is the plan:

- Tomorrow Ffn in the morning and CBC blood work

- Wednesday is the cervical scan and weight check

- If Ffn is negative and cervical scan hasn’t changed I will be weaned off of the IV Mag and put on oral terb for 24 hours.  We will be constantly monitoring for contractions and figuring out what dose of meds I need to be on to control the contractions.  I will be transitioned to the pump with the desired dose for maintenance and sent home…hopefully, Thursday or at the latest Friday. 

- If the Ffn is positive or there is change in the cervical measurement I am pretty sure I won’t be leaving the hospital until I deliver.  However, I don’t anticipate either of those situations occurring! 

In the meantime…I am missing Ellie like crazy.  Her world has been turned upside down and although I know she isn’t skipping a beat without me at home, I am having a terrible time without her!  B even admitted that last night it was extremely difficult to fall asleep because he didn’t have her cuddled up in his arm.   I know this isn’t “that” bad compared to what it could be, but change is still difficult!

On a brighter note: here is a list of all the things I can now do with an IV in my hand:

- shave

- wash my hair

- dry my hair and round brush it

- straighten my hair

- apply make-up

- rub on my lotion

- eat

- cut an apple

- do my nails

- hold said IV in place during dressing change

- and type!

Previously, I would have cringed at the thought of having an IV in my hand and even moving it!  Now, I am so used to having an IV I don’t think I’ll know what to do with the freedom when it comes out!  Oh, the joys of living in the “hotel” as B refers to it!

Tomorrow is field trip day and Ellie is coming up to see me!  I am excited to see her even though I am pretty sure she just comes up here for the free popsicles and trips upstairs to see the new babies!  She loves all of the nurses and yesterday walked out of my hospital room wearing my slippers and said, “Hi, Ladies,” to all of the nurses at the nurses station!!!  She is hilarious!  She also loves to play nurse now and before you give her a big shot (with a crayon) she will tell herself out loud to, “Take a deep breath!”  She certainly has picked up a lot during her visits up here!

I’ll update again on Wednesday, since that is really the “big news” day of the week!  In the meantime, I would be so grateful for prayers asking for a calm uterus, successful weaning process, negative Ffn and no cervical change…



Saturday, May 1, 2010


The silence of this room is what makes the time tick by so slowly.  The hum of the mag pump on the left, the sound of the fetal heart tones in the room next door, and the sound of new life that was just brought into this world remind me of my new reality.  I’m not at home.  I’m not with my baby girl.  I slept alone last night for the first time since my college years when I lived alone…by choice, not by force.  I missed the sound of my husband breathing next to me…I just miss my everything. 

I remember telling B after the twins were born that the three weeks I spent in the hospital really didn’t feel that long… 

What was I thinking?

I know that being here is what is best for Cullen and I do pray that it is God’s will to let him grow inside of me for another 3-4 weeks.  However, spending time alone in the silence of a hospital room is a really good way to remind you of ALL the millions of blessings you have to be thankful for.

Here is the latest update on me:

- I was scheduled to be moved to APU on Thursday.  I waited all day and the nurse kept telling me that there wasn’t a room available for me yet.  As shift change came I started to contract more frequently.  Eventually, my contractions were 4 minutes apart and the next thing I knew I was having terbutaline shots in my arms every 15 minutes (three of them).  I am sluggish from the mag and then I was shaking from the terb, so they sedated me through my IV and I was out! 

- Yesterday morning, my OB came in and said, “Well, your contractions scared everyone enough to keep you here in L&D.”  I was relieved that I finally felt like I would be somewhere “for good” and I felt like I could relax a little.  She won’t be back to see me until Monday afternoon at which time she is going to try and hook me up to the terb pump again to see how my contractions go.  If all is well, I am assuming I will go home that night or Tuesday morning.  However, things change here minute to minute!

- I am pretty sure I had the same nurse last night that I had the night the twins were born…the one that didn’t believe that I was really in labor until Bennett went into fetal distress.  When I started to tell her about my contractions I was feeling yesterday she cut me off and said, “We KNOW you are going to contract, so you just need to stop counting them and relax.  All of this stress is going to make it even worse.”  Okay…maybe she is right.  However, since she can’t see my cervix and she can’t feel how strong some of these contractions really are I think she should have kept her snippy attitude to herself.  Plus, her track record with me SUCKS!   Also, yesterday morning Cullen had a moment where he had a decel in his heart rate.  It corrected itself, but that is the exact reason I want to be worried about contractions and put on the monitor if I am having them. 

- So, today there is a “rounding doctor” who has decided to move me to the APU.  To be honest, I am relieved that I will have a fresh set of nurses that deal with long term patients all the time.  I am not in immediate danger of delivering, so truthfully there is no reason for me to be laying in L&D. 

- Today B and Ellie are coming up to spend the day with me!  I am excited to see both of them!!!  I am dressed and I tried to look as “normal” as possible for Ellie, so she isn’t so overwhelmed with the surroundings.  We are going to eat Lupe Tortilla for lunch and I CAN NOT WAIT!!!

- I have a date tonight!!!  Kaitlin (whom we always refer to as “Bennett’s nurse”, but really she is a very close friend too) is working in the NICU today, so we are going to eat together in my room tonight!  I am excited because I was really lonely last night and company makes the time pass faster!

So, after 5 days in the hospital I am having to regroup a little!  Today, I am 32 weeks pregnant and the bottom line is that is a huge milestone for Cullen!  (and me!!)  He is happy and moving all over the place and currently trying to take up residence in my right rib cage!  No matter the stress that comes with living in this place the only thing that matters is our Cullen is still in my belly growing!  That is such an awesome blessing to all of us!!!

Thank you for all of the prayes and sweet phone calls, texts and emails.  I am not a quitter and even though this is exhausting I am going to fight until I just can’t fight anymore to get our precious little man here as close to full term as possible.  Please pray that this Mag starts to slow down some of my contractions and that by Monday I am able to be transitioned back to the terb pump and go home.  I would love to spend the last 3 weeks of this pregnancy at home with my family!