Thursday, August 30, 2012

{ one last peek }

Today I got one last final peek at Alex before he makes his arrival in just 18 short days.

Thankfully he played along and the tech got all the shots she needed.  He is still measuring on the large side and weighs a whooping 6 pounds 14 ounces.  I'm thinking that he'll be right around 9 pounds when he is born (either a little smaller or a bit bigger).

His kidney is still super large, but with everything that is going on I'm not exactly surprised.  Thankfully we still have our plan in place and we're still hoping for the best.

But here are the ultrasound pictures from today...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{ I'm not dead }

It's been a busy couple of weeks.

It all started off with a hospital visit for chest pain.  It had happened a couple times during the previous week, especially when I would first wake up from a nap.  So I called the nurse line.  I figured it was pretty much nothing, and they would just pat me on the head and tell me to check with my doctor at my next appointment.  Apparently the nurse thought I was having a heart attack. Which to be clear I knew I was not having, but she advised for me to be seen immediately.  But after a normal EKG and X-ray, the doctor decided that the chest pain that I was having was likely due to how I was laying and Alex cutting off circulation to my heart.

In either case, we went home not knowing that several hours later we would end right back in the hospital. I had gone to bed and woke up with severe pain in my left flank and back.  So I took a warm shower, some Tylenol, and laid on my side and drank tons of water.  The pain didn't go away.  It continued to get worse.  And then the vomiting started.  I called Mike, pleading for him to come home.  It got to the point where I was moments away from calling 911 when Mike got home.

At that point, I was rushed to labor and delivery, they started an IV and gave me 3 rounds of pain killers - which did nothing for my pain.  It did make me sedated enough to rest and allow them to monitor Alex.  When the morning shift came in, I had an ultrasound of my kidneys and a CBC drawn.  We found out that my left kidney was retaining fluid and my white blood count was high.  So on top of the fluids I was given IV antibiotics and finally some pain medication that seemed to help take the edge off the pain.

Later in the early afternoon the doctor on call finally came in to see me.  He pounded on my back, told me it was my rib cage and sent me home on antibiotics and pain killers.  I wasn't exactly happy with the doctor who came in.

But I took some time off work and tried to hydrate as much as possible.   Thankfully I saw my OB that week.  When I told her what happened she shook her head and was completely disappointed.  She told me that I had developed a common complication called Hydronephrosis, basically the weight and size of Alex is putting too much pressure on my left ureter so, I'm retaining fluid in that left kidney.  It will correct itself once Alex is delivered, but I was told I had two options, I could have a stent put in, or I could treat it with antibiotics and pain killers as needed.  Because I only have less than 3 weeks left, we went the route of antibiotics and pain killers (which I may take once a day if that).  If it was earlier in my pregnancy, we may have gone another way but for now we agree this is the best way to go.

Also in talking to my OB about my chest pains, it started to sound more and more like I was having a physical reaction to my anxiety over this pregnancy and Alex's kidney complications.  So we upped my antidepressant and I can thankfully say I have not had anymore chest pains.

But on top of the fun week of running to the hospital and my doctor, I have been working a crap load, getting Evan ready for Kindergarten (which he starts next week) and swim lessons (also starts next week), and trying to get ready for Alex as much as possible.  Oh...and my sister got married.

I only have another 19 days until Alex makes his appearance, only another 14 days left of work and before my mom gets here to help with everything.  Thankfully I have a 3 day weekend because of Labor day and I'm hoping to get things a little more under control. I'm not dead...I'm still here.  Just trying to grasp on whatever sanity and energy I have to get everything done.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

{ so brave }

{ Evan on the big slide }

Evan always surprises me.  When I think I have him all figured out.  His quirks, fears, and passions, he does something that completely sees him with new eyes.

I'm sure it's like that with every mom and her children as they grow.  They conquer fears.  Show utter compassion.  And completely become extraordinary people.

Last week we went to the county fair.  I felt bad that since I'm so pregnant and Mike is so darn tall, Evan's choices of rides were limited to only a hand full.  However I spotted the huge slide and figured that both Mike and Evan could go on it together.  However, Mike noticed that Evan was big enough to go by himself and Evan said he would try.  Mike figured worst case Evan would panic and Mike would have to rush up the stairs to be with him.

But he did it.

He made it all the way up the stairs all by himself.  Straightened out his burlap sack and rode down the slide without anyone but himself.  I was a very proud momma.  My little boy who is so scared of heights conquered his fear. 

He has grown so much.  I wish I could keep him small for a little while longer.  But that wouldn't be fair to him.  Plus, I can't wait to see what he accomplishes next.

Monday, August 13, 2012

{ 34 weeks }

We are in the home stretch.  I can count how many weeks until I meet our sweet boy on one hand.  5 more weeks.  I feel a little lucky that I know exactly when Mr. Alex is going to make his appearance, and thankful that I won't have to repeat the awfulness that was Evan's birth again.  (36 hours of labor, an epidural that didn't work, and well more awfulness after that too)

Alex is realizing that he is quickly running out of room and my belly seems to have exploded the past week.  After work, I'm left sore and drained.  But I keep reminding myself that it's only temporary and soon I'll have (some sort of) energy and mobility back and a new baby to boot.

We're nailing down our birth plan.  Even though it's pretty simple.  Alex is to be delivered by C-section on the Sept 17th.  I could really careless who comes and waits at the hospital, but I really want to give Evan the chance to meet his brother and spend whatever time he wants with his new brother before all the rest of the family comes to meet Alex.

I did tell my MIL that I wouldn't be so mean as to make her and my mom wait out in the hallway until Evan gets home from school at 3 pm before meeting Alex, but everyone else was going to have to wait.

I'm excited and anxious to meet this little boy that has already needed so many doctor appointments.  I have a feeling he's going to keep us on our toes!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{ pediatric urologist }

Today, We packed Evan up into the car and headed down the University of Minnesota Children's for a consult with our pediatric urologist to get a her opinion on Alex's kidney and a treatment plan put in place.

While we waited for what seemed like forever, Dr. Lewis came in for our consult.  Instantly I felt at peace that we're dealing with someone who has "been there, done that" before when it comes to the issues we're dealing with.

She explained that while the baby is first developing, the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) is solid.  However, as the baby develops further along (normally in the 2nd trimester) the tube hallows out.  In Alex's case, it's very likely that it did not hallow out the way that it should, and basically blocking the urine's path to the bladder from the kidney.

Besides the concern about the ureter being blocked, Dr. Lewis is concerned about the function of the kidney.  The hope is that the kidney did not miss it's developmental period and once the blockage is fixed either by itself or surgery, that will be the end of our adventure with specialists and the children's hospital.

So as it stands now, Alex will be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent a kidney infection at birth and until we're told to discontinue with them.  He still could get one, but the hope is that the antibiotics will kill all the bacteria that is growing in the pool of urine that is trapped in his kidney.

At a month old, Alex will go back to the Urologist for a battery of tests to confirm the diagnosis and see exactly what kind of function, if any, is left in that left kidney.  This includes an ultrasound of the kidney (basically to see if the blockage is still there or not), a Voiding Cystourethrogram (where they insert a catheter and fill the bladder until he voids - this is to check for reflux in both kidneys...because how fun would that be for him and us to think that the right kidney is healthy only to find out that it's not), and lastly a Mag 3 Lasix Renogram (Alex will be given an IV with dye and they will watch his urinary system to see what kind of function, if any, Alex has in that kidney).

After those tests, we'll have a treatment plan put in place.  Whether that means surgery or giving Alex more time to develop and then rechecking the kidney.  It won't matter if we do these tests or surgery right after Alex is born.  It won't change what kind of function is left in that kidney.  His kidney either developed the way it should in spite of blockage, or it did not.

I am praying that when we go back we'll find out that not only has the blockage fixed itself, but he has 100% function in that left kidney.  However I'm realistic enough to know that probably won't be the case.  So for now, I'm enjoying the last few weeks of pregnancy and making sure Alex gets as fat and strong as he can possibly be. 

{ I can't wait to meet you little one in just 5 weeks and 6 days }

{ I'm kinda hoping you keep your chubby cheeks! }

Sunday, August 5, 2012

{ insta-friday...a couple days late }

It's been a while since I've dumped all my here's to catching up....

* Cousins ::  Evan, Max, and Jon
* Evan holding a not very happy Levi
*  Cousins with the babies ::  Evan, Levi, Max, Jon, Addy
* Evan holding Addy

* My birthday present from my boys...a couple of weeks late
* Baby Legs for favorite is the girly-est of them all...opps
* I took a nap and woke up with this on my hip
* Before the inlaws put in new carpet, MIL listed all the grandbabies including the ones that both my SIL and I lost by miscarriage.

* Evan drawing on the floor before the new carpet
* a "space saucer"
* a "robot"
* our names

* Gymnastics on the couch
* Evan peeking at what I'm doing
* My silly boy
* Snuggles...

*  Evan's last ride and pictures with Bailey before he left for Kansas

life rearranged

{ dear evan }

Dear Evan,

Your time as a only is very quickly coming to an end.  In fact we only have another 6 short weeks before your brother makes his appearance.

{ snugglin' before bed }

I hope that you  remember the quiet times where it's just you and me.  All clean from you bath and warm in you jammies as we read the scriptures or whatever book you have picked up.  I hope you remember snuggling into my side and listening to my voice while you gently touch my tummy to see if you can feel Alex move.

{ me and my smooch pants }

You have taught me so much about myself and how to be a mom.  I know that Alex will most likely be entirely different, but it was you that first made me a mom.  It has been an adventure these past 6 years and you have already made me so proud to watch you grow so very fast.  I know before I know it, you will be graduating high school and spreading your own wings to try out the world.

{ Evan "practicing" with his cousin, Addy }

Soon you will have a brother and no longer be alone.  I hope that you will enjoy having a sibling has much as I have enjoyed having my own brother and sisters.  Yes, there will be times where you will hate each other.  Fight like cats and dogs.  And completely wonder who the heck your brother is and who raised him.  But years after you both are grownup, you will laugh about the silliness that was growing up together.

{ Evan "practicing" with a not very sure cousin Levi }

I know you, Evan will be a wonderful big brother.  You already are planning all the things you want to do and show your little brother.  I can't wait to watch the two of you grow together as brothers and as individuals.

{ me and my best buddy }

I love you my sweet boy.  While you will be my oldest, you will always be my baby.

your mommy

Friday, August 3, 2012

{ friday letters }


Dear Weekend, I'm so glad you are here and I don't have to work.  I have a lot of things to catch up on so I would appreciate it if you went by as slow as possible.

Dear Baby, Only 6 weeks and 3 days until we get to meet you.  It was awesome to see how big you are getting on yesterday, you are already a whopping 4 lbs, 4 oz.  You have the cutest chubby cheeks and I'm still betting that when you get here you will be a good 9 pound baby.

Dear Husband, I'm sorry for laughing at you this morning about your recent health kick.  I really do hope that you stick with it and we can change how we've been eating and living the past few years.  It's time for us to be active and healthy and I hope that we can do that together.

Dear soon-to-be big brother,  Thank you for all your cuddles and laughs this week.  It's been a rough one on mommy and I'm glad I've had you to keep me motivated and distracted.

Dear Pediatric Urologist, I'm really hoping that you have some good news for me on Tuesday.  I'm getting a little tired of this whole wait and see idea when it comes to Alex's kidney.  So I'm hoping that you have a plan and a good one that at to keep that left kidney as healthy as possible.

Dear Bed/Couch, Believe when I say that I'll be seeing you most this weekend after catching up with everything.  I have missed you and I'm totally looking forward to sleeping in at least tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{ saying goodbye }

Yesterday we said goodbye to Bailey.  A full day early.  I had received a text from my mom that morning that the person who was going to trailer Bailey down to Kansas wanted to pick him up that evening instead of waiting until today.  After rushing through my clients and sending countless hours hounding the vet for his coggins, we loaded Bailey on the trailer and sent him on his way.

I don't know if it's really hit me yet that I said goodbye to him.  I know where he's going and I honestly don't know if my mom will keep him or not, but at least with everything else that is going on, I don't have to make that decision.

I was blessed for the past 3 years to own Bailey.  The lessons I learned and people I met.  Being able to share my passion with my son and have him love it as much as I do touched my heart.  I know this isn't the end to having a horse, it's just now isn't the time.  I hope that once I am healed from delivering Alex and once we get Alex's kidney healed and settled that I will be able to start taking riding lessons again.  The owners of the place where Bailey was boarded have offered Evan and I the chance to come out and ride their horses, you better believe that we'll take them up on that offer. were an awesome first horse.  You taught me as much as I hope I taught you.  Thank you for always taking care of Evan whenever he was around you on or on your back.  I wish you the best.  I know you are going to be just an awesome horse for the right person.

{ Evan's last ride on Bailey }

{ Evan and Bailey }