Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lupus Flare

Most of the time I forget I even have lupus and honestly if my blood work didn't prove it I would think that I didn't. Except for the past several days. I've had lots of cramping in my fingers and toes. It's not been as bad as in the past but I still noticed it. In the past the cramps in my toes have been so bad I have had to pull my car over and park until it passes. I've also got a huge fever blister on the outside of my mouth, when it was first coming I counted over twenty little blisters all clustered together, and there have been a couple on the inside of my lip.

These symptoms really aren't that bad. I can handle a few cramps, they don't last long and the mouth sores is pretty uncomfortable but with the majority of it being on the outside it has not prevented me from eating or caused any major discomfort, its just ugly. I wasn't even going to post about it, but something prompted me to do it. 

This morning when I read all the Facebook comments that people were praying for me, I knew that was why I felt prompted to post. We all need prayer. Amazingly, my fever blister is on the mend even before it got super bad. Thank You all for reading my blog, your prayers and comments are always a welcome encouragement.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feed Me

This week baby M turns four months old. I look at her and wonder where the time has gone, it has flown by. Before she was even born I started preparing myself for feeding her. I bought cute nursing covers, nursing tank tops, and lots of Lanolin. I didn’t even think about bottles, I was confident things would work and I wouldn’t need them. I’m sure I’m not the only one that goes into parenthood thinking that nursing is going to be so easy and such a great time of bonding. The truth is that for us it didn’t come naturally and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, every time I tried to latch her all she could do was scream. Truthfully, all I wanted to do was scream too.  I felt like a failure and I had no clue why it wasn’t working.

Pumping made me feel a little better, at least she was still getting breast milk. Then the reality hit that I wasn’t producing enough to feed her and I still had to pull out those cans of free formula they send you while you’re pregnant. What a huge let down! (too bad not the letdown I read about that happens when your breast feeding though) I tried so many things to get my body to produce more milk but all of it only made minor improvements.

One night I even remember accidentally hitting her head on the baby bed after a feeding/pumping session because I was so tired. Talk about feeling like the worst mom ever. The exhaustion of pumping at least every three hours for 45 minutes around the clock was starting to wear on me. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do it for much longer because I wasn’t getting any sleep and my body wasn’t able to heal from the traumatic delivery. I also knew that I needed to start taking a medicine that would help my kidneys function better but was not safe for breastfeeding.  I prayed that something would get better because I was so discouraged.

Freezer Stash of Breast Milk
A best friend and I were talking about how hard it has been and I mentioned that I was even thinking about using donor milk and then she mentioned she had a whole freezer full that we could have. Her little girl is just a couple months older that M and she was pumping everyday because she had so much extra her little one wouldn’t eat and that’s when I really started to seriously consider donor milk. Her stash lasted over 2 weeks before I found the Human Milk 4 Human Babies milksharing network. I quickly had a mom respond to my wanted post and I ran to look and see if what I had stashed in the freezer  would last until we were able to go pick it up. I remember counting and thinking to myself that I didn’t think it would last. The morning we were leaving to go get it I looked again in the freezer and saw we still had a few ounces left. I remember the miracle that Jesus did when he took the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and feed thousands and I felt like I had just experienced a similar miracle.

We drove over 2 hours to pick up our next stash of milk and I was again amazed at how God was using women to provide for my baby. This mom had been pumping for months and like my friend, her baby would not drink the pumped milk from a bottle. She didn’t know what she was going to do with all the milk until someone told her about Human Milk 4 Human Babies  It was amazing; her entire freezer was full of pumped milk that she had been storing since before I had found out I was even pregnant. I was amazed that it felt like God was setting everything in motion to take care of M before we even knew she was going to be here.

Next, I found a mom that is local and she has been just as amazing. She pumps everyday for us and she has even taken supplements to increase her supply so that she can give us extra.  I’ve been totally blessed to see others give so much of their time to help us. She has even picked milk up from another mom to give to us. The mom that she received the milk from is also amazing to pump. She was a surrogate mom and she is still pumping for that baby and is giving the extra away. I am totally amazed by the amount of love that these women have shown us. Lastly, I get fresh milk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from a friend I went to high school with. She has five little ones at home to take care of and she amazes me with her generosity.

What’s even more amazing than these moms has been witnessing how God has taken care of our needs. It is amazing to see how the timing of everything works out so that we have not had to give one single drop of formula to our little one since I made the tough decision to stop pumping and feed donor milk, and if you haven’t read my latest update on my kidneys, since delivery my kidney function has returned to what it was before pregnancy. Read that update here:http://2kidneybeans.blogspot.com/2013/10/october-22-2013-dr-appointment-update.html

So let me take this moment to say thank you to these awesome moms, my baby is growing and thriving because you take the extra time to pump for us. We love you!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:13-16

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 22, 2013 Dr Appointment Update

I had an appointment with my nephrologist yesterday. After the delivery of Baby M three months ago I hemorrhaged and that caused my kidney function to drop drastically. It was around 17 percent function and that was pretty scary. My nephrologist had said that it would come up but he didn’t think it would return to what it was before I got pregnant.

I’m so excited, amazed, and thankful to say that my kidney function improved back to what it was before I got pregnant! It may be a percentage or two lower but the numbers change from day to day so I’m going to say that it’s back to normal. It makes me feel good to know that the pregnancy went well and didn't cause any loss of function. Just in case you’re wondering my function before pregnancy was between 25-29 percent.

My cholesterol was high, and I know that a lot of girls in my kidney support group have high cholesterol but I’m hoping that it was just a onetime thing since we have been eating a lot of convenience foods since we brought Baby M home but we are getting better about eating healthy. We didn't add any medicine for this and I hope when I go back in 3 months it has improved.

My protein was higher than before, and I’m spilling right at 1.5 grams. Anything under a gram is considered good so this makes me a little nervous. As my kidneys spill more protein it causes more scar tissue and a decrease in function. He was not worried about it and said that it was not a lot but we did increase one of my medicines (Enalapril) that help with the protein spillage. I was taking it before I got pregnant as the only medicine to control my blood pressure but this time we are using it at a lower dose and the medicine I took during pregnancy (Procardia) at a lower dose. He said that even though it can help with protein it can actually cause my function to get lower. I think that increasing it just a little is a happy medium.  Enalapril is not safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding but he said that staying on the Procardia at a lower dose would make it easier to stop taking the Enalaparil when we start trying again.

I’ve heard several people say that I should not get pregnant again and chance my kidneys getting damaged resulting in dialysis or a transplant. The reality is that my kidney disease (FSGS) is degenerative and even if I don’t get pregnant again they will eventually stop working and I will need a transplant or dialysis.

I will go back in three months to see if the medicine change has helped and I’m praying for the protein to be reduced and more improvement in my function.

Thank you all for praying that my kidneys would get better. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October Makes Me Sad

There are many things about October that I enjoy, but one thing that stays on my mind is Malakai and this month is his birthday. There are so many things that make me sad about his birthday coming up. I feel like the week he was with us was far to short and I am going to miss out on all his birthday celebrations. I always wanted lots of children and it feels like with him that dream died. I always dreamed about having 2 boys first and then 2 girls and after saying good-bye to Teddy first and then Malakai the realization that that will never happen is painful. When I see pictures of other babies that are celebrating their 2 year birthdays I feel like I'm missing out. This month is full of emotion.

I was watching a show one night and there was a scene where a dad was telling his grown son that he had a brother that died before he was born and he never told him because he didn't want him growing up missing someone he could never meet. It was such a sweet scene and it made me think about how I would talk about our losses with baby M as she gets older.

I'm slowly reading End of the Spear by Steve Saint. His dad was killed by the Waodani along with George Elliot and others as they were preparing to take the gospel to their tribe. I love this section of the book where he is talking about the death of his dad:

"What the Waodani had meant for evil, God used for good. Given the chance to go back and rewrite the story, I would not be willing to change it. Sure, it was painful, but over time I have begun to see the pain of Dad's death in a different light. If I could have changed things, I could have kept my dad. But then Mincaye would not have adopted me. Dyuwi and Kimo would not be my spiritual mentors. I would not have been part of this mysterious and wonderful Waodani world...And in the outside world, thousands and thousands of people would not have dedicated their lives to helping take the teachings of peace and comfort to people like the Waodani in frontiers scattered all over the world." pg 25
Check out his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ITEC-Steve-Saint/41142728065

It took Steve Saint many years to realize the good that came from the death of his dad and I know that one day I will look back and see the purpose of Malakai's short life and the pain of his death.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Sooner

Here are a few things I wish someone had told me beforehand instead of learning the hard way. Maybe this will be a reminder for next time:

1.       Sleep is precious, while at the hospital I wish I had taken advantage of the nurses that are there to care for baby M. I had to stay an extra night, and it wasn’t until that last night that I decided to let them keep her in the nursery so I could get a little more sleep. Maybe it had to do with the two pints of blood I had lost, but I was so tired. I’m starting to feel like I have more energy now, 7 weeks post-partum.
2.       Visitors are wonderful, but I don’t remember much about who visited us the day of delivery. According to my husband I said a lot of really random stuff, I guess it was due to the combination of medicines I was taking and lack of sleep. I wish I had asked all visitors to come the next day. Again, maybe if I had not lost blood I would have been a little more alert, and I would have enjoyed their company more. I did ask all visitors to come after I had a few hours to recover, but the next day would have been even better so I could have rested more and enjoyed the company. Plus, the third day we were there was pretty boring so some company would have been nice.
3.       Breast Feeding is hard and it does not come natural. I wish I had started pumping sooner especially since baby M had a hard time latching on. She never really got the whole latching on thing down, and so I finally asked for a pump the last night. By then three days had gone by since delivery, and I think if I had started pumping sooner my milk would have come in better and she would not have been so hungry. It has taken at least four weeks for my milk to come in but I still have to take supplements and I barely make enough to feed her and sometimes I have to supplement with formula.
4.       The idea of the baby car seat carrier is great but in reality it has not worked for me. First, it is so heavy I have a hard time taking it out of the car and bringing it inside. It’s even harder to carry it from the car inside a store. I tried it and I almost had to set it on the ground and take a rest.  Second, if I put it in the top of the buggy I can’t see to push the buggy around the store. I tried it and almost ran a little girl over at the store. I felt bad and the little girl looked so scared. My husband doesn’t have any problems since he is taller but at 5 feet short, I need to wear heels if I want to push it in the buggy. Third, if I put it in the bottom of the buggy there’s no room for groceries.  My Moby Wrap has worked out much better and it has the added benefit of preventing people from touching her.
5.       There are more important things in life than a clean house, like taking care of a sweet, little baby. This is a short season of life and there will be lots of time for cleaning later. Most days I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot if we are both bathed, in clean clothes, and fed.  
6.       It’s hard to get anywhere on time. Even if we are walking out the door on time something happens like I can’t find my car keys, she spits up, she needs a diapers change, or she wants to eat early. The list goes on, in general it just takes longer to get out the door and it almost feels like I am packing for a long visit away from home with all the stuff I have to take with us.
7.       Cry It Out method is horrible and cruel. I tried it two maybe three times and every time she would cry for fifteen minutes and never fall asleep. After fifteen minutes I would pick her up and at that point she was so worked up she could not fall asleep until she had her next feeding. Pick-up and put down has worked so much better for us. Mostly, I think she was just too little and she needed more snuggles. I have found that as long as I keep her on her 3 hour schedule of eat, play, sleep, she does fine going to sleep when it’s time.

I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks but the most important lesson I have learned is to enjoy this short time with Baby M. Every day she grows more and learns how to do more, and this stage won’t last forever.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kidney Update

When I first found out I had kidney problems we had no idea what the cause was and I saw a doctor that was very uninterested in finding out what was causing the problems. I was 16 and he thought I had done drugs and did this to myself. Fast forward to college when I started seeing a new doctor. He was great and right away started doing every test to find out what was causing my problems. After finally finding a doctor that cared I didn't want to have to go through the process again to find a new doctor even after I moved back home. Every appointment I would drive three hours to see him. It's been almost ten years since I started seeing him but I knew it would be hard to travel down there with a baby. When I was in the hospital a local Nephroligist came to see me and scheduled a follow-up for 2 weeks later. I liked him and finally decided to transfer to a local doctor.

Every appointment is scary and I always fear the worst news. I knew my kidney function had dropped when I was in the hospital. There he told me that it was from the loss of blood and that once my body made the blood the levels would get a little better. I had hoped to see improvement at this appointment but he said it would probably take 2 months. He asked if we wanted to have another baby. I was totally surprised that he would ask because he obviously is thinking we could get pregnant again. He said that my kidney need to stabilize first, but we need to do it sooner rather than waiting with the chance my kidneys could get worst. In 5 more months we are going to check and see how things are going.

He said my kidneys are not going to get better, my function will continue to decline. I knew this already but I continue to pray that God performs a miracle. He said that when my creatine gets to 4.5 he would refer me to the transplant team. I really would like to go sooner to find out if someone in my family would be a match. I know that my dad and husband both have O blood, so they might be but there are 2 other blood test they run to know for sure. He said not to worry about it right now though. At this appointment my creatine was 3.03 and when I got pregnant it was right at 2.

I'm going to miss my old doctor, he was great and if I ever had a problem I had his cell number so I could call or text him directly. My new doctor seems really nice and he spent a lot of time in the room with us. We also didn't have to wait very long and that was a plus.

I wrote this during a late night pump/ feeding, please overlook any grammar or spelling errors.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baby M Arrives

The day of Baby M’s arrival begun very early at 3:30. We both woke and I enjoyed showering knowing that I would not be able to shower again until 24 hours after my c-section.  The car ride to the hospital was long but we were both in a daze and really unable to say much. We just looked at each other and were totally amazed and almost in disbelief that in a few short hours we would be meeting the little girl we had been trying to have for four years now.  We finally reached the hospital forty five minutes later but it seemed like it took forever. Once we were there I think that the excitement started to set in.

Everything started out right on schedule and without a hitch. My IV was started on the first try without any pain and before long I was being wheeled back to the operating room for surgery.  In there I was shocked  at all the equipment that was going to be used and this time, instead of several nurses and doctors ready to take a micro-preemie away to care for, it was just a few nurses, the anesthesiologist, and my ob. After they did the spinal tap, they went and  got my husband and the delivery began. The whole experience was so much better than with Malakai and I enjoyed it so much more. The anesthesiologist talked with me almost the entire time about his little girl that also has kidney disease and it really helped take my mind off the surgery.

The emotions of seeing Baby M for the first time were incredible.  I thought that I would have been worried if something tragic would happen to her to but instead I had an amazing peace that we finally were going to be able to take this baby home. It was utter joy to know that after delivering two other babies, we would be taking one home with us this time. Not once since she has been here has the thought that something bad might happen to her, God has given us a miracle. Matt went with her to be cleaned up and I stayed in the operating room while the doctor finished up the surgery.

It didn’t take too long for us all to be reunited in recovery. The events of the rest of the day are a little fuzzy but I do remember the nurses changing out several bloody pads and thinking, “wow that’s a lot of blood”. She brought me medicine for the bleeding and nausea and later the doctor told me that they were all getting worried about the amount of blood I was losing. It equaled about 2 pints and they had donor blood waiting for me but with my kidney disease they were hoping I would not need it in case I one day needed a donor kidney and the donor blood could complicate the process.

The loss of all that blood caused me to become anemic and I had to have 4 iron transfusions and 2 shots that help your body make more blood while I was in the hospital. When one of the nurses flushed my IV I remember thinking- wow that was so painful. It turns out that when she did it, she did it so fast that it pushed some of the iron through my vein and into my arm and caused my arm to fight it off like an infection. This caused my arm to swell and it was very painful. At least that was the worst part of the entire experience.

Since I had to have the iron every day for four days, we had to stay an extra night. I was so excited to bring Baby M home and start our life together as a family. She has been such a good baby, hardly ever crying and only fussy when she is hungry.    It has been wonderful being her mom and watching my husband take care of us both. I am so thankful that God answered our prayers and the prayers of so many others.

I wrote this late at night after a feeding, please overlook any errors.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

35 Weeks

I find myself looking at the calendar to make sure this is real, that I’m really still pregnant at 35 weeks. It’s absolutely a miracle we have made it this far. We definitely had a scare in the second trimester when her growth continued to drop, remember- when it got down to 20%? Now, it’s back to normal at 46%! I still can’t get over when my doctor told me he had never seen a baby’s growth curve turn back the other way after dropping so much. I call that a miracle.

Yesterday, we went to our check-up and got a great look at Baby Girl on the 4D ultrasound. Before, I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about, especially since I have had ultrasounds nearly every week. Now that I have seen it for myself, I can say that it is pretty awesome. I hope you will agree that the one of her smiling is so amazing! I wonder what she was thinking?

How far along? We are now 35 weeks and 1 day.

How is she doing? She is continuing to grow and we estimate that she weighs over 5 ½ pounds. I’m so excited to meet her! We can see her hair on the ultrasound and I can’t wait to find out what color it is.

How is mom? I’m doing great. Still no blood pressure worries. I’ve had several cramps in my legs at night, but otherwise I’m sleeping pretty well.  

Praise/Prayer Request: We continue to praise God that he has blessed us with this pregnancy. He has heard our prayers, and yours too. We have scheduled the delivery/c-section and ask for prayers that everything goes well and recovery is a breeze. For Baby Girl, we pray that she is born with fully developed lungs.

I want to thank my friend for taking these maternity pictures for me. Please visit her here to see more of her work: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cara-Brashier-Photography/117759824942094?fref=ts

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nursery Reveal

 I've had a lot of fun decorating the nursery as we anticipate the arrival of Baby Girl. Since we started trying to have a baby four years ago, I already had several big items that we needed. 

Here's a list of most of the items in the nursery, where we got them, and how much we paid.

Crib- given to me from my sister 
Mattress- Ordered on Amazon, $30
Picture above crib- Hobby Lobby, clearance $20
Elephants- Free, they were looking for new homes
Quilt- made just for Baby Girl by my Aunt
Door Jammer- made by me, Estimate $2 for materials
Storytime Glider- bought off craigslist, $85
Quilt on Glider- my dad's baby blanket from his mom
Bookshelf- my husbands from when he was a child
Various books- mostly given to us or from Thrift Stores
 Blankets- made by my Aunt
Frogs- mine from childhood
Baby Sweater- made by my Aunt
Curtains- $20 for the curtains + $20 for the trim= $40
Antique Stool being used as small table- from my childhood
Pottery Barn Rug- craigslist, $20
Dresser- moved from our bed room. 
Changing Pad- Amazon, $20
Changing Pad Cover- Target, gift
Collage above Dresser- mostly things I already had, but with paint and other stuff, $20 

Add it all up and our nursery cost about $237

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

33 Week Update

How Far Along: 33 weeks. It feels great that we have made it this far. I know that if we were to have to deliver at any point now, she would do fine. At 33 weeks she would have a short NICU stay, but because she has made it this far she should not have any long term problems.

How is she doing? She is doing great. At the last 2 ultrasounds she has measured above 40% and her growth curve continues to move up! It is so amazing that our Baby Girl that was once measuring in the low 20th percentile and falling behind every week is now average. We estimate that she already weighs over 4 pounds, and I can also agree that she is getting bigger because my belly is getting bigger.

How is mom doing? My protein is still hovering at +2 or less than 1 gram. Not too bad for a kidney disease patient. My blood pressure is still under control and looking great.

On Friday I started to feel a little off, like I was getting a UTI. I started taking cranberry supplements to try and make it go away but by Monday it was getting worst so I went to the doctor and got antibiotics.

I'm slowly getting everything ready for her to get here. Her nursery is almost complete, but I need to organize all her clothes and put away the new stuff we got at our baby shower and that we have picked up at consignment stores and yard sales.  We plan to cloth diaper and here is a picture of my newborn diapers. 

Praise/Prayer Requests: Praise that she is growing and everything is looking great, no concerns or worries that we may have to deliver anytime soon. Thank you for all your prayers for us, it is really amazing that things continue to go so well.

Pray for my UTI to heal and that this does not cause any trauma to my kidneys. Continue to pray for healing for my kidneys. During the first trimester I saw some improvement in my kidney function but it has now gone back to where it was before I got pregnant (around 30%).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

31 week update

How Far Along 31 weeks and 4 days and I’m still amazed we have made it this far and even more amazing is that we have not had any major problems. Last week, I had an appointment with my MFM and he said that things are looking great and I don’t see him again until 34 weeks.

Total Weight Gain 22 pounds so far. I think in the next few weeks we will put on a lot as Baby Girl starts gaining weight pretty fast in these last weeks.

Movement Her movements are fewer but much more powerful. Sometimes my entire stomach moves when she kicks.

Food Cravings Hamburgers and French Fries, lemonade

Symptoms I was waking up several times during the night with horrible leg cramps but these last few nights have been much better. I've also had indigestion that makes sleeping harder.

Praise/Prayer Request We are very thankful that we have made it this far. This week the protein in my urine was +2, last week it was +3, I’m glad it came down and I’m praying it continues to remain low.  Overall things have been going amazing, my kidney function is remaining stable and she is growing great. No swelling, increase in blood pressure, or growth problems. I’m so grateful that she is doing so well. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nursery Sneak Peak and 29 week update

Here's a quick update:

23 Weeks
Baby Girl is moving a lot now, and occasionally I can see her head sticking out. Her kicks are much stronger now too. Today on the ultrasound we saw more hair and she waved at us; it's so cute. I also think it's really neat to see what she is doing on the ultrasound and feel her move at the same time. Every other week my OB is ordering an umbilical ultrasound to check and make sure that the blood is still flowing through the umbilical cord. So far, its doing fine but since it reversed with Malakai so quickly we want to make sure we know when things start to look bad. He said that right now things are looking perfect, but it doesn't take long for them to turn. The most amazing part of it all is that she had a big growth spurt! She is now at 44% on the growth charts, I asked him why she dropped so much and is now coming up and he said he really doesn't know and it's very unexpected that things would have improved. When her growth dropped drastically it was a sign the placenta was not doing well, but now that she is actually growing and coming up on the growth charts my placenta is working better. Well, he might not have the answer, but I know that there are so many people praying for us, cheering us on, and that's what's making the difference! She now weights nearly 3 pounds!

Prayer Request/ Praise: Continue to pray that the blood flow remains strong and steady. I had lots of lab work to check on my kidneys today, pray they are still doing well with no decrease in function and for healing. Praise that she had a miraculous growth spurt, my blood pressure is still under control, and that the blood flow is still great.

Please also pray for my friend and her family, her baby (Hippo Baby is her nickname) was born with a blockage in her kidney and it was removed with no problems but now she has a horrible kidney infection and she has been in children's hospital receiving antibiotics for several days now.  I know they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Hippo Baby.

Here is a sneak peak at the nursery:

 Moses is really excited!

Friday, May 10, 2013

26 and 27 week update

It's so amazing that we have made it this far, farther than any other pregnancy. It's even more amazing that we have not had any problems either. We had expected that my blood pressure would rise during the pregnancy, the blood flow would be bad, pre-eclampsia would set in, I would get all swollen; the list of what could have happened could just keep going, but it doesn't. It's really a miracle and I love and thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers for us.

How Far Along: We have now reached 27 weeks and 4 days! We had planned to do steroid shots for her lungs next week but since everything is going so well we are going to wait at least another week. They are the most helpful if the baby is delivered within 7 days so I think this is a good sign we won't be delivering any time soon.

Total weight gain: 18 pounds

Movement: Last night I could feel her moving positions. During the ultrasound she was head up again, so maybe last night she flipped back head down. It was pretty funny to feel what I think was her little bottom move across my belly. We also played a little game for a few minutes where I would push my belly and then she would kick my hand. I'm not sure she thought it was fun so I didn't want to do it too long.

Food Cravings: Jelly Beans and chocolate milk

Symptoms: Is walking like a duck considered a symptom? Or several trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night? 

Praise/ Prayer Requests: Baby Girl has maintained her growth curve for the last two weeks! We were worried that since she had fallen behind that she would continue to fall but it looks like she is maintaining her current growth pattern. Continue to pray that the blood flow remains steady and strong so that she can continue to grow and that we make it full term. Also pray that my blood pressure remains controlled and my kidneys continue to maintain their function and improve.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

25 Weeks

Today, I am 25 weeks and 5 days, I delivered Malakai at 25 weeks 4 days.It feels so good to finally make it this far.What's even better is that things are going really well. I feel great, and so its weird to be taking it easy and resting so much. I know that the more I rest the better though because she is so active on the days or don't do much and just rest.

How Far Along: 25 weeks 5 days. My OBGYN said that things are looking great and our biggest goal is to make it to 28 weeks but if things continue to go this well we should easily be able to make it to 32 weeks and further.

Baby Size: We didn't measure her at the last ultrasound but at 24 weeks she weighed about 1 pound 4 ounces. She is starting to grow a little slower, that may just be because I am pretty small and she is also going to be small. Her blood flow is looking great, its still in normal range although its starting to creep toward the bad side of normal range.

Total Weight Gain: 10 pounds. I've had the hardest time gaining weight, my OB said to keep eating brownies to pack it on. I'm also trying really hard to eat a lot of protein because that is supposed to help her grow more. I've read that in the next week or so she should have a growth spurt and I should get really big.

Movement: I feel her a lot. Sometime I think she is jumping around in there. During the ultrasound we saw her yawning and it was the cutest thing. It's so neat to feel her move and see what she is doing on the ultrasound.

Food Cravings: Lots of lemonade. Hamburgers and french fries.

Symptoms: Saturday night I had the worst leg cramps. I also have been getting heart burn and I hope that's a sign her hair is growing. Worst of all is this horrible gas I have had.

Praise/ Prayer Request: Praise that her blood flow looked great last week, it was even better than the week before. Also, my blood pressure was great even at the appointment. Pray that her blood flow continues to be normal, that she grows a lot, and that my blood pressure stays normal so that we can make it FULL TERM.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

24 Week Appointment

Well, my appointment yesterday didn’t quite go as I had hoped. There was a lot of good news, but also some disappointing news too.  

To start, I had an ultrasound and Baby Girl is so cute. She is breech, but I don’t think that really matters since I’m going to have a scheduled c-section.  I love looking at the ultrasound pictures and trying to guess what she will look like when she gets here. I think she will look more like Matt simply because I don’t think she is going to be born with the head full of brown hair I had as a baby. We checked her size and she is now at 28%, and 5 weeks ago with the same ultrasound tech we were at 56%. I'm so disappointed that she is falling behind on her growth. The blood flow is still looking great and she still has lots of fluid too. My Dr. said that blood flow and fluid are the two most important things we will be checking and as long as they are at good levels we are ok. 

After my ultrasound I went to see my Doctor. My blood pressure was better than last week at the office and my protein check was trace. We were both really excited that my protein is so low! This means no pre-eclampsia symptoms. I would love to know if this improvement in my protein also equals an improvement in my kidney function, but at the same time I’m nervous to find out. Next week, we will check again to make sure that she still has good blood flow to her and lots of fluid.  We will also see if she stays around 26%, and if she does then that would be great, she would just be a small baby. From now until delivery I will be seen weekly to make sure no problems creep up. We still don’t know when delivery will be, as long as things continue to look good we will keep her inside, my due date is August 7.

Thanks for all your sweet messages and comments and most of all your prayers. I’m thrilled that we have made it this far and things are still going well. I’m so thankful that my kidney’s seem to be doing great and in May I will find out my function. Please continue to pray that she continues to grow and that she does not fall further behind.  Our God is Powerful and able to do Miracles.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hydrangea Wreath Under $10

With all the time I spend on Pinterest, I finally decided I needed to start making some of the cute things I was seeing. I did a search for hydrangea wreath and here is what I found: http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=HYDRANGEA%20WREATH

There are a lot of really cute wreaths out there. My friend and I went out shopping for the supplies and the next day we put together our wreaths. I am very pleased with the finished  wreath and most of all that it was done for under $10.

Here is what I needed:

1 cardboard wreath. I found mine at Michael's near the foam wreaths, but the cardboard wreath is much cheaper. You could also cut your own out, but I think this will be more weather resistant. ($2.50 maybe)

2 bunches of hydrangeas. Michael's was having a 60% off sale. ($6.00)

Ribbon. I found this at Hobby Lobby 50% off. The whole spool was $5.00 but I only used about 2 of the 30 feet that is on it.

Hot Glue Gun


Here is how I did it:

First: pull the leaves and flowers off your bunch. Cut the stems off the leaves.

Second: Glue leaves around the wreath.

Third: Space the flowers evenly around the wreath and glue them on. Leave a small space for your ribbon.

Fourth: Tie a cute bow with the ribbon. Nothing fancy, simple will do.

Fifth: Take down the Easter Wreath that's been up there a few weeks after Easter has already passed. Quickly hang up your new wreath before wiping the pollen off the door.

Maybe one day I will show you the entire front porch, but for now your not missing much. It is really calling for a fresh coat of paint, but that is going to have to wait until after Baby Girl gets here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

23 weeks and Good News

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my OBGYN. He said that he and my MFM are very happy with the way things are going. It was nice to chat about being pregnant a few months from now, and reassuring that we would make it that far. My blood pressure was still a little high in the office, but I told him that it had gone back to normal when I saw the MFM and they did not want to change the dose. I’ve also gained a total of 8 pounds this pregnancy, and he was happy about that. I’m working to gain more because I’m still a little behind. There have been several stops for Chicken Biscuits and Milkshakes to help make it happen.

21 weeks

Every week I have to give a urine sample to be tested for protein, it’s something all pregnant women do. It’s been a little high every time since I have kidney disease and I already spill a little protein, but yesterday it was the lowest it has ever been this entire pregnancy and back to normal for my kidneys. That was great news.

We also talked about steroid shots and decided we would do them at 28 weeks and then a booster if we have to deliver before 34 weeks. I was so happy to hear that he thinks there will be no problems before 28 weeks and even later.  

At my ultrasound last week at the MFM office, baby girl was measuring at 46% on the scan and at 18 weeks she was 61%. My OB said that this is probable an indication that she is starting to fall behind on growth but because she started out big she has a long ways she can fall behind before it becomes an issue. He said with my high blood pressure, and the anti-bodies it was very unlikely that this would not happen, but at least it has happened later. Next week I have another ultrasound and we will make sure there are no clots in the placenta and the umbilical cord is still providing her with enough nourishment. Right now, she weighs over a pound, and more than Malakai when he was born.
23 weeks

Overall, it was a good appointment. Praise that my protein was lower this time. Please be praying for her growth, my blood pressure to remain normal, continued improvement and restoration of my kidneys, full-term delivery, and wisdom for the doctors.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Half-Way There, 20 weeks

Last week, I had an appointment with my OB and MFM. They both went fine and Baby Girl is still growing great. My ob said that I need to rest more now that we are 20 weeks, and suggested 6 hours a day of lounging around. So far, that’s been pretty hard to achieve.  He also mentioned hospital bed rest at some point as a precaution. While I was at the office my blood pressure was 140/90, a little high but not stroke high. That night I checked it at home and it was a perfect 120/80. It seems I have a real anxiety problem when I go to the doctor. I had the same problem when I went to my MFM appointment but I told them that I check it regularly at home and it is always between 110/70 and 120/80. It’s really mind boggling that it gets so high because I don’t stress a lot before I go. The MFM didn’t seem worried about it. I also asked him about bed rest and he said that we don’t even need to be thinking about that right now because everything is going really well. I’m worried that if I did have to go to the hospital because of my blood pressure, it would not come down if it doesn’t come down at the doctor’s office. 

The MFM is over an hour away and while I was there I was able to go meet a friend from my on-line support group for women with FSGS. She just had a baby girl a few months ago after an experience similar to mine with Malakai. 

I guess some of the nervousness of this pregnancy is starting to subside since we have made it past 18 weeks when we delivered Teddy still-born. Now I don’t worry so much that we might not find a heartbeat, but I am concerned that we might not make it full-term.  We are staying positive and planning for a full-term, bring home baby. We have started stocking up on all the things we will need and I have found a lot of cute baby clothes at consignment sales. Matt ordered her Travel System and put together the stroller. We also moved the boxes out of the nursery that didn’t belong in there.  I have a sweet aunt that has sent me several packages of knitted booties, sweaters, hats and bonnets. She also made some really cute bonnets from my great- grandmother’s hankies and they are so cute.
I started to feel flutters from baby girl around 16 weeks, but last night they were really big kicks. On the ultrasound she is always very active. It’s so cute to watch her get comfy and roll around.  We still have not settled on a name yet, but we have a few ideas we are tossing around.

Please continue to pray for this pregnancy, specifically that my blood pressure does not get higher or uncontrollable, and that she continues to grow on target and does not fall behind. I am very thankful that we have made it this far without any problems and that my kidney function has even improved, we are praying that things continue to go this way.