Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Wait is Over!

We helped the kids visualize the countdown until our baby arrived with this calendar on our patio door. We used crayola's window markers, which worked pretty slick. The kids loved how I added drawings for all the activities we were doing each day. This included a day at the movies, swimming, visiting friends, etc. Of course amongst the many things left to do on the checklist.

Monday July 13th I went in for my 38 week BPP ultrasound and Dr visit. My blood pressure was high, around 143/98. The ultrasound was fine, but he was concerned that my blood pressure had been gradually raising for a few months. He had me come back on Wednesday July 15th to recheck. The numbers hadn't changed. The nurse gave me "that look" and I knew what the Dr had to say...

Yep, no time to dilly dally...
can't go home to finish the packing I luckily had started.
We were going to deliver this baby TODAY!

While I was at my appointment, Tom had taken Mikayla to a birthday party. When he came back to pick me up, I had to give him the news that he needed to drop me off at admissions and bring the rest of the kids to the party. The mom there, who happens to be my BFF Jamie, took my little buggers until my parents could make it up here. I think this was the moment we went into complete denial and shock. Delivering a whole week earlier than the planned c-section was not on our calendar!!!???

I checked in around 11am, but because I had eaten breakfast ( a cereal bar ), I could not deliver until 5pm! What a long wait, but it was worth it...

I was terrified of the spinal anesthesia, but that went rather well compared to my others. Tom was at my side, as well as two other ladies who were so calming. Above the mask, one even had my sister's caring eyes. This being my 4th cesarian, there was a lot of scar tissue to cut through. There was a lot of tugging. During the delivery, Jonathan managed to get amniotic fluid in or around his lungs? So they took him for a 4 hour observation in the NICU, but 4 hours turned into more than a day. We counted our blessings - this was much less than those other struggling babies in the NICU.

When out of the recovery room, around 8:00pm, they wheeled me into the NICU to at least see and touch Jonathan. He was pale, connected to wires, later to tubes and a breathing apparatus. My family got to do the 3 minute scrub to come in and hold his little hands for a few minutes.

Jonathan Bruce Michalek
July 15, 2009
7lb 8oz 21"

The kids didn't know what to think. Mikayla (7) asked if he was going to die, of course I responded a quick NO. She didn't want to leave. Stanley (5) kept touching my belly trying to figure out where the baby was. He's so full of questions. Sabrina (22mths) didn't get to go in, she just seemed to want to stay in the hall where the fish tank was.

My dad took this picture below. Being a Deacon he had given me a blessing over the phone earlier, then when arriving here he blessed the room with holy water. Mom made a neat poster so everyone knew about our special gift. Looking closely at the picture, you can see my blood pressure was still up, mostly due to the craziness of it all. I still couldn't believe I had a new baby. I hadn't gotten to bond with him yet. That's all I could think of during the surgery - "It will be better when you hold him."
Tom visited Jonathan often in the NICU. I eventually got my legs back and took the wheelchair over to hold my baby for the very first time. He improved with each visit. It didn't take long for the tubes to come off and I could feed him there too. The March of Dimes gave us a parent goodie bag, including this fleece tie blanket project pictured below. That occupied some of my time alone.
Once he was in our room, we finally felt at ease. Now we just had to focus on me getting back to somewhat normal. That took until Sunday morning. What a long 4 days! But we had him, so everything else was formalities.

I couldn't have done it without the incredible care of my RNs and PCAs. These two were my favorites, whom I had in for 3 shifts. Janelle and Barb. They were like family. I still miss having them around encouraging me and attending to my every need like mothers do.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your prayers, cards, meals, gifts, visits, etc. What a blessing you are all to us. It is these little things that brought us through all the difficulties into this miracle of an experience!

So for the final pictures... I went from this to this.

Would you believe I never gained a pound. The weight just shifted around. I had dropped 13, gained 11, and since he was born (2 wks) I have lost over 25 pounds! I am taking advantage of this loss and keeping it going with a continued diabetic diet (even though the gestational diabetes is gone) and regular walks with my family.

The baby sling I am wearing is SO AWESOME! Jonathan and I both love it. My mom loved trying it out too. You can get one at http://www.loveyduds.com/ as well as one for your little girls who want to grow up to be mommies just like you! Here's Sabrina sporting her new look...

God Bless you and yours!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Operation Countdown

Well, here I am counting down the last 20 days of my pregnancy.
I swear this has been the longest pregnancy ever!

Pics at 24wks & 32 wks - I'm now 36 wks. I LOST 13 pounds in the first 7 months, and in the 8th month gained 11 of it back. So I figure I'll be at my starting weight on Jonathan's birthday. Wow - that never happened before. So I look pretty much the same, just rounder belly and some say I look better than ever. Must be the long thick hair and tan I've aquired?

It's been hot even in the A/C, with the acception of this past few cooler days which brought much relief. My shoulders and hips have been the most bothersome because of lying on my side through the night. My wonderful husband has twice treated me to a Prenatal Massage at the DayLily Spa. It's quite the hour of bliss I needed - and comes highly recommended. Back on Mother's Day I treated my mom and sister to a few hour session at the nail salon. Wow - those mani-pedicures are expensive but the perfect treat for sore feet and tired hands. Now that these spa experiences have worn off, I may be rendering the free services of my 7 year old daughter!

We've been extremely busy with activities and house projects. Tom's quite the trooper when it comes to taking over for me. He's Mr. Mom by washing the floors, toilets, dishes and laundry. [Obviously not in that order!] ...amongst other things. My hero, that man is. Funny note, I told him to take a last look at my lucious long and thick hair - it may be the last time it is ever this thick. He laughed and said, "Same here."

For all the other happenings in my family, that will have to wait for another post - - - because I have A LOT of GREAT pictures!!!! Please be sure to check back soon! And of course, in 3 weeks you will get to see Jonathan for his first cameo appearance.

This is today's featured purchase to help me handle my little ones and still have a good hold on little Jonathan. She even had one for my girls. You can find these at the
Lovely Duds Etsy Shop...

You could also purchase 6 yards of jersy knit fabric, cut in half lengthwise, and you'd have two plain ones. Directions on how to wear these can be found here and apparently all over YouTube.



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