Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ultrasound Number....Who's Counting?

I had another follow-up ultrasound today. I also had my very first prenatal visit with the staff at Rush. I am 30-weeks pregnant and it is nice to be able to say that I am 3/4 of the way there! My appointments will be every 2 weeks now instead of every 4 and all of them will be at the clinic at Rush. I just can't wait to drive that far every other week (not!)

So I was very happy to hear that my weight gain slowed and I am back to gaining only 1lb a week. I am attributing that to my self-discipline in the "cravings" department...way to go Heather!!! My blood pressure was up a little, but nothing to be concerned about. Other than that, Caleb kicked the doppler again while they were listening to his heartbeat. I am thoroughly convinced that he hates being messed with in any way.

The ultrasound was short and to-the-point. I was told that Caleb now weighs a little over 3lbs, which is at the 47th percentile for gestational growth. It looks like maybe I will get a chance to deliver an average-size baby after all. As far as his brain is concerned, everything appeared to be the same as before. The doctor did note that his ventricles were a little enlarged, but I believe that one of them was enlarged when we had the MRI two months ago.

One other thing that made me a little uneasy was the fact that the doctor said his head size is about a week ahead of his body. If his head continues to grow faster than his body, I will most likely end up with a Cesarean...which I really would rather avoid. So I would appreciate the continued prayers that Caleb will grow well and his proportions will be normal.

I am totally feeling like things are good at this point. I am thankful that the situation doesn't seem to be getting drastically worse and I have an overwhelming sense of calmness. It must be all the blessings that are being bestowed on Andy and I since everyone has been praying for us. We are growing more and more excited to meet our little angel!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rest-Assured...I'm in the Clear!

After 18 grueling, foodless hours, I completed my 3-hour Glucose Test. I don't know why they call it 3 hours, because it's actually 4! Little did I know, I had to have my blood drawn when I arrived at 9:30am, and then I had to wait for the lab to give them the "go-ahead" for the test. So I had to wait to drink the glucose solution until 10am and then they took my blood every hour at 11am, 12pm and 1pm until I was done. Boy was that rough!

Thankfully, everything turned out okay and I am not considered gestational diabetic. My blood sugar was slightly over on one of the draws, but you have to be over on at least 2 of them to be officially diabetic. Needless to say, I will be attempting to eat better and exercise more now.

I am so glad that this turned out well because I am SO NOT ready to deliver an 11 pounder! Lord have mercy on me! Let's just keep praying that Caleb will continue to grow at an average rate and end up being a nice 8 or 9lbs. That, I can do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Hurdle

Yesterday I had my 28-week prenatal checkup. Except for the fact that I knew I gained more weight than I should have, I thought things were going pretty well. Caleb has been moving like mad and I have been feeling good enough to eat non-stop.

Needless to say, the eating caught up with me and I was astounded when I learned that I gained 9 whopping pounds in the last 4 weeks! Ouch! I am now committed to eating less and eating better foods. I know I've gotten a little carried away with the liberties of a pregnant woman, so now it's time to shape up for the final descent.

Unfortunately the weight isn't my biggest hurdle. At 28 weeks gestation, women are required to take a glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. Well...I failed. Just barely, but I failed! I had a feeling that might happen since diabetes runs in my family. An hour after drinking a sugary glucose solution, your blood sugar is expected to be 140 or lower...mine was 141.

Now I have to do a big test to confirm whether or not I really have gestational diabetes. This Saturday, I will have to fast for 8 hours and then go to the hospital and have my blood drawn. After they take that sample, they will give me that sugary glucose solution again (yuck!) An hour later, they will draw my blood again, and they will draw it again on the hour for the next two hours beyond that. You counted right...that comes to 4 needles in all and I am not looking forward to it! I am also not looking forward to the idea of not eating anything between dinner on Friday night and 1pm on Saturday. I totally feel sick when I don't eat!

Hopefully, the first test will prove to be a fluke and I will end up not having gestational diabetes. If I do have it, there will only be more complications in this pregnancy, not to mention the fact that mothers who develop gestational diabetes are much more likely to develop Type II Diabetes later on in life. Another concern is that my daughter was over 10 pounds and I didn't have gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with her. If I do have it, this baby is very likely to be much bigger than she was. I am hurting just thinking about it! I will do my best to stay healthy if you all do your best to keep praying!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Can I just tell you how awesome it is to have amazing women for co-workers? Today I was given a surprise baby shower by the women I work with. I was totally unexpecting and it made for a great experience!

Some people have been asking me what I need for Caleb because they want to buy gifts. Being that he isn't my first baby, I won't be having a shower with my family and friends. Since my last baby was a girl, I have nothing for a baby boy. I suppose I've been a little lazy with my preparations for Caleb. I am 28 weeks pregnant and I haven't even bought one outfit for him.

Procrastinator that I am, I would likely give birth to Caleb and still not have my house ready for him. It was definitely a big relief that my friends at work care enough to shower Caleb with gifts. Now I have less to worry about for my last trimester, and I couldn't thank these women enough!

Caleb now has clothes, diapers, bootie-rattles, mitts, snuggly toys (some that even play music) and much, much more! And Lord knows I ate a lot of the delicious food that my friends brought to the event. I can't believe I had no idea! Supposedly, there have been flyers floating around in my office for 3 weeks now and I never even noticed. Am I observant or what?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Prayers Across America

Yesterday I made a very important phone call. I called into Relevant Radio, which is a Catholic radio station that reaches 30 million people across America as well as around the world through their stream from their website. I called during the noon-hour, when their show called "Go Ask Your Father" was airing.

The host of this program is Father "Rocky" Hoffman, and Andy and I recently met him at a talk he gave in our church. Father Rocky listened to our story about Caleb and he told me specifically to call him on-air on Tuesday 5/4/10.

When I called, he let me talk a little about Caleb and his condition. It was fantastic to be able to put in a prayer request to all the listeners because I know that many of them will be praying for Caleb just as I asked. What a blessing to be able to reach that many more people and receive their prayers for Caleb! My heart is singing!

Father Rocky informed me that Caleb's due date, August 5th, is the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. He told me the story of the devotion to Our Lady of the Snows and he said that we should specifically ask her intercession for Caleb since his due date falls on her Feast Day. So I have begun to ask her to pray for Caleb as well. For those of you who don't know about this devotion, I urge you to search for it on the internet...it is an amazing story.

Caleb's army is most definitely growing and I have faith that God will hear our prayers!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Sixth Sacrament

A few weeks ago, a woman I know was telling me about her husband's experience with sepsis. He was very sick and he nearly died. When he was in the hospital, a priest came to visit him and give him a Catholic Sacrament called Anointing of the Sick. This is a special Sacrament that is given to people who are seriously ill and, most of the time, to people who are on their deathbed. Anointing of the Sick involves prayers, a blessing given as the priest lays his hand on the person's head, and then the person is anointed with a Holy Oil. The priest uses olive oil that has been blessed at a ceremony held just before Easter.

When this woman described her husband's experience, she told me that he said he literally felt a physical difference the moment he was anointed. He said it felt like the illness lifted from him and he immediately felt stronger. The doctors had told him that he was extremely close to death and he was fortunate to make it through that situation alive.

Well...as you can imagine, after she told me her husband's story, the woman suggested that I ask for Anointing of the Sick on Caleb's behalf. I had never thought of that possibility before. Caleb hasn't even been baptized yet and that is typically the first of the Seven Sacraments that Catholics may receive. Caleb isn't officially a member of the Catholic Church so I was sure that he couldn't be anointed with a Catholic Sacrament until he has been baptized.

I figured I may as well ask our Pastor, Father Brad, to see if it would be possible for me to receive Anointing of the Sick on Caleb's behalf. Father told me that anything that is done in good faith should be okay. He felt like it was perfectly reasonable for Caleb to receive this Sacrament since it is my wish for it to be done.

So, tonight I received my sixth Sacrament; though this is the only time I have ever received a Sacrament on someone else's behalf. I am so grateful for the Catholic Church and the awesome faith we share as a community! I can't describe the gifts that have been bestowed on me, Caleb and Andy; simply because of the prayers being said for us.

A few days ago we went to a seminar. Andy and I met Father Rocky from our favorite radio station called "Relevant Radio." When the seminar was over and we talked to Father Rocky, we told him of the situation with Caleb and asked him to bless him and ask God for healing. Father Rocky blessed Caleb at our request and he also told me to call in during his show when it airs. He said that we'd pray for Caleb on air and he'd request all the listeners to keep him in their prayers as well. Relevant Radio reaches 30 million people so I can't imagine the deluge of grace that is about to fall over Caleb and I!

I am so over-joyed at the idea of even more perfect strangers praying for my son. How generous people can be with what little some of them have to offer. Prayer is the greatest gift anyone can give Caleb at this time, simply because it is the gift with the most to offer.