Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Getting Ready for Baby Allen

After the craziness of finding out we’re going to meet our little boy sooner than expected, one of the first things we tried to focus on was making sure we were physically ready for him to arrive. Thankfully we had been really on top of things from the get-go.

{August and Oliver came over to give some of our baby gear a test run... thankfully they approved of the play mat!}

{August and Oliver came over to give some of our baby gear a test run… thankfully they approved of the play mat!}

It was helpful to have several of our family members coming out for my baby shower in April to have that as a goal to have the nursery somewhat assembled. Our extremely generous family and friends threw us three baby showers – one back in Minnesota, and two out here in Seattle – and we received so many thoughtful gifts that have been quite helpful in making sure we’ve got all of the things we need.

{My mountain-themed shower!}

{My mountain-themed shower! hosted by my friend from work, Cate}

{My last baby shower was so sweet - baby Allen and I are so lucky!}

{My last baby shower was so sweet – baby Allen and I are so lucky!}

We received a ton of baby clothes {thank you!} and were quite well stocked up, but it was mainly with 6-12 month stuff. I was okay with that because it meant I got to pick out all of the sizes we were missing. It has been SO fun shopping for cute little outfits and getting to pick out the things I want to dress this kiddo in.

Our list of “needs” changed a little bit once we found out that our babe would be super tiny, so I got us stocked up on preemie diapers and bought a bunch of newborn size clothes, a few preemie onesies and even preemie bottle nipples. I hadn’t focused much on my postpartum recovery needs, but those should mostly be taken care of now, as well.

The baby’s nursery is so close to being completely done! We’re really only waiting on receiving the rug {which comes today and Alex’s parents will lay it out for us} and then eventually I’ll order a few more little decorative pieces to keep the focus on the mountain theme. Both of us adore how the nursery has come together. It’s such a bright and calming space and we’re so excited to bring our little guy home and show him his room.

{This darn chair has been the biggest pain EVER. This is chair #2. We are awaiting chair #3 now. It's a gorgeous, amazingly comfy chair, but the first one arrived not only defective but in the wrong color, and the second one arrived in the wrong color, so we're hoping 3's the charm.}

{This darn chair has been the biggest pain EVER. This is chair #2. We are awaiting chair #3 now. It’s a gorgeous, amazingly comfy chair, but the first one arrived not only defective but in the wrong color, and the second one arrived in the wrong color, so we’re hoping 3’s the charm.}

I think we’re pretty much all set with everything we need to take this little munchkin home after he is big and strong enough to leave the hospital.

I’ll take a better picture of the whole nursery once I’m home from the hospital and we get the new rug in. It’s pretty darn cute, though!

Monitoring, NICU & Not Much News

We’ve made it to 32 weeks and 2 days! I don’t have any major updates today, mostly just little ones…

{I'm fairly certain I look more pregnant in this photo than in reality... even one of the nurses last night came in and said "gosh, you hardly look pregnant" mmmm thanks you can leave now!}

{I’m fairly certain I look more pregnant in this photo than in reality… even one of the nurses last night came in and said “gosh, you hardly look pregnant” mmmm thanks you can leave now!}

I haven’t had an ultrasound since the weekend – the next one is the big growth ultrasound tomorrow. This will measure how much the baby has grown in the last 2 weeks, as well as check his amniotic fluid levels and the cord flow. A decision to deliver could be made tomorrow if there was no growth or if the cord flow is “reverse” meaning that the blood flow through the cord is reversing in direction.

As of last night I’m on a more rigorous monitoring schedule. Initially I was hooked up to the heart rate monitor three times a day for about 40 minutes each session to take a look at how the baby is doing. Starting Sunday afternoon he has had many more decelerations {“drops”} in his heart rate than before and they’ve started to align with my contractions. He’s now having a drop about every hour or two, sometimes more. Honestly, we woke up this morning, still hooked up to the monitor, expecting the doctor to come in and tell me it was time to go to the operating room because he had so many drops overnight {which also meant we slept not at all!}.

Instead, she said that while he is having more drops, the time in between the drops he’s still looking great and not seeming to be stressed out and he’s making really good recoveries {his heart rate jumps back up to normal fairly quickly} most of the time. She said she’s being cautiously optimistic and really still hopes he’ll stay in there for another week. I’m not really expecting that he’ll stay put for a week, but I suppose it’s possible and we’ll learn more tomorrow with the ultrasound.

In related news, Alex and I toured the NICU yesterday. There is one floor of the NICU where it’s truly the intensive care unit, and depending on when our little peanut arrives, he could go there for a while. They also have an intermediate level nursery where the babies are moved when they simply need time to grow and learn to eat. It was really nice to get a tour of the space so we can visualize it as we mentally prepare for our NICU baby.

I finally got my consultation with the neonatologist on Sunday and that was really helpful. He explained to me that 32 weeks is such a magical gestational age to get to because at that point the survival rate and long-term complication rate becomes the same as with a full-term baby. He told me to expect the baby to stay in the NICU until his due-date {so mid-July} and that he’ll be on a feeding tube and it’s possible he’ll need some help with breathing. The longer he stays in utero the shorter his NICU stay will be and the fewer interventions they’ll need to do.

We are starting to talk about hypothetical plans for how we’ll deal with having a baby in the NICU for what could be 6-8 weeks. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll make it work. We’re anticipating having me spend most mornings/early afternoons there, then going home and eventually having dinner with Alex and then going back together to visit the babe and then sleeping at home. We are so fortunate that the hospital is so close to our house! There will be an enormous amount of going back and forth to and from the hospital to visit the little guy and deliver milk to the nurses for him, but I’m sure we’ll get in a groove pretty quickly. It’s going to be strange to go back home without bringing a baby with us, though.

Right now it’s our plan that once the baby arrives I’ll officially stop working {probably until October} and then Alex will go back to work once I go home from the hospital and am able to move around on my own, then he’ll take his paternity leave as soon as the baby comes home, hopefully through Labor Day, and then he plans on taking the rest of his leave around the holidays. Alex’s work has been extremely supportive of the situation and both of us have been working remotely from the hospital when time allows.

Alex and I are doing fine and hanging in there. We’ve still got plenty to do and our room seems to have a revolving door on it, so there’s constantly someone in here. Technology is an enormous help in this situation – we’ve been watching Netflix during my monitoring to take the edge off of it and we’ve used InstaCart to get Whole Foods meals delivered, as well as Uber Eats to get a celebratory dinner delivered to commemorate making it to 32 weeks on Sunday.

Thanks again for all of the encouragement and love! We are so fortunate to have so many family members and friends by our side during this really strange time.

32 Weeks!

We hit our first milestone: 32 weeks!

I don’t have a huge update today – mostly little things. We’ve had almost 48 hours of really solid monitoring – all day yesterday the baby looked fantastic on the monitors. He had really nice accelerations and a very good baseline heart rate.

31w6d

Today I had an ultrasound, which was the standard biophysical profile {BPP} scan that I’ve been having twice a week. I’m not sure what his score was on the BPP, I assume 8 out of 8, but they never told us today. The good news that we got was that there was not an absence of cord flow today and the level of resistance in the cord flow was down from where it was on Friday. These are both good things, but they really don’t mean that much. The resistance level in the cord flow is still elevated, just not as much as it was last time they did the ultrasound, and we know that there is an intermittent absence of cord flow, but it wasn’t absent at the time of the ultrasound today.

Our next milestone is the growth ultrasound, which is now taking place on Wednesday. It’ll be a long ultrasound and they’ll measure all of the different parts of the baby’s body to determine how much growth has occurred since his last growth ultrasound, which would have been two weeks prior.

The doctor explained to us that there are definitely nutrients getting to the baby, but there’s simply an intermittent absence of them getting transferred. She is expecting to see some growth on Wednesday, but not a full two-weeks worth. This ultrasound will also check the cord flow.

32weeks

It’s quite possible that the ultrasound on Wednesday will send me to the delivery room. Another possibility is that they’ll be happy with a little growth and then have me get the second round of steroid shots {for baby’s lung development} on Thursday and Friday and hold off and deliver on Saturday or later. Or, if while I’m hooked up to the monitors, baby’s heart rate drops and doesn’t recover he’ll be delivered immediately. I’m hoping for one of the first two scenarios, as they’re less of a crisis!

Our upcoming milestones:

  • Wednesday {May 25} – growth ultrasound
  • Thursday {May 26} – second round of steroids can start
  • Saturday {May 28} – steroids will be at full-strength
  • Sunday {May 29} – 33 weeks

We’re really doing just fine here and in the situation. Somehow the stress level is fairly low – we’ve both adjusted to this reality and we’re mentally prepared for pretty much anything at this point. My blood pressure is back down to normal, which is great because that helps with the baby’s cord flow.

Alex snuck back home for a few hours to hang out with Henry cat and do a few things around the house and freshen up our clothing supply at the hospital. We’re looking forward to Alex’s dad coming out to help us with the pets and our house this week. We ordered a bunch of Whole Foods prepared meals and had them delivered, so we’re fine on food {and we’ve managed to avoid hospital food!}, too. The time passes really fast during the day – there’s always someone in and out of the room and both of us are trying to catch up on work stuff to be able to leave things nicely for our colleagues. I’ve got a stack of magazines and books on my table that I haven’t even touched yet! So, we’re hanging in there…

Baby Allen Update

We are on day 15 of a rollercoaster ride with our little babe right now. Just over two weeks ago, I/the baby was diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction {IUGR}, which means that there is something causing him to not grow properly. Our baby is currently below the first percentile for his size. In the early days after the diagnosis the doctors were trying to figure out what was going on and determine the threshold for when he would be safer inside my uterus versus outside in the world. I underwent a ton of testing and monitoring and spent 5 of those days in the hospital. The doctors finally have something to go off of now.

Yesterday at my regular check-up the ultrasound picked up some changes in the resistance of the umbilical cord flow. This is called “absent intermittent end diastolic flow” and it means that sometimes there is an absence of flow between the placenta and the baby. Because of this change, I have been admitted to the hospital indefinitely – likely until I deliver the baby.

The doctors want me to be on more continuous heart rate monitoring {of the baby} to make sure that his heart rate is stable and he’s still content inside. They are looking for him to have a normal baseline heart rate, but also for his heart rate to have accelerations, which happen when he is moving around. If he was too lethargic to move around he wouldn’t have the accelerations and that would become a cause for concern.

31w5d

Last night while I was being monitored the baby had a major drop in his heart rate and it took him 6 minutes to recover {that is a long time}. This caused an emergency situation – I ended up on an IV and oxygen within the first 2 minutes and getting sent over to labor and delivery for an emergency c-section. Thankfully while we were en route to the OR the baby recovered and I avoided that situation. I spent the following 14 hours immobile and hooked up to the monitors making sure he was still okay. We almost met our kiddo yesterday evening!

Aside from that big drop, right now, the baby is showing us that he’s still able to thrive inside and that he’s still stable. There are a lot of signs, though, that say that the time where the threshold will shift and he’ll be born is approaching. I’m currently 31 weeks and 6 days pregnant and 34 weeks seems to be the end of the line at the absolute latest. And yes, every day really does count.

Some upcoming milestones:

  • Tomorrow {May 22} – 32 weeks gestation!
  • Tuesday {May 24} – growth ultrasound
  • Thursday {May 26} – a second round of steroids for the baby {these help with lung development}
  • Saturday {May 28} – steroids will be at full-strength

It would be fantastic if we could hit all of these milestones because every day that the baby stays inside is a great day. Sometime between 32 and 34 weeks, though, the doctors will determine that they can create a better environment for the baby in an incubator than my uterus can right now.

Causes for delivery:

  • Another heart rate drop without recovery {emergency c-section}
  • No growth measured on the ultrasound on Tuesday
  • A change to “reverse cord flow” on any ultrasounds
  • ????

Once the call to delivery is made, it will happen extremely fast, except for maybe if he doesn’t grow, then we may get a little bit more of a “planned” c-section scenario. The doctors are not ready for him to be born yet, but once I cross the 32 week mark I think they’ll have less risk tolerance for keeping him inside. After the baby is born he’ll spend some time in the NICU because he’ll be premature and tiny. I’m waiting to get a consultation from a neonatologist, hopefully today, to talk to me about some of the things we can expect with a NICU baby.

We don’t know where we are on this rollercoaster ride, but I have a feeling that parenthood is just going to be a continuation of it! Maybe we’ll never get off?

Stay tuned for more updates…

Baby Allen @ 31 Weeks

 

The last 10 days or so have been an unbelievable whirlwind with baby Allen. He got diagnosed with IUGR {Intrauterine Growth Restriction} which is basically a blanket diagnosis that means he’s really small but we aren’t sure why.

I have undergone an enormous amount of testing and monitoring and spent five of the last seven days in the hospital, but as of today, we and the doctors are really confident that this little guy is safe and content on the inside still.

{Today's NST}

{Today’s NST}

Here’s what’s going on at this point:

  • Baby Allen is extremely small – he is in the first percentile for his size right now.
  • The doctors haven’t figured out what is causing his growth restriction. It’s likely got to do with placenta insufficiency, but they haven’t found anything concrete to go off of yet.
  • For the rest of my pregnancy I will have to have twice weekly non-stress tests {NSTs} and biophysical profile {BPPs} ultrasound scans.
  • The non-stress tests measure the baby’s heart rate. The doctors want to see periods of higher heart rates {“accelerations”} to demonstrate that the baby is happy and content. Today’s NST showed four really, really solid accelerations, and the nurse explained that if the placenta wasn’t providing enough and he wasn’t happy that he would be too lethargic to move around {that causes the HR acceleration}, so the accelerations were really encouraging.
  • During a few of our baby’s past NSTs he had drops in his heart rate which could easily be from him rolling over on the umbilical cord. We’ve learned that the recovery from a deceleration is an extremely important part of how they determine if he’s truly stressed, and it seems like our little guy has always had really strong, solid recoveries even when his heart rate dropped.
  • The biophysical profile {BPPs} ultrasounds measure five things: baby’s amniotic fluid levels, the cord flow, baby’s tone {if he’s flexing his muscles and making slight movements}, large movements {3 are required} and practice breathing. Right now, his fluid levels look good, but the cord flow is showing a little bit of restriction, so they’re monitoring that closely.
  • The baby is currently in the breech position so we’re hoping he flips to be head down so I don’t need a c-section.
  • Once the baby’s fluid levels or cord flow levels drop or if the doctors determine he is getting stressed, a delivery will happen. The same goes for a stagnation in growth, which is measured bi-weekly with a special growth ultrasound {different from the BPP ultrasound}. My next growth ultrasound is next Tuesday.
  • We got a new-found sense of confidence today that making it to 36 or 37 weeks gestation is a real possibility at this point.
  • No matter when the baby is born at this point, the survival rate is extremely high and complications with the baby are extremely low. Our hospital has a level 3 NICU {highest care possible} and is able to provide top-notch care for him to continue to develop if needed. My doctor was confident, though, that if he made it to 36 weeks that he may avoid a stay in the NICU all together!!

To say we’ve had a stressful week would be an extreme understatement. Now that we’re home from the hospital and received SUCH encouraging news from today’s appointment we are starting to calm down a bit. It’s really tough living in 3 day increments – we can’t plan anything past Friday morning’s appointment because that could be another hospital stay for monitoring or a delivery. At this point in this situation we are pretty much prepared for anything.

Our focus {for the next 3 days 🙂 } is keeping me calm {spa day on Thursday!}, pumping my body full of nutrients, particularly protein and water, and making sure our house is ready for this little boy to come home to.

Thank you again to our family and friends for the wonderful support. We are so grateful for the encouragement and positive vibes.

Latest Hospital Adventure

These last five days have been quite the rollercoaster, with most of them spent in the hospital. Since mid-evening on Friday, baby Allen has been super stable and has demonstrated that he’s happy and content via heart rate monitoring and a biophysical profile ultrasound this morning. The doctors were confident enough in his stability to send us home today!

{Hooked up to the monitors...}

{Hooked up to the monitors…}

The “plan” for going forward is twice weekly non-stress tests {NST} and biophysical profile {BPP} ultrasounds. These tests measure his heart rate, movement and fluid levels and make sure that he’s still safe on the inside. I’ll have another growth ultrasound around May 25th to make sure he’s still growing in there. If at any point during this next testing/monitoring period where baby’s heart rate drops I’ll likely get sent over for additional monitoring again. If and when the BPP is questionable or suggests that the fluid levels or the cord flow is being depleted, or if he stops growing, then the conversation of delivery will come up and likely be imminent. And if during the NSTs his heart rate drops significantly and has trouble recovering, that would/could constitute an emergency delivery. And for the record, at this point the kiddo is in in the breech position, which naturally constitutes a c-section, so that’s the delivery we are mentally preparing for.

At this point, we are taking things one day at a time, but we’re also holding out hope that this little guy can stay happy inside for another few weeks still. There were truly a few moments this weekend where we and the doctors thought we were going to be meeting him right away, but we are very thankful that did not happen. It is my absolute hope that we won’t find ourselves in an emergency delivery situation and that we’ll have even an hour before heading to the operating room. But, either way, we’ve come to terms with the difficult situation that we’ve found ourselves in.

We are so thankful for the care we’ve received here in the hospital and we really appreciate the diligence of the doctors here. While there were some moments of frustration on our part, wondering if they were being overly cautious and keeping us here unnecessarily {it’s possible that the heart rate drops were simply due to the baby laying on his umbilical cord}, we do value how much they care. Being in the hospital is a naturally stressful environment and the constant ups and downs didn’t make it any easier, but our nurses were really reassuring of overall how great the baby looked on the monitor, so that helped us keep our confidence up.

We are also extremely grateful for how many people are rooting for our little peanut and for the kind, consideration over the last several days. Thank you for all of the support!

{SO thankful to be going home today!}

{SO thankful to be going home today!}

For now, we’re looking forward to being home and getting rejuvenated. My priorities for the time-being are on making sure I’m passing as many good nutrients onto this kiddo as I can, staying calm and relaxed and getting the chance to finalize our physical preparations around the house.

Back in the Hospital

After getting admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and discharged on Thursday for advanced monitoring of our little guy, I found myself back in the hospital again yesterday after my follow-up appointment.

I went in on Friday morning for another non-stress test {NST} and biophysical profile ultrasound {BPP}. The little guy’s NST went really well – the test measures his heart rate to ensure he’s not stressed and they want to see some accelerations in his heart rate that show he’s moving around and happy/content. While there weren’t many accelerations in that particular test, the baseline was really normal and the nurse seemed happy.

My BPP did not go as well. The ultrasound measures five things – the amniotic fluid levels, cord blood flow, small body movements {like flexion}, large body movements and practice breathing. During the 30 minute period they want to see 3 large movements and we only got 1 and he did not do any practice breathing. Therefore, he failed his BPP {he got a score of 4 out of 8}.

While I knew that they were still picking up the heart rate on the ultrasound it was scary to watch because I was repositioning myself, drinking water and the ultrasound tech was poking the baby and nothing would get him to wiggle around in there. He must have been sound asleep! Shortly after the ultrasound, one of the doctors came in and said she was really concerned and was sending me to the hospital again.

Long story short, the doctor on the floor at the hospital was the one who had discharged me the day before and she had no intention of keeping me overnight. She was really happy with the NST results and would do several hours of continuous monitoring of the baby’s heart rate, followed by another BPP last night. We were so optimistic that we would get out of there and be home shortly.

After several hours of really solid monitoring, the babe’s heart rate plummeted and it took him longer to recover than it had ever taken while he was on the monitor. Because of that, the new doc on the floor said she’s not playing around and taking any chances, so here we are, still in the hospital.

Yesterday was a pretty tough day emotionally with the two big scares and the doctors bringing up the true possibility of an immediate delivery {which would make him 9 weeks premature}, which would have likely been via an emergency c-section. Alex is such a trooper and amazing support and is really rooting for me and our little guy and is helping me stay strong. Things are looking up today, though.

I spent all night hooked up to the monitors and the heart rate was strong and steady throughout the night, so things are looking up today. The doctor allowed me to come off the continuous monitor and I’ll be monitored in shorter intervals today to make sure things look good, and if everything continues, I could head home tomorrow.

{Here's hoping this is one of many more belly photos with this little guy still inside!}

{Here’s hoping this is one of many more belly photos with this little guy still inside!}

At this point it’s impossible to know what to think and what to expect for either the short or long-term. If the baby’s heart rate continues to take dips during monitoring they’ll either keep me here for more monitoring or they’ll decide that the time has come to deliver the baby.

It’s a really tough situation to be in and it seems to have the doctors scratching their heads a bit, trying to figure out if he’s just rolling over on his umbilical cord, which could be a cause of the heart rate drops, or if there is something more going on and there is not enough reserve in the placenta for him to bounce back. There’s a life at stake and they aren’t willing to take many risks. We’re obviously hoping he’s got several more weeks inside to continue to grow and develop and that this is just a blip on the radar.

We really, really appreciate the support from you all – thank you! It means a lot to know there are so many people cheering for this little guy who the world hasn’t gotten to meet yet. We’ve already determined that he loves being in the spotlight!

Home from the Hospital!

It feels so good to be home – and home a day early, nonetheless! After my unexpected overnight stay in the hospital for additional monitoring of the baby’s heart rate I got the all-clear from the doctors to get discharged a bit early, but only with the promise of returning in the morning for a follow-up appointment, non-stress test {NST} and ultrasound.

The purpose of my stay in the hospital was to monitor the baby and make sure his heart rate was normal {110-160 BPM}. Overall, the baby’s heart rate looked really good over the 24 hour period that he was being monitored, so hopefully that keeps up!

20160512_030630924_iOS

What’s next for us and baby Allen:

  • Twice weekly NSTs to measure the baby’s heart rate
  • Once weekly biophysical profile ultrasound to measure the fluid levels and cord flow
  • Bi-weekly growth ultrasound scans to measure baby’s growth
  • Weekly or bi-weekly doctor’s appointments with my doctor as well as the specialists

Once either the fluid starts to diminish or the baby stops passing his NSTs or the baby stops growing the doctors will make the call that the time has come for me to be induced. I expect it will be sudden and will happen directly following one of my appointments {which are scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays}.

The team of doctors all still seem very confident that we can get the baby to 34 weeks gestation before induction, and the hope is to go even further, but 37 weeks is the ultimate cutoff.

At this point, we’re playing a funny waiting game. Our “plan” is to get as much ready and done as we can in advance and then be ready for “game day” as I started calling it. The nursery is basically complete, and thanks to a very generous father, we now have our car seat and stroller, too. We’re stocked up on preemie and newborn diapers and clothes, we’ve got burp cloths, hats and swaddles and we’re set to go with all necessary feeding supplies. It was tremendously helpful to receive so many generous gifts from family and friends over the last few months and at my two showers to help get us ready for this little guy.

The big things that are left are really to make a bunch of freezer meals that we can have on hand for when the babe arrives, acquire necessary mama recovery/postpartum items and clothes, and finish up any projects around the house. We are in really good shape for his early arrival and that makes the whole process seem a little bit more manageable.

We really appreciate the support and encouragement from friends and family and are grateful for that, as well as the care we received in the hospital. We are feeling so fortunate to be in such good hands during this time. We are both confident and positive about the ultimate outcome of the situation.

Big Baby Update

We have some big news about baby Allen. Last week I had my regular doctor’s visit and when my doctor was measuring my fundal height {which is essentially the size of my belly} she discovered that it was rather small. It had been a bit small the week before, too, but not enough to sound the alarm bells. Last week I was measuring at the size of about 26.5 weeks, but it should have been closer to 30. Just to be safe, she ordered an ultrasound to further investigate.

As it so happens, the baby is indeed quite small, which was confirmed by an ultrasound last week and then another one today. Over the course of the last week I have been undergoing periodic monitoring and testing to learn more about what’s going on.

My doctor referred me to a team of fetal medical specialists and today I had my first visit there – they did a non-stress test {this measures the baby’s heart rate and looks for natural accelerations to show that the baby is moving and happy}, as well as an ultrasound and then a consultation with the specialist.

While the baby passed his non-stress test {NST} yesterday at a different clinic, today he did not. He had a big dip in his heart rate and because of that the doctor wanted to observe him for a longer period of time, so I’ve been admitted to the antepartum unit of the hospital for a minimum of 48 hours for more monitoring.

Image

Here’s what we know:

  • Baby Allen is super tiny – he was in the 3rd percentile last week for his size. Right now he’s about 2.5 pounds and measuring about 2.5 weeks younger than his gestational age.
  • At this point, it seems that the cause of this is likely that the placenta isn’t able to provide enough nutrients to the baby to sustain normal growth. The size of the various body parts of the baby as measured by the ultrasound is consistent with this theory, so at this time it seems most likely.
  • Other causes can be a virus that I had and passed onto the baby, or chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, which are unlikely in my case, but they are running tests to rule them out.
  • The baby’s brain seems to have been spared and is growing at the expected rate. This is super good news!
  • My doctor and the fetal medical specialist doctor’s goal is for me to get to 34-36 weeks {by the doctor’s accounts I am 30 weeks and 3 days right now} before inducing me. 37 weeks would be the longest I’d be able to go.
  • An induction will happen when it is determined that it’s safer for the baby to be born than stay inside. Eventually there will be a point where the baby stops growing and that will be the turning point.
  • I am receiving steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs mature faster, since that’s one of the biggest complications of preemies.
  • If I get induced after 34 weeks the chances are high that it would be under the care of my regular doctor and at her hospital, but if I get induced prior to 34 weeks it will have to happen at the hospital I’m currently at because they have a higher level NICU to care for the baby.
  • Even if I have to be induced tomorrow there is a 98% survival rate for the baby at this point. The babe would have to spend several weeks in the NICU, but survival rate is high and long-term complications seem to be low.

The last I heard was that the doctor was really optimistic that I would get discharged after 48 hours and would be able to continue monitoring as an out-patient, via twice-weekly NSTs and once-weekly ultrasounds, and then be able to still deliver the baby at my preferred hospital after 34 weeks.

For now, we’re taking things one step at a time. We’ve known since last week that the chances that baby Allen would come early would be very high, but now that there’s certainty around that we are trying to get everything taken care of that we possibly can. I’m wrapping my head around the fact that we could literally have a baby at any point in time now. Ironically, our childbirth classes were supposed to start today, so I’m quite unprepared for the actual labor and delivery, but I was able to switch us into an all-day childbirth class on May 21st, so my fingers are crossed that we’ll make it to that point.

We truly are doing fine with the news. It’s a lot to process, but one of our best friends went through literally the same thing and had a healthy baby girl 2 weeks ago {at 37 weeks} and it’s comforting to have her support and hear her story and positive outcome. I’m extremely confident in the care I’m receiving and we are so fortunate to live in a city with excellent hospitals and fetal medicine. So, for the time-being, we’re getting mentally and physically prepared to meet this baby earlier than expected and also potentially deal with some time in the NICU.

Stay tuned for more updates as we have them!

Big Baby Shower Weekend

This past weekend my aunt Sarah graciously hosted a wonderful baby shower for me out here in Seattle. She has been working hard for the last few months to plan this shower from afar {she lives in Minnesota} for baby Allen. We had several family members travel out here to celebrate our babe – my aunt and my mom came from Minnesota and Alex’s mom, aunt Chris and nana came from Illinois. Given the family in town, we planned a lot of activities to spend time with them and keep them entertained, in addition to attending the baby shower.

baby shower w ladies

Everyone was essentially on their own to explore the city during the day on Thursday and Friday but met us at our house for fondue on Thursday evening and dinner at Bottlehouse on Friday night. We had a great time catching up and getting acquainted. Since my family is from Minnesota and Alex’s is from Illinois, they don’t get too many opportunities to spend time together.

{Nana was in love with our pets...}

{Nana was in love with our pets…}

{She even got Henry cuddles!}

{She even got Henry cuddles!}

{The two grandmas were enjoying coming up with the name they want the kid to call them... Donna, we're still waiting on you!}

{The two grandmas were enjoying coming up with the name they want the kid to call them… Donna, we’re still waiting on you!}

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The ultimate purpose of everyone’s trip was to attend Saturday’s baby shower honoring our little babe. The shower was held in the dining room at a hotel in downtown Seattle. Everything was lovely – it was a nice small, intimate group and space, which made it quite enjoyable. The room was tastefully decorated with photos of both my family and Alex’s family to show the genes that our babe is coming from… Hopefully the kiddo gets the best ones from both sides!

{The mama-to-be with the grannies-to-be.}

{The mama-to-be with the grannies-to-be all heading off to the shower.}

{Based on my due date, I've got great grandbaby #11 cooking, though I've got a feeling #12 will appear first. Alex's cousin Tara's due date is just a few days after mine.}

{Based on my due date, I’ve got great grandbaby #11 cooking, though I’ve got a feeling #12 will appear first. Alex’s cousin Tara’s due date is just a few days after mine.}

{Photo op with my mom and aunt Sarah}

{Photo op with my mom and aunt Sarah}

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The food at the shower was delicious – we had a spread of appetizers at the table, followed by the entree of our choice. Knowing that princess torte cakes are historically my birthday cake of choice, my aunt commissioned the restaurant to bake me a princess torte cake. It was beautiful!

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Already baby Allen is quite spoiled. His family and friends stocked us up quite well with baby necessities, goodies and adorable outfits. At this point, I think other than the car seat and stroller, we have everything we truly need. A baby could survive in our house right now!

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{New clothes for the little babe!}

{New clothes for the little babe!}

{During the shower, Alex and Ryan had some guy time with Ryan's 5-month old twin boys, Oliver and August... Alex is getting some great practice!}

{During the shower, Alex and Ryan had some guy time with Ryan’s 5-month old twin boys, Oliver and August… Alex is getting some great practice!}

The rest of the weekend went by really fast but we spent it continuing to enjoy spending time together. We had a nice dinner on Saturday evening, then met up early on Sunday morning for breakfast out in Woodinville, followed by a wine tasting. The weather was spectacular on Sunday and we spent most of the afternoon sitting outside in our backyard.

{Woodinville wine tasting on a sunny patio - not a bad way to spend the day!}

{Woodinville wine tasting on a sunny patio – not a bad way to spend the day!}

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Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and between late Sunday night and Monday morning everyone headed back to the Midwest. It was so nice to spend the time with our moms, aunts and the only grandma we have left between us. Alex and I are so appreciative of them coming out to celebrate our little man and spend time with us and each other. It was a really memorable experience and we’ll be forever grateful to our family members who came out and my aunt Sarah for hosting such a nice baby shower.

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