Thursday, April 30, 2009

34 Weeks

(Baby is turned to his left looking at us).
We've made it to the homestretch! Still having random contractions, my cervix is shortening, but we are now in the safe zone and things like this are normal now! The baby weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces yesterday and as you can tell from his little face, he's actually getting a little chubby!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I ♥ Faces: Reflection

So I've been following this blog for a while now and I finally decided to throw my photos in the hat. It's too bad I picked a really tough theme for my first contest with them! Fortunately, I had just taken a self-portrait of myself not too long ago that was my reflection, so the only challenge was getting a pic of Clayton involving a reflection. And did I mention Clayton is less than a willing photo subject for Momma these days????

My entry for the adult category:

And my entry for the kid category:

Their contests run every week so head over to to check it out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Soccer Season

This past Saturday was Clayton's first soccer practice of the year. It's always interesting to see what's going to happen with him out there on the field! His two helpers definitely got a workout since he did little walking on his own. Towards the end, he did finally talk them into getting him out of the walker--that was when the REAL workout started . . .he's just so stiff with those AFO's on that there's no easy answer on moving him around the field. We are planning on trying his reverse walker next week and if that doesn't work, I say let him wear his regular shoes so he can loosen up and kick the ball!
Can you see him waving back at mom? :)
Throwing the ball into the goal:
And here they are planning their strategy:
Snapped the pic right after he kicked the ball:

And here's how they motored around the field--just picked up his feet and pushed onward . . .
It's so chaotic on the field since each child has at least one helper. When they actually played the scrimmage, it was just this huge mass of people moving around the field. Who knows where the ball actually was?! But all in all, it seemed a lot more organized than last year simply because the parents were asked to stay on the sidelines and let the helpers do the work.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Now Taking Suggestions

We've always planned to keep the baby's name a secret. And up until today we were halfway decided on one particular name. But over the last few days I've been having second thoughts about it and didn't want to tell Brian simply because it was the only name we've been able to compromise on! And then today out of the blue Brian says he just can't do that name for such and such reasons. And so I confessed that I was not so sure anymore either . . . that means we're back to square one and with every {random} contraction that I have, I feel even more pressure to decide on The Absolutely Perfect Name for this baby! And while I'm not into public opinion polls, I'm open to any suggestions from my blog readers--maybe it will at least give us something to start from!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

33 Weeks

This last week felt like a whole month! But I'm glad to report that I'm feeling SO MUCH BETTER! Yesterday I only had a couple of contractions so it seems like my body is finally settling down after all the commotion from being sick. Thank the Lord I'm past that horrible nauseated feeling!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello, Old Friend

A couple of weeks ago, I had a small panic attack: I couldn't find my breast pump! I had the box with all the "parts," but no actual pump! And considering just how expensive these babies are, I was getting a little nervous. Not to mention the sentimental attachment I had to such a weird piece of equipment . . .thank goodness Brian found it in the attic last night. I'm definitely relieved I don't have to start over with a new pump. Why so important you say? Well, in August 2003 when the boys were born, this little bag became a part of my being. I literally carried it everywhere I went. And it seemed that no matter where I went, it was always time to pump again! My little babies were so sick and there was not much I could do for them as they lay in the hospital, but I quickly discovered that I was good at making milk. So make milk I did! I was DETERMINED to pump until they were ready to actually breastfeed, no matter how long it took to get them there. Shawn was the first to eat--he had a few meals of 1 and 2 ccs before he got sick. I'm so glad he was able to get that little part of me before he died. Clayton, on the other hand, took months to get well enough to eat. And when he did, my milk had to be mixed with formula to pack on the calories for him. And by the time he actually did start using my milk, I had used all of my storage space at the NICU and filled up TWO deep freezers full of bottles! (We even had to buy a new one just to make room!) The lactation consultant was pretty impressed with me, if I do say so myself!
I guess it was sometime in January 2004 that Clayton was able to actually start trying to directly breastfeed. And hence, the whole preemie issue of "oral aversion" was introduced into our lives. (Oral aversion: preemies develop this condition from having the ventilator tubing down their throats for so long and from not initially learning to eat right out of the womb). He started breastfeeding just a bit, but it soon became too overwhelming for him. We then moved to the bottle and again, he initially did well. And then POOF! One day it was over. He refused to put a bottle in his mouth and when you did get it in there, he choked and sputtered all over the place. Feedings quickly became nightmares for all involved! This was all still in the NICU, and Clayton couldn't go home until he was feeding well on his own. After a couple of weeks of literally fighting him to feed from a bottle eight times a day, we made the decision to put the g-tube in. A g-tube has it's own set of problems, but I'm so glad we went ahead and did it since that was the only thing keeping Clayton from coming home.
But back to the milk . . .Clayton continued receiving my breastmilk through his tube for several months, but he just didn't grow. We finally started seeing a GI doctor and discovered he was allergic to milk and wasn't going to grow as long as we kept giving him something he couldn't even absorb well! I just about went into mourning when I discovered all of my milk would go to waste. All my hardwork down the drain! I even tried to find a place to donate it to, but no one in Arkansas took it and I would have to pay to ship it to Texas, the closest place. Couldn't do that, so reluctantly, I threw almost two deep freezers full of breastmilk away. Definitely a sad day for a lactating momma!
SOOOOOOO. . . that all being said, I'm really looking forward to getting a redo on breastfeeding. I know I won't need the pump as much, and feeding a baby actually seems a little scary to me (that pump was very reliable and worked right on schedule!), but if I'm able to pick up where I left off last time, breastfeeding this time around should go very well!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shifting Gears

I'm still getting over last week. It's almost like I'm moving in slow motion while my mind is making list after list of things I need to be doing. I spent Saturday taking it easy and the minute I decided to get up and move around, the contractions slowly returned, albeit randomly. I felt even better Sunday morning and since the sun was shining, decided to give church a go. I really needed to be there anyway since the day was supposed to be spent preparing for the Caravan Blue and White Dinner that yours truly was in charge of! To be honest, the service was mostly a blur because all three of us seemed out of it--even Clayton was extra whiney from all the craziness of last week. And even though I should have come home and gone straight back to the couch, I did manage to get back up to the church to at least help a bit and supervise the dinner. I was actually okay for a while, but it was definitely time for me to sit down and rest long before the dinner ever even started.

Just to prove how bad I felt: I only took two pictures and never even bothered to ask anyone to use my camera for pictures! Definitely a sign that I'm not feeling well!

I'm so glad I had MANY, MANY helpers who took the bull by the horns last night and just did what had to be done--the dinner went over without a hitch and the families and kids had a great time (from what I've heard and could tell).

I'm hoping to spend the rest of the week taking it easy--I'm just sending major "stay-in-the-womb" vibes to Baby C!

Friday, April 17, 2009

32 Weeks

Wow. What a week.
Monday afternoon: fever
Monday night: fever + contractions
Tuesday morning: contractions + severe morning sickness (AKA vomitting on the side of the road on the way to the doctor!)
Tuesday all day: stay in labor & delivery (negative flu test, negative fetal fibronectin test, CBC good, a little anenemic, no dehydration BUT contractions 2-4 minutes apart). shots to stop contractions, sent home only to spend the afternoon throwing up and eventually adding diarrhea to the mix. oh, what joy!
Wednesday: severe nausea + a few contractions. back to doctor and labor & delivery for IV fluids and nausea meds. spent the afternoon in a stupor but at least the contractions and nausea were finally gone. finally able to keep some food down but my belly was cramping big time.
Thursday day: feeling MUCH better, able to function and even help with Clayton a bit.
Thursday evening: ended up passing out on my parents and realized that maybe my recovery would be a bit slower than I thought.
Today: Feeling even better, but still afraid to push myself.
AND IN THE MEANTIME, Little Baby C has been handling the stress wonderfully. He's been moving around and enjoying the excitement I guess . . . He weighs 4 pounds 4 oz. now and just for good measure I got two steroid shots for his lungs due to all the contractions. I'm glad they're on board, but I'll be just as happy to have him wait about four more weeks before making his entrance!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus . . . And in their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? HE HAS RISEN!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

Today was the church Easter Egg Hunt. Or should I say Easter Egg Race??? There is no actual hunting, just a race to see who can get the most eggs the fastest (since they are all just laying out in the grass). And since Clayton goes with the older kids now, this basically means he manages to get a couple of eggs and the whole "hunt" is over. Thank goodness for my friends who formed a barrier around Clayton and shooed the other kids away so he could get more than one egg!! And since he doesn't eat candy (he does lick on it!), he really doesn't have to have many eggs, but it's really just the whole principle of the thing--I think I'll suggest we tweak the process next year . . . and even though he doesn't really eat candy, he wanted to open every egg and look inside just to take inventory of all of his loot!He loved the jumphouse (thank you, Tanya!):
But the best part of the day by far was that Clayton won the grand prize: a brand new bike! He is all about bikes right now and he had been eyeing this one all day. He was so excited when he actually got to sit on it! We've been looking at modified bikes for a while because he wants to ride every bike we see. Brian will have to take this one back to Wal-Mart because it's definitely for a bigger boy--it will be interesting to see what he does with one that has training wheels!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

31 Weeks

And I just couldn't help myself! I definitely have boy stuff. There isn't much I need. But I just couldn't help but buy something especially for little Baby C. And when I saw this outfit and a couple more at Target the other day, I just knew he had to have them! After all, he can't live on hand-me-downs alone!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Nature's Way?

I can't sleep. I've been up and down every night for a week and I bet I was awake every 30-45 minutes last night. Tonight should be even more interesting since it seems to be getting worse as the days pass! And at 3:00 this morning it finally occurred to me: maybe this is just nature's way of getting me ready for nights with a newborn!
(Photo taken at the local university--I can't believe these tulips have survived the wind and cold air of the past few days!)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Palm Sunday

In following tradition, our kids waved the palms in honor of Palm Sunday yesterday. Every single year that Clayton has participated, it's all I can do to keep from sobbing! I'm just so darn proud of him for being able to participate right along side the rest of the kids. And this year he even did it without Daddy's help! (And with a smile on his face at that!)
Thanks to my friend Rhonda for being on photo patrol!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

By Popular Demand

So many emails, blog posts, and message board posts begging for a new belly pic! I hope this is satisfactory for everyone because I'm not about to show my bare belly to the world with it this big! I took this one today at 30 weeks, 3 days. Just ten more weeks to go!

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I've been going through a lot of my old pictures lately and boy, was I surprised at what I discovered! I was absolutely flabbergasted at how much weight Clayton put on after his new diet kicked in--and I've basically been feeling guilty ever since! How could we not have seen how heavy he was getting?! I guess we were just so glad to find a GI doctor that could make him grow that we were oblivious to the predicament we were putting both him and us in. It's taken quite some time for him to actually grow length wise and slim up instead of grow out . . .and we did ourselves no favors since he is totally dependent on us for mobility! Here he is in the NICU (August 2003) just a couple of days old (1 lb, 8 oz). He's so skinny, you can count his little ribs. And here he is at almost a week old--still the preemie skinny:
This pic was taken some time in late 2004 here at home. He weighed around 12 lbs for several months:

And then in February 2005, we finally started seeing the new doc and started the new feeding regiment. And when she said she could "get a rock to grow if you feed it enough of the right stuff," she wasn't kidding! You can see by this pic in July 2005, he was finally starting to get his baby fat:

And then this next one bothers me big time (July 2006). He is always beautiful, but how could we not recognize how chubby he was??? I mean, when I look at this pic, I think he looks sick in the total opposite way that he was in the beginning. And we never even realized it! It didn't help that he had his dad's shorty genes either! He ended up getting to the 95th percentile in weight while still in the negative percentiles on height. Quite the little chunk--no wonder he was slow to make gains in physical therapy . . . I can't believe how hard we made it on him and that we didn't recognize it enough to say a big NO to the doctor on increasing his calories anymore. She has since told me she likes to err on the side of a heavy baby, but I can't say I would always agree with that position. For a child who gets no "regular" excercise, and who is totally dependent on others for mobility; it just seems natural to err on the lighter side of weight. But hindsight is 20/20 I suppose, and like I said earlier, we were just so glad to see him grow out of that preemie look that we didn't even notice! (Oh, and I do have to say that those big, beautiful eyes still stand out!)

He finally started slimming up (or stretching out you might say) in 2007. This one was in September:
And in July 2008:

He's been on the same calorie intake for three years. Which translates to a big-time diet for his age. And while his weight has finally leveled off (he's been at or around fourty pounds for at least a year now), he continues to grow taller and his legs are getting longer and longer. Definitely a better way to grow in my opinion! Here he is in February of this year, all healthy little boy and baby no more . . .

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

30 Weeks

Just got back from my 30 week appointment. Felt like I hadn't seen the doctor in ages since it had been a whole two weeks! I still feel good and in general I'm doing well, but things are changing. The good news: my cervix is still very thick. The not-so-good news: I've dilated to a "tight 1 (cm)" which is a definite change from the last time she checked me (cervix was fully closed at last check). I also had "large blood volume" in my urine today, so that's been sent off for a culture to see if it's another bladder infection or if the blood is coming from my cervix. She asked me if I've been having contractions, and to be honest I really don't know! The baby is EXTREMELY busy almost all the time and it feels like he's been turning lots of somersaults--who knows? These feelings may actually be some contractions??? All I know is I didn't know I was contracting during my last labor until they hooked me up to the monitor and told me I was, so I'm probably not the best person to ask!! She sent off another fetal fibronectin test since things were changing. We'll know the results tomorrow and go from there.
Surprisingly, I wasn't panicked after the visit. I just feel so blessed to have gotten this far that I feel like I'm in the home stretch now. And the baby looked great on the ultrasound today. It took her forever to get his heartrate because he was "practicing" breathing. You could see his little chest moving back and forth. Doctor says this is a sign of fetal well-being and that means he's a happy camper! I say keep on practicing breathing, baby, because it'll be great to have those nice and healthy lungs!!!