Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Officially a Soccer Mom

It's official, I'm a soccer mom. Scott made a trip to the sporting goods store for cleats and more. This week, Sarah had her very first soccer practice. The "season" is only 8 weeks long and it is just for fun. There are no goalies and no bench warmers.

It isn't so much what this soccer season has it store, it is what it represents. It is our first foray into the organized (and wallet draining) land of school-aged kids' sports/activities. This marks the end of lazy Saturdays ever after. Sarah is starting soccer now. Jaley is close on her heals. If Scott has anything to do with it, Lil' Junior will be on a team by next fall.

We will soon be one of those families with a giant color-coded calendar on the refrigerator - desperately trying to keep each kid's activities straight. I know the day will come when Sarah calls saying "mom where are you?" I'll probably be on my way to take Jaley to piano and Lil' Junior to Little League having completely forgotten it was my day for the soccer carpool.

In fact, carpool isn't my reality right now. I have even outsourced that. Nana is at to the pool with Jaley right now and then off pick up Sarah at camp. I still continue my lazy ways lounging in bed and on the couch. The good news is that all my baby checks came back good this week. If that trend continues (which we are hoping), we are planning to meet Lil' Junior in about 3 weeks. The docs are now thinking an induction at 37 weeks (around 9/15) is the right balance between delivering a healthy baby and getting me off the couch. They figure Nana and Mimi can only drive carpool for so long and I better get back to being a productive member of this household. The countdown continues.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Start of Summer Vacation

For most of America, summer is coming to an end. The stores are stocking pencils by the pallet and school buses are back on the road. However, at our house summer vacation began this Monday. Sarah attends a year round school. Instead of one long summer break, she has four short breaks throughout the year. Her first "track out" began this week. And true to historic summer fashion, she is attending camp - complete with silly games and pool time.

She is having a great time at her camp and after diving right into kindergarten she was excited for the break. For the following two weeks, Sarah is going to camp where Jaley goes preschool. Jaley is very excited to be able to hang out with her sister again. The transition to kindergarten has been much harder for Jaley than for Sarah. Jaley misses Sarah and thinks that it is torture that she isn't old enough to ride the school bus.

Also, true to historic summer fashion, it is grandparent time. Nana is flying in today to spend two weeks as my personal indentured servant. She is taking charge of the girls and the house, while I lounge on the couch. As I said before and as I will say again, a mother's work is never done. I promise she will have long hours and no pay - a job that only a mother (grandmother) would accept. As soon as she leaves, Jan and Mike are arriving to take over where Nana leaves off.

So far, all of my inactivity is paying off. Lil' Junior had a non-stress test on Monday. According to the doctors, he is cool as a cucumber - not stressed at all (a very good thing). Unfortunately, I can't say the same of myself. I stress and worry about baby all the time. Today, I had my weekly visit with Lil' Junior (ultrasound). Again, it was good news. My amniotic fluid level was up into the normal range and Lil' Junior's biophysical profile (BPP) was good, too. I'm not quite sure what the BPP measure, but with good and profile in the results, I'm sure it means he will grow up to be very handsome.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Golden Corral Pregnancy

Lil' Junior's Profile - 08-12-2009

WARNING: It is time to gossip about my pregnancy again. I'm sure you are exhausted with all the baby talk, but tough luck - here is all the nitty gritty.

This is the Golden Corral of pregnancies. The buffet is in front of me and I have filled up my plate with one of almost everything from the list of pregnancy issues. I even grabbed a few things from the buffet that have left the docs and I wondering what they are.

Before, I get into all the details, I will start with the buffet items that are most important. I am 32 weeks, 1 day along. As of the ultrasound this morning, Lil' Junior is weighing in at approximately 3 lbs, 11 oz. Though we have had many issues with this pregnancy, we have been BLESSED with good news after every scare. While we don't want to meet our little guy for quite a few more weeks, Scott and I are breathing much easier knowing that even if he arrived now, his prognosis is great.

Now for the buffet list. This pregnancy has been quite a ride. If you remember, the pregnancy started out completely against the odds. I was talking hysterectomy with my docs and on medication that is rather anti-pregnancy when the stick turned blue. So much for odds, this little guy is my miracle.

Then, you fast forward a few weeks for my triple test and NT ultrasound. The results came back high for the chance of a baby with chromosomal abnormalities. We weighed the risks and opted to have CVS testing (which is similar to an amniocentesis, but earlier in the pregnancy). After a week of nail biting, the results were great - no signs of chromosomal issues AND baby is a boy.

Then, you fast forward a few more weeks for my mid-pregnancy level 2 ultrasound. The reports were all good, except there was one issue we needed to monitor with Lil' Junior's kidneys. Apparently, just like the girls when they were potty training - he was holding it for just a little too long.

While baby was looking and growing well, I have been on a downward slide. I am still having all sorts of pelvic pain. It is the same pain that started in January 2008. With my belly growing, the pain is worse each week. I have seen just about every specialist in the greater Raleigh - from surgeons to neurologists to gynecologists to gastroenterologists to acupuncturists to physical therapists. They are all concur that my issues are not currently threatening to me or the baby, but they also have only guesses about what is wrong. The treatment is pretty simple. I rest on the couch, take pain meds round the clock, and wait out my time until delivery. We have outsourced everything else. I am a master of the "dinner in 5 minutes" cookbook.

Then, you get to May. Half way through with my pregnancy and time to start thinking about my tendency toward pre-term labor. Luckily, there are now 17P injections that do a great job of keeping early contractions at bay. For the past 3 months, the injections have worked like a charm. No signs of early labor. Unfortunately, I am slightly allergic to the injection. I itch where they give me a shot - which just so happens to be in my backside. So for the past three months, I have been scratching my ass with no abandon. I apologize to all those I have offended.

Then, you get to mid-July. Sarah is sent home from school with a mysterious rash. I thought with 5 years of daycare under her belt, we were though these types of illnesses, but no such luck. We visit the doc twice with no firm diagnosis. However, Parvo B19 virus is one of the possibilities. Parvo is no biggie for kids or adults - just a little cold and a little rash. Parvo, however, can be dangerous to fetuses. Despite our strict regimine of hand washing and Purell, five days later I had myself a little case of Parvo, too.

Here we are at today. Back to the Perinatologist for another ultrasound. This was the follow-up for most of our earlier issues. Wonderful news - Lil' Junior's kidneys look perfect and there are no signs of anemia from Parvo. As an added bonus, my cervix is "competent" (I guess it passed end of grade testing) and shows no signs of heading toward a pre-term delivery. Sometimes, you solve one problem and uncover another. So was the case this morning. Now baby and uterus and showing signs of slow growth, plus my amniotic fluid is a little low.

Next steps are weekly ultrasounds, rest on the couch for me, and a countdown until delivery. Since I was already spending my day on the couch and counting down until delivery, nothing much has changed. I just traded in three pregnancy buffet items for two different ones.

Scott and I are hunkered down for the last few weeks of this pregnancy. The docs are promising an induction at 38 weeks so that puts me at 41 days to go (yes, I am counting each day). Hopefully, we will continue our trend of having issues to worry about, but blessed luck that none of them are causing serious issues.

Thanks again to everyone that has sent us prayers and lent us a hand this year. It has truly made all the difference!!!!

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Look Who's Three

Jaley is a big girl now. She turned three on the 27th and true to Harrell form we celebrated all week. There were cupcakes at school, dinner and singing waiters that evening, pool day with Mimi, and a party at Hopper's House with friends over the weekend. All told we had cake three times - which seems fitting for her 3rd birthday.

Now that she is three, we have no babies or toddlers in the house. It is a giant milestone, our household no longer requires diapers, bottles, or cribs. We are planning to fully enjoy this time with no babies - all 6-8 weeks of it. Then, you know what's coming.

Here are a few pictures of our week long birthday celebrations.