Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Michael Perry is Home!

Usually, one baby announcement blog is enough. However, I was just too happy not to share the good news. This morning the neonatal doctors gave Michael Perry a healthy report and even better a green light to go home. No more tubes, wires, or beeping monitors. He is just your regular (and tiny) newborn.

Now we are officially a family of five. Jaley and Sarah are so excited to cuddle their new brother and start bossing him around.

Here is the picture for which we waited nearly a week. Michael Perry all strapped up in his car seat for limo (minivan) service home!

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More on Baby Michael Perry

I am home from the hospital and back to my computer, so it is time for the full update on Michael Perry...

In the past 72 hours, Scott and I have received the crash course in neonatal care. We are tossing around new words like ductis arteriosis, RDS, surfactant, and bilirubin. Officially, baby is suffering from Respiratory Distress Syndrome. What was once critically dangerous is now hugely treatable and with no long term effects. Simply put, despite being full-term Michael Perry's lungs weren't quite ready. He just needs a couple of days for his lungs to catch up to living in his new air-filled world.

As we are learning with sick babies, they tend to get a little worse before they get better. After delivery, Michael Perry was doing well and we enjoyed cuddling him. Within the hour, he was struggling a bit. The nurses were quick to get him the care he needed. Since then, baby has been in the NICU under the care of some amazing doctors. Over the past three days, his breathing issues at first worsened and have slowly improved. He was doing well enough last night that Scott and I were able to hold and cuddle him before I was sent home (though I hated to leave). This morning his improving trend continued, and for the first time, I was able to nurse him. Both wonderful things.

The expectation is that Michael Perry will continue on his path to good health. He has several milestones to cross, but we anticipate that he will join us at home before the end of the week.

As for the timing of Michael Perry arrival, it turns out that doctor's like to change their minds a lot. We canceled the induction for last Wednesday, and instead I had an ultrasound that day. The results from that, made the docs decide that Thursday was our day. So I got a phone call Wednesday evening saying to be at the hospital the next day. The delivery was smooth as could be. Many of you moms out their will hate me, but I only pushed for four minutes and baby was born. And thanks to my lovely epidural even the pushing didn't hurt. I definitely know how lucky I am in that department!

As for me, I am feeling much, much better!!! My mystery problems are not gone, but I am cautiously optimistic that I can get back to a somewhat normal life (if such as thing exists when you have three kids). My pain is much less and for the first time in 9 months I am not nauseous. I even ditched the cane. Once again, I am walking upright like the rest of the human race.

While we are still worried about Michael Perry, we are counting our abundant blessings. His breathing problems should resolve quickly and we will get to enjoy a brand new addition to our family.

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

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baby Michael Perry is Here!!!

After a couple of changes and false starts at the beginning of this week, the doctors decided it was time to meet our son. The newest addition to our Harrell family made his debut on Thursday 9/17/09 at 1:28PM. He arrived weighing in at 6 lbs, 3oz and measuring 18.5 inches long.

Baby Harrell was considered a full-term baby, but he arrived a bit before his original due date. As a result, Michael Perry needs a little extra TLC and is spending some time in the neonatal special care nursery. We expect he will progress quickly and join the family at home by the end of next week. Sarah and Jaley are very excited to meet their new brother in person. And after that, let the craziness of being a family of 5 begin.

I am doing well and promise to post a full update along more with pictures soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Man Plans and God Laughs - No Baby Yet

Yes, I wrote that we were planning to meet Lil' Junior today. It doesn't seem like it will happen. As scheduled, I went to the hospital yesterday for my amniocentisis. The doctor was trying to check proteins in the amniotic fluid that confirm that baby was truly ready for his debut. Depending on how you count, I either had 3 amnios done or none. The doctor made three attempts to collect the fluid - turning my abdomen into a virtual pin cushion - to no avail. My amniotic fluid levels have been running rather low, and the doctor couldn't grab enough fluid to perform the test.

I was prepared for "baby's not ready" from the test results, but I wasn't expecting "we just can't complete the test." To add insult to injury, the doctor said to schedule the induction for next Monday. However, I know now that scheduling an induction is harder to get than hot concert tickets. Instead, we are scheduled to meet Lil' Junior next Wed. 9/23.

Unless, of course, he comes au naturale. I have a history of baby's debuting before their due dates and according to yesterday's exam, a baby in the next few days isn't completely out of the question.

Baby talk consumes most of the gossip around our house, but the stuff of regular life continues, too. Scott is, as usual, having a crazy week at work. Sarah had her first soccer match last Saturday - AND SCORED A GOAL. Jaley is dressing herself each morning in the most outrageous outfits ever. Jan is working tirelessly to run the house. As for me, I maintain my life of leisure in bed and on the couch.

Thanks to EVERYONE for the love and support. That is life in the Stroller Lane. Lots of Love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time for a Baby? Almost!!!

The time for Lil' Junior's arrival is almost upon us. In the last couple of weeks, the good checks at the doctor have continued. At a growth scan this week, Lil' Junior stunned us all (including the doctors) with how much he had grown - jumping from the 15th percentile to the 55th percentile. He gained almost 3 lbs in the past month and is weighing in at an estimated 6 lbs, 8 oz.

With that good report, we are scheduled to meet the little guy next week. I have an amniocentesis on Tuesday 9/15 and as long as that test gives the green light, I'm scheduled for induction on Wednesday 9/16.

It is all great news for me and the family. At his size now, I don't want baby to wait too much longer. I have no desire to birth a 10 pounder. Plus, my time on the couch is exhausting everyone including me. And as much as I like the my doctors, I would really prefer not to see them multiple times a week. So cross your fingers, that results from the amnio are good and baby arrives next Wednesday.

As for preparations for baby, we are as done as we can be. In the past nine months, I have focused on the "really important" things.

Shirley updated the mural in the playroom, so that baby wasn't left out. He won't be able to hold his head up when he comes home from the hospital, but you never know, he may be born knowing how to read. --- As for the name, it is time to share the name that has been picked out forever (since before we knew Sarah was a girl). Lil' Junior's name will be Michael Perry in honor of both Granddaddies - Mike Harrell and George "Perry" Pereira.

And I made sure to get that vanity license plate for the minivan. In my mind's eye having a personalized license plate was tops on my must-have-before-baby-arrives list. Wasn't it on yours? --- I liked all the choices (see 7/14 - Pimp My Ride) and thought long and hard about the Ga Tech option. In the end, I knew for certain that "Late for Carpool" was going to sum up the next decade or so of my life.

Don't worry, we got a couple of the normal things too - like an infant car seat and newborn diapers. I would love to say that we are "ready" for Baby's arrival, but we have done this twice before. There is no such thing as "ready" for a new baby. Instead, I will say we are eager to meet our newest family member. Bringing home a newborn is the most beautiful and overwhelming thing ever. I'm not planning to sleep through the night again - ever. But I also know that lack of sleep will be more than worth it.

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