Dean Family Blog

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33 Times
I feel like I live in the bathroom so, out of curiosity, I decided to see how often I'm there in a 24 hour period. 33 times. Geez, I do live there! Gracie must think my bladder makes a great pillow because she just won't get off of it.

We start week 34 today, so we've officially hit the point where Gracie's lungs have a really good chance of being strong enough to work on their own. Philip and I ended up back at the hospital last night to have her monitored because I had noticed a change in her movements and wasn't sure if it was something to be worried about or not. Turns out she's still doing just fine and just decided not to kick me as hard as usual for a few days. I'm beginning to think she's doing these things on purpose to mess with my mind. One of the questions we had to answer at the hospital was whether or not we were planning to put her up for adoption. We told them no, but if she keeps acting like this after she's born we'll think about it!

We got her crib set up (Josiah wouldn't sleep the first night with it in there, but has thankfully calmed down about it) and I finally got a baby book, so I figure we're ready for this kid to! I'm tired of waiting, but it doesn't look like she'll be coming anytime very soon. We had another fetal fibronectin test last night because I was having several contractions and it came back negative again. I suppose that's good for her, but my patience is starting to wear thin. The constant wondering of when she'll come and the lack of sleep are really getting annoying. I realize a newborn isn't going to help the sleep thing, but at least we'll be that much closer to getting back to normal. I can't remember the last time I had more than about 2 nights in a row when I wasn't up for several hours in the middle of the night, besides all the bathroom trips. It does give me time to work on projects and write blogs, but it's really hard to keep up with Josiah when I'm always this tired.

Speaking of Josiah, he's continuing his verbal explosion and won't shut up! His mouth moves non-stop from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. I thought little boys were supposed to develop verbal skills slower than this. He's a hoot to listen to, but I can't figure out why his lips don't get tired. By the time Philip gets home at night I need a break from it, so he gets to take the conversation over for a couple hours.

Ok, guess I should actually get something done since I'm up.


"Baby, TB"
We had our Gracie checkup yesterday afternoon and Josiah is getting so used to them that he gets excited that he gets to see the baby on the "TB" (the ultrasound is shown on a huge flat screen TV). When we had to wait to be checked in he got impatient and started throwing a mini fit because he wasn't seeing the "baby, TB." People were laughing a little and one lady tried to say hi to him and ask him about his baby and he told her to "stop it!" That was embarrassing. We're now working on saying 'stop please.'

According to all the measurements they can take, Gracie is weighing in at about 4 pounds 15 ounces, which is about a week ahead of her actual age and is great. She's active and her heartbeat is good. This was good to hear because my cervix has thinned more and the amniotic fluid is a little low. I've also lost a little weight. But since Gracie is doing fine and we had the test earlier this week showing we're not likely to deliver right now I'm just supposed to keep resting and increase my water intake. At any rate, we hit week 34 next Tuesday and that was the big goal all along. We'll obviously try to keep her in there for longer, but she should do just fine by that point.

We are asking for prayers about the doctor situation. Since my doc left we knew there was a larger chance we'd have to use the doc that delivered Josiah, which is not what we want. However, there are only 2 doctors in the practice right now and our new doc admitted yesterday that it might be hard for him to take care of us if the other doc was on call, especially if Gracie comes in the middle of the night. Has any baby ever actually been born at a reasonable hour?

As much of a rollercoaster as these last weeks have been it's encouraging to know that in about 6 weeks this should all be over and we'll get to focus on stuff like poopy diapers and spit up. We're trying to keep that perspective and remember to trust that God is in control of all of this.

Just for the joy of watching, here are a few more videos of Josiah made this month. Here he is trying to fill his Daddy's shoes. This is that wonderful toy he received from Nanny and Papa earlier this week... THE SCHOOL BUS!! Enjoy!


It Wasn't Really a Kodak Moment
Ok, this is a lot of posts this week, but we had a first today that deserves to make it up here. It's finally warming up here and I've realized I have no shorts for Josiah yet so he's been running around the house in a shirt and his diaper, which is how he went down for his nap today. I knew he didn't sleep long, but he sounded pretty happy and I needed to get some of my 'feet-above-your-heart' rest time done so I ignored him. Then I realized that instead of actually yelling for me like he usually does when he wakes up he was just calling for me very calmly. Sounds like a great change, but it made the mom alarm go off in me and I went to check it out. He was very happily standing naked in his crib and as I realized what was going on he said, 'Mama, diaper, off.' Thankfully he was dry and clean so I just reclothed him and went to get snack. It wasn't until about a half hour later that the mom alarm went off again...a little too late. I was calling to see if we could set up a library playdate for him and realized he was being too quiet. As I rounded the corner into the living room I saw brown footprints, a discarded (very full) diaper and Josiah's somewhat astonished face. He came running toward me to tell me there was a 'big mess' and proceeded to make more brown footprints. I think I might have hung up on my friend and just stared at him, not really sure what to do. I thought about yelling and crying, but that seemed a little stupid and I've heard many times from other moms that you should just go get the camera and hope that this will be funny some day. Thankfully that's the route I went so I had a slightly different way to answer the 'so, how was your day?' question when Philip got home today. After cleaning the carpet, sofa, kitchen floor, Josiah and my foot (with Josiah 'helping' me by pointing out every 5 seconds that there was a 'big mess') I have to admit it was a little funny. Guess we either need to get some shorts or duct tape those diapers on (don't laugh, I know people who do this).

Video of this ordeal is here!

PS I got his hair cut today...after bribing him with a cookie and a bubble bath.


The Haircut Conspiracy
We've been trying for almost a week now to give Josiah a haircut at night and something has come up every time (usually something to do with Gracie). The kid is starting to look like a mop. We were so sure tonight was the night...and then we ended up at the hospital for tests on Gracie. We're beginning to think she and Josiah have some kind of conspiracy going on so he can avoid the much-hated haircut.

I had called my doc this morning just to make sure this back pain wasn't something I should be concerned about. After some miscommunication I found out they had called someone (not me) and told them to go to the hospital and get checked out. I bet that was a confusing message for whoever got it. At any rate, we went in late this afternoon for another fetal monitoring session and some tests. Gracie is doing just fine and I'm not having many contractions. They checked for any kind of infection and did a swab for fetal fibronectin, which tells them with about 99% reliability whether or not we're likely to deliver in the next 2 weeks. It came back negative so we can breath a little easier knowing that my body is not gearing up to do anything at this point. Philip is predicting that we'll go through all this and they'll end up having to induce me in the end...and he says I'm the pessimistic one.

On a random note, Josiah asked for his potty out of the blue today so we got it back out. He insisted we both sit on our respective potties and try to go. He didn't actually go, but in the process of trying to teach him how to not spray across the room he rediscovered himself. He got very excited that he had a 'button' (don't know why he's calling it that) and then wanted to know if I had a button. I assured him I didn't, but he didn't look totally convinced. I didn't think we'd have to do a detailed 'boys and girls' speech for quite a while. Guess I should start thinking about how we'll broach it (sounds like a job for Daddy).
PS While I was being monitored today Josiah and Philip found the kids section of the L&D floor. They apparently had fun watching fish and playing with clown noses.


Gray Hairs
Gracie seems intent on giving us gray hairs before she's even born (she hasn't succeed with me, but Philip is another story!). We finished up the steroid shots this week and I ended up with back pain Friday. I figured it was just from the shots, but when I called the hospital to check they said that wasn't a side effect. Hmmm. I had to lay down and count back pains and drink a ton of water and call back with the results, which thankfully weren't labor. The pains are still there, but they don't seem to be doing anything other than annoying me so I guess we'll just add this to Gracie's list of ways-to-freak-out-Mama. While I was waiting to see what was going to happen I started getting the suitcases packed and mentally preparing myself to have her early. I'm having a harder time with the mental part of this pregnancy than the physical part. I have no control over what my body does or what Gracie will do and I have no way to know when to expect stuff to start so I don't know how much to read into every weird ache and pain. I thought I would feel more like a veteran at this pregnancy thing, but this one is so different that it feels like the first time all over again.

Josiah still has no clue what's going on, but we've been talking about babies so much that he's now fascinated with the difference between 'big' and 'baby.' Anything little is a baby and has to be pointed out. He is, however, very proud of the fact that he's a big boy and can be like Daddy (which comes in handy). He hates brushing his teeth, cutting his nails or getting his hair cut, but because Daddy does all those things they're a little more bearable. He even agreed to wear dress shoes to church this morning, despite the fact that they're 'heaby' (heavy) because they looked like Daddy's.

Well, time to go lay down.


Flash of Insight
I read the Daily Bread with breakfast each morning and this morning I happened to notice the last verse in Hebrews...Grace be with you. I realize Paul did not have baby Gracie in mind when he wrote this, but I couldn't help thinking that I should probably remember this verse when she ends up acting like her brother was at that moment. He was going between insisting I sing every verse of the Wheels on the Bus, crying about his toast (and in the next breath saying, 'good toast') and attempting to squish oatmeal out of his mouth. True, I should remember God's grace is with us in all these moments, but I thought a much better use of that verse would be to tape it on to my child and drop her off at a friend's house. After all, God said Grace be with YOU, not me (at least for a few hours).

Hangin' on for another week
Philip and I spent the morning with the doctor and going to the hospital for some shots. Gracie is still doing fine...heartbeat sounds good, she's moving a bunch, responding like she should, etc. I haven't progressed any farther so the plan for right now is to stay with the 2-hour bed rest a day and continue taking it easy. We pushed the doctor to tell us if he had any idea what we could be preparing for (like, will we deliver today or in 8 weeks?), but he just couldn't say. He did highly recommend getting a set of steroid shots that will help Gracie's lungs develop quickly, just in case she comes early. So we headed over to the hospital expecting a quick shot in the arm and were a little surprised that I had to be checked in, got to wear one of those lovely hospital gowns and was all hooked up to multiple belly monitors so we could see how Gracie was doing. I was prepared for a very painful shot (they apparently usually are) and was pleasantly surprised with something that hurt less than some blood work I've had done. I feel like I have a big bruise on my hiney, but I can handle that. Either the litocain in the shot was great or my pain tolerance has gone up. Either way I'm glad it wasn't as bad as I had heard. I have to go back tomorrow morning for the last shot and then 48-72 hours after that Gracie should have gotten the full effect of the shots and have a little extra protection.

Unfortunately we also learned that my doctor has left the practice...not great timing for us! We really like one of the other docs and really don't like the last one (who delivered Josiah). We brought up this concern with our new doc (Dr. Pickering) and he said he would make every effort to be the one who delivered for us, even if he wasn't the one on call. I suppose under the circumstances that's the best we can ask for and we're glad he's being understanding and willing to work with us.

All in all it was a good report and I'm very relieved. I had a bad feeling about what we would hear today and I'm grateful to be proved wrong. We'll be seeing the doc weekly from now on so until next Thursday we're just supposed to keep doing what we've been doing. Thank you for all your prayers...God is good and I could feel his presence with us this morning.


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