Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No need for catching up anymore!

Well wouldn’t you know it!  Sometimes things just have a way of taking care of themselves.  We had a bunch of little tales that we wanted to share with everyone.  Things like Bryon being quarantined in the camper with acute bronchitis.  Or Darlene’s multiple doctor appointments (2 ultra sounds, a 2nd non-stress test, the pulmonologist, the physical therapist).  Surely these tales from the last 5 days will make in here eventually.

But all of the little stories are currently completely eclipsed by the current news of the day…


The short story is, Darlene had an ultrasound yesterday and the fluid measured less than 5cm.  The OB decided that “now is the time”.  She actually came into the room with a great big grin on her face singing “happy birthday”!  So we left the OB office and walked straight over to the hospital.  Darlene checked in an we spent the night here last night.

This morning at 10:30 (we were the third c-section this morning!), the nurse came in and we made the short trek down the hall.  By 10:50, the spinal was in and the doctor was ready to go.  At 11:06 Mike was out on the scale getting weighed!  6 lbs 12 oz and 18 inches long!


What in the world is going on?  This is what I expected!  I was so nice and warm

Some short clean-up, and they wheeled us back to the room.  Mike has already had a bath (a sponge bath from a nurse!) and has been fed 4 times!  And the pee/poop machine is starting to kick in to full production.  It’s all been a fabulous experience – a real whirlwind 10 hours.


Mom and Mike are doing GREAT!

We really do hope that we get a chance to see each of you VERY soon.  We should be home in a couple of days – give us a call or stop by the house!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The “Non Stress” test…

I always wonder about the medical profession.  At first glance, it seems like they may possibly make things up to support a self-fulfilling prophecy.  At second glance, it seems like there sanity may actually need to be called into question.  But then at the third glance, it seems like they may actually have it right.

This all began with our “non stress” test at the OB office this past Monday.  Hmmm.  Just the name makes me a little suspicious.  So my “first glance” began with a question – what do you do for a non stress test?  The answer was – nothing!  You do absolutely nothing.  Now what just a minute.  This seems like a top-notch self-fulfilling procedure to me.  Maybe the good Doctor needs a little extra bacon this month and thinks she can test how good we are at doing nothing!  I’m far from convinced…

But the Doc has never led us astray in the past.  In fact, it’s been just the opposite.  So my “second glance” began with another question – who exactly needs this non stress test?  The answer?  People with diabetes (nope not in that category – the two glycol test more than proved that!), high blood pressure (115 over 60 certainly doesn’t qualify), gestation hypertension (again – 115 over 60 is out of the question), baby appears small (nope – at the last visit he was soundly in the “normal” category).  It was right about here when I began to question the doctor’s sanity.  She has obviously gone straight to the loony bin! 

But before I could raise any objections the doc (who certainly appeared sane) said, “…but the symptom I’m most worried about is low amniotic fluid”.  Uh oh – here’s the “third glance”.  Suddenly this isn’t about the Doc needing some extra coin and I had no further doubts about her sanity!  She tells us that the ultrasound was showing the amniotic fluid level to be “below normal” which in itself was absolutely no cause for concern but that it did require some additional monitoring.  So the ultimate goal of the non stress test was to evaluate baby Mike’s heartbeat and movements for an extended period of time just to make sure he is still happy in is little home.

So Monday was the non stress test.  Hooked up the monitors, kicked up the feet, click a little button every time Mike kicks – this is way better than work!  And the results were very easy to interpret.  Mike was so happy with his current living conditions that he was dancing a jig and putting on a show for all of the nurses!  Needless to say – there is no cause for concern…

First things first

A lot has happened over the past week! And I'm sure that over the next couple of days, most of it will find it's way here. But er certainly need to put first things first...

I've come to find out that there were several people following the countdown. However, once the OB scheduled the c-section 5 days before the due date, that threw the whole count off. AND - it raised a VERY important question that I hadn't considered until it was brought to my attention (thanks dad!). "What are you going to do with the leftover bottles of beer?"

Well - I've been doing some checking and it seems that the answer is more complex than it first seems. It turns out that the Federal Government Family Oversite Committee imposes an early baby withdrawal tax that requires we put back a minimum of 20 bottles of beer. And the IRS (where would we be without them...) imposes an early withdrawal tax of 10 bottles and a penalty tax of 5 bottles and then taxes the penalty tax another 2 bottles (but none of that is "double taxation"). The State of Tennessee has some of the craziest liquor laws I've ever seen and they certainly like to tax their beer. Upon finding out that the Feds were taxing / penalizing us 37 bottles they informed us that the State ABC Board would impose another 13 bottle tax. The good news is that the 13 bottles would take care of all state, county, and local taxes and fees.

So it looks like we are going to have to add 50 bottles back to the fridge for having 5 bottles leftover.

I talked to our local distributor (who is WAY nicer than the tax boys) and he quoted me a price for the 50 bottles of beer. Then he politely inquired as to why I needed the extra 50 bottles (knowing that Mike wouldn't be born 50 days late!). I told him of my circumstance and we agreed that at some point in time the "boys in power" lost site of "for the people - by the people". He agreed to cut me a deal - rather than the 50 bottles of beer, he would give me a pony keg and "massage the paperwork" to make it all work out.

So the end result is that we now have a pony keg (80 bottles of beer!). The unfortunate part is that we might have to make that quick trip to the hospital at any point in time! Certainly not a good time tap the keg. So here's the plan...

Mike will be here on the 1st (maybe earlier! more to come in another post...). After he's here (you will all receive official notice of the arrivial!) everybody needs to migrate over to our house at some point in time to help drain this keg. We can make toasts to Thanksgiving, toasts to Christmas, toasts to babies, toasts to family and friends. The big thing is - this keg absolutely needs to be empty by December 31st. Because you don't want to know what the taxes and penalties will be for waiting until the first of the year...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another OB visit!

Another day – another trip to the doctor! 

Not that there is ever an insignificant visit to a doctor – especially when a pregnancy is involved.  But this visit carried a little extra importance.  Today we had an ultrasound to determine if Mike was still breech.  If he was, then we would have a “much more definitive” due date since we would be scheduling a c-section.  If he had flipped head down then it would be in Mother Nature’s hands…

It was pretty exciting being back in the ultrasound room.  We hadn’t seen any pictures of Mike since the Sept 22nd.  He has certainly grown quite a bit since then!  In some ways, it was the same as the other ultrasounds.  They measured his head circumference, measured the size of his belly, and measured the length of his femur.  With that, they determined that he is currently weighing in at 5 pounds 12 ounces.  They measured is heartbeat (and you have no problem seeing it beating on the monitor!) and it was a strong 150 beats per minute.  They listened to the blood flow through the umbilical cord – and they can do this cool red/blue overlay where you can actually see the blood going back and forth through the cord.

And then there were some new things.  They got some good views of his face.  We could watch him open his mouth and watch his chest rise and fall while he was practicing his breathing.  And everything was so much BIGGER!  Even with the screen zoomed out as far as it would go, his face barely fit!  And a cute little face it was.  Here’s a picture of him looking straight into the ultrasound wand with his hands resting on his cheek.


Ultrasound 11-12-09-1

So what’s the verdict?  Breech or not?  Is December 6th still “D-Day”?  Is Mom Nature in control or are the doctors going to take over?

After the ultrasound, we went into the regular patient room and met with the doctor.  She was pleased with how things are progressing but told Darlene that she needed to start taking it easier at work.  So she immediately decided to give up all of the 3 hour labs and just teach her lectures.  Everything else was fine.  Iron was good.  Strep-B was negative.  BP was staying remarkably low.  Blood sugar is good.  All systems go!  Just a little extra rest – because that’s what you are supposed to do!  And the OB visits have officially been stepped up to two days a week.

But the real news is…

Mike is still head up!  And at nearly 37 weeks, the chances of him flipping for a “natural” birth are essentially nil.  That means that it’s officially a “scheduled delivery” and the big day will be on December 1st at 8am!!!  It’s officially scheduled at the hospital and all of the pre-admission paperwork is complete.  That makes it a mere 19 days away…

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Playing with the dogs…

Fall has arrived! The leaves are just past their prime. The weather is cool and sunny and the gentle breeze blowing through the trees brings the leaves down in a rainbow of colors.

The dogs love it. This time of year, it’s all we can do to get either of them to come inside. They spend the whole day outside, playing, wrestling, barking, napping. They absolutely love it – and we absolutely love enjoying it with them!

This morning, we snapped a couple of pictures of them playing. It’s really funny to see foxy in the 12 inch deep leaves! She’ll run and bark and bark and run and then jump head first into a pile of leaves. She all but disappears, and she has an uncanny knack for being perfectly still and quiet so that you can’t see her. It certainly is the dog version of “hide and seek”.

DSC_0013 (2) C’mon sis! Let’s go play!

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You hide – I’ll seek…

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Betcha can’t see me!

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Where did she go?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scared to death! (A very special thank you)

Some know - but most don't. Bryon was "invited" to some last minuted training in Nashville this week. While it was certainly not the most opportune time to be 170 miles from home ("your wife is HOW many weeks pregnant?!?!?!?!?), the only other option was to take the training at the first of the year. All things being equal, Bryon and Darlene both decided that it was better to be in Nashville while Mike was "safely tucked away" rather than traveling within the first couple of months after Mike has been unleashed upon the world. After all, the pregnancy has gone marvelously well with the exception of some issues with brushing teeth.

So Bryon packs his bags and heads to Nashvegas. Darlene's fall allergies had finally worked their way into her chest (like the usually do) and had called the doctor to see if she could get her usual prednisone prescription to clear it up before it became pneumonia. Bryon left strict orders to call immediately after the doctors visit so he would know everything was alright.

Darlene called later that afternoon and started the conversation with "you'll never believe this". The doctor was admitting her to the hospital!!! Right away - do not pass go - do not collect $200. WHAT?!?!?!!!? You've got to be KIDDING!!!!!!

You can't put into words the kind of fear stricken panic that passed through Bryon's very soul. He does a pretty good job showing the "macho man" side of the pregnancy (happy, excited, can't wait for "the boy" to get here) and hiding the not so "macho" side (nervous, scared, anxious, "what do you mean 'they don't come with instructions' "). At that very moment - 170 miles might as well have been a million.

So, what in the world had happened to Darlene? Her blood oxygen saturation (while just barely out of the "normal" range) failed to rise after a breathing treatment. Worried about low O2 levels for Mike, they decided to play it safe. To make a long story short - the OB and the Pulmonologist both agreed that it was overkill. Mike was better than fine. And a steroid shot, some Prednisone, and an antibiotic (along with some rest) and Darlene would be better than fine too! But she still got to spend the night at the hospital (for the first time EVER). And in the Labor and Delivery wing on top of it! After all, that's where all of the baby monitoring gadgets are!

The next day, she was back home and doing better. And even though she was barely in the hospital 24 hours - there are still a couple of extremely selfless people who helped out. So a big thank you to our neighbor (Todd) for taking care of the dogs - they were our first "babies" after all and we are sure they enjoyed the slumber party at your house! And also Todd's wife Maureen. Being able to ask your neighbor to break into your house and rescue your dogs is wonderful enough. When they break into your house so that they can bring clean underwear to the hospital (and then sit and visit for a couple of hours) - that is beyond words. So a big THANK YOU to Todd and Maureen!!!

And we can't forget Jim (the nearly world famous "Quad Dad"). You can only imagine what his evening is like when he gets home from work. And even with all of that, he fixed some chicken noodle soup and drove it over to the house so Darlene wouldn't have to cook. Oh - did I forget to mention that he worked to 4am doing some call testing? Talk about selfless...

And there are other countless people too - Pat Zing for find subs for Darlene's classes (and the subs themselves), the countless ears that have been bent listening to this story and the shoulders that have been leaned upon, the kind words, the "tips and tricks", the support, the relief (not just over the last two days, but over the last 8 months). We are not sure what we have done to be blessed with such wonderful friends, family, and co-workers. But believe us when we say that you are, each and every one, appreciated beyond words!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or treat!

All Hallows Eve has come and gone.  Once again, the little ghosts and goblins that plague so many places were few and far between at our house. 

I remember the first year at this house (almost 13 years ago now!).  Not knowing what to expect, we bought a ton of candy thinking that several goblins from the many neighboring sub divisions would swing by our door.  That first year, we had 3 trick-or-treaters.  And they all came as one group!  Not to say that we are surprised.  If I was 7 and was standing at the bottom of our street looking up that hill, I would probably skip it too.

This year was much the same.  “Ferocious Dragon” and “Maniac Monkey”, also known as Michael and Ben from a couple of houses down, paid us a visit.   They rang the doorbell and the dogs started going crazy.  We thought the dogs might scare the kids.  However…

Ferocious Dragon stepped up to the door.  Unfazed by the growling and barking creatures that had sprung from the depths of the house, lunging and jumping, guarding the candy with their very lives.  This was going to be harder than anticipated.  Ferocious Dragon sprang forward in a most vicious dragon pose, arms in the air, head tilted back, sharp teeth gleaming in the moonlight.  Sucking in air like never before, he tilted back his head and let out a deafening roar.  It was working!!!  The barking creatures cowered back as the roar continued, shaking the very ground on which they were standing.  Trembling in obvious intimidation to Ferocious Dragon’s superiority, they fled back in to the depths of the haunted dungeon.  Ferocious Dragon peered carefully through the entry way.  Unbelievably, the Pregnant Princess was right there, completely unharmed with the Charming Prince right at her side!  Free at last!  Pregnant Princess was so grateful that she showered Ferocious Dragon with some of the finest confections in the land.

Or at least that’s how the story goes…


Ferocious Dragon lets out a deafening roar!


Maniac Monkey with his dad!