Thursday, April 30, 2015

Next Month

I will endeavor to actively participate in NaBloPoMo for May. The theme is Photos, which is a little tricky when you try to make your blog anonymous, but luckily there are writing prompts as well. I generally only start in on those when I'm stuck though. Perhaps it will do me a bit of good to get a little more creative and add some photos more often.

It's crazy that starting tomorrow I can say, "I'm having a baby next month". Nine months goes by way too quickly. Here's to a new month and continuing on in blogging about this adventure that is life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dr's Appointments

It's odd scheduling so many Dr's appointments all at once. Starting next week, I will have NST's and check-ups every Monday at my regular OB's office, every Thursday I'll go upstate and have an NST, an ultrasound, and a quick check in with the MFM. This Tuesday, I'm meeting with the Neonatologist and the Pediatric ENT, but hopefully I only have to meet with them once before the baby is born. It's seriously all planned out until the second week of June.

My Google calendar is starting to look ridiculous. We're all still doing well over here and trying to stay off the Google searches. Google is a dangerous thing when you're dealing with a rather rare diagnosis, so pretty much everything that pops up is scary.  The majority of it though is just links to various children's hospitals offering very basic explanations, which we already have.

I'm trying to shift my focus to getting everything ready for the baby. (Sidebar - it feels weird that I don't have a nickname for him on the blog yet. I'm thinking Lumpy, but Hubbs says that's kind of mean. I'm going with Lumpy until I come up with something better) Still need to wash the pack-n-play and get all of his stuff set up in the closet. Need to buy the other double stroller, I think I've finally decided on the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight after a quick discussion with their AMAZING customer service. There were some other ones that almost swayed me, but realistically, these two are close enough together that there will be times they both need a seat to rest in. Lastly, we'll need to re-sell our old swing, walker, and single strollers.

Things are still going well at work and they have been amazingly supportive. I've told management what is going on and they have been very accommodating. You'd think a company would be pissed that one of their employees has to take a day off every week and come in an hour and a half late on another day every week. They spent about 5 months trying to woo me back from my other job, so they must like me.

Maybe it's naivety or perhaps just my optimism shining through, but I'm really starting to feel a little more comfortable with everything. Maybe it's just knowing that several doctors are involved and are actively making a plan and all we really have to do is show up and go along with it. I think we're all in good hands. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

53 Days

There is a maximum of 53 days until we meet our little man. Hopefully I'll get the C-Section scheduled at my next appointment, but there's still a set timeline.
It's weird, with Ducky, I just assumed there was so much more time to go. Sure I'd been on modified bed rest for months and out of work for a little longer than that, but I was still eagerly awaiting her arrival.

This time, I'm more nervous. I feel like nothing is ready. We have a box of Ducky's clothes that can pass as gender neutral ready to go, but I realized that we're going to have no idea what size he'll wear, or how long it will be before we get to take him home and he can wear clothes. Right now, at 30.5 weeks, his torso is measuring 40 weeks because the tumor is so big. I think it's safe to say the 2 preemie outfits I got for $1 each won't fit. I'm thinking I'll just bring one of each size NB, 0-3, and 3-6 and see what fits when the time comes. We haven't washed the pack-n-play from after we transitioned Ducky to her floor bed. We do have a new Momaroo, since our old swing broke, but who knows how long it will be before he'll get to use either of those.

When Ducky was born, I only got to hold her for a few minutes before they took her away to the NICU, she needed to be on a CPAP machine for a while, so Hubbs went with her. This time, with the C-Section, and his health troubles, we might not get to hold him for hours. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the lumpiness and know that he's not going to look like every other baby. You know that "typical baby" look they all have. At least I can be sure there won't be any accidental switcheroos at the hospital. I'm sure that once we meet with his team of Doctors, we'll have some answers, and of course I'll come up with more questions and worries.

I just want to keep his diagnosis as much of a secret as possible for a while. Yes, we are incredibly excited to have another baby. Yes, we're a little scared and uncertain what the future holds for him, but we want everyone to be just as excited and love him as much as we will. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Specialists on Specialists

We met with the Special Perinatologist today, she's the one who will be handling my C-Section. She is the leading expert in the state on deliveries with complications due to fetal abnormalities apparently. She didn't have many answers for us about our baby's future, he will get his own team of doctors. We have our referral and will meet with them next week. Sounds like it's an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor as well as a Neonatologist who will plan out his care after birth.

They're calling it a Lymphatic Malformation with Vascular Abnormalities. So it's a little bit of two different things. I guess once he's born they can get a better look at it and assess from there. It is likely due to the size and position of it that they'll want to treat it sooner rather than later, so he's probably looking at a significant NICU stay. Surgery is unlikely though, simply because it is too big to be removed. It essentially goes from his armpit down to his hip and covers the entire left side of his torso and wraps around to his back. It seems like they will try to shrink it and then go from there.

I have to travel an hour to the hospital I will deliver at every week for NST's and Ultrasounds to make sure that his heart is handling everything well. Apparently his heart is slightly enlarged, likely due to having to work a little harder to pump his blood around. I will also still have to see my regular OB once a week for NST's, just so I don't have to drive so far twice a week.

We're kind of just taking everything in stride and trying not to worry too much. I still feel him wiggle and kick and it will be comforting to see him twice a week and see how he's doing. With our first, getting pregnant was the hard part. With this little guy we're in for a bit of a struggle from here on out, but hopefully everything turns out ok.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Teams of Specialists

Yesterday at my regularly scheduled growth scan, the tech noticed an 8cm growth on our baby's back. I was set up to see the Perinatologist on Thurs, but got them to squeeze me in yesterday. There is definitely a growth, measuring a little over 8cm by 11cm. The Peri said it's likely a spongy tumor that is growing unusually quickly and that they are benign a majority of the time.

It's a little too unusual for the Peri, so he referred me to the large hospital upstate which has a huge Children's Hospital right next door. They're setting me up an appointment with the Pediatric Surgery and Plastic Surgery team, as well as some more specialists. We won't be able to meet with them until next week.

The basics I have for now are it's likely the baby will need surgery. I will likely have to deliver by C-Section, and it will be at a hospital about 40 minutes from where we live. Not sure yet if it will involve an even earlier delivery, since they were already talking about inducing at 37-38 weeks due to my BP issues.

Hubbs and I are doing well, as is Ducky. We are just trying to take things in stride and not get too stressed or worried about any of this until we know what's really going on. It's hard dealing with all of these unknowns, but hopefully a lot of our questions will be answered next week. Although if today was any indication, 10 questions getting answered leads to 20 more being asked.

I'd been having ultrasounds monthly for so long now, we just assumed everything was fine. All of our prenatal testing came back low-risk for everything, and nothing at all was on last month's scan. This huge growth just appeared out of nowhere. I have to say though, it is a lucky thing that my BP is misbehaving, otherwise we might not have caught this. We thought just dealing with 2 under 1.5 would be the biggest worry, but apparently we can handle just a little more on our plate.

We are hopeful that everything turns out well, any well wishes, prayers, or advice you want to throw our way would be extremely welcome.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Something is Wrong With Our Baby

I was in L&D yesterday for contractions and luckily those have mostly stopped. I had my regularly scheduled monthly growth scan today. I have BP issues, so they like to make sure this little guy is growing fine.

The tech asks me if anyone has ever mentioned a growth on his back. I say "No....". She goes to get the Dr., turns out he has an 8cm growth on his right side/back. I have to go to the perinatologist for an ultrasound but they couldn't fit me in till Thurs.

Apparently depending on what/where it is, little guy might need surgery in utero. I also might need a c-section now because the size and position of it might make vaginal delivery impossible.

I'm trying not to freak out, but I'm kind of freaking out. I've had ultrasounds monthly for the last 3 months and this growth came out of nowhere. The Dr said there's only a few things that could grow that quickly, the two most likely suspects are a tumor or a hemangioma. I'm really trying to put things out of my mind until Thursday when we can actually find out more, but it's hard.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sabatical and Under $300 Double Strollers

Apparently sometimes I take 3 months off from blogging, you know, it happens.

Ducky has been keeping us on our toes, we refinanced our house, and we have been preparing for the arrival of Baby #2. We still haven't come up with a good nickname for him yet.

After work, I manage to get in a good hour or so of actual "me time" after Ducky goes to bed, and I get just too tired to function. Lately I've been spending most of my time researching double strollers. It's become a problem, I'm legitimately dreaming about strollers now.

We bought the Joovy Scooter X2 as our "daily walk" stroller. When we actually start our daily walks, we'll really get to test it out. For now my blood pressure is misbehaving too much to risk going on an actual walk. We've got it all put together and are planning a review once we can use it. So far my experience with their customer service has been AMAZING! They have actual people that answer the phone without any sort of phone tree to reach them. You can even tweet them and they'll respond! Excellent customer service scores all around.

We're looking at Sit-n-Stand and double strollers. Ducky will be a maximum of 16 months old when this little guy is born. We've got 2 months to go and it is crunch time. I've narrowed it down to the Joovy Ergo Caboose, the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight, the Graco Ready-2-Grow, and the Contours Options Elite. I was interested in the Kinderwagon Hop as well, but I'm starting to doubt the longevity of that one. Ducky definitely shows signs of wanting to be independent and I think will really enjoy the option to sit/stand as soon as she is able (of course we'll wait until she's the recommended 2.5 years old though since I'm a sucker for safety). Obviously we have a bit of a budget restriction, so I'm thinking only strollers under $300.

I've watched youtube videos and other bloggers reviews. I'm lucky enough that there's a store nearby where I can test out 3 of the options, but one is being discontinued (the Ergo Caboose), and it is elusive. I might just have to spend an afternoon there with my infant bucket seat (a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect), Ducky, and Hubbs and just give them all a serious test drive around the store.

Does anyone have experience with any of these strollers, pros, cons, absolute deal breakers?