30 going on 31…weeks

not my age. although, i am recently (ish) 30. i can’t believe it’s November. i can’t believe i am about to be 31 weeks pregnant. i can’t believe we are about to have another baby SO soon. between the holidays and many tasks left to get done around the house, we are going to blink and baby will be here.

in the last week or so, not a whole lot has happened pregnancy wise. i had two appointments, one with my regular OB and one with my perinatologist. i learned a lot of things from these two appointments – basically for the duration of my pregnancy, i will live at the doctor’s office. ugh.

there is a much greater risk of stillbirths with babies that have chromosomal abnormalities and they want to make sure they catch any signs of distress ASAP. so starting at 34 weeks, i will go to the OB once a week for non-stress tests and the perinatologist once a week for biophysical profiles. that’s two appointments a week until i deliver. at any point in time, they could be telling me i need to go in and have this baby. looks like i have to add packing my hospital bag to my list of to-dos in the coming weeks!

other things related to little bug and momming life – our part-time nanny started last week and it has been life changing. the first day went great! i was able to focus on things i needed to do around the house, get myself dressed without having to chase a toddler around while brushing my teeth and even got some work done (gasp!). the second day, Landon realized i wasn’t home and was overly tired which made for a tearful morning. i am hoping this phase will pass as he gets to know her more and by the time little bug is here, he’ll be excited to play with Ms. Mallory. we also picked a pediatrician and it feels great to have that sorted out. i hope my gut is right with this choice and we come to love him as the medical professional protecting our children.

life updates – our first halloween in the new house was a semi-success. i say “semi” because Landon was in a sour mood and was not at all interested in going house to house (i know he’s still young). instead, he just wanted to wander the street and stare at all the big kids in costumes. we also ran out of candy by 7:30 PM, soooooooooo now we know! our neighborhood closes off the street in front of our house so kids can roam safely. it turns into quite the crowd from neighboring streets and two costco size bags of candy just wasn’t going to cut it.

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life lessons i have learned this week – i am not alone in my thoughts and feelings. the support from each of you has been incredible and i find comfort in knowing that we are going through a lot of this together. whether related to a baby/child or something totally different, there is a common thread between the struggles. i also learned that while your child is getting their molars, ALWAYS give Motrin at night even when you think they are doing better. the TWO nights i didn’t give L his Motrin, resulted in a 4 AM wake-up (the night before Halloween, so probably why he was cranky) and 3 AM wake-up just a couple nights ago. i am exhausted and definitely coming down with something from the lack of sleep. my goal, more Motrin and take naps πŸ™‚

PS my friends from Cali are coming to visit this weekend to go to their first ever SEC football game. i couldn’t be more excited to visit with them, but also get back up to Athens to cheer on my Bulldogs!

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a new season

this week has been another crazy week here at the irr home. we are entering a new season in many ways – a new weather season, a new life season, a new professional season. and all the new seasons are colliding!

at home, we are in a new season of life and homeownership. it’s been a busy week of more appointments and phone calls – calling repairmen, reporting claims for property damage (very minor stuff), buying all the equipment and essentials, and trying to completely unpack a single room (still working on this). we love our home, but man, it’s tough to keep up with it all while simultaneously juggling a toddler and a career that takes a very important member of our team away from us for the majority of the week. oh, did i mention we also have squirrels in our attic? flying squirrels to be exact. and one that managed to find its way into our wall just in time to scare me while Mike was away. hello homeownership and goodbye money! and a big OH, we also have an owl in our backyard. pretty cool, unless you have seen the Michael Peterson Dateline….i’ll just leave it at that…

a new NBA season has officially begun and i am not ready. i am never really ready for the season to begin, but this year really feels like it popped up on us fast. i don’t feel like we really had a summer off (probably because we have been a little busy) and that is draining on us all. it’s also a very strange feeling to be entering a season as the newbies. it was always great to see familiar faces and our NBA family after a summer apart, but now we are those people entering a new team and not really feeling connected at the current moment. i know time will change all of this, but with so many other aspects of life being in transition, it’s tough feeling when we will be spending so much of our time together and away due to the team. i will say i am hopeful! i am grateful to have met a couple incredible women who i know will help ease this transition and also grateful for an organization that really puts a large emphasis on family and support.

a new season of life literally began this week for Mike. we celebrated our favorite guy’s birthday and were lucky to be able to do so with both of our families. in this next year for him, life is really changing and we are embracing the opportunity to get another year together to see what is in store. we checked in with little bug at the perinatologist this week and all is looking great! he is measuring right on target and, other than his heart defect, looking perfectly healthy. thank God. i am now being spaced out 5 weeks between visits unless something changes.

i have been asked several times how i am feeling. physically i am feeling pretty good. i am exhausted, but to be expected. otherwise, pregnancy symptoms are minimal and all is well physically. mentally, i am feeling a bit unsettled. i am feeling unprepared for a second child, any child, let alone a baby with special needs. i am feeling guilty that i have not focused as much on this pregnancy as i did with Landon. i keep putting things off because i have “time” with the pregnancy and these other life matters have been more pressing. it’s officially time for me to stop procrastinating and get focused.

on deck for me this week – call around for interview appointments with pediatricians, focus on the name search (we have one we love, but i want to be 100% certain), look into Gigi’s playhouse in Atlanta, start figuring out what we need for baby #2. i should also start thinking about a design for his nursery… but that might be another week or two before i can really focus on that.

things i am thankful for this week: a healthy toddler, a healthy husband, a healthy baby boy growing inside me. my family, who continuously help us through this transition. Mike’s family who gave me a much needed break this week and helped us with more house items. a roof over our head, even if it’s filled with squirrels. a loving home. and a God who continues to provide for us.

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official birthday celebration pic before L’s shirt was stained at dinner…

the waiting weeks 3.0: life changes

i’m still working hard to get you guys caught up to the present – 23 weeks. WHAT?! is this normal second pregnancy problems? time is FLYING and i haven’t taken a single bump picture… but first, back to weeks 18-20 aka the waiting weeks 3.0

anyone else a Thomas Rhett fan? the song Life Changes seemed to pretty much be my anthem then (and still now). never in my wildest dreams did i think our lives would be where they were/are.

Ain’t it funny how life changes
You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes
You can’t stop it, just hop on the train and
You never know what’s gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear God laughing
Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no

weeks 18 and 19 we found ourselves in a whirlwind of life, attempting to settle in. all of a sudden, we were under contract on a home and doing the necessary inspections to make sure we were 100% certain this was it for us. we were busy getting Georgia licenses and tags, finding new doctors for Landon and i (which is more challenging than it seems), and setting up those necessary appointments. we did get to throw in a quick weekend trip to Hilton Head, which helped recharge our batteries a bit. needless to say, waiting the 10-14 days for the amnio results was not that difficult.

we had already accepted the results from my NIPT prior, so we were really just waiting for a confirmation, a true diagnosis doctors would recognize. i had my first appointment with my new OB before the results came in. she was wonderful and caring. and for the first time this pregnancy, i did not feel like i was being treated any different than a mother expecting aΒ typical baby. i don’t know why, but i cried at that appointment. it was probably a combination of life stress, emotions running high with this little bug, and just being hormonal. i promised her i would not cry at my next appointment… whoops!

the outcome of that appointment was exactly as i expected. i needed a referral to a new perinatologist where i would get my 20 week anatomy scan done to check on the health of little bug and continue to monitor the “abnormalities” found at previous scans.

a week later, we were in the perinatologists office for the ultrasound and armed with our amnio results. we are having a SupIRR baby. little bug is confirmed T21 and Klinefelters. i’m not sure if you have been keeping count, but make that a whopping 48 chromosomes to your typical 46. boom. he’s superhuman πŸ˜‰ like i had mentioned, it is extremely rare to have both syndromes, but both can peacefully co-exist. the Klinefelters markers will most likely be overshadowed by the Downs and that is perfectly okay.

upside of the amnio results, now we had a diagnosis and doctors would stop looking at our baby with the typical lens and instead look at him in the spectrum of health related to these syndromes.

the 20 week ultrasound was probably the first time we went to the doctor and did not get any more “bad” news. little bug actually made some good progress! his growth was great! the signs of the brain abnormality seemed to go away (which was always a possibility) and the echogenic bowel was no longer present. PRAISE GOD! little bugs heart was still showing a defect, but this perinatologist felt more optimistic about it than our last. we were referred to a pediatric cardiologist for a fetal echo which would be done at 22 weeks (more on that later). all in all a good appointment!

Landon had his 15 month appointment (a little late), but 3 shots later, we were all caught up on life things at the moment.

i feel like i need a nap just from reliving this moment in time! looking forward to getting you caught up to the present. we’re probably one post away from that!

 

 

 

 

 

the waiting weeks

over the next few posts, i will attempt to do my best to get you caught up to the current (almost 22 weeks) stage in my pregnancy. we left off at 14 weeks, so here we go with the following weeks. i call them the waiting weeks.

welcome to the waiting weeks. weeks 14-16 of my pregnancy. they were weeks spent literally in waiting. waiting for more answers to be confirmed by an amniocentesis that could not be performed until week 16 at the earliest.

like i mentioned in the last post, we decided to go through with the amnio to confirm the exact genetic make-up of our baby boy. and again, like i mentioned, the blood test is very accurate in detecting Down syndrome, but not terribly accurate in the sex chromosome detection. given the results of the blood work, we just wanted to be absolutely certain. we were NOT denying that our baby had Down syndrome, but very skeptical that he also had Klinefelters since it’s extremely rare to have both.

back to the waiting weeks. these weeks were interesting. we were both still grieving, but now had to turn our focus (as much as possible) on the immediate need to move cross country.

we had approximately three weeks left on our lease and logistically needed to get things moving as quickly as possible. the tough part, waiting to find out from our moving company when the movers would be able to load our house. fortunately, our move included the packing service, so we were only responsible for packing what we needed for potentially (up to) 90 days. also fortunately, we were planning to move in temporarily with my parents while we house hunted (more on our house hunt later! i promised this blog would be snippets of our life and not only about DS 24/7). these last two blessings made things a little less stressful, but don’t forget we still have our 15 month old to worry about with all the adjustments ahead. move-wise, things were moving (haha) along slowly, but surely. life-wise. that was a different story.

life-wise, we started sharing with our friends that we were moving and it was a mix of emotions. i was not sure how much more i could handle on the emotion front. we made the most incredible friends in Cali. some of the best of our lives. they were more than friends to us. truly, they were family. when you are cross-country from your families and living in a world that revolves around basketball, where holidays really don’t exist, you learn to rely on one another. us women bonded together while our men were on the road or working, literally, seven days a week for 9 months of the year. we became sister-wives of sorts – cooking dinner for each other, holding babies for each other so someone could shower or take the trash out, drinking and laughing together through the long road trips, and checking in on one another when the earthquakes struck (TWICE WHILE HOME ALONE!!!!!). these goodbyes were tough and they barely had enough time to sink in. i cried pretty much the entire flight to Atlanta…and this is honestly not an exaggeration. to our Cali family, i left a piece of my heart there with each of you ❀

down syndrome-wise, i was making connections. i reached out to two “friends of friends” who had walked this path in super awkward texts and emails. i will forever be grateful to both women for being so kind, open, welcoming, non-judgemental and encouraging. you helped me (and continue to) through my mess of emotions and lengthy list of questions. thank you for your patience and thank you for opening my eyes to this beautiful community. we may not have met in person, but i felt less alone in just a few conversations and emails. one of the best pieces of advice i was given at this time was to continue to connect with women and families in our situation.

i was then introduced to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network and their private Facebook group for women expecting babies with DS. this support group has been one of the biggest helps in this journey. it’s a safe place for all the questions, worry, ugly feelings, doubt, fears, etc. each of our journeys are different, but one in the same and everyone in that group only wants to help and encourage. it’s the opposite of everything bad you read about the internet and i love it. if you are going through the same journey and have not connected with these women on Facebook, i encourage you to click the link here or on my homepage and get connected. i promise it is worth it. i have spent a lot of my waiting weeks reading the posts in this group and connecting with these women who are all in the same boat. i learned, for me, connecting with the DS community started to get me hopeful and feel excited again about this pregnancy and baby. this was the first sign of my mental/emotional health gaining some strength again.

we finished up the waiting weeks with all our necessities packed away in 6 suitcases awaiting our flight to Atlanta. with only a few days left, we headed in to our appointment with the perinatologist at exactly 16 weeks + 1 day hoping to see a healthy baby and proceed with the amnio.

stay tuned for an update from that appointment and the waiting weeks 2.0 (hint hint)

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photo credit: someplace wild (aka our amazing photographer and 2017 maternity shoot location)