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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the bug.

i am currently writing this post from the couch, eating ice cream, watching real housewives of dallas and resting my back. no judgements please. man, being pregnant the second time around while trying to wrangle an almost 30 lb, 17 month old is physically draining. this time around, my back is not loving me, so here i am trying to take a break while i have a house with endless to-dos staring me in the face.

here’s an update on where we are at this week. nothing new to report medically as it relates to little bug. i am officially 27 weeks. woah. however, little bug and i got hit with a big whammy of a stomach bug.

we enjoyed a wonderful visit with Mike’s parents and just finished afternoon at a tip-off event for the new season, when WHAM!, i was hit with a stomach bug.

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pre stomach bug happiness

at first, i thought it was food poisoning (because where would i have picked up this bug), but then 48 hours later Mike got hit. then, the worst of it, Landon woke up Tuesday night after vomiting all over himself and his crib. major panic for me and my momma heart. the little guy didn’t understand what was going on and we could not get him to stop throwing up. with Mike down for the count, i called in my mom for reinforcements so i could at least put him down and clean up the mess. THESE ARE THE MOMENTS I AM GRATEFUL TO BE BACK HOME!!!

sparing you all the gory details, but we ended up in the ER with Landon late Tuesday night to get him some zofran. poor guy just could not stop the sickness. after a dose of the meds, my little man was back to his usual self flirting with the nurses and smiling.

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all smiles for his first trip to the ER

 

it honestly took a week for our entire household to recover. i spent the next couple days sanitizing everything in sight. after both the physical and emotional exhaustion of the week, we decided to hop in the car with my parents and head to the beach for a couple days. a little fun in the sun is just what the doctor ordered! and the sweetest beach naps.

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and just when we thought we were all recovered, WHAM!, my mom got hit with the bug. this dang bug. i pray y’all do not get hit with this thing!

other life things going on this week other than being taken out by the stomach bug – the house is still in shambles. there is not a single room that is complete, but i will say i have some visions and plans that i just need to execute. little bug is KICKING a lot. he’s just happy as clam in there. we have not made any progress on the name front (just haven’t had time to think about it), but did make progress with pediatrician research and information interviews. i will keep y’all posted about that. i know i will feel more at ease when i choose a pediatrician.

emotionally, this week really took it out of me. i don’t know if it’s the extra focus on down syndrome due to down syndrome awareness month (which is incredible, so please don’t misunderstand me), or the buddy walk that took place in Atlanta last weekend, or just the result of being overly tired and physically exhausted, but i ended the week in tears. i am in a valley again for the time being. feeling totally unprepared for life with two under two, unprepared for a baby with special needs, unprepared to become a “special needs mom.” just overall unprepared and feeling majorly guilty. so i am trying to give myself some grace and trying to remind myself that this too shall pass.

my goals for this week – take care of myself a little more, keep calling preschools/parents morning out programs for Landon (so far on 3 waitlists…ugh), and embrace this pregnancy a little more. i may even take a bump picture…

 

 

 

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)

 

in darkness, there is light

i want to start this post off by first saying thank you for all the love and support you all have shown me over these last few days. i was hesitant to share the last post, but you have shown me grace and i am so grateful for that.

now to go back to the weeks following my last post…

we just received the results of my NIPS blood test (i will touch on this more later) and it was time to start sharing the news of my pregnancy. after all, i was almost 14 weeks pregnant and people would start to notice a belly soon enough. truth was, i was in denial about it all, but mike and i both knew it was time.

Mike jumped right in. he would share the news of our growing family and simultaneously share the challenges we were facing. he may not have shared all the gory details, but from my perspective, it seemed so effortless to him. for me, i was worried and scared. i was afraid of how our families and friends would receive the news. would there be joy like there was with Landon? would we be distanced from friends because our lives were about to be so different, they couldn’t relate? i don’t know why i let this get to me, but it did.

in all the darkness, there was light and it all started when i began to share everything. first with our families, who, while they were heartbroken for our struggles, were the most receptive. each and everyone of them promised to love our next little boy just as much as they love our current one.

second with my friends. all i can say is wow. i never expected to feel so loved and accepted, but i did. not to mention, once i shared what was going on with our sweet baby, my world felt a little a less isolated. one friend had a friend go through the same situation. the next friend had a friend of a friend who walked this journey. and each one of those friends insisted i connect with them. at the time, i was sure if i was ready to do that. after sleeping on it for a couple days, i decided it couldn’t hurt to connect with others. this was the start of more light.

third, with Mike’s job opportunities. God may have thrown us a major curveball, but he was also giving us the tools we needed to help us navigate this new life. the same day we received the blood test results, Mike accepted a new position with the Atlanta Hawks. we were going home. well, my home. this would bring us back to the east coast and close to our families. we would have the support of our families without requiring a cross country flight and major planning.

day to day was still a battle, but there was light and it gave me a sense of hope i had been missing for the last couple weeks. to all our friends and family who sent sweet texts, cards, flowers, ice cream (you know the way to my heart), emails, messages, phone calls, etc., THANK YOU. from the bottom of my heart, thank you for truly making this girl feel loved. we have the most incredible village.

finally, i have to acknowledge my incredible husband for bringing us some light. we have had a blessed marriage, not without its struggles, but this was our first real hurdle. Mike has seen me at my best and at my absolute worst (this might have been it) and has loved me all the way through. he’s been our rock and i know we will come out on top of this.

don’t get me wrong, i was still in tough place. with all the love and support lifting us up, i was starting to see the light.

before i sign off, i want to address the medical side of things. at this point in time, we still did not have a true “diagnosis.” the NIPS is still only a screening test with a small margin of error. the test results were positive for down syndrome and klinefelters syndrome (the sex chromosome abnormality i mentioned in the last post). it is extremely, extremely rare for a baby to have both chromosomal abnormalities. the NIPS test is very accurate for detecting down syndrome, but less accurate for the sex chromosome abnormalities. we decided at this point in time, we would move forward with an amniocentesis to get a diagnosis and potentially rule out the klinefelters. the amniocentesis would have to wait until I was at least 16 weeks pregnant.

 

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my light