37 weeks we have been praying over this baby. 37 weeks of envisioning Landon as a big brother. 37 weeks of worry.
we are just 10 days away from little bug’s eviction date (January 3). one more BPP and NST separate us from this little guy’s entry. ready or not, this baby is coming! it feels a bit like the first time, but riddled with a lot of unknowns. i am grateful for my teammate and biggest supporter, Mike. he’s made me feel much better knowing we both have similar feelings about all of this, but just like any other pregnancy and baby, we will survive!
good news, we have named little bug – we are keeping it a secret until delivery day. more good news, he’s been passing every BPP with flying colors. THANK GOD! i need him to stay in until at least Mike gets home and preferably after Christmas. we at least have diapers in his size and an outfit for going home. now i just need to get that hospital bag packed and the nursery finished…oops. hospital bag is number one priority!
i don’t want this to be a long winded post, but it just might. there has been a lot going on over here as we are in final preparations for this baby (and the holidays) and things are starting to get real. real, real.
so far, little bug has passed 3 BPPs and 2 NSTs. i go friday for my NST this week – i am praying that he will be awake so the appointment can be somewhat quick. i just can’t be on that monitor for an hour anymore…NOT okay. seriously contemplating rolling into the OB office with ice cream and donuts to get him to do some flips for us while i am there. come on little man, please cooperate!
in all seriousness though, things are getting real. we are two weeks from Christmas and three weeks from meeting our baby (should everything stay the course). this blows my mind. to sum it all up, i am stressed. i am trying to get everything done in time and i am quickly realizing, that won’t happen. not only because there is not enough time, but also because my body is not having it. between the braxton hicks contractions, low back pain, and lightning crotch (sorry for the crudeness, but this is a real thing and what it is commonly known as), my body is trying to tell me to stop.
but how do you stop? how can you stop? most of the week i am a one woman show with a toddler who wants to play and be held. an almost 30 lb toddler that needs a bath every night, lifted and lowered into his crib for naps and bed, constant diaper changes, and up and down the stairs. aside from the physical stress of being this pregnant with a toddler, i still have to assemble the dresser and organize clothes in the nursery, finish Christmas shopping, wrap gifts, pack a hospital bag and about 100 other things i intended to do before the holidays. looks like 90% of this will have to wait. my body is just saying NOPE.
the physical stress is draining. the emotional stress is equally as draining. as we approach the final weeks, i am confronted with a lot of fears and unsettled feelings. some days feel like i am back at week 13 when we learned the news about our special little dude. some days i battle those ugly feelings and then i feel guilty for being back in that space. this baby doesn’t deserve that. i also struggle with the feelings of adding another baby to the mix. my time with Landon will be different and that makes me feel sad at times. Landon doesn’t deserve a distracted momma.
i am also facing the fear of this delivery – the actual physical delivery of this baby. my first labor was pretty awful. Landon was too big for my body and we didn’t know it. this lead to a number of complications and interventions including a vacuum assist, episiotomy, and shoulder dystocia. sparing you any more of the gory details, let’s just say it was traumatic for me, mike, and baby. at the end of the day, everything turned out okay, but it very easily could have been a much different outcome. i know we will have a better understanding of little bug’s size due to all the growth scans we have, but there is still an element of error and unknown. i don’t want to go through that again and i don’t want to put another baby at risk like that again. every night i pray for a safe delivery. we’ll decide in the coming weeks how we plan to go about delivery when we get a clearer picture of bug’s size.
to end on a more positive note, God is working His magic. i would not be able to get through this without the love and support of my husband. for him, i am eternally grateful. my little family is my everything and they get me through the toughest of days. and my friends – man, am i lucky. the constant check-ins and texts really mean the world to me. i don’t know what i did to deserve all of you, but thank you.
remember when i mentioned we took family photos that were disastrous? well, our photographer is SO talented, she captured some really beautiful gems (snack cup and all, because this is real life people)! not only is she talented, but she is also an incredible human being. God put Rachel in our life for a bigger purpose and He’s already showing us why. Please check her out if you are in the Atlanta area (and tell her I sent you)!
happy Tuesday, friends! i hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived the craziness of the shopping over the last few days.
our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mike had the whole day off. like off, off. like did NOT have to go into the office for even just a couple of hours. it was very much needed and magical to spend the morning the three of us preparing to head up to my parents’ house for the DAY. because we can do that now. we can go spend a day, an afternoon, an evening, an hour with my family and i will never take that for granted.
this was the first Thanksgiving in 3 years that i did not have to cook a turkey, clean my house, and spend the week stressing about how we are going to fit everyone into our tiny little space. i still wouldn’t trade any of those Thanksgivings, but i was very grateful to show up, bring dessert, help with cooking and head home when we were ready. this was also the first Thanksgiving we were not planning the meal around a flight time because there was a road game the next day and Mike had to leave. BLESSINGS. it’s the small things in the irr household.
after all the calmness of Thanksgiving came the stress of black friday and cyber monday shopping. does this give anyone else major anxiety? i am a deal seeker. i hardly ever pay full price for something (unless i am shopping small) so this is when i like to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done. this year was more than just Christmas, it was all the baby gear we need to get, nursery items, home decor, etc. so i was feeling the pressure.
let me tell you…i failed miserably at the UppaBaby deal through Sam’s Club and this will haunt me forever. we need a double stroller and after much research and testing, we determined this is the best one for us. i had been waiting until black friday specifically to purchase it and BAM, i lost. no UppaBaby on sale for us. now i have to figure out how late i am willing to push this purchase because we have been spending machines lately with the house items and need to chill. i probably should buy newborn size diapers before i go buying a stroller. priorities.
other than the shopping over the weekend, if you follow me on IG and saw my stories, you have definitely seen the great green debate. i am starting to feel colorblind. what i see on screen, in store, on the swatch, is not what is coming out of the can. how can this be? after 5 samples, i am pretty sure i found the one. this week, on my never-ending list of to-dos, i need to paint and assemble little bug’s dresser. good news, my mom and i finished the wallpaper – HECK YES.
in all seriousness though, this week, we are facing a lot of tests. i will officially be 34 weeks pregnant and so begins my weekly testing. today starts with a biophysical profile (BPP) at the perinatologist and the week ends with a non-stress test (NST) with my OB. according to my OB, i should have my hospital bag packed now. praying that everything stays looking good and we have 5 more weeks until little bug makes his appearance. God knows i need all 5 of these weeks to prepare mentally and physically.
my in-laws get into town today and i couldn’t be happier to have the extra hands. i jam packed my week with appointments – so much so, that when the AV guy showed up yesterday to the house, i thought we might be getting robbed (because i totally forgot what day of the week it was and that i even made the appointment). only me. whoops.
on my list of to-dos: buy newborn diapers, a changing pad, figure out the stroller situation, finish the nursery, pack our hospital bag, paint and assemble the dresser.
next week to-dos: launder all of little bug’s clothes (aka Landon’s hand-me-downs), take out the bassinet, get the car seat ready, finish the nursery, finish the nursery, finish the nursery.
oh and at some point, i will decorate the house for Christmas and finish my Christmas shopping….
hi, let me introduce myself again. i am stefanie and we are still alive and here. i apologize for being a bit MIA these last 12 days to be exact, but it’s been a bit nuts.
we have had a crazy 12 days jam packed with an epic visit from Cali friends, rain, rain and more rain, sleepless nights (thank you teething), sickness, doctor appointments for both L and me, and one long freaking road trip for mike. can you tell i am a bit salty about the road trip?
here’s my attempt at trying to catch you up on all the craziness. the last couple weeks started with a terrible three days of literally no sleep for me. between third trimester insomnia, the constant middle of the night bathroom trips, and landon’s teething, i could not get any rest. my body breaks down every time this happens and i get sick immediately. so i got sick. perfect timing for a big weekend of UGA football with friends visiting from Cali for their first ever SEC football game. good news, 60% of the people on this trip were sick. bad news, 60% of us were sick. but we had the time of our lives and it made me miss my Cali family SO bad.
after such a fun weekend, i needed to attempt to heal my body. sleep was necessary but not happening. mike left for one of the longer road trips and landon is currently not sleeping great thanks to his molars…. naturally, i get him sick in the process and Atlanta decided this past week was the perfect week for nonstop rain and 40 degree temps. who can keep an 18 mo old, sick toddler entertained indoors for 3+ days straight? anyone? please message me your tips.
even though our bodies were broken down, we did get some things accomplished around here. landon had his 18 month appointment with the new pediatrician who will also see little bug. it was great getting to know the doc a little more before going in for our first visit with bug. i think he will be a great fit!
i also had my 32 week OB appointment. my final “calm” appointment before the storm. next set of appointments include biophysical profiles (BPP) and non-stress tests (NST) every week. that’s enough to send my anxiety through the roof! looks like the hospital bag will be packed just in case. all is still looking good and normal right now!
in more fun news, my mom and i made more progress on the nursery. the accent wall is 4/5 of the way completed and has become quite the joke. i have literally had to order a new roll of wallpaper after each “nap time” work session. 2 sessions later and still need another roll of wallpaper for LITERALLY 21 inches wide of space. OH and if it couldn’t get any worse, the actual paper is only 20.5 inches wide, leaving us with figuring out how to make this work for HALF AN INCH. face palm. but we love it and it’s been really fun to see it start to come together. we also hung the curtains, which appear black in the photos from the lighting, but they are actually a dark green. this is going to be an accent color we use for the dresser.
better shot of the green
more pregnancy updates – i am pretty positive we have decided on a name for little bug. YAY! this upcoming week i have another fetal echo to check on bug’s heart condition and we will tour the hospital/NICU. with the holiday chaos literally around the corner, it will be nice to at least know where we go when the time comes to deliver.
after all the rain, we have had two really gorgeous days and was able to escape with my little dude. we might both have runny noses and yucky coughs, but he loves to be outdoors and needed to make sure he practiced his hoop skills before dada came home. ❤
my focus this week is family time and Christmas shopping. anyone have particular black friday deals you are excited about? i’ll also be looking for baby gear we need for bug. aka a different baby monitor, double stroller, nursery decor, etc. second time mommas, send me your recs! i am all about finding a good deal, but also would love to know what you have found to be practical.
this question has been weighing on me lately. it’s very simple, should it matter? let me explain myself a bit first.
as i have become more visibly pregnant, i have received a lot of well wishes and congratulations from perfect strangers, new neighbors, and women associated with the team that i am just starting to meet. and while i genuinely appreciate the “congratulations” versus the “i’m sorry” i once received, i struggle with whether or not i need toshould share with them that our little guy will be different. this is usually how the interactions go:
person: congratulations! when are you due?
me: thank you! in January.
person: wow, you must be excited! do you know what you are having?
me: yes, we are very excited. another boy!
person: aw, that’s wonderful. they are going to be the best of friends (looking at Landon who is usually smiling or trying to destroy something near by)!
me: yes, that is what we hope! two partners in crime.
so here’s my struggle. it’s not with the perfect stranger. it’s with the people that i will see and continue to see over these coming months. it’s with the people who don’t know about this blog or my instagram or know me on a more personal level.
once little bug is born, are we (or, perhaps, just me) going to become “gossip?” are people going to talk about us and discuss whether or not they think we knew before he was born? and then i struggle again because, truthfully, why do i care? i usually don’t. but for some reason, something deep down, bothers me about becoming “talk” that probably won’t have the best of intentions behind the conversation. it bothers me that people will then potentially feel sorry for us and our life.
i choose not to tell people in that initial interaction because it doesn’t matter. i refuse to let little bug’s life be dictated by his diagnosis. he is already so much more than that. just like any other pregnancy and baby, i want him to be celebrated for the blessing that he is. so far, these interactions are too brief and in inappropriate settings to share something so personal. BUT i still struggle with whether or not i should.
holy smokes. i am officially 28 weeks pregnant – aka entering my third and final trimester. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? the panic continues with the massive to do list, but i do have some fun updates from this past week.
first, on the pregnancy front. i took a bump picture. i really did it, finally. while we were watching the Dawgs lose on Saturday, we decided it was best to distract ourselves with sweeping leaves off the deck and taking a bump pic. this will not be the last time Landon sits on his little brother, but it is the only time it is allowed… (ps this was technically 27 weeks)
other pregnancy related things – i had my 28 week appointment and glucose test yesterday. i will say, this one was MUCH easier than my last. for some reason in Cali, i had to do the 3 hour test no matter what. there was not a choice for a 1 hour. but here, i get to start with the 1 hour test and see how those results go before doing the longer more invasive 3 hour test. i felt like a pin cushion though. i got both my flu shot and Tdap shot at this visit. my arms are sore! i now go back every two weeks to the regular OB and still on an every 5 week schedule to the perinatologist. i know this will change once we get closer to the due date.
the name, still up for debate. his nursery, still a storage locker and disaster. the house, still in shambles, but we hung curtains in our bedroom and bought new bedside tables! i cannot wait to get those in place and finish our room. oh! and my biggest accomplishment, i found stools for our island!!!!!! i have been down a deep, dark hole of online furniture shopping and couldn’t find anything i liked that was $350+ per stool. that’s insanity. but i am happy to report, the search is over. now i just need to get them and assemble them all.
on the childcare front – i have realized, i need to move my focus from MMO/PMO to finding preschool options for Landon and accept that we will not be getting into anything school related until next year. we are too far down on wait lists and, let’s be honest, not enough people will be moving in the next 6 months to move us up. SO here’s what we are working on, a part-time “nanny” to help me 2 days a week and try to get Landon into a preschool for 2019-2020 (holy cow) school year. i have a lead on a promising nanny option! praying this will work out and we can schedule all the doctors appointments and therapies on these two days. AND now i won’t have worry so much about Landon bringing home bugs and getting little bug sick before heart surgery!
here’s my pregnancy/life checklist to work on: find a pediatrician, tour the hospital and NICU, find Landon a preschool, work on the nursery, continue with home projects/organizing.
also, i need to focus some research on insurance for little bug. i hear we will want to set up a special needs trust to protect him long term and keep his insurance coverage, but man this is all way over my head. sounds like we will be having talks with attorneys and financial planners in our near-ish future. if you have experience with this, please please please let me know! i appreciate any help i can get.
oh, and in case anyone is keeping tabs and wondering, yes, i am still eating ice cream every night. this is not an exaggeration, just ask my husband 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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…
hey! remember me? i know, i know. it’s been 10 days since my last post.
suddenly, life was moving at a rapid pace and i couldn’t keep up with it all. between the doctors appointments, closing on our new home, moving, a toddler, and work orders, i was exhausted. still am. but we are finally, mostly, out of boxes and resuming life.
here is the final “catching up” update to get you to the present: 24 weeks pregnant.
weeks 21-23 were exactly as described before. BUSY. we closed on our first real home! we couldn’t be more excited to be be homeownIRRs and create a loving, happy, healthy, home for our growing family. thanks to the help of my parents and brothers, we were able to get the house in a decent place within a week! now it’s mostly decorating and buying new furniture! wohoo! i’ll keep you updated on the home front once things are more settled.
with a new home comes all the necessary appointments and people to the house – aka appliance deliveries, pest control (ummmmmmm California spoiled me for the last three years), locksmiths, internet provider, etc. there was someone new here almost every day to get things up and running. now we are waiting on the final delivery, our washer and dryer. can you believe we have been living without one for over a week now? the laundry pile is HUGE and we are on our last pieces of clean clothes. my wednesday is looking like a day full of laundry…yipee.
somewhere in these weeks, i managed to sneak in an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. we were referred to Sibley here in Atlanta and according to my research and network of friends, they are THE heart specialists. in the earlier ultrasounds, little bug was 100% showing a heart defect. we did not know the extent of that defect and needed to get the cardiologist to take a look to confirm what was going on.
here is what i knew going into this appointment. it is very common for babies with Down syndrome to have heart problems. i knew little bug had a VSD (hole in the heart) and potentially a much more serious defect called tetralogy of fallot (ToF: basically a combination of four defects present at birth – you can google more about it). i was hoping this appointment would give us a clearer picture of what to expect after birth in regards to his heart.
if you have never had a fetal echo done, word of warning, they are LONG. like 45 minutes of ultrasound long. just looking at the heart. tips: make sure you are hydrated and well fed before you go in there. i was not and almost passed out on the table while the sonographer was taking all the pictures….whoops. and i was solo at this appointment – thanks, NBA.
after a painfully long ultrasound, the cardiologist came in to review the pictures and look more at little bugs heart. after he had everything he needed, we met in a different exam room to go over the results. to my pleasant surprise, the news wasn’t all that bad. if you know me, you know that i worry a lot and typically prepare for the worst (i am constantly working on this).
our cardiologist explained very calmly and in much detail that little bug did in fact have a VSD. it is a large one that will require open heart surgery to repair, usually around 4-6 months of life. they want these little babies to get stronger and fatten up before they attempt surgery (when possible). most VSDs can close on their own (or sometimes people live with them without issue), but it would be extremely rare for this to happen for our baby given its size. he also explained that he did not see any signs pointing to ToF or a larger problem. yahoo! good news from this appointment! we are not necessarily in the clear, but i am choosing to think positively and stay this course unless someone tells me otherwise. unfortunately, they really cannot confirm heart issues until an echo is performed after birth. i’ll go back to the cardiologist at 32 weeks for another check-in.
today, i am 24 weeks pregnant. physically feeling pretty good, except for the aches and pains from moving, chasing an almost 30 pound toddler and being on my feet too much over the last week. mentally feeling okay. i can’t say mentally i am great, but right now, i am hopeful and doing well in the land of okay. i can feel little bug moving everyday, which makes my heart happy. tomorrow i go back to the perinatologist for a growth scan, so i’ll know more then. there is still plenty of time for things to change in regards to little bugs health, but like i said before, i am staying in my lane until told otherwise.
today, and everyday, i am grateful for my two dudes and little one growing inside me. my family for all the love, support and help with the house and Landon lately. my friends, for continuously checking in on me. i am grateful that we have been blessed with the ability to buy a beautiful home for our family.
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 a 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 😉 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!