Monday, November 30, 2009
I will update with family/life updates sometime soon... I promise!
Hello Everyone!!! We are holding the 2nd annual preemie onesie drive being held by me (Rachel) and Ryan. We are collecting preemie onesies and other preemie clothing to donate to the babies that are staying in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).
Ryan and I had our first daughter Carly in the NICU for 4 months before passing away from a heart defect. I know as well as other preemie parents of children in the NICU know that it's hard for your child to be there. It's hard in many ways. It's hard as far as gas is concerned because of the many daily trips to the hospital. Most of the time having a child in the NICU comes as a surprise. Parents are normally not prepared for such an early delivery. With not being prepared comes not having clothing to fit a child who is so small. A lot of times one of the parents (usually the moms) quit working to be at the hospital with their child as much as possible. This makes funds tight. Paying bills can become a struggle, and it makes it hard to buy your new little one the cute outfits that moms want to see their child in.
So, this is why I'm having this preemie onesie drive. To give to those parents who's world has been turned upside down. To help them along their way in their struggle. To help parents enjoy seeing their little boy or girl dressed in a cute outfit. Carly got a cute outfit while she was in the NICU as a anonymous donation. It made me feel completely blessed. It was nice for someone to do this for her. Being in the NICU is a very stressful time. Some are only there for days while others are there for months and even over a year. Simple acts of kindness fills peoples hearts with happiness. I'm doing this donation in memory of Carly who passed away on 3/9/08. I will deliver the donated onesies on 3/9/10.
When I started this drive last year I had a goal of 200. As March got closer and closer I realized I was going to go over my goal. By 3/9/09 I had collected OVER 2,000 items! This drive was truly blessed. We not only were able to donate to Levine Children's Hospital on the 9th of March, we were also able to donate to 5 other NICU's in NC. Every 3 months after March 9th I have donated MORE clothing to Levine Children's Hospital. I have one last donation to make this year in December. Let's come together in prayer and support and make this up coming year as big of a success as this past year. Please tell everyone you know to help spread the word as far as possible.
So please lets come together and help me to gather the needed onesies to donate to the NICU that my sweet Carly was at (Levine Children's Hospital). We will be having collections at my church and other local churches. If you would rather donate monetary donations you can do so at the top of my blog. The funds received will go toward the purchase of preemie onesies. The NICU houses nearly 100 babies. This fluctuates from time to time. Also they have an NPCN (neonatal progressive care nursery). And this unit holds about 60 babies maybe more. I hope to raise enough to donate to both the NICU and NPCN. So tell everyone you know to help me reach my goal by 3/9/10.
Ways you can become involved.....
1. You can mail donated preemie onesies
2. You can donate money to go toward the purchase of new preemie onesies. Just click on the donate button at the top of my blog. http://preemieonesiedrive.blogspot.com
3. You can place a flyer in your church, staff break room at your job, or local businesses with a box to help gather donations and mail them to the PO Box. (If you gather a large donation I will gladly pay for shipping).
**I will make a flyer and send it to your email to print if you would like to help in that way.
I will keep updated post on onesies received.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your help and participation,
Rachel and Ryan
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
1 week ago at this very time we were getting ready to have a new baby boy entire the world. We have truly been blessed with another sweet little boy to love.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
As the day went on Daniel and I watched a movie on my laptop, talked on the phone, updated twitter, and he took a short nap as well as went and got lunch.
I just continued to progress. This time I actually got an epidural before they broke my water which I did it the opposite way with Brayden. It was easier to sit through the epidural because my contractions were intense but not so bad that I couldn't sit STILL. :)
After that the doctor came in and broke my water and from there things progressed mighty quickly. I was 4 1/2 cm in no time. As the contractions became 2 minutes apart I began feeling them but only on the left side. The epidural wasn't really working well at that side. So they tried to give me some more medicine but it never helped. I was in quite a bit of pain when they decided to check me first to see if I still had a ways to go or if I was close to getting ready to push. When they did this it was 4:35 and I was 6 cm and basically 90% effaced. At this time the nurse began QUICKLY getting everything around because she said you are going to be ready real soon! I was like really...you only said 6 cm and I know from experience I need to get to 10 cm first! Then at 4:53 they checked me again and I was 100% and 10 cm! She was right! WHOA my body went into fast mode!!
Time to have a BABY!
My doctor was paged immediately and nurse started quickly finishing everything so we could have a baby! The doctor got there and 4 contractions later our little boy was born! It was much quicker this time because with Brayden I pushed for over an hour.
My induction was much shorter than the first time and it seemed much easier which we were very thankful about.
After everything was done for his cord blood sampling, nursery checking him out, bath time, and I was ready...we got to our postpartum room around 7:00 pm. I was very hungry because I hadn't eaten since dinner time the night before. Daniel's family came up and met our little boy and brought us dinner. They stayed until about 9:15 and then we were ready to try and
rest a bit. We opted for no other visitors tonight just so we could spend some time with our son and rest a little. But we are up for visitors tomorrow! So come meet our little guy if you want!
It was WONDERFUL to see Brayden tonight and show him his new baby brother. He didn't want much to do with him or ME at first but he warmed up quite quickly!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
So today was the day! I got up this morning and just started trying to be productive and keep my mind busy. I did school work, children's ministry emails, cleaning, etc. Then I went to lunch with Liz and Laura at Panera Bread which was awesome to spend some time with them. Then I ran errands and came back home. Daniel and Brayden were back home from their errands as well. So we put Brayden down for a nap and I proceeded to do more things around the house - cleaning, changing sheets, doing dishes, and YES finishing report cards. Daniel decided to play some Halo and burn some DVD's to our laptop for the hospital stay. Overall it was a good day!
I had been anxiously waiting to get a phone call after 7:00 pm tonight to find out when we were going into the hospital. So at about 6:00 pm I went and finished packing my last minute things! We took some pictures of my belly and us with Brayden. Last pictures with only 1 son. :) And waited and waited. We played with Brayden but I just couldn't just sit still so I broke out my laptop again and did some more work and checked my blogs.
At about 8:15 I decided to call the after hours number to find out if the doctor on call could call us back and give us any udpates on when we should hear from the hospital. He did call back about 8:40 pm and said we should hear from them at some point tonight but it could be 9:00, 10:00, or even midnight. I know from being induced with Brayden we are not a high priority when other women who go to the hospital in active labor show up. But I just thought with having to start the induction process over night and them wanting me to sleep while it was going on it wouldn't be so late this time. Well I guess I was wrong. Here I sit at 2:50 am and still haven't heard from the hospital. Of course I fell asleep for a few hours but I keep waking up, tossing, and turning. I just called the after hours number again and talked to a lady who is suppose to have someone call me back again to let me know what the deal is. Need less to say...I am pretty frustrated and annoyed right now. We took our son to the Smith's tonight after talking to the doctor the 1st time but it seems like now he could have just stayed here.
I have been having painful contractions off and on since Thursday night. They have hurt more in my back it seems but the closest they have been are 12 minutes apart and they only last for about 2 hours consistently.
Well the Dr. just called me back...and again more waiting! He says he did speak with the nurses and we are on the list to come in but Rex just hasn't had any labor/delivery rooms open for folks being induced. He also stated we are not the only ones that he knows at home waiting. Honestly this sucks! Sometimes I wish I didn't have to be so concerned about my son's weight and his bones and could just wait and go into labor on my own. But because we don't know about his health I get scheduled to be induced and here I sit waiting, waiting, waiting.... maybe I should try and go back to sleep. Daniel isn't seeming to have a problem sleeping at 3:00 am but for some reason I am...
Well it looks like maybe my son's birthday will not be tomorrow! It may be Wednesday June 24th at the rate we are going. Who knows...I sure know nothing right now. I know it doesn't matter when his birthday is because all I want is to have a safe delivery and healthy baby boy. It is just I had different expectations about what was suppose to happen tonight.
The doctor did say if I haven't heard anything by 8:00 am to call the office when they open. Great at least...5 more hours of waiting. I think I will go back upstairs and try to go to sleep again. Lord - help my brain to turn off so I can get some good rest and peaceful sleep right now! I know I will need it soon! Night...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Then we met with the doctor. We discussed the results of the ultrasound and she said she is not concerned that his head was measuring small because it is probably just because he is lower in my pelvic area and it was hard to get a good measurement. If he had stopped growing or something was wrong she said usually we would see the body area measuring small but that was not the case. I am still at about the same progress I was last week so not much new there. I guess all these braxton hicks I am having are not doing much to put me in labor. I have like 5-6 in an hour...and yes I have started counting them).
So I mentioned I would love to go into labor on my own but just in case I don't could we go ahead and schedule me to be induced closer to my due date just so I could be on the books at the hospital. I don't want to go over my due date too far and I know with Brayden it was hard to get an appointment. The doctor then proceeded to tell us she was thinking of trying to get us in at 39 weeks instead of waiting until 40 weeks if that was ok with us. She said since we don't know about his bones or size that every baby is usually fully developed at 39 weeks so she does not see why we would wait any longer. So after she called the hospital we are scheduled to be induced on Tuesday June 23rd! We will actually go in on Monday night the 22nd to start some things but will not start pitocin until first thing Tuesday morning. So it sounds like we will have a baby on Tuesday. Crazy, exciting, YAY!
We left the doctor's office and my eyes filled up with tears. Daniel asked "Are those happy tears or sad tears?". I said "This means I have to be away from Brayden for 3 nights now and it will be next week." All these thoughts are going through my head... how can I love another kid as much as I do Brayden? How will I share my time? Will Brayden feel neglected or unloved? I am sure most of these questions are silly but I am sad to leave him for 3 days/nights. I am sure I will be quite busy once this new little guy arrives but these are all my thoughts for now! Of course...I haven't been able to concentrate on much since my appointment today.
And even though I have been through having a baby already, I am still anxious about not knowing what to expect since every delivery is different. The shock is still setting in that if not this week we WILL have a baby on Tuesday.
So all this to say...
...Friday will be my last day at Carpenter Elementary
...Friday will be my last day watching Olivia and Brennan
...Friday I officially become a stay at home mom for a few months
...Tuesday (if not before) I will have another precious baby boy in my arms!!!!
Thank you Lord for all the upcoming changes in my life and for the GIFT of life!!!
Monday, June 15, 2009
I am going to the doctor every week now. At 36 1/2 weeks I was effaced but not dilated yet. The doctor told me he had dropped and was very low into my pelvis but did not give me a station location number. I figured he had dropped because that same week my tailbone area started to hurt when sitting, standing, bending over, etc. This also happened with Brayden as well when he dropped so I thought it could be the same thing. I also had several people at work look at me and ask me if I had dropped or was it just the clothes I was wearing? :)
When I went to the doctor at 37 1/2 weeks I was still effaced (of course...not sure you can go backwards on that) but again not dilated. His heartbeat was in the 140's and I was measuring right on target.
Now I am 38 1/2 weeks and I go back to the doctor tomorrow. They actually scheduled just a normal ultrasound at their office to check his weight and growth. I asked for one just to get an idea of how big he is. I am not as worried this time about my bones during labor even though I know anything can happen but I still feel the need to worry about his bones during delivery so I want to make sure he isn't TOO Big.
Everyone keeps saying your belly is so big! I feel like I am not any smaller than I was with Brayden but who knows. I went back and looked at some pictures and I feel I am carrying just about exactly the same. I have gained less weight and am much less swollen with this pregnancy which is a good thing but I do think my belly looks bigger. I have thought my due date has been off by 1 week the entire pregnancy so who knows.. maybe I am 39 1/2 weeks instead today! :)
Below are some pictures to compare!
|34 1/2 weeks this time||37 weeks this time|
|37 weeks with Brayden||Brayden's Birthday|
Monday, May 11, 2009
We did confirm AGAIN that he is still a Boy! They measured all of his major bones and organs and so far everything looks good. His bones are measuring on target and he currently weighs a little over 4 lbs. or so which is only 35% for weight at this stage. He was breached a few weeks ago the doctors told me but at this ultrasound he was head down. So that is wonderful! I am thankful that right now everything looks good and there is nothing to worry about. I know we still won't know anything for sure until we do the cord blood sampling but I am going to rest on the fact that right now there is nothing for me to worry about besides the "unknown". And I am going to try and ignore the "unknown" for now! I want to try and take each present day and enjoy it. I will try not to worry about what the future holds since I have no control over it. Thank you for for your prayers and for asking about our ultrasound.
I had another regular doctor's appointment today and his heartbeat was still in the 150's and I was measuring right on target. The doctor said he still believes he is head down but he could still turn around if he wants. In a few more weeks is when they would say he probably won't turn anymore. So I am just going to keep hoping he stays the way he is right now! I am currently 33 weeks and 2 days. So only about 7 weeks to go. He did say I may have another ultrasound at their office just to check his weight as I get closer to my due date if necessary. So I will not complain if I get to see my little boy again! We go every two weeks now.
Baby Boy Smith (who still has no name) is still moving quite a bit and he gets the hiccups all the time now. We have basically moved all of Brayden's things out of the nursery and into his new room. He has taken 2 naps and slept 1 night in his new bed. He has done so well and exceeded my expectations so far. I know it is still new but I hope he continues to do well. I have gotten out all our baby stuff again and have washed and cleaned just about everything we will need. So we are slowly but surely getting ready for a newborn again!
Playing in his bed with dad after his nap!
Monday, April 27, 2009
25 weeks and 3 days ....... 29 weeks and 1 day
Over track out Brayden and I just flew up to Michigan to visit with my family and friends for a week. It was a wonderful visit but being back in our house is always nice. And of course we missed "daddy". :) I tracked back in on April 20th and so this is my last quarter teaching 2nd grade. I have already started moving some of my files and things home to a file cabinet I got free from Amanda. YAY! It is bittersweet but I am excited to take a break and try something different for awhile. I think this decision will hopefully help strength my faith in many areas of my life.
Brayden is doing well. He is now 18 months and is learning new words and things everyday. This age is so much fun and I am loving every minute of it. He is still a finky eater but even that seems to be improving day by day. He loves to play outside, pick up sticks, his wagon, and all animals. He is learning more and more animals and their sounds and enjoys pointing them out in books, on TV, or where ever else he sees them. He also loves to point out your eyes, nose, ears, hair, teeth, and mouth. He is laughing and smiling still most of the time and is just overall a very happy kid. He is starting to throw temper tantrums when he doesn't always get what he wants but I guess that is normal toddler behavior. We just ignore him and he seems to get over it.
We have painted Brayden's new "big boy room" and have his bedding so it is slowly coming together. I would say in about a week we will to start having him sleep in his bed. We will see how that goes. :)
I have included a few pictures of course but I continue to upload lots of pictures to flickr so if you want...go check them out!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I also posted my questions on a parent list serve at Daniel's work. I got a lot of responses so I compiled them into a Google document that can be viewed here if you are interested.
There is a lot of feedback and opinions of course, but most of them tend to favor the same answer.
We went and looked at suv's and mini vans on Saturday and even test drove a few. It was very helpful. I don't think we will make a decision this week but we need to make one soon.
I just turned 30 in December and who knows I may be getting a min-van as well...WOW! crazy
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I subscribe to this blog. This lady has a terminally ill daughter...and she posted this awhile back about being "normal".
Our lives are not “normal.” Letting go of that normal has been very, very hard. I often wish that life was easier. I wish that my two little girls were running around, laughing and playing together. I wish that Lauren and Carmen would grow up together.
For some reason, God chose us for a not-so-normal life. We took the first step by adopting internationally but we had no idea that road would lead us to a terminally ill child. Letting go of my own desire for a normal life has been a painful process and one I continue to struggle with.
I keep going back to Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. Normal is not spending a year in an Ark. Talk about life on hold! Normal is not waiting until you are 90 and 100 years old for a child. Most of us don’t like waiting one day for what we want. Normal is not hiding your child for 3 months from a king intent on killing all baby boys. Normal is not giving that baby boy to the very people enslaving and mistreating your people. I doubt Moses’ mom envisioned this life for her son.
I can’t think of anyone in the Bible who lived a normal life. And yet their lives are awe-inspiring. So perhaps normal is over-rated. I do know that this past year with Carmen has changed us forever. I don’t think we will ever be normal again and I am not sure we would want to be. I hope and pray that for the rest of our lives, we let go of normal. And that we are willing to take the big “risks” that are both painful and rewarding.
I have gone back and reread this post several times over the last several months. Even though if my son is born with OI he will not be terminally ill we may have to give up what some call "normal" depending on the severity of the genetic disorder. I know all of this is the "what if's" of my life right now and I have no clue what the future holds for us. But if they become a reality at some point whether with this baby or if we choose to have more children later on, I hope and pray to our Heavenly Father that I am able to give up what some call "normal" and embrace and enjoy everything God will have to offer us through that journey.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Daniel and I knew we would probably be buying a new (used) vehicle sometime this year. With another little one on the way and our cars that we have now just being old and having issues we figured the time would probably come sometime in 2009. But we may end up buying one sooner than we thought.
So my questions to are...
SUV vs. Mini Van? pros and/or cons of both?
And if you have one or the other do you like? good gas mileage?
We are looking if we get an SUV for it to have a 3rd row anticipating wanting more kids in the future (well at least I do) :) but we are open to whatever.
This will be a hard decision for us because neither of us like spending lots of money at one time. We struggle making big decisions like this, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions - leave us a comment! We would appreciate it!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Well here we are already 56 days later from when I posted this....
Time goes by so fast. I am trying to stop everyday and enjoy being pregnant. I am trying to not take it for granted but enjoy the little movements, kicks, and elbows he does inside of me. So far things are going well. I only have 1 week of school, 3 weeks of track out, and then 9 more weeks to go and I am done with teaching for awhile. It is bitter sweet! Just as I am finishing up this chapter of teaching in my life for now (I am sure I will go back someday) I will be having another baby boy around the same time. So hopefully it will be a good transition for our family!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
As some of you have heard we are having another precious little BOY!! So Brayden will have a little brother to play with me! I thought it would probably be a BOY especially with Daniel's genes! There are 4 boys in his family so I think we are destined to have all boys. I have always said since I started babysitting (when I was in high school) I would definitely prefer to have more boys than girls and so so far God is granting that. I would love to raise a girl at some point though just to raise both genders but not this time! We will just have to wait and see what God has in store for us later on! :)
They did measure basically everything on our baby. The ultrasound lasted for quite a long time. Then we met with one of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctors at UNC. So far they don't see anything abnormal with his bones. All of his bones measured right around 18 weeks which is good. When trying to look for OI they are looking for bowing of the bones, abnormally short bones, bones that are different sizes, etc. And so far they do not see any of that. That does not mean our son will not have OI and the Dr. made sure to tell us that (they have to and I understand why). But it does mean that as of now things look good. We will still not know for sure if our son has OI until we do cord blood sampling at birth and send it off to the University of Washington to be tested for the same gene mutation as I have. With Brayden we did not find out those results until he was 7 weeks old.
But for now we will just continue to enjoy Brayden and enjoy knowing that we will have another amazing little boy to hold very soon. Of course I am sure I will still have my emotional days where I let my mind wander and think about the "worst" and "what ifs" but hey I am not perfect. I am coming to realize that it is ok to have these days once in a while but I just need to continue to trust in God and know he is right here with us along this journal! :) Please continue to pray for another healthy baby BOY for us. I was emotional yesterday finding out it was a boy b/c I worry about the comparisons with two boys and how Daniel will deal with having one boy without OI and "possibly" one boy with it. But then Daniel looked at me as he saw tears fill my eyes and said "Babe if this little baby has OI...Brayden will be a great big brother for him". So that made me cry even more :)! I love my husband b/c he is so good for me in more ways than one!
Of course I have uploaded some pictures from our ultrasound. We had to scan them in this time b/c the lady didn't burn our CD correctly but they are hopefully redoing it and so I will have some clearer pictures soon.
Thank you for your phone calls, emails, and prayers! I appreciate everyone checking in to see how things went. I am starting to feel the baby move more and more each day which is so fun! I guess you could say - I am definitely outnumbered in my family now! :) haha
Mandy, Daniel, Brayden, and Baby BOY Smith
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Over the last year and over the next several years we will be buying a lot of diapers and wipes. We have a 15 month old and another one on the way so we will even have 2 in diapers at the same time for a little while at least.
Right now I buy most of my diapers and wipes at BJ's. We can get them in bulk so I have to buy them less often and we have a membership there so I figure why not. Lately I have been wondering if I am paying too much for them. I think some recent decisions we have made about my job next year and knowing we will be buying double the diapers soon has encouraged me to research the price of diapers at 3 different stores. I attend these stores on a regular basis I feel and I wanted to see how they compared in prices.
I only compared the different kinds of Pampers Diapers and wipes. That is what we have seemed to use most of. I have tried Huggies and they are ok but for our son Pampers seem to work best.
So here is a spreadsheet I made showing the total price, how many wipes/diapers are in each pack, and how much money I pay per diaper/wipe. You may need to click on "sheet1" at the bottom of the google spreadsheet. The yellow boxes are prices I still need to fill in but I could not find them at the stores right now.
Some conclusions I have come to...
- Overall BJ's does seem to be cheaper. BRU can be comparable depending on the size of diapers.
- Unscented Pamper's Wipes is definitely cheaper than the Baby Fresh or the Sensitive Wipes.
- Baby Dry Diapers seem to be cheaper than almost all other Pampers diapers.
- The price per diaper goes up as the size of the diaper gets bigger.
- At Target you can't seem to buy the bigger boxes of diapers like you can at BRU and BJ's.
- Does anyone know why packs of diapers get smaller as the size of the diaper gets larger?
- Why can't every store have the same box of Sensitive Wipes? But no instead I found boxes of Sensitive Wipes with 384 wipes, 448 wipes, and 512 wipes. Doesn't make sense to me.
BRU will take several manufacture coupons at one time. Also our friends told me about a Rewards R' Us Card that you can use at BRU. Then once you buy 9 boxes of diapers you get the 10th one free. (I went back and got a Rewards R' Us Card just in case I decide to shop there) All the same deals apply to Toys R' Us and Babies R' Us.
At BJ's you get a book of coupons in the mail for being a member. I think the book of coupons come just about every month. Almost always there is at least one for $3-5 off on diapers. I found out you can use those coupons with manufacture coupons on the same visit.
Well there you go. It was a fun task for me! If you add to my data please share.
Friday, January 23, 2009
So today they referenced the verse Philippians 4:6-7 which most of us know ...
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I think I really need to remember that verse right now and that God was reminding me of that this morning. Lately I find myself being anxious and worrying about a lot of things in my life. My job situation for next year, finances, family situations, having a baby with OI, getting everything done... I don't think I have spent enough time with the Lord lately to calm my worries. I really should be thanking him I even have a choice of jobs next year. That Daniel and I both have jobs to be bringing in finances. That I could even get pregnant b/c I have friends who can't get pregnant and want to. That I have a family to even care about. And the list could go on and on of things I should be thanking him for instead of worrying about them. Deep down I know He will and can take care of us but I think I just need to remind myself of that more right now.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So please pray for our emotions with that.
on the 28th. I feel truly blessed to have been home with him this long though!
Of course we have lots more pictures on our flickr site so go check them out if you want!