Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Best Year Ever

While 2008 was the worst year of my life, 2009 brought the fulfillment of my most cherished dream: motherhood. 2009 was the year of Miran!

He is 9 1/2 months now and really changing into an older baby--physically and mentally. For one, he looks different, more like a toddler and less like an infant. For two, he has finally started babbling (just in the last few days), and that makes his "speech" sound so much more sophisticated. He also now seems to understand "no" -- when he's trying to put something into his mouth and you say no, he stops, looks at you, and even sometimes cries (whereas before he'd just look at you, confused, and keep trying to chew). His day generally comprises:
--waking up (between 6 and 7) and nursing
--happy play in his play area in the nursery, or in his Baby Bjorn playpen/crib, or with Mama and Daddy on the bed (today all three of us snuggled for almost an hour!), etc. He likes playing with toys, chewing things, looking at things, banging things, "reading" books, and so on. Out for a walk if it's not too cold. Sometimes a visit to or from someone, like Granny.
--bedtime between 7 and 8. Recently he's been waking up a lot in the middle of the night, but we're hoping he'll go back to sleeping through soon.

He still has one or, increasingly, two meals a day plus a fresh fruit snack.

He's a great baby. A curious, alert, sweet, smiling baby. He does get fussy, but only with a reason, and he's pretty easy to console when this happens. We just delight in him!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Miran!

Right now, you're in the other room loudly playing with Daddy (and waking the whole house up, I'm sure), while I'm in the bedroom pumping away. Merry, merry Christmas, my darling. Christmas is joyful to me again because you're here. We love you so much!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So let's see . . .

Miran is 9 months old now and is doing so well. He is strong and active and usually on the go. He crawls like a champ, pulls to standing on everything, cruises around, and stands for a few seconds at a time unsupported (he probably would be better at this if we gave him more practice--when we're away at Christmas, he'll have more opportunity for it). As for sleep, some nights are great, but other nights he's fretful and wakes every few hours. I can't seem to predict how it will be, so I'm not sure what causes the fussiness. I did buy a small humidifier for his room today, so maybe with better air in there he will sleep better.

In addition to the usual breastmilk, his diet now generally includes two square "meals" a day--quinoa porridge for breakfast and a protein (lentils, meat, egg yolk) for lunch/dinner. He had been rejecting veggies for a spell but I'm going to start reintroducing them. He still loves avocado and banana, both of which we often mash into some of his other food for added flavor, texture, and nutrients. And he very much enjoys raw fruit -- apple, pear, kiwi, cantaloupe -- in his mesh bag feeder as a snack.

But the big news is that we finally have consonants!! His talking now sounds more language-like and includes lots of "ba" and "wa" sounds, plus the occasional "da" or "ma." This morning he actually said "dad" (no meaning attached, of course), and Nana Meej said that the other day he said "ball." He's also just started to actually babble, with successions of consonants (like "ba-ba-wa"), though that's still infrequent.

Miran's gotten so tall that he's finally outgrown his old Graco Snugride carseat, so I went and bought him a new one today. This new one goes up to 80 lbs., so I hope it's the last carseat we buy for a long time. Speaking of infant products, I was shocked that the Amby Baby was recalled due to a couple infant suffocation deaths. Miran slept in that thing every night for months, and we loved it! How scary to think he may have been in danger all that time. Indeed, he slept in the exact position that the recall notice listed as posing the most danger. Goodness!

Right now he's in the other room being put to bed by Daddy, and resisting it by the sound of the things. I can't wait till we can enjoy his first Christmas . . . in fact, I am really glad that, on my first Christmas without either of my paternal grandparents, I at least have Miran to infuse joy into everything. I have lost my dear beloved grandfather this year, but I have also gained a new family member, a beautiful son.

Daddy's got Brian Eno on, and that's chilling Miran (and me) out . . . I'm off to bed . . .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh, and also . . .

--He has started learning to use a sippy cup (plain water) and seems to be enjoying it.
--His diet now includes quinoa, cantaloupe, and prunes. (Banana is still his favorite, though.)

Miran Stands!

He's just growing up so rapidly. Miran is now able to stand, unsupported, for up to 15 seconds at a time! And when holding on to furniture or to your hands, he will cruise/walk around now. He's definitely got the idea about being mobile on two feet--he just needs a little more balance and confidence, and he's off!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miran crawls!

Just yesterday, he successfully navigated the full span of 'cushion corner' (about 2ft) in order to grab one of his favorite toys!

And - he did it going forwards on all fours! Um, I guess that's what crawling is. :-)

Meanwhile, he seems to have developed an aversion to sweet potato, because he barfed again last night after trying some for the first time since last week's barfy episode.

(from Kieryn)

Friday, November 20, 2009

8-month Stats

Length: 28 3/4" (75th percentile)
Weight: 19 lbs., 2 oz. (40th percentile)
And he's got big feet and hands . . . looks like our little boy is going to be tall and sturdy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He's so strong

Okay, Mama is lame and never updates the blog the way she would if she had more time. But here is what our dear baby has been up to over the past two weeks:
--pulling himself to standing with ease and balancing with very little support
--going from sitting, to all fours, to tummy, to sitting, etc.
--taking all his toys out of the box, one by one
--turning the pages of his books all by himself
--raw pears in a mesh feeder bag (yum!)
--finger still red, but better since nail fell off
--banging toys on things (fun!)
He also had his first real illness last Friday--a stomach bug that caused him to vomit and wretch and become sleepy/lethargic. But it only lasted a few hours, and when he woke the next morning, he was good as new, thank God. Kieryn and I were so worried we took him to the pediatric emergency room, but after speaking to our doctor and reassessing things, we left without being admitted. He's doing just fine now!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More soon (really!), but since the last update:

--two more teeth (the top ones)
--a very infected finger and scary experience with antibiotics -- now on the mend, fortunately
--new foods: raw pear and apple
--more willfull, less easily distracted away from what he wants

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Latest

Sorry this update is so brief! Since the last update, Miran:
--has eaten egg yolk (ate but didn't love) and green beans (wasn't crazy about).
--has entered a "scream-y" phase, where he enjoys shrieking at the top of his lungs, just for the thrill of it. (It's actually cute, since thankfully his scream is not terribly loud.)
--pulled himself to standing ON HIS OWN and balanced himself that way for long periods of time (while holding on to something, of course).
--seemed to grow more aware and more curious, e.g., he now enjoys truly playing with toys, not just trying to put them into his mouth, and he's interested in different colors and textures.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We Have Teeth!

Miran's first teeth -- the two bottom ones in the front -- have just begun to poke through his gums. You can only really see them when he cries or laughs (i.e., his tongue is out of the way), but they're definitely there -- and if he bites on your finger, you can certainly feel the razor-sharp edge where before was only gummy hardness.

In other news, Miran is 7 months old today. He's been having a good few weeks -- a playdate with his friend, Teddy, yesterday, and lots of happy times with Nana Meej, Granny, Mike, and other adoring fans, plus Mama and Daddy, of course. And he can now stand on his own when holding a crib rail!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where does time go?

Between working and being with Miran, there's been little time for updates -- but here's a quick one. Miran is doing very well. He's a happy, curious, alert, active baby who brings us such delight every day! This past week, Miran has been seriously "talkative" -- lots of communicative coos, squeals, shrieks, and raspberries (he loves these). Still no distinct consonants, but there are some "luh" and "thuh" sounds, plus the occasional "ma" or "ga" (which seem to happen by accident). Miran's also expanded his diet -- sweet potato was a big hit, and he had his first squash today. (Of course, this means his poop has changed, in color, smell, and consistency, and . . . well, let's just say it's not for the better!) He spends his days playing in his "cushion corner" (a soft, padded area of his nursery with all his toys spread around), going for strolls in the park, singing songs and making rhymes, napping, eating and drinking, and occasionally watching French folksong videos or beatboxing clips on Youtube (they work wonders at calming him down).

As for food, Miran nurses in the morning before I go to work, then gets three 5 oz. bottles of breastmilk, plus 1 or 2 oz. of solids, during the day when I'm gone, then nurses again when I get home and at bedtime. I pump once in the morning (off of whichever side he's not eating from), once at work (both sides), and once before bed (both sides). In total, I generally get 17 - 20 ounces per day from pumping, which is more than enough to cover the hours I'm away -- so we're doing well in that regard. The fridge and freezer are full of milk!

Miran goes to bed between 7 and 8 pm (usually earlier rather than later) and wakes up for good between 5 and 6 am. Some nights he sleeps straight through; other nights, he wakes up once or twice for his pacifier.

We've been taking some videos of him and hope to post some soon, so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What's new in Miran's development

Since last week, Miran has

--eaten mashed banana in addition to the avocado (egg yolk is next, followed by sweet potato). He is really enjoying the solid foods and tries to shove the spoon into his mouth when you don't move fast enough.

--begun pushing his butt into the air, ever-so-briefly, while on his tummy. Occasionally, he even lifts his whole torso off for a split second. A precursor to crawling!

--started making rudimentary consonant sounds. Nothing very distinct, and no babbling, but it's a start.

Can't wait to see what's in store this week . . . our sweet boy changes and grows so rapidly, it seems.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Miran Is 6 months Old


Today Miran turned 6 months and had his first taste ever of solid food -- avocado (he didn't seem to love it, but he did eat it). Here is my favorite picture of the past month.

Friday, September 11, 2009

quick update

As of 9/11:

weight: 17 lbs., 2 oz.
length: 26.75"
general health: excellent

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

He Can Sit!

Okay, I'm calling it: Miran can officially sit up on his own. He still needs to balance on his hands a bit, and he still topples over eventually, but he can stay upright so long and so consistently that I think I can safely say he has reached that milestone. i can hardly believe that that little boy, who was once so very tiny, is growing and developing so fast. (He's also totally discovered his toes now, and he's just starting to get upset when you take a toy away from him.)

The past week was rough. After waking generally only once each night for the past several months, Miran had begun waking every two or three hours again, just like when he was a newborn. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that it was due to a combo of growth spurt and teething. At any rate, the past two nights he's only woken up twice, so with any luck he'll be back to his more normal routine soon. I certainly hope so, because the timing is terrible: I started back at work yesterday.

So far, it's been okay. He's home with his grandmother (Kieryn's mom) during the day, and I know he's in the very best hands. I do miss him, but my job keeps me so busy that there's no time to sit around dwelling on it.

I'm pumping twice a day and, I hope, will continue to produce enough milk to not have to use any formula. (I've got about 15 or 20 bags of frozen milk, too, but that wouldn't last more than a few weeks.)In a couple of weeks, we're going to introduce solids, and that may help fill his tummy and slightly reduce the amount of milk he needs while I'm away. Right now, with me gone from 7 to 4, he seems to need about 12 ounces during the day. I nurse him from one side for his night feeding (sometime between 2 and 4 am) and then pump the other side. I then nurse him from both sides in the morning so that he starts the day good and full. He gets three bottles during the day, and I nurse him again when I get home around 4. At around 7, Kieryn gives him his goodnight bottle and puts him to sleep, and then I pump gain before bed. So . . . that's the routine for now.



Okay, off to bed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

quick update

As of this week, Miran can:

1. sit up unassisted for as long as 15-20 seconds (gets better every day!)
2. reach out his arms to the person that he wants to hold him

He changes every day, it seems. He is such a delightful baby!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

finding his voice

Miran's voice is changing. No, not wildly early onset puberty, but a subtle shift from the loud, squeaky coos of before to a softer, more mature sounding coo. His voice now sounds more like a proper speaking voice as opposed to a baby noise, and his coos sound a little more like talking, like language. Still no consonant sounds yet, though . . . that's the next language development to look forward to.

In other news, Miran has gone beyond merely being able to hold his pacifiers--he now grabs them right out of your hand and plops them in his mouth himself. And when Kieryn is about to give him a bottle, he now reaches for it in keen anticipation and grabs onto it firmly once it's given to him!

Friday, August 14, 2009

what's new


Here's what Miran's been into over the past few days:

--playing peek-a-boo
--playing with his toy mirror (and trying to eat it)
--the sun toy on his new exersaucer (e.g., he holds it, bats it, talks to it, stares at it)
--putting everything into his mouth
--cracking up at Daddy's silly faces
--exploring his toes (when propped to sitting)

(The picture is from a few weeks ago . . . more to come.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

new stats

As of this morning (posted by Leana):

age: 4 months, 4 weeks (two days shy of 5 months!)

weight: 15 lbs., 13 oz.

length: 26 1/4 inches

general health: excellent

I'm starting to really like our pediatrician. He's a rather odd man, but he seems to know what he's doing and to have a lot of experience. He's careful without being alarmist, which is good for me (being as I'm prone to worrying where Miran is concerned).

P.S> Miran can now roll completely over from back to tummy in one go.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Laughing!

Our little boy can really crack up now -- this morning he had his most boisterous laughing session yet, with real giggles and chuckles. It makes my whole world when he's so happy!

Today we did a big baby shopping trip, including a brief visit with Allison and Glenn and their baby, Kannon, who is eight months old. He and Miran were really looking at each other for the first time, and with time flying so fast they'll be playing together before we know it. We also picked up a bunch of things we need: baby food-making supplies (he starts solids in a month, and we want to make our own baby food for the most part), some drool bibs (trust me, he needs them), an ear thermometer (yay! no more rectal readings), some teething toys, diapers (he's now on size 3!), and an "exersaucer" activity center (since he loved the one at my cousin's house so much).

Speaking of my cousin, Miran and I had our biggest trip ever this week with my mom. We drove first to visit my cousin, Emily, and her baby Gabriella, who is nine months old. Then we went to visit an old family friend, her daughter, and her new granddaughter, who is seven months old, in upstate New York. Miran did really well for the most part, adjusting to all the new surroundings and people.

Tuesday we go to the doctor's for a check-up, so I'll be back soon to post updates on his status.

P.S. Oh, and he can now roll from back to tummy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

further developments

It seems like every day Miran has something new he can do. He has now totally mastered the ability to hold onto and chew a toy (though picking it up once it's dropped is not there yet), and his latest hobby is batting at the toys on his bouncy seat. Oh, and he's just starting to have little tantrums, too -- angry shrieking and bucking when he's unhappy, rather than always the old-fashioned crying.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A different baby

Kieryn and I were musing last night about what a different baby Miran has become. Gone is that tiny fragile newborn, and in his place, an alert, curious, growing baby boy who becomes more of his own person every day. These days, not only can he coo, make eye contact, roll from tummy to back, etc., but he can:

1. roll over from back to side (In fact, side sleeping is his new favorite thing. We put him to sleep on his back but, invariably, he rolls over onto his side at some point during the night)

2. grab things more easily, and even put his pacifiers back into his mouth when they fall out (sometimes). He has a teething rattle that he's just starting to figure out.

3. stand on his two legs with only minimal support

4. push himself to standing from sitting with only minimal support

5. sit upright with only minimal support

6. fuss, rather than cry, when he's upset

He continues to be healthy, well, and strong. And usually, pretty sweet, too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Growing Boy

New milestone . . . it's only happened a few times, but enough that it's not just coincidence: Miran can use his hands to get his pacifier back in his mouth when it falls out!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Special Visit

Miran has now finally met his other granddad (Kieryn's dad), and they have taken to each other right away. It's great to see three generations of Phipps men in the same room. Since Grandpops lives so far away (in England), this time together is really special. Adorable pictures to come soon.

P.S. Miran's appointment with the pediatrician went well today. He now weighs 14 lbs., is 25 inches long, and seems to be developing right on target.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, Dear


Well, it seems pretty official: Miran is a thumb-sucker. I thought he might have skirted this habit as, for the first three months of his life, he only occasionally found his thumb and, when he did, never seemed too particularly interested in it. But over the past week he has become more and more interested in that digit, and now he is fiercely attached to it. It's adorable, but . . . oh, dear.

Also, it's his left thumb that he sucks -- do you suppose that means he's left-handed?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wow!

Miran slept completely through the night for the first time last night -- 9 1/2 hours! He slept from 9.45pm to 7.15am!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rolling Over

Miran has mastered a new skill -- he can now consistently roll from his tummy to his back. (This means, of course, that it's hard for us to enforce tummy time now--to his delight, I'm sure!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

First "Playdate" in the Park


Today Miran and I met with friends in the park. It was Miran's first time with a baby his own age, and though he is too young to care about making friends, he did seem intrigued by little baby Eli, who is 8 weeks old. (Eli's mom is a colleague of mine.) So we had a little picnic in Riverside Park, and it was a lovely day.

Miran continues to grow up. He is now old enough for his "big boy" (=umbrella) stroller, so we are more mobile now that I can wheel him around in that instead of the regular stroller (though the regular stroller is better for long, leisurely strolls). He also has better and better head/neck control and can sit upright for extended periods without you supporting his head (though you do have to support his back). Our days consist of tummy time (which he often hates), stories, music, time in the bouncy chair and the swing, and daily walks outside. Grandma is a frequent visitor and dotes upon him as much as any baby could want.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Stats!


Miran will be 3 months old tomorrow, and my has he changed! He now coos incessantly (when in a talkative mood), smiles, interacts, and shows a little personality. He likes sitting in his bouncy seat, dancing to music with Mama or Grandma, and playing "Clap-Clap" with Daddy. At his check-up a week and a half ago, he weighed 12 lbs. (effectively double his birth weight) and was 24 1/4 inches.

We are also SO sorry for slacking off with the blog and vow to update it at least once a week from now on!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Quick Update

Sorry it's been so long! New pictures and video is coming soon, but in the meantime:

At 7.5 weeks, Miran now weighs 9 pounds and 10 ounces and measures 22 3/4 inches. He's growing at a healthy rate of just over an ounce a day and seems healthy and robust.

Monday, April 13, 2009

One Month Old

But it feels like Miran has always been here (and maybe, in the most profound way, he has). Well, where are we? Miran is growing like a weed -- still very small indeed, but not nearly as small as he once was. At his one-month check-up today, he weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. (up from 6 lbs. 8 oz. just over two weeks ago), so clearly mama's milk is doing its job! Miran is exclusively breast fed and, to me, it's a wonder of nature that I could produce anything hearty enough to sustain and grow a whole other human being.

Getting enough rest is still difficult, though easier with my mother-in-law here to lend a hand. Miran has just begun to occasionally sleep for four or five hours at a time (though not always during the night), which is great.

Oh--he's waking up -- more later!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hungry Miran Video

Miran, Aged 3 weeks, 3 days trying to munch on his Nana's shoulder.

Click here for video

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Due Date

Today's Miran's official due date--bizarre to think that if things had been different he could still be nestled snugly inside me for another week or two! But he's definitely here (screaming in the other room having his diaper changed as I type)--alive, strong, kicking, looking around, being a baby. He's definitely starting to show more interest in things around him and to focus on things--faces, lights, sounds.

Well, the weather is too nice to resist . . . off we go for a family walk through the park.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Phipps Inheritance (by Kieryn)

I'm sitting here listening to Brian Eno's Apollo album with Miran peacefully sleeping in the Amby Baby, Leana getting a much needed nap in the other room.

My own dad, Mick, listened to the same album often as I grew up and the relaxing atmosphere it creates is embedded deeply within me. This is one of the experiences I would like to pass on to Miran; I want it to chill him out too, for him to imagine being deep under the ocean while listening to the haunting reverberations of "The Secret Place" and "Matta", and fall asleep to the beautiful joyous overtones in "Ascent" as I once did so many years ago.

I know that his life will be his own and for the most part he will have interests and a personality nothing like I could expect or imagine, but there are small pieces of myself like this that I think he won't be able to escape.

I feel that this music has had such a positive effect on me, and I really hope that Miran will one day feel that too.

-Kieryn

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Piccies

4 pictures from this weekend. Click here for pictures

Clockwise from top left:
1. Daddy and Miran
2. Miran with Leana's cousin, Tracey
3. Miran/Daddy with Leana's cousin, Emily, and her baby, Gabriella (5 mos.)
4. Miran with Zija, his honorary big sister/aunt

Click on any picture to see it full-size.

Miran and Johnny

If we hadn't lost Johnny, Miran wouldn't be here. How strange that our greatest tragedy has led to our greatest joy. What would things be like if Johnny had lived? We would have a 10-month-old now. Would he be standing up? Talking? Laughing? What kind of parents would we be? I can say with fair certainty that the experience of losing Johnny has made me a better mom. I don't take my sweet Miran for granted, and I am keenly aware just how blessed Kieryn and I are to have him. Did Johnny come and go so that his brother would have better parents?

I have been, however briefly, in the position of someone who questioned whether she could ever be a mom at all, and my heart positively aches for all the couples who struggle to start a family. When I thought I might be in that boat, it was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced.

I have made peace with losing Johnny, but I still miss and think of him often. He is still and will always be my baby, a much loved and wanted child. Yet I would not undo the past, for I know things are as they were meant to be. I think Miran looks like Johnny, and it makes me smile to think of my two boys, brothers. I love them both with all my heart.

Below is a poem written by another mom of a rainbow baby:


A Different Child

A different child,
People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
in your mother and father's eyes.
And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.
You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth
One day, as a young man
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again."

--Pandora Diane MacMillan

Friday, March 27, 2009

Miran Update!

So Miran's two weeks old today, and all is going well. He has gained 9 oz. since last week and now weighs 6 lbs. 8 oz.--nice! We were actually slightly concerned that he wouldn't be gaining fast enough because he spits up after almost every "meal"--but apparently he's still getting plenty. The problem may be milk oversupply--that is, I am producing enough for a slew of babies, and it comes so fast and furious that his little stomach can't handle it all at once. This would also explain why he swallows so much air and is so gassy.

He's getting better and better at sustaining eye contact when he's awake, and he has great head/neck control (for a 2-week-old). We are welcoming the warmer weather and looking forward to taking him for more strolls in the park soon. Check back soon for new pictures/videos . . . !

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They Were You

When the moon was young,
When the month was May,
When the stage was hung for my holiday,
I saw shining lights
But I never knew:
They were you.
They were you.
They were you.

When the dance was done,
When I went my way,
When I tried to find rainbows far away,
All the lovely lights
Seemed to fade from view:
They were you.
They were you.
They were you.

Without you near me,
I can't see.
When you're near me,
Wonderful things come to be.

Every secret prayer,
Every fancy free,
Everything I dared for both you and me.
All my wildest dreams
Multiplied by two
They were you.
They were you.
They were you.

--from The Fantasticks

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring

And it's Miran's one-week birthday! We are continuing to adjust to our new full-time role as his parents, and he is doing very well. He's eating, peeing, pooping, sleeping, waking, and become more alert each passing day. He now opens his eyes fairly wide and looks around when he is awake, soaking in the world around him. His weight at the doctor's yesterday was 5 lbs. 15 oz. (which is normal; most babies lose some weight after birth), and we go back next week for another check-up.

We are still very tired and working on finding routines that work for all concerned. The night before last, I took Miran all night while Kieryn slept in the other room. Then last night, Kieryn cared for Miran all night while I slept in the other room, only bringing him to me for his feedings. This has given us both at least one night of relatively good rest, so hopefully we can start Week 2 a little more refreshed.

It is so amazing to think that we are now a family of three, when for so long it was always "the two of us." All three of us are sending love and best wishes for a beautiful spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Utter Craziness, Fatigue, and Bliss

We came home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon and have hardly had a moment since to process everything! The last few days have been a blur of poop, love, nursing, love, crying, love, exhaustion, love, tiny socks, love, and more love. Oh, and did I mention exhaustion?

Despite some feeding issues in the first couple of days (which seem to be getting better), everything is going well. We are learning as we go, like all first-time parents do, and are 100% in love with our little boy. We marvel over his fingers and toes and tiny button nose. Our hearts clench when he cries. Sleep is a luxury we can hardly afford.

Tomorrow is his first follow-up with the pediatrician, so we hope all is well there. We certainly appreciate all the help we've received from family and friends--from cooking us meals to purchasing items from our registry, everything makes a HUGE difference.

Having a newborn is incredibly challenging and time-consuming--more than I imagined, even though I thought I had prepared myself for it. But just when it feels impossible, I look into his dark blue baby eyes and know that it is all worth it and that we are so very blessed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Birthday pictures.

Miran's first few hours

Video of baby Miran!

Miran 2 hrs old - being cute in the nursery :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Welcome to the world: Miran Cooley Phipps!

Born at 12.19 pm, Friday March 13th, 2009
6 lbs 3 oz
20 inches long

Kieryn, Leana and Miran are all exhausted, but doing fine.

The full story and pictures to come...

It's Miry Time!

Ok so Leana is in active labor now! 5cm dialated at last check. She has an epidural and all is well... waiting for Miran to move down a bit so then they will break the water. Just a matter of hours now!

Watch this space for Miry pictures!

-Kieryn

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Morning Update

The doctors had a meeting today to discuss me (apparently, I am something of a mystery to them). Basically:
--My platelet levels are still slightly below normal but not to dangerous levels, and they are not dropping any further.
--My second 24-hour urine study came back with still slightly elevated protein, but better than before--and nothing that would cause real alarm.
--My blood pressure has been great. This morning it was 104/65. Hardly high! (The two highest bp scores I've had here were 143/80 and 148/75 -- neither of which is very high at all.)
--My liver enzymes, which were a little elevated (but not to dangerous levels), have also improved.
--My kidney function/electrolyte balance is excellent.

So . . . they think I am doing fine and, if I do have pre-eclampsia, it would be a very mild case. Nevertheless, they want to go ahead and induce at 37 weeks. Fine by me. I kind of wish they would let me go home, though, and then just come back on Sunday. I have been so stable since I've been here, and I don't feel unwell at all.

NOTE (added at 11 AM): They said they are going to take me upstairs to Labor & Delivery and start the induction on Saturday night at 8 pm, so Miran should be born sometime on Sunday for sure (at least, I certainly hope so!).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunday, March 15

My induction date has been set. No way to know whether I'll actually give birth then or the next day, but the whole process starts on Sunday. Four and a half days . . .

Monday, March 9, 2009

Miran will be here within a week!

Just saw my actual OB, and basically it's this: I have some slightly abnormal bloodwork, but nothing that indicates real danger or the need for immediate intervention (and my blood pressure is still totally normal). On the other hand, just to play it safe they will induce me at 37 weeks, as soon as Miran is full term. That's in SIX days!!! And obviously, if anything seems to worsen, they'll induce me sooner.

So, I'm definitely staying here in the hospital for another few days, but when I do leave, it will be with Miran in tow! And that won't be more than a week away . . . world, are you ready for Miran time?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Update from Hospital

Well, it looks like I am going to be here for at least another day. In brief:

--My blood pressure has been consistently normal since I got here, BUT
--My blood platelet level is still dropping slightly.
--My liver enzymes are a bit high (not sure what the significance of that is).
--My 24-hour urine study came back with elevated protein.

They're not sure yet what the problem is or if there even is one, so we're just kind of hanging out here in limbo. I could be going home tomorrow morning, or in a week (with Miran), or in a week (still pregnant). I'll keep posting updates!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Going to the Hospital

I have to leave soon, so this will be brief, but:

I had bloodwork done on Wed. at my appointment, and it turns out my blood platelets are a little below normal. This in itself isn't a huge deal, but my blood pressure was also a little high on Wed. (130/80) whereas I normally have quite low blood pressure. My doc thinks everything is probably fine, but the combination could mean I am developing pre-eclampsia (=pregnancy-related high blood pressure). This would be bad because it would mean less blood flow to the baby.

So, long story short, I am being admitted to the hospital this afternoon for a 24- to 48-hour observation to check whether things are okay. If they are, I'll be released and continue as normal. If they're not, I will either be released and monitored closely, then induced at 37 weeks, or I may have to stay in the hospital until I am induced at 37 weeks. That's just 9 days away!

I'm feeling pretty okay. The worst case scenario is that they catch a problem, monitor me, and deliver Miran in 9 days. Since that's not such a bad prospect, I'm feeling more or less fine. Just rather surprised--because this was sudden, with no warning--and somewhat inconvenienced (I had a lot I wanted to do this weekend).

I'll be back with an update as soon as possible! Wish me luck . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Latest Miran Stats

Miran had another biophysical profile today and again scored 8/8. He frustrated the u/s technician by sleeping through the exam and refusing to do his practice breathing, but just when time was almost up and she was giving me graham crackers and apple juice in the hopes that it would wake him up, he jolted awake and did a flurry of breathing movements! (He also flashed her again, several times, as usual.) My fluid levels went back down to 8, but I am a little less concerned this time since I know that they can also go up. I'm just going to keep taking it really easy and hope that it stays the same or goes back up by next week.

Meanwhile, my doctor gave me the "how to know when you're in labor" talk today, which was just another reminder of how far along I am. Miran is full term in 11 days!!! From that point on, if born, he would not be considered premature or preterm in any way. Amazing. Even now, if born, he would likely have only minor issues.

So, at 35 weeks and 3 days, he weighs approximately 5 lbs. 14 oz. and is in the 49th percentile for his gestational age (right on target). Looking good!

The nursery is almost done now in terms of functionality, but it's not terribly pretty yet. The bare essentials are there: baby hammock bed, full-size bed (for us to sleep in), changing table, dressers, humidifier, air purifier. We also have a few clothes (my sisters are promising to buy us tons, plus a friend of mine who recently had a baby is donating a box full, so we don't want to buy too much in advance), two receiving blankets, diaper rash cream, diapers, and wipes.

We're just counting down now. Miran could come any day, and will definitely be in our arms within one month.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

35 Weeks!

Okay, so this is really the home stretch now. Miran is full term in two weeks, weighs around 6 lbs., and if born this week, might not even have to spend time in the NICU. The nursery is almost almost done now (really!), and we have most of the basic supplies we need for his arrival. My hospital bag is halfway packed. We're in the waiting phase now, and it's getting exciting! We are just so eager to meet, see, hold, and love our precious baby.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weekly Check-Up

Great news! My fluid levels went back up to 11, which is terrific. I don't know whether the bed rest and water intake is why or whether it wouldn't have mattered, but who cares? I am so reassured not to have something extra to worry about. Miran also scored 8/8 again on his biophysical profile (though he was stubborn about showing off his practice breathing abilities). So . . . things are looking good!

Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the baby care class yesterday. Kieryn had tons to do at work, and I was absolutely exhausted, so it just didn't happen. I'm sorry, because I'm sure it would have been both fun and useful. Oh, well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

21 Days . . .

until Miran is full-term! We can't believe we're at 34 weeks already. Time is flying by and dragging on at the same time . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Breastfeeding

Yesterday I went to my first prenatal class: Breastfeeding. It lasted for two hours and was surprisingly informative--who knew there was so much to learn about something so basic and natural? There was a video presentation, a practice session (picture a room full of very pregnant women, each holding a life-size newborn baby doll and trying out various holds, burping positions, etc.), a lecture on breast care and nutrition, and a long Q&A session. I walked away with a slew of pamphlets, two pages of notes, and a sincere hope that Miran latches on easily and we don't experience any of the myriad problems brought up during the class.

Next Tuesday is the Baby Care class, and Kieryn and I will both be going. It will be quite amusing to watch Kieryn change the diaper on the life-size doll. :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekly Check-Up

Miran scored 8 out 8 again and continues to look great. There is a slight concern, however, that my amniotic fluid level has gone down and is now at 8, which is the lowest end of the normal range (6-7 is borderline, and 5 or below is a problem). Last week it was 10, and the week before that it was 12, so we're really hoping it doesn't continue to fall. In the meantime, I have to lie horizontally for much of the day and drink 6 liters of water per day to see if that helps bring the levels up. Please keep your fingers crossed that it does!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

33 Weeks

Miran is basically the same as a newborn now, just a little bit thinner. He weighs about 5 lbs. and will continue to lay down fat at a high rate until his birth in a few weeks. If born this week, he would probably be classified as preterm rather than premature, a distinction based on the relative maturity of his organs and internal systems at this stage. He is full term in just one month!

In the last few days, I have begun to experience more frequent Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions. They're not painful or regular, so I know it's not real labor or anything, but it's exciting because it means my body is starting to get ready for eventual delivery.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting Big

Miran is really getting big now (probably weighs close to 5 lbs.), so he has less room to move around. This means the sharp kicks and jabs I was used to have turned into rolls and squirms. I do still occasionally feel a kick here and there, but more often I feel (and/or see) a foot, elbow, or butt roll across my belly. When he's really active, my whole belly jumps and moves with his movements--pretty amazing to see!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekly Check-Up

Miran scored 8 out of 8 on his check-up test today, and the doctor said he's doing beautifully. He's moving around, his heart-rate is fine, he's practicing breathing more and more often, and everything still looks good. Oh, and he's not shy -- every time we go for ultrasounds these days, the tech comments that he's "definitely a boy." Let's hope he grows out of the habit of flashing strange ladies. :-)

We're in love with him and just can't wait till he's here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

32 Weeks -- Another Milestone Reached

32 weeks has been one of my milestones from the beginning since that is the time when Miran is "officially" out of the highest danger zone in terms of prematurity. He would still need to stay in the NICU if born now, but his chances of ultimately being just fine are now are as high as 98 percent.

According to one website, Miran's main activities these days consist of "blinking, looking around, grabbing things, making faces, practicing his breathing, peeing and listening to everything around him—pretty much exactly what he'll be doing for the first three months of his life, sans the adoring audience and the flashing camera." Awww . . .

We are still working on the nursery, and Miran has acquired more stuff: a few clothes, a baby bath, a car seat, mitts and booties, a blanket, and a changing pad. The crib, changing table, and glider chair have been ordered and are on their way.

Five weeks till full-term . . . and since we know we will not be going past his due date (discussed with our doctor), eight weeks is the longest we'll have to wait to meet our little Miran, aka Thumper, aka Squirmy Squirmington.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Miran's Latest Stats

Miran had his weekly check-up today:

--He scored 8 out of 8 again on his biophysical profile.

--He was estimated to weigh in at a whopping 4 lbs. 3 oz.! (It's not really that whopping--it puts him in the 56th percentile for babies his age--but it's huge to us because it seems like just the other day he was the size of an apple pip.)

--His levels of fluid are just fine.

--We saw him practicing swallowing and breathing; he's getting ready for the outside world!

Meanwhile, the crib is on its way, and we should be posting pictures of the nursery before too long -- stay tuned . . .

Sunday, February 1, 2009

31 Weeks

This week marks a major milestone in Miran’s development: his lungs are now mature enough to breathe air on their own! He might still need a little assistance if he were born now, but he would probably not need to be on a ventilator.

His skin is also much smoother now and has turned pink from the ever-increasing fat deposits he is laying down. Basically, he looks just like a full-term infant except a little thinner and a little smaller. Everything else is in proportion and in place!

Six weeks till he’s full-term!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quiet Afternoon with Miran

We're just sitting here listening to music and relaxing. Miran's giving me little kicks in between his naps. He's always quieter during the day and then quite active in the evening and during the night--wonder if this means we're going to have a night owl on our hands. :-) We go in for a "check-up" ultrasound today, and for the first time Miran will actually be scored on how he does in four categories (muscle tone, breathing (practice), movement, amniotic fluid level). I'll be back later to update.

UPDATE: Miran scored 8 out of 8 on the ultrasound, so he seems to be in great shape! He was practicing breathing, moving around, and looking good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Prayer

I thought I'd share a prayer I found online that has been helping me get through each day:

----

Dear God, my heart and mind are open to You. May your gentle peace fill my being. In your Presence, I Am the presence of peace. Inner peace is the essence of my being. My mind is calm, clear, and certain.

I am comforted by your loving embrace, God. I surrender all my worries and concerns to you knowing that your eternal and everlasting spirit upholds and sustains me in all that I do. My inner peace is strengthened by our connection.

As I join my heart and mind with yours, dear God, I feel your peace infusing my entire being, keeping my sense of inner peace strong and secure.

To You, beloved God, I let go of struggle, strife, and challenge in my life. In the comfort of your peaceful presence, I am whole, fulfilled, and at peace.

God, my inner peace is the result of your soothing presence. Your essence calms the storms around me and leads me ever deeper into the place of perfect inner peace where our minds are joined. As I focus my mind on Your peaceful presence, I release all thought and melt in the comfort and safety of Your love.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

30 Weeks!

So what has Miran been up to this past week? Well . . .

• His brain has been the focus of development and now has the classic folds and wrinkles that signify more mature, more conscious thought processes.
• His bone marrow now controls his red blood cell production.
• He’s continuing to plump up and develop the fat layers needed to keep him warm when born. His skin is therefore turning from red to pink.
• His finger and toenails have grown in completely.
• When awake, his eyes are wide open as he explores his ever-“shrinking” environs.
• He can recognize familiar voices, sounds, and music.

Meanwhile, at 7 months pregnant, my stomach has become huge (or so it seems to me). My center of gravity is different, and I can't help but to waddle when I walk. And with Miran about to double or triple in size, I can only imagine how huge I'll be in a few weeks!

As ridiculous as this may sound, we were actually in L&D again yesterday evening. This time, though, I didn’t even want to go in as I knew everything was fine, but the on-call doctor insisted that I come in just to be sure. I wasn’t even going to call the doctor, but Kieryn said I really should just to see what he said (we both expected him to say, “You’re fine, just call back if it gets worse/you experience symptoms, etc.”). But instead, he said that even though there was a 99% chance everything was fine, I should definitely come in to be checked. What happened was that I sneezed and peed myself (pregnancy is not bladder-friendly), but we had to rule out the possibility that my water had broken. So back we were again, and of course everything was fine, and we were in and out again in two hours. And since I knew all along that things would be fine, it wasn’t stressful at all. Kieryn and I were laughing and joking with the nurses the whole time. One of the nurses even remembered me from when I was there 2 ½ months ago! Best NICU in the metro area, top-rated doctors, close by, attentive service, friendly staff, clean facility—we left, again, feeling so grateful for our hospital.

Now we’re just 7 weeks from being full-term and just 10 weeks from the official due date, but I have a feeling he will come a week or two early (and that’s just fine by me).

And we’re already hopelessly in love with our little boy. Seriously, it’s bad. ☺ He’s already become the focal point of our lives and everything we do and plan. We cannot wait to meet him in person and be able to see and hold him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

False Alarm!

So Kieryn and I spent two hours in Labor & Delivery last night, but all seems okay. I was having some bad aches/cramps before I went to bed, but that is not unusual. Around 12:30, however, the pain was so intense that it woke me up, and it was coming in waves (like contractions). To make sure I wasn't overreacting, I asked Kieryn to put his hand on my belly, and he was able to feel it go from relaxed to rock hard when the pain started--again, classic contraction. And since they were coming pretty regularly and frequently, and since my doctor has always said more than four contractions per hour warrants a visit--and given my history--we both decided a little trip to the hospital was in order, just to be safe.

Now, it is common to have episodes of "practice" contractions in the third trimester in a healthy pregnancy, so we were well aware that it might very well be false labor. We were not panicked or scared, just trying to play it safe. I felt in my heart that Miran wasn't trying to make his grand entrance just yet, and that even if it was labor, it would stop or be stopped in time. Despite all the anxiety I have been feeling, last night I truly felt calm and okay.

The pain was already getting less intense by the time we got to the hospital and gradually subsided during our stay. This made me feel silly for going in, but the doctor said we had absolutely done the right thing and that we should come in again if it happens again, as a precaution. She said they'd always rather have you come in for a false alarm then possibly risk not coming in if true labor has begun. She also did a fetal fibronectin test which came back negative, meaning I have a 90+% chance of not going into labor within the next two weeks. It's not a guarantee, but it's good to know!

We were in and out of the hospital within two hours, which is pretty impressive. Within minutes of calling my doctor's emergency answer service to let them know I was on the way, the main on-call doctor called me back. She said yes, definitely go in, and she alerted the docs at the hospital that I was coming so when I got there, they were ready to see me. No long waits, no hassle. The nurse was kind, the resident doctor was warm and attentive, the room was clean and private, and overall it was about as good as you can expect for going to the hospital in the middle of the night. We left feeling really good about our hospital and knowing that we're in good hands whenever it's time to go back (hopefully not for another couple of months, though!). Also, getting there was a breeze--10 minutes in a cab either direction.

So this morning we're a little groggy but doing okay. :-) And we're 30 weeks in two days!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick Update

Had my routine appointment today. My cervix is still holding up (yay), and Miran was looking good (heart-rate 159). My blood pressure and everything was fine. The ultrasound tech let me watch the screen briefly while Miran opened and closed his mouth, which was beyond adorable. He's still head down and was enjoying kicking my upper abdomen very vigorously today while I was waiting to be seen. So I go back in two weeks, on February 4th.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finding (Remembering?) Peace

It's been a rough today. Anxiety, most of it irrational, has been nagging me. I'm sure that being exhausted from lack of sleep isn't helping. Fortunately, my wonderful husband has been very supportive and is helping me "get back on track," emotionally. Being pregnant after a loss is not easy. It takes a lot of strength to keep from slipping into fear-based modes of thought. I don't always seem to have as much of that strength as I'd like, but I'm working on it. I long for the kind of unshakable inner peace I used to feel before I lost John. I am trying to trust in the trustworthiness of God, as my grandfather always says.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

29 Weeks

So this is the last week in the “20s,” and Miran has grown quite a bit since this blog was started a month ago. He has almost doubled in weight and is now just under 3 lbs. and around 17 inches long—almost as long as he will be at birth. His lungs are now capable of breathing on their own, his eyes have opened, and he is acutely aware of external sounds, movements, and light. He has gone from a baby who might just survive if born to a baby with greater than 90% odds of survival without major long-term problems.

He will be full term in just 8 weeks! The bulk of his remaining development will consist of getting fatter and further developing his lungs and brain (billions of neurons develop daily).

Meanwhile, Kieryn and I are finally getting a real start on preparing for his big homecoming. A full apartment sweep—cleaning, organizing, rearranging—is in progress. We figured out everything we’ll need, researched products, and made a registry at amazon.com (link under his pictures). And yesterday we made our first purchase for Miran: Amby Baby
It costs over $300 normally, but we found a gently used one at a great price on craigslist, so Kieryn went to Brooklyn to pick it up. Kieryn was so excited when he brought it home that he set it up right away, and both of us just stood there and held each other and looked at it in awe. It makes everything seem more real.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Boys

"Boys are meant for kisses and hugs, for watching rainbows and catching bugs, for sharing all of your favorite things, for books to read and songs to sing." -Unknown

We can't wait to share all of these things with you, sweet baby boy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good News!

The appointment today went very well. Though still funneled, Leana's cervix has not continued to shorten and has in fact lengthened! Miran was looking good with a heart-rate of 150 and weighing approx 2 lbs 12 oz. He is measuring right on target for his age.

We are incredibly relieved and becoming increasingly excited about our little boy! :-)

-Kieryn & Leana

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Best Thoughts for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my follow-up exam to see whether my cervix is holding up or whether it's continuing to shorten/funnel. I'm nervous, but Kieryn keeps reminding me that either way, things will be okay in the end. And that does comfort me. Tomorrow we also find out how much Miran now weighs (approximately) and how big he measures (i.e., how "old" he seems based on his size). At the last appointment, he was three days ahead.

Well, I'll post an update tomorrow when I get all the results . . . keeping fingers crossed!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brothers

Miran, today's your big brother's birthday (and angelversary). I know he's looking over you and watching out for you. I hope you can feel it, too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

28 Weeks!

Twenty-eight weeks is a great milestone to reach because it brings Miran into the "next level" of development. If he were born now, though he would still need lots of intervention and would face a lengthy NICU stay, he would no longer be considered a “micro-preemie,” a term used to describe the smallest and most fragile of premature babies. His lungs have developed a lot over the last few weeks, and he may even be able to breathe on his own now. Though still thin, he has put on some baby fat to help regulate his body temperature. His senses--sight, hearing, touch, taste--are all functioning. In short, he is a fully formed baby who just a needs a few more weeks to get bigger and fatter before making his grand entrance.

Kieryn and I are starting to think more about all we need to do to prepare for his arrival. We have chosen the stroller and crib we want, decided how we're going to reorganize the apartment, and are researching how to best introduce Miran to our cat (and vice versa) when the time comes. As Kieryn said the other day, "It still all kind of feels like a dream, but sometimes the reality hits me all of a sudden and I get such a warm, happy feeling inside." I feel the same way. We can't wait . . . we are so ready to be parents and to embark together on this next stage of our lives.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Found this ticker and thought it was cute, especially because of the frog theme -- that's Miran's official animal, if you didn't notice. :-)


Pregnancy Tickers

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back on Bed Rest

Well, it looks like my cervix is starting to shorten rapidly, so I'm back on modified home bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. The situation is not critical, but to prevent further shortening it's best if I'm off my feet as much as possible. Otherwise, things are going well, and Miran seems to be doing fine. He'll get measured and evaluated more thoroughly at next week's ultrasound. I really hope my cervix holds where it is or, if it's going to keep shortening, goes at a slower pace. Luckily, I've read a lot of stories of women with cervixes much shorter than mine who went on bed rest and delivered full term, so I'm quite optimistic, but slightly nervous about the increased risk of an early birth. But every extra week in the womb does wonders for Miran's growth and for his odds not just of survival, but of well being. So even if I don't go full term, I'll be grateful to get as far as possible. And honestly, considering everything we went through last year, I am incredibly grateful to have been able to carry Miran to 27 weeks and counting . . . I don't want to lose sight of how wonderful it is that I have carried a baby to viability when, not long ago, I didn't know whether I'd ever be able to do that.

But I am very sad to have to stop working, mainly because I really love my job. The kids make me happy, and I enjoy their enthusiasm and humor and innocence. I enjoy teaching them, and I'm going to miss that. I'm also going to miss my daily interactions with colleagues. On bed rest, it's easy to feel detached from the rest of the world, and one of the nicest things about going back to work on Monday was feeling like I was part of the "living world" again.

Nevertheless, I feel pretty peaceful knowing that I am doing the best thing for my baby. Even if bed rest doesn't help, at least if something does go wrong, I'll know I did all I could. If I continued to work and something went wrong, I'd never know for sure whether that caused it, and I know I'd feel guilty. It's taken me a long time to get over the feelings of guilt I had when we lost Johnny (not going to the hospital sooner, not advocating better for him when they said it was hopeless and they had to induce (and I found out later it wasn't and they didn't)). So this time -- I'm taking NO risks, I'm playing it super safe, and I'm not sorry. I'm sad that it has to be this way, but I'm not sorry.

So I go in tomorrow for the final day of teaching for the year. The kids don't know, and it's hard not being able to say goodbye properly--but it's better that way for a variety of reasons. I'll go back and visit them when I am full term or after the baby's born. Only two or three months now!

Oh, also--took a big step today and signed up for two maternity classes at the hospital, one on baby care and one on breastfeeding. Both are in late February, so I've got fingers crossed that I get to that point! I'll be somewhere around 33-34 weeks at the time--so thrilling to even imagine being that pregnant! And it really isn't that far away . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Milestones

I have divided this pregnancy into various milestones from the beginning, and each one brings a small sense of relief knowing that I am closer to my dream come true . . . holding a healthy Miran in my arms. Here are the milestones:

--5 weeks: baby has firmly implanted
--8 weeks: risk of miscarriage drops significantly
--12 weeks: second trimester; risk of miscarriage very low
--16 weeks: starting weekly progesterone shots
--21 weeks, 2 days: the day in pregnancy I went into labor with Johnny
--21 weeks, 5 days: the day in pregnancy we lost Johnny
--23 weeks: potential viability, albeit low chances
--24 weeks: official viability; 50% chance of survival
--26 weeks: survival rate increases significantly
--27 weeks: third trimester; survival rate hits 90%
--28 weeks: out of the "extremely premature" risk category
--32 weeks: 95% chance of survival with very low risk of major disability
--37 weeks: full term!!!
--40 weeks: due date

I've already gotten through most of the milestones, with just four left to go . . . really looking forward to hitting 28 weeks . . .

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Third Trimester!

Today, at 27 weeks, I am officially in my third and final trimester of pregnancy. Wow. It’s hard to believe that this is the beginning of the “home stretch,” as it were . . . three months seems so close and yet so far away, all at the same time.

Kieryn and I have just begun to start thinking about everything we need to do to prepare for Miran’s arrival. Before now it was just too emotionally scary to think that far ahead, but now, it’s also scary to realize that we really are going to have a newborn in the house in a few short months and we have NOTHING ready! Kieryn is working on getting the apartment together (huge task), and I am doing research figuring out what crib to get, etc. I want to figure out exactly what we need now because everyone keeps telling me there will be no time for that kind of stuff once the baby is here. And we haven’t even started to think about researching newborn care and all that stuff . . . so there’s lots of stuff to do in the next few months. Plus, I go back to work on Monday -- back to busy mode. I hope that will make the time fly faster, as I can’t wait for April to just be here and to have Miran in our arms.

A few facts about his development at 27 weeks:

• He looks just like a fully formed baby, only smaller.
• His brain and lungs are continuing their rapid development.
• His now demonstrates REM activity, which means he can dream!
• His eyes open, close, blink, and can produce tears.
• He can distinguish sour, sweet, and bitter tastes.
• He can feel and respond to pain just the same as a newborn.
• The hair on his head is growing longer now.
• He’s getting plumper and probably weighs close to 2.5 lbs.
• If he were born this week, he would have a 90% chance of survival and a very good chance of not having any major long-term disabilities.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Miran!

Hey Miran. Love you!

Welcome to your birth-year: 2009.

Can't wait to see you, little chuff.

Love & cuddles,

Daddy