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 (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 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


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


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,