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!


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.