Thursday, June 26, 2008

My new Midwife

We're so excited, we found a wonderful Christian midwife! She has a great birth center, and also does homebirths which is what we're aiming for now. I was immediately put at ease when we walked in her front door and she's got a great head on her shoulders. We talked for about 30 minutes and decided to switch to her care, so we did one last non-stress test (just for her records) and filled out some paperwork. She told me after looking through my records so far that my care has been over the top and that we don't have anything to worry about right now with baby girl. I'll go for one last specialist measurement ultrasound on the 7th of July and my next appointment with Nancy (midwife) will be at our house on the 11th! I love the personalized care with her as well, it's such a great alternative to doctors and hospitals with one approach to pregnancy and birth for the masses. Did I mention she's fully covered by our insurance too? What a blessing from God! Thanks for keeping us in your prayers for the rest of the pregnancy, baby girl can't wait to meet you all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gosh I'm SO Pregnant!

Well maybe I just feel that way lol! It's not too bad, she's quite a good baby in there, with only the occasional left hook to the bladder. I'm just starting to feel the strain of this big belly but it's to be expected at 7 months (33 weeks). John and I have been going outside a lot more lately. The other day we went to the play area in our apartment complex, and today we sat on the grass behind our apartment and had some treats. It's getting much nicer here, I can't wait for this weekend! Sunny and 80 degrees, woohoo!
And this is my silly kid who steals my spot every time I get up from resting! We actually got him his own keyboard from a garage sale to play with as a toy and he loves it. He thinks he's pretty cool typing like mommy.

Hmm, what else? Well I've been looking into different midwives in the area and found one that I think will be a great fit! I have an appointment with her on Thursday to discuss care options and whether or not we can all agree on the safety of a home birth with this pregnancy. She'll be reviewing my chart up until this point and then we'll see! She is also a wonderful Christian lady and we seemed to have a lot in common during our phone conversation. Please pray that we continue to make wise choices for me and baby girl for the rest of the pregnancy.

Isaac was also just offered a free office downtown by the Tacoma Dome by the Cutco district manager. Of course he took it, so I finally have my dining room back, yay! It's been pretty packed in there for about 5-6 months now and this office was quite a blessing. So for the last several days now I've been in organizing and cleaning phase, getting the dining room back to how it was, and rearranging (in my head, Isaac did the moving!) furniture. I think I'm nesting already, what do you think?! I also moved a few things around in the kids' room today and finished some things up in there. It's nice to be done for the most part, but now what am I going to do with the remaining 7 weeks!? Guess I'll just have to find things to read and clean before she's here.

Tomorrow we are all very excited to go to Seattle and meet up with our good friends the Blands. They flew all the way from GA to visit their family (and us), and to go on an Alaskan cruise (lucky)! We're going to pick them up in the afternoon and spend some time in the city, and then eat at the Cheesecake Factory, yum! It will be so nice to see our friends again, it's been a long time.

Well I think that's all. We're trying to keep things simple and low key around here so I can get my rest and grow a nice big baby. Isaac's working a lot like usual, but things are going pretty well. John is getting the concept of having a baby sister more and more also! He always wants to hug and kiss my tummy now and he spontaneously tells her "I love you" without being prompted. I think he's going to be a sweet big brother...until she goes for his toys in a few months, lol!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just a quick note...

to say everything's going great. We found out that baby girl is doing fine, growing like she should be, and are no longer worried about her being early. I'll still be going to my regular midwife appointments to track both our health, but other than that we're pretty much done with all the extra stressful stuff. I've got about 8 weeks left before she's due, woohoo! John is a little sick with a cold right now so he's a little out of sorts, but I'm sure he'll be better soon. We went to the Tacoma Farmer's Market this morning and got some yummy fruits and vegetables for the week; I can't wait for dinner tonight! We're also finally getting some good weather in. It's overcast but pretty nice out still. Ok, that's all. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

32 weeks and counting...

Well, here I am, getting bigger by the day now! I sure hope all this eating and rest is helping this baby, because it's sure packing the weight onto me!

Johnny's new cars

John just discovered the awesomeness of hot wheels cars...daddy brought a bunch home from a garage sales and he loves them!

Happy Father's Day Isaac!

We took these at church this morning, I thought they mostly turned out...except for some squinting (which is a good thing here, it means the sun is out!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stressful tests...

I know they're supposed to be called "Non-Stress Tests," but they're very much the opposite! Just getting out of the house and to the office by 8:30am is stressful enough, but then getting hooked up to monitors for almost an hour is really bad! I have to go twice a week to monitor her heartbeat and movement. If she cooperates, it's a 15 minute in-and-out appointment. If she doesn't, like this morning, it takes forever! Baby girl just didn't want to wake up this morning for her monitoring, so we had to take some extreme measures, hehe. The midwife came in, took one look at the sluggish monitor, and very loudly began ringing a cowbell at my belly! I think it woke me up a lot more than little miss! She kicked and punched me for about two seconds and went back to sleep...just like mommy would have done ;) So after 25 minutes of monitoring I had to chug some orange juice to wake her up. She finally proceeded to give me a sound whooping from the inside out and the monitoring went well. She's a healthy, sleepy little thing but we're very thankful that these NSTs are going well. Keep praying for BGS (baby girl stegman) to grow like crazy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baby Talk

I had my perinatologist appointment this morning, and Isaac and John came along. It was a very long morning out with a toddler and I was so thankful Isaac took the morning off to help me with John, and to be there to check on our little girl. The ultrasound lasted almost 45 minutes and was incredibly thorough. Dr. Read was very nice and answered all of our questions, and gave us some wonderful pictures of her as we were leaving, which I'll post at the bottom.
As far as the results, there's both good and bad involved. Baby Girl Stegman looks absolutely perfect in every way, shape, and form. He checked and re-checked all of her vital organs, bones, facial structure, etc. and couldn't find a single anomaly or abnormality about her. She's perfectly healthy!

BUT, she's still measuring VERY small, at about the 7th %ile for her gestational age. Usually this is a concern because babies this small tend to have a reason for being this small, but some babies just end up being petite little babies for no apparent reason. The problem still remains that her growth is continuing to slow, however, and that's where all the bad news comes in. About 12 days ago she was (approximately) in the 24th %ile for her gestational age, and now she's at less than a 10%. I have been advised to get a lot more rest (pretty much bedrest), boost up my calorie intake a bunch, take my vitamins, and return to the specialist every 2 weeks for more ultrasound checks. I also have to go see my midwives every week for a non-stress test on the baby, which measures her heartbeat during periods of movement and rest. It's going to be a looong third trimester!

As for prayer, we could really use it! Please pray for our little one to gain weight and continue up the curve, so that we can avoid a premature c-section at all costs. Please pray for me emotionally as well. Many of you might not know this but I am a huge natural childbirth advocate. I never want to deliver in a hospital again, and to be completely honest, a c-section would be devastating for me personally. I will always do what I deem best for the health of my baby, of course, but I still hope and strive for a natural delivery with this baby. I'm going to be doing everything in my power to keep her growing at a constant rate to make her birth into this world much more peaceful than a c-section and NICU stay. Thank you for your prayers, and I'll keep updates coming as we know more details.

That's her hand on the left side of her face by her eye

Our little reader

I thought this was hilarious and adorable. I was making lunch before naptime, John was super tired and wanted to go to bed NOW, and this is what I found when lunch was ready...
My baby, just thumbing through one of his books like a pro!
Poor Mike...he really truly thinks we love him enough to get him his own crib. He sleeps in it all day long, unless he's eating and getting fatter. He's in for a big surprise when we have this baby though!

Last week Isaac took his physical test (CPAT) associated with the Public Safety Test that he took a few months back. He passed it (it's pass/fail), and we're one step closer to getting some interview opportunities with several different departments in western WA. We also found out, however, that even though his Seattle fire dept. ranking was extremely high, Seattle has now pushed back any and all of their hiring procedures until at least next January. Originally it looked as if Isaac would be able to go through the process of hiring through the rest of this year and possibly start an academy (if hired) in January, but it looks like it's going to be a much longer wait now. I guess we'll just have to be patient, and wait on what the Lord has for us. Please continue to keep us in your prayers regarding Isaac and getting hired on a fire department in the future!