Monday, June 25, 2007

Grandma's Updates

My mom (who wants to be known as Meme or Mimi) has been updating her personal blog with details of the birth and emma's surgeries and recovery.

Please click on over there to pictures of my beautiful girl.

I'm still too exhausted to do much updating. Recovering from a c-section with a hospitalized baby can be really draining, physically and emotionally. I'm saving my energy for hospital visits with emma.

Updates from another website on Emma - sharing for details.

06-20-2007, 1:57 PM
Jessica delivered Emma Collette today (June 20) at 12:32 ct.
She weighs in at 7 lbs 13 oz and her Apgar was 8/9!

I don't have many details other than that. Jessica is doing well and they are stabilizing Emma for transport to the children's hospital.

Please keep my them in your thoughts and prayers...I am a Great Auntie now!! :-)
(updated by my Aunt Victoria)

06-20-2007, 5:29 PM
This is Jessica's sister Bethany; I'm sitting with her right here in the hospital room. Emma was born at 12:32 pm, central.

Jess wants to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and congratulations. She's recovering from the C-section, a little drugged up and still slightly numb.

Emma is absolutely beautiful. She was actually 7lbs 15.5 oz, even at two weeks early (HUGE!). She was also about 19 inches long with lots of hair on her little head. She looks a lot like the ultrasound pictures with a little button nose and beautiful lips. Her feet are huge, too.

Right now she's at the children's hospital and grandma is over there with her. She also rode in a helicopter for the first time at about 2 hours old. They've probably already started the first surgery to repair the gastoschisis. Jess got to see her right after she was born and they brought her by in the incubator before transporting her. I also got to spend time with her in the NICU, and except for her two anomolies she's absolutely healthy. She was crying and kicking her legs when I tickled her feet. It was amazing.

If we can figure out how to post photos, we will.

Thanks again for the continued support as Emma goes through her surgeries. Jess is hoping for a speedy recovery so she can visit Emma at the children's hospital. Please keep the staff, doctors and nurses over there in your prayers as well. Take care.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lungs mature, heading to hospital for delivery

I went for the amnio today at 1:30. My sister was able to make it here by 10 am, and was with me through the ultrasounds (her first, and she was amazed at the 3D images) and the amnio. In fact, my sister held one hand, the U/S tech held the other. After the amnio, they hooked me to a monitor to check the baby's heartbeat and check if I was having contractions (the NST monitor). I was contracting, and they kept me on the monitor for about 40 minutes or so (after the paper broke and jammed twice). Every nurse in the place and the MFM came and checked it. I think the amnio may have triggered the contractions, which were coming 3-5 minutes apart and didn't really hurt all that much, though my back hurt.

(Oh, BTW, the doctor apologized today for his manner of presentation yesterday. Apparently, the nurse gave him a lecture about how he treated me!)

They decided I was okay to go home about the time my mom arrived. (Her bosses made arrangements for her to come down, provided she's back there by midday Friday.) They said they would call with results, and someone from my doctor's office would call me and discuss the results and where to go from there. To be on the safe side, they said no food, just fluids. My mom and sister got me home, got me laying down, and I got a little sleep (and the contractions subsided).

My regular OB is out of town, and I just got a call from her backup, saying the lungs were mature, and that it would be best to go ahead and deliver tonight. So, we're heading there now. I expect to be seeing Emma (unfortunately, not holding her) tonight or early tomorrow.

I'm scared. I know she'll be strong, and be a fighter, and that we are doing what is best for her.

Thank you for your continued prayers, and someone will update as soon as they can.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Emma may be coming early...

Today, like every Monday, I had an appt with the MFM. I'm currently 37w4d, and just got the call this morning from my OB's with the official C-section date (scheduled for Monday July 2).

Everything seemed to be okay with the U/S, the bowels (gastroschisis) were stable, though the enlarged brain ventricles had jumped up in size. Her weight was good (est at 8 lbs, though that is high because of the head size), BPP 8/8, FHR 153, amniotic fluid level at upper limits, and a good layer of fat on her tummy. She was practicing breathing, and, as per usual, had her hand on her face. (Actually, we got a really cute picture of her sticking her tongue out.)

Well, after the U/S, they set me in the consultation room to wait, and left me there for 30-40 minutes. Then the MFM doc comes in, and starts saying we need to do an amnio for lung maturity. When? Now would be good. And, if the lungs are mature, we need to take her early because of the change in her brain ventricles.

When I explained (again) that I had nobody here (my folks live in Illinois, and mom was planning on being here for the scheduled section date), he was unsympathetic at best. He actually said, It's not like you are taking her home, and it's not like you are going home for a few days, so why do you need people here? Like, a) anyone wants to give birth, even by c-section, alone, b), what, am I going to drive myself to the hospital and leave my car in the lot for 3 days?, and c) the baby shouldn't have to be in a hospital across town without family there. He totally freaked me out, and I really didn't like way he presented it. I called my mom, and was talking to her about it when one of the nurses came in. I like this nurse; she's always been straight with me (and has two family members with hydrocephalus, so she knows a lot about it). She said I should talk to my doctor, and call them tomorrow once I had talked to my doc and my sister had gotten here.

So, tomorrow, I'm going to go into work, get some last minute transitional stuff done, and make sure my leave / disability paperwork is completed. Then I will go for the amnio. It should take a few hours for the results to come back. If her lungs are mature, Emma Collette may be making her entrance into the world either tomorrow (Tuesday 6/19) or Wednesday (6/20).

I suppose I always knew that this was a very distinct possibility. But things had been going well, and I just had started to think we could make it to the scheduled date.

So, I'm scared, freaked out, and totally not ready to deliver. And, yet, I have an amnio tomorrow and may deliver tomorrow.

Please keep myself and Emma in your prayers. Oh, and all our doctors, too.

Thanks for your support! It means a LOT to me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Blessed are thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb

I have recently been going to church. Not consistently, every week, but as many Sundays as possible (and usually hitting the feast days, or the really long services, including the first communions a few weeks ago.)

It started in February when mom and dad came down here for the amniocentesis. Sometimes I go with my friend B, as the church is down the street from his house, and he was raised Catholic. Sometimes, I go by myself. Today, I went by myself.

Religion is a very personal thing, and yet a very public thing. It’s a personal relationship with god, and also a relationship with the community.

About a month or so back, I went to church on the Sunday that they were celebrating all the first communions. I ended up running into one of my roommates and her boyfriend, and sitting in the same pew as them. As I returned from the communion blessing, I saw a woman I had been in prenatal yoga with, and her newborn and family. After church, I went over to say hello and met her husband and other young daughter. This particular woman teaches the Bradley method of childbirth, something my mom did for years when I was a child. This woman had also just had a home birth with the local home-birth CNM, an online friend of my mother’s. We chatted for quite a while after church that day.

The next time I went to church after that was with my mom and sister and friend B on Mother’s Day, the day after my baby shower. They had a special recognition of mothers during the service, and I went up to the front with Mom. Again, I saw this woman, S, and her baby. After service, we got to chatting with them.

I can’t remember if I’ve been since then. I think, maybe, once.

Today I felt the need to go. I had a mitzvah befall me yesterday, and wanted to share and recognize God’s part in it. Plus, I’ve had a couple of stressful MFM and OB visits, and wanted to go and be a part of the community. So, I went by myself. When I walked in the church, the ushers greeted me warmly. Then the head priest himself, Father Val, came over and took my hands and welcomed to the church. Then, an usher reassured himself that I wasn’t going to give birth at church in a very amusing conversation.

I got seated, and as I was sitting there, saw someone walk by that I met about a month ago, and now I run into everywhere. (I met him at a baby shower for a girl from the salon I go to, then ran into him at Starbucks, and this week at church. Midtown, and Memphis, is a small world.) The service was good, there was no kids’ service, so there were tons of children and families around, which I find reassuring at church. I walked up to get my communion blessing, and Father Val laid his hand on my head and asked for peace for me and the baby. On my way back from communion, I saw the Bradley teacher couple, S and M, gave a little wave on my way back.

After service, I was feeling blood sugar shaky, so went to downstairs for juice and a donut, and then returned up to the church to try to say hello to S and M. I got to chatting to M, a little about theology and my beliefs and confusion and all that. He told me how wonderful Father Val is as a priest, and how he encourages community, and told a few anecdotes about S’s recent birth. M remembered that Father Val had performed an impromptu blessing over S when she was pregnant, and wondered if I would want one too. He set off to ask Father Val. Father Val returned with M, asked me a few questions, and then we all met by the baptismal font. Father went to find his book of prayer, and S and M and their two children joined me for the blessing. It was a moving experience, to say the least. Father Val asked how long I had left, if I knew it what it was (a girl), and to please be let known when she is born. I told him I knew a priest friend of his, and his face lit up. I’m pretty sure at the end of it all he hugged me.

Quite honestly, it was a moving experience. A very special one. I’m really beginning to feel like I’m part of the community at this church, and it has been years since I’ve felt that way. This is the church I want to have Emma baptized at, and I think that, having met Father Val, I can get her baptized there (as well as possibly getting some hospital visits from him).

And who knew there was a prayer in the book of prayers for pregnant mothers / unborn children?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

MFM visit, 05/07/07

U/S tech, Janet
Weight - 4 lb 1 oz (1844 g)
Right ventricle - either 2.14 or 2.61 (two varying readings)
Left ventricle - either 2.51 or 2.74 (two varying readings)
3rd ventricle - no reading
Head circumference - 30.80 cm (85.2%)
Abdominal circumference - 27.46 cm (46.3%)
Femur length - 5.99 cm (25.7%)
Overall growth percentile - 46.3%
Heart rate, 160
8 of 8 on fetal well being (BPP)
Fluid level 9

My weight - 163
my BP - 98/56

there is some dilation of the bowel near the cord insertion (near the belly), so the doctor (the main one) has changed the appointments to weekly to more closely monitor the bowels.

And, now, the pictures!

a nice profile picture with her sweet nose and lips.
If you look closely at the chest, you can see her little heart.

She's got both hands in her face, one in her mouth and one rubbing her eye.

Her hand is again near her eye, and she is sucking on the other one.

how cute is her nose and her mouth?

This one may have fuzzy details, but the important thing is that she has her eye open.
I actually saw her blinking on the 4-D animation.

So, I'm a little freaked out by the change in appointments to every week, but I have to trust the doctors. The change means that, should something (either the intestines or the enlarged brain ventricles) change, she may have to come out sooner than I'd like.

Something else great came out of this visit. I asked my favorite nurse there to call the children's hospital and help me arrange a tour of the NICU. By the next day, I had a phone call from the NICU director, who agreed to give me and mom and my youngest sister a tour of the NICU / hospital at 8 PM on a Saturday while they are here on a visit. Now we just have to have all our questions prepared and ready.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Emma P 3's

I posted about this back in March, and I'm just following up on the idea.

Here's the basic idea, again:
I would like to compile recordings of everyone important to me (and therefore to Emma, both family & friends) reading a story, reading a poem, telling a folk tale, or singing (or any combination thereof).
At the beginning of the piece, you would give a brief introduction of yourself, and your relationship to me/her (Hi, this is Grandma, or Hi, this is Uncle G-Dog, or, Your Aunt So-and-So).
Then, your piece(s).

I've gotten one back so far, from G-dog, which I haven't downloaded or listened to yet. It's simply labeled "story".
What people have volunteered for so far / been requested by me:
Mom - Dona, Dona (singing and playing guitar); Animal Fair (singing again)
Dad - Goodnight Moon (?)
Grandma Pat - nursery rhymes, read and sung
Deirdre - reading "Jabberwocky", singing "Rose/Ah Poor Bird/Hey Ho"
N - Dr. Seuss or Curious George, if she can find recording equipment
Juan - something en espanol
T - something, unsure (favorite children's story?)

Have I forgotten anyone's volunteered efforts? post your comment or email me and let me know, and I'll update the list.
I would particularly like my siblings to participate, so Emma knows her aunts and uncles voices. :)

Again, the ideal would be for you to record it as an MP3 and email it to me. If you can't do that, until I leave work, I do have access to production rooms and can dub cassettes or microcassettes or CDs to MP3.

Thanks for caring! I hope to compile a nice selection of stories for Emma.