Saturday, September 29

A Day at the Hospital

First of all, let me apologize for being woefully absent around here the last week or so. I have actually had a couple of people call and ask if I was still alive, and if all was well, because it has been so long since I updated. My only defense? Apparently there is a certain amount of preparation involved in getting ready for a baby. There are tiny little baby clothes and blankets to be washed, folded, and put away. There are new covers for various items to be made (my Boppy pillow and changing table have a whole new look--thanks Mary!) There are diapers and lotion and pacifiers to buy. In short, I have spent the last week thinking of things to do to get ready for Brooklyn's safe arrival, which is scheduled for the 4th of October.

Yesterday I went in for my regularly scheduled pre-operative/prenatal appointment at 10:10 in the morning. I mentioned to my doctor during that appointment that on Wednesday evening Kadon had jumped on my stomach, and although I hadn't noticed any drainage-meaning my water hadn't broken-nor any bleeding, I had noticed a significant decrease in her movements on Thursday. For a baby that doesn't move a lot to begin with, it was disconcerting to notice a marked decrease. The doctor was concerned, and immediately ordered a non-stress test to be completed in his office. Basically the NST consists of being hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor for about 20 minutes, with a button that I push every time I feel a movement. After 30 minutes of this machine, the doctor was not pleased with several sharp drops in her heart rate, and informed me that this is a sign that there is a low amount of amniotic fluid surrounding her. A low amount of amniotic fluid could be a sign that being inside my womb is not the best place for her to be, which would necessitate her birth immediately. The best way to measure the amount of amniotic fluid is to perform an ultrasound, which was completed in his office.

After my doctor evaluated the results of the ultrasound, he assured me that while there was technically a good amount of fluid surrounding her, he was still unsettled about the results of my NST, and wanted me to head up to Labor and Delivery for at least 2 more hours of monitoring. I had handled myself pretty well up until this point, but hearing him tell me not to eat or drink anything on my way up to the 7th floor stopped my heart. The only reason for me not to eat anything is because there are plans for surgery a week early. I quickly placed a couple of phone calls to Mary, who was watching Jeremy and Kadon, and Angela, my sister-in-law, informing them of the situation. I had no way to contact Ammon at this point because he started his new job yesterday and was in Cincinnati for training. I also didn't see any reason to disturb him unless the final decision was to deliver our daughter immediately. My hope was that if they did decide to do the c-section right away, they would at least give me enough time to contact my husband and give him the 1 hour to drive to the hospital where I was.

Scared, nervous, and full of apprehension, I made my way upstairs. I was quickly hooked up to a very similar monitor that measured the fetal heart rate, and gave a complete obstetric and medical history to the admitting nurse. About an hour and a half later, to my great surprise, I looked up to see Ammon walking into my hospital room. Later, when I had time to settle down and figure out what had happened, I realized that Ammon must have been leaving Cincinnati at the exact same time I was being admitted to the hospital. I felt incredibly blessed that through a series of completely unrelated events, he was home about 4 hours sooner than we had expected, and was able to be there for me nearly the entire time I was in the hospital. After several hours of monitoring, I was sent down to radiology for yet another ultrasound. I received what is called a biophysical profile, although I'm not really sure what that is. The technician took many more measurements of the heart rate; which had apparently ceased to do the startling drops that it had been doing in my doctors office; more measurements of the fluid levels, and sent me back to labor and delivery. After another hour waiting for the doctor to read the results, we were thankfully discharged. I have to say, I have never been so grateful to leave labor and delivery in my life. I know that technically Brooklyn is full term, but I truly feel in my heart that it is not her time yet. I have felt all through this pregnancy that Brooklyn is going to be small, and I know that she could certainly benefit from remaining inside my womb for 6 more days. Yesterday was a terrifying reminder that babies don't always come when you plan, they don't always wait until everything is set up 'just so'. It also made me grateful for quality medical care and doctors who check all angles instead of just assuming that everything is fine. For now, Brooklyn is safely inside me, where she will remain for another few days.

Monday, September 17


I couldn't resist posting this photo. It's my boys at their copycat best. It never fails to amaze the lengths to which they will go in attempting to copy each other, all the while telling each other 'leave me alone!'. Lately, we have been battling the 'He's touching me!' battle, especially in the car. These two brothers, who are both the best of friends and the worst of enemies, battle nearly every time we get into the car to go somewhere. I'm actually looking forward to next week when I will install Brooklyn's car seat. The plan from the beginning was to move Kadon back to the furthest bench, and leave Jeremy and Brooklyn together on the shorter middle bench. At the time, we patted ourselves on the back for coming up with an arrangement that would allow Jeremy to be able to assist his young sister during long car trips. However, we did not foresee the added bonus of separating our battling brothers. Hopefully it will be at least a couple of years before Jeremy and Brooklyn get into the same type of arguments. I have suddenly reached an understanding of the reasons that my parents seemed to walk around with a perpetual headache when my siblings and I were younger. Amidst the constant shouts of 'He's touching me!' to 'He hit me!' to 'Make him stop!', it's no wonder they simply wanted to crawl into a dark room and hide.

Saturday, September 15

Almost 36 week belly

Probably only one more belly shot to go! This was taken at 35 weeks, 4 day, which is probably about 3 weeks from D-day around here. I'm getting really excited to see our little one, and have started having lots of dreams and daydreams about having her here, so I hope to get our surgery date soon. I'm enjoying the few things I've done to get the house ready for her arrival, and plan on doing more later this week. I'll keep everyone posted on an exact surgery date.

Friday, September 14


You guys, I am so brimming full of gratitude/excitement/happiness I can hardly express myself, so bear with me. Last week Ammon interviewed for yet another programming job in Cincinnati. This job seemed perfect to us, and to him, and he felt that the interview went really well, but we didn't dare get our hopes up. They said they would contact him by the middle of this week, so when Wednesday, then Thursday crept by with nary a word, we figured he hadn't gotten it. Fast forward to this morning at about 11:00--I was upstairs after having showered, making the bed. DH was outside with the kids playing frisbee, when the phone rang. I looked expectantly at the caller ID, and lo and behold it was DH's prospective employer. I yelled his name (he couldn't hear me) grabbed the phone off the base, and took off at a sprint (well, as much as I CAN sprint at this point) to get to him. He grabbed the phone from my hand and went inside to take the call. Guys, I couldn't even bring myself to follow him. I simply sat down in the chair outside the front door and stared blankly at my children playing on the lawn. After what seemed like an eternity, I can hear Ammon yelling from inside the house, as he was walking toward the front door. He stepped out on the patio, looked at me, and said "I got the job". I felt like my heart stopped and the world stood still for a minute. I looked at him and said "You what?" He repeated himself, and I immediately started to cry. This job pays $35,000 a year to start, which in this area is more than enough to buy a reasonably priced house and start dreaming about the future. I am so grateful that we have stayed strong through this ordeal, been uplifting to each other, and had the good sense to realize that although the last two+ months have been difficult, it's a rare chance to be able to spend so much time together. I truly feel as though the Lord has had a plan for us all along, and I'm so grateful that Ammon has been able to be around for the last weeks of my pregnancy, making my life infinitely easier. We've managed just fine financially up until the last couple of weeks, and just as things were beginning to reach a head--this job falls into our laps. Never say that the Lord doesn't have a plan, no matter how dismal things seem. Today, our prayers have been answered.

Thursday, September 13

Useless Information

Today, I have some totally useless information for you to partake of. Enjoy.

The tip of an elephant's truck is so sensitive and flexible that it can pick up a pin.

When George Washington was president, there were only 350 federal employees.

Ethiopia means 'the land of sunburned faces' in Greek.

In Indiana, there is a town named Santa Claus.

When W.C. Fields was caught looking through a Bible, he called it 'looking for loopholes'.

Professional boxing gloves weigh 8 ounces.

A Shrimp's heart is in it's head.

Princess Diana was the first royal bride not to use the word 'obey' in her marriage vows.

It would take seven billion particles of fog to fill a teaspoon.

Virginia Woolf wrote all her books standing up.

Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital.

Mexico's east coast is sinking into the sea at a rate of one or two centimeters per year.

There. Don't you feel smarter now?

Tuesday, September 11

Goofy Hats and Funny Faces

In keeping with our designated 'craft time' every morning, yesterday the kids made paper hats out of newspaper. Actually, to be more accurate, I made paper hats out of newspaper, and the kids had a ball decorating them with stickers, markers, and chenille wire. I especially love the funny face that Kadon is trying to copy in this photo, I think it's absolutely hysterical (not to mention a great shot of the pearly whites! Who needs a dentist, anyway?!)
As a side note, I went back to the doctor today for my 35 week appointment, and I have been anxious over my possible due date change for nothing. The doctor I saw today was perfectly willing to let my original earlier due date stand, and also is hoping to perform my c-section much earlier than I had hoped for. He likes to deliver about 10 days to 1 week early, so Brooklyn should be making her arrival sometime between the 3rd and the 8th. That' s right folks, only about 3-4 weeks! As yet I still haven't gotten anything ready, but I am going to start the sorting and setting up process tomorrow and will have an exact date and time for my section by the end of the week. I can't believe it's almost time to be done, these last 9 months have FLOWN by!!

Monday, September 10

It's a plane!

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend the Dayton RC Airplane show. I have never attended an RC airplane show before, and only a military air show once, so I really had no idea what to expect. Uncertainty aside, we loaded up Russ and the kids, made arrangements to meet Angela and her family, and set out for the show. Our first mistake? Not taking any foldable chairs. When they say 'air show', what they actually mean is a bunch of guys standing in front of the airstrip flying their RC planes. These RC airplanes are not your normal planes, they cost several thousand dollars and are capable of maneuvers most aircraft could only dream of. They vary in size from the small, to the obscenely huge, as you can see in the second picture up above. There are as many as five or six planes flying at a time, and the best part of the show is watching the different stunts they pull off. For an almost 8 month pregnant woman, standing is not a lot of fun. I ended up sitting on the ground next to the stroller while everybody else wandered around taking in the various booths. At one point a kind woman offered her husbands chair to me, but by then I was settled on the ground and didn't want to get up. We spent several pleasant moments discussing pregnancy, children, and airplanes, and I was grateful for her kindness.
Our second mistake? Not bringing any cold water with us. This, my friends, is out of character for me. I'm normally the water queen. I loathe among almost all other things the feeling of being thirsty, so I normally am over prepared with ice cold water for everybody that will be with me. This time, Russ took pity on our group and purchased several bottles of Sprite and Powerade to quench our thirst.
Mistakes aside, it was a really great opportunity. As you can see from the first picture, the kids had a great time watching the planes fly, and it even spawned a craft project for us last Friday. The kids each chose a piece of construction paper, then colored it and put stickers on it. After their artwork was completed, Ammon folded them into sleek airplanes, and they had a great time chasing each other around the yard with them.

Sunday, September 9

Welcome, Elliette!

My newest niece was born this afternoon. Ammon's sister, Lisa, has been having intermittent contractions for several weeks, and early this morning they finally turned into the real thing. About 10 hours after arriving at the hospital, a 7 pound 4 ounce, 18 inch long little girl was born. They've chosen to name her Elliette (I'm not sure of a middle name) and I can't wait to see her! I'm told the labor and delivery went well, and Grandma is thrilled with the newest grandbaby. Just five more weeks until our own liftoff, but it's nice that Mary is finally going to be able to come home from Florida to finish helping me get ready for our delivery. Congratulations, Lisa!! Give that little girl a hug and kiss for us all!!

Saturday, September 8


Another job interview, more prayers, but finally some hope? Ammon interviewed for another web developer position in Cincinnati this week. It is with a large subsidiary company of Johnson and Johnson based just north of Cincinnati in the lovely Blue Ash area. Apparently, this company is launching a new customer service website, and are looking for a team of people not only to design, program, and launch the website, but for the same people to also then be involved in the customer service and troubleshooting aspect of the website. This sort of position is right up Ammon's alley, with all the programming and customer service he has done in the past. He truly feels that this interview is the best interview that he has ever had, so it's very difficult not to get our hopes up. They promised to contact him by the middle of next week, so if you could spare any positive thoughts or prayers in the meantime, they would be greatly appreciated in our direction.

In other news, today is the annual Dayton Popcorn Festival. That's right, folks. The great city of Dayton devotes and entire weekend to the celebration of the Fellows' favorite snack: POPCORN! We are planning on attending the festival this afternoon with Ammon's Dad, and though our meager funds will probably not allow us to buy much (if anything), I'm sure the tantalizing aroma will send us running for the air popper this evening. I can't say that I'm looking forward to walking around for several hours this afternoon, what with a 5 pound baby resting in my pelvis and all, but I am looking forward to the festivities, and getting out with my family. I'll try and get some pictures and get them posted this week.

Monday, September 3

Getting Ready

I bought a baby monitor tonight. I know it doesn't exactly rank high on the 'really important and exciting things to do' scale, but it's yet another reminder that it's almost time for Brooklyn to be born. Unless my due date changes when I visit my doctor in another week and a half, I am 34 weeks and 1 day today. That means I have roughly 5 to 5 1/2 weeks of pregnancy left. This is both a thrilling and terrifying thought. Admittedly, lately the thoughts have become less terrifying and more thrilling, but it's still a lot to think about. It's been nearly exactly 1 year since we first decided to bring another child into our home, and here we are almost to complete that goal. It's been a crazy, busy, mostly satisfying year, and I can think of no better capstone than to have our daughter complete the cycle. I suppose in a way I am going to miss carrying this little girl inside my womb. I'm going to miss our daily communions, the kicks and jabs that no one else feels but me. I won't miss the swollen ankles, aching back, or morning sickness, but I will miss feeling her hiccups and her twitches, and hearing her heartbeat when I go to the doctor. At this stage, very little has been prepared for her arrival. I don't have my hospital bag lovingly packed with the essentials, I haven't laundered the first clothing that she will wear and placed in neatly in drawers. I haven't unearthed the car seat, bassinet, baby swing, and flannel receiving blankets. In some ways, being forced into a scheduled c-section by my uncooperative body is a blessing. Although I dread the thought of the actual surgery and ensuing recovery, it is nice to know exactly how much time I have to prepare. I know that barring an emergency, I have plenty of time to launder the frothy pink gowns and blankets that will be indispensable this time in two months. For now, however, I'm going to enjoy the fact that my little one is safe and snug inside my body, for at least a few more weeks.