Monday, January 29, 2007

Someone decided to wake-up

As you can see from the little movie, the baby now known as Elliott decided to wake up. He is finally alert enough and not swollen enough to get his cute little eyes open and share his thoughts on the world of which he has none at this point, except that he doesn't like cold thermometers under his arpit. (Disclaimer: The dinosaur noises in the video are being made by Dad, not Elliott) We were so excited to have him stare at us last night that we could hardly contain ourselves.

Jan 29.013

You probablly noticed in the movie the big splint thing on his arm. Well, no need to be concerned. Last night, he graduated from the IV in the belly to his arm. However, he gave his night shift nurse a little trouble and managed to pull that IV out so when we got to see him this morning, his IV is now in his head. Yuck is right. Elliott doesn't seem to mind though and he completely enjoys having his arms free.

Last night they also weighed and measured the little guy and he is clocking in at 8 lb 4 oz. and 21 inches long. No, he didn't grow 2 inches in 5 days, but we figure in the rush of things last Tuesday he definately got short changed.

Also, and perhaps the most exciting part of today is that his air hose in his nose is gone. When we went to feed Elliott at our 11:30 appointment, he was for the first time wearing clothes and breathing completely on his own. Yeah little monkey!
Jan 29.018

We are getting so much closer to having our little guy home that the anticipation is just eating away at us. After speaking with the wonderful doctor today, we are now going to have carseat and diaper bag ready at all times. Before Elliott can come home he has to keep eating and breathing, and sit up in his car seat w/o forgetting all of that. Then, he's ours w/o nurses or tubes.

(click on either of the still shots to see more of Elliott on flickr.)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, Ross and I made it home. It was extremely emotional leaving the hospital today, but, being home is nice. Elliott is still in the NICU and it is terribly lonely without him, but he is doing exceptionally well. He is eating...a whole 10ml every three hours but because he's done so well with that, his quantity will start to increase. He is also a peeing machine, which is excellent because that is helping him get rid of all the extra fluid that he has retained from all the meds he was on for almost two whole days.

As we were on our way out from his 2:30 feeding we asked the doctor what Elliott's next milestone is. The Doc said, "He just needs to eat his way out of here."

Elliott New Baby001

Very promising for us indeed. Not only is the outlook bright, but Willie got to see his little monkey nephew for the first time today. Yeah! Willie isn't old enough to get into the NICU, but because Elliot has graduated to the front of the class, we were able to open the blinds and let Willie and Dad and Ross/Mom watch as his vitals were done and he sucked down another bottle in about 20 seconds flat. I was so happy that "my boy" could finally see my baby. What a great day!

Elliott New Baby010

And...most importantly perhaps, the little guy finally opened his eyes, sort of. He is four days old and up until today, we hadn't seen what his eyes even look like but we scored twice and got him to open up his puffy little eyes at both feedings today. He sort of looks like a cross between a pirate and an old man, but we'll take it.

I managed to upload a bunch of picutres to Flickr to look at so feel free to take a peek. Otherwise, Ross and I are exhausted and will probablly disappear for a while unless there is more great news to share.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The best feeling in the world

I am supposed to be resting, but Ross is in the bed because he doesn't feel well and I am a bit stir crazy. Plus, I found a computer with the internet, and wanted to share a few thoughts for those of you out there keeping track.

Elliott is doing great. We got to hold him again this morning and he is getting squirmy and is very close to waking up. They took out his feeding tube last night and as soon as he wakes up and gets hungry...he eats and if the timing works out, we get to feed him.

Everything at this point is going really well. I feel great! Much better than I thought I would and can post some details of the whole experience later.

However, I just wanted to share that the absolute best feeling in the whole world is holding your little baby. It took over 12 hours for me to even be able to see my little guy on Tuesday and finally getting to hold him last night nearly took my breath away. He is just the sweetest little thing in the whole world and I can't believe he is mine. Maybe, if he behaves, I'll share Elliott with Ross, too.

We will be coming home tomorrow, and hopefully our little monkey baby can join us early next week. At that point, I'm sure chaos will ensue, but until then...keep Elliott in your thoughts and prayers.


Good news - Elliott is maintaining his temperature and does not need the heat lamp anymore.

He is all wrapped up like a baby (with an outfit) and we got to hold him last night.

He is still coming out of sedation, but he is sucking his fingers and making noises.

Here is a picture of mom's first chance to hold him.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

E, double L, I, O, double T!

He is here.

Born 1-23-07 at 8:25 AM.

7 lbs. 12. ozs.

Just under 20" with lots of hair.

He has a little bit of fluid in his lungs (common with c-section births), so they have been helping him breathe, but he is doing better now.

Annie is doing well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Final Thoughts

It's Monday afternoon and I am still patiently awaiting a phone call with our surgery time tomorrow. The wait is a little un-nerving because I wanted the call first thing this morning and I have actually had oodles of phone calls this am, which never happens, from everyone under the sun except the doctor. Arg!

As I sit at my computer trying to not stare at my phone, I've got a few final thoughts before my (our) life changes dramatically.

This was our last weekend just the two of us and we did nothing. We went about our daily business and did actually go to a move on Saturday night (Ross finally got to see "Casino Royale" and fall in love with James Bond movies all over again) but other than that, you wouldn't know that big changes were in the works.

Of those big changes, I'm ready. Ross is nervous, but I don't feel nervous. I actually feel pretty calm about the whole thing...just very anxious (Ring Phone! Ring!) and ready for the next step. Judging from this picture that I took on Friday afternoon, I think you might agree that we're ready for Part II of this whole baby thing.
My feet look like they are an entire planet away and the giant orb blocking their view is "Gary".
It's amazing, when you think about it, how much patience this whole baby process takes. We've spend 38 weeks to get us to this point and then the kid will be here tomorrow literally in a matter of minutes. Crazy how all of that works out.
One thing that I am hoping for is that the diabetes gets itself under control. That the loss of an extra person, 35 pounds, and an immense appetite will bring things under control. Since July, I've been keeping all my used needles in a milk jug on the kitchen counter. Not very appetizing, I know, but I can't just throw them in the trash. I think that is illegal among other things. Well, as of this weekend, the milk jug is pretty much full. Just look at it.

DSCN0091 DSCN0089

The needles are practially oozing out the top of the jug. I'm sure I can squeeze a few more in, but hopefully once the squeezing is done, then, I'll be done with the viles, needles, bruised hips, and dramatically altered life routine. Well, I'll probably keep the altered routine...that should be good for me to maintain.

Anyway, those are some final thoughts. Well, not really any thoughts at all.

Tomorrow is a big day for us. I think Willie might be the most excited out of everyone. He gets to be an uncle tomorrow and has the whole day planned. As soon as Ross or I call my mom to tell her about "Gary", she is getting Willie out of school, taking him to lunch, and then they are coming for a visit to the hospital (but, not until they get lunch). It should be an exciting day!

Wish us luck!

Friday, January 19, 2007

How to Make Friends and Influence People

Excluding today, I've been to the hospital for a Doctor's appointment every day this week. It is nice to have a day off from the drive, the poking, the prodding, and the all around good times. Every day as I go to the hospital I take the same route. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit. I finally started noticing about a week ago, but a lot this week, that at one of the intersections I cross through on my daily jaunts to the hospital, there are always quite a few homeless people standing with signs.

Now, I don't want to get into a debate about the homeless and destitute, but I did see something interesting this week. We all know the traditional signage of the homeless: "Hungry, please help," or "Will work for food," or "need money for gas," and I'm sure that most of us ignore these signs and the people holding them.

In my first year of teaching, I got to teach a semester of Sociology. I had no background, training or expertise in this area, but because I took over for a teacher that left, I got stuck with the class and spent months making up curriculum for a bunch of seniors who were pretty willing to do whatever I assigned them because 1) I was about their age and they thought I was "cool" and 2) They all thought that I would buy them beer. Anyway, at one point, I assigned the students a project about social taboos. They had to, w/o breaking any laws or getting into trouble (meaning among other things their parents had to know what they were doing), go out and about and break some social rules, norms, mores, and then come back and do an oral/video report on their experiment. The kids really took to the project and did some funny things like: going to the mall and sitting very close to people on benches; following "cute girls" around the public library; dressing up like Santa Claus and acting drunk and passing out in front of a grocery store. One of the more clever projects was when one student and his buddies went downtown with cardboard, markers, and a video camera. My student then sat on street corners as his buddies sat across the street w/ the "hidden camera" to document the project. This kid sat on a corner with a sign that said, "Need money for prom". In about 2 hours he made, probably, $80 and got the phone numbers of several girls. He definitely milked the whole homeless sign situation in the city and used it to his advantage.

Thus, back to my street corner of the week. On Tuesday, I saw a sign of such a curious nature, that I've been thinking about it all week, wondering if it actually worked for the girl holding it, in a similar manner to the project my student did years ago. I was too many lanes away to take a picture w/ my cell phone camera, but I made a replica of the sign.

post pic
Do you think it scored her any sweet moola?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oly, Oly, Oh no!

Last night was game two of Super League Play and the Wolverines beat the Titans 30-19. Good job Wolverines. They played their game last night at good old Cyprus High School, my almamater. It was a little strange to be back in the gym I played ball in over 10 years ago. I can't say that I have ventured back to my old high school much, but I can say that the lighting in the gym is pretty good. My picture taking skills seem to be a little lack-luster at the moment, but the lighting was good.

Enjoy the pics.

The boy is still a giant, but most of the kids on his team are, too.

Dad, coaching his heart out.

The team warming up.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The last "Gary" update before D-day

This is the last update before "Gary" gets here next week. First, all is well. We had our last ultrasound on Monday and the baby is still clocking in with a giant head and weighing around 8 pounds. If you are interested in placing bets on length, enter them in the comments section. Ross and I are both guessing around 23 inches long.

Today was my last Doctor's appointment. We are still measuring ahead of the game (40 at 37 weeks) and heart rate is steady at 145.
"Gary"will officially greet the world on Tuesday, January 23, 2007. We don't have a time for the c-section scheduled yet, but that should get worked out Monday of next week. The Doctor and I are shooting for the earliest time, which would be 7:30 am.

At the request of Momacita, this is what "Gary" will be wearing home from the hospital. DSCN0068
Isn't it cute? It might be the only time the little outfit fits the kid so he'll definately wear in on the journey home.

And finally, we still don't have a name for the little guy. I think we figured out his last name, and have sort of settled on a middle name, but a first name is still up for grabs. Which means, if any of you blog readers and family members out there would like to offer some final so now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

West Virginia Again?


This is Preston. He wants to go on a mission. He will be turning in his papers at the end of January and hopes...desperately...that he doesn't fall under the family tradition of going to Charleston, West Virginia. I know he would be a good hillbilly, but still, he would rather go to South America.

Preston had me take his mission picture tonight. I really liked the one above, but we settled on this one. He looks good. He is big, too.

Mission Keeper

Saturday, January 13, 2007

10 Days and Counting....

Yesterday was an eventful day at the doctor's office and at the NST. Gary is on his way here, whether we are ready or not.

My appointment was early in the morning and Ross came with me. The Doctor is always so excited to see Ross because he knows that there will be lots of questions. I don't ask lots of questions, I read too much on the Internet, but yesterday, we had a list of things to go over.

The lowdown is this:

  • still measuring 2.5 weeks ahead of schedule

  • baby is very low and ready to face the world

  • heart rate is around 140

  • already dialating and effacing (I made that word up and that's probablly too much detail, but I'll share it anyway.)

  • Had to get some blood work done to see if I have toxemia, but the results came back clear. That doesn't mean that they'll be clear on Wednesday at my next appt, but we came out looking good yesterday.

  • The Doctor asked me if I was still working. I told him that yesterday was my last day. He said good because otherwise, he'd tell me it was my last day. So, basically, I am to rest with my feet up (swelling issues) for as much as possible as long as possible all this coming week. What a terrible order to give someone. Now, I can finally relax and catch up on some reading.

  • At the NST there were definate contractions. I couldn't really feel them, but the monitor says they exsist and I'll take it. Gary did beautifully by the way and we were only hooked up for 20 minutes. That's our 4th fast NST in a row. The kid is smart and has finally figured out how to avoid the buzzer.

Most importantly, we set a D-Day date. I wasn't prepared to leave the Doc's office w/o one and he was willing to give us a date. Because of the bedes and my blood pressure, Gary won't go over 38 weeks which means that if he doesn't come on his own this week, he'll be arriving on Tuesday, January 23, 2007. Yeah! It's so good to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Why the new name?

You've probably noticed by getting to this point that the blog has a new name and you might be wondering...Why? Well, here are a few of the reasons.

1 - We just recently had a discussion at work about the my space phenomenom and how my space is so stupid. Not only that it is stupid, but that there are some scary aspects to having your actual name on your website. So, Howden Family Blog needed to go.

2 - Most blogs have clever names and mine didn't. Not that the name now is clever...but it's clever-er.

3 - Change is always good. A new year brings new ideas, right?

So, remember to book mark the new page and keep reading.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Check out these sweet ankles

Yesterday, "gary" officially hit 36 weeks. Why is this significant you ask? It is significant because of this:

Your baby is still putting on weight — about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is a little less than 19 inches long. (Yeah right. "Gary" weighed 7 lbs 3 weeks ago)

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Babies born between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term; a baby born before 37 weeks is pre-term and after 42 weeks is post-term.)

We can almost count "gary" full term which means that we can introduce him to the real world and I am definitely in a hurry to do that. In addition to REALLY wanting to meet the kid that has been kicking me for months, the ravages of the whole process are really starting to wear on me. My blood pressure is creeping up again, my sugars are out of control and unstable and I basically feel like crap all the time. Look at this picture of my ankles as evidence of the disgusting-ness that I am becoming...

(In the picture notice that the left ankle is more swollen than the right, in addition to the left foot. Please disregard the unpainted toenails...I'll work on those next week, promise. If you know anything about diseases during WW II, my feet look like I have what is called wet beri-beri. Isn't that neat?)

Tomorrow is a big day for the two of us. We have a doctors appointment and I'm not willing to leave until we determine a D-day. I am requiring that Ross go with me because the Doc seems to like him and he can be my backbone and help me get a date. If that doesn't work, I'll cry. I'll cry until the cows come home if necessary. Well, I won't really cry in the office but I'll definitely cry in my car all the way home.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Because I'm his wife

Lately, I break things. Let's just say I don't know my own strength and I am constantly crashing into things and knocking them over and crushing thing (like Christmas ornaments) in my hands.

I got up this morning and walked into the bathroom to take care of some business before getting into the shower. When I got off of le toilette, I notice a crack in the seat. I began to fret and I spent the entire morning thinking that I sat down so hard, and that I am so fat right now, I cracked the seat.

Well, it wasn't me.

All we need is the baby

"Gary's" room is pretty much finished. We have a crib, a rocking chair, baby clothes, a diaper genie, and a bouncy thing. We have diapers...hopefully enough to get us through the first week. We even have pacifiers, just in case he likes them. There is just one thing missing...can you guess what it is (besides pictures on the walls)? I'll give you a hint. It starts with a B and ends in ABY. You're right, a baby! Hopefully "Gary" will be arriving sooner rather than later, in the next two weeks or so. At that point, Ross and I will be happy, "Gary" can get a real name (once we figure one out) and life will be hunkey dorey. We hope.

I uploaded a few pictures onto flickr today of the room. They are all in a set titled "Gary" and if you are interested in seeing them, just click on one of the following pictures.

"Gary" got a Gary for Christmas. Yesterday we picked up a "Mr. Crabs" finger puppet.

The crib and my new rocking chair. I sit in it every night.

"Gary" has already started an extensive stuffed animal collection.

Someone has to loose, right?

Yesterday was the Wolverines first day back from a Winter Break of 2 weeks without games and guess what. It showed. The might Wolverines fell by 6 points or so to a team that actually kept up with them, followed them on fast breaks, and hit 3 pointers. Willie had 8 points, all in the first half and the team only scored two in the fourth quarter. Oops! They also forgot how to hit free throws and make lay-ups which would have easily won the game for them.

Oh well, Super League starts on Wednesday night. I can't wait!

Friday, January 05, 2007

So wrong but so funny

Hello internet. I found this t-shirt on line while sitting in a meeting. Having internet access when you are supposed to be listening is dangerous, but makes the time go by faster. Yes, this t-shirt is very inappropriate for my "family friendly" blog (Sorry Mom. Willie, close your eyes.), but super funny. If interested, you can purchase this t-shirt here . I won't tell on you.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Winter Wonderland

It started snowing around 9:00 this morning. Four hours later it is still snowing but now, it's starting to stick. I can't wait to drive home from work tonight.

snow 004
View from work #1

snow 003
View from work #2

snow 002
View from my office window

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bad Mommy

I go to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office twice a week for NST's (Non-Stress Tests). I've been doing this now for about a month and every test is an adventure for me and "Gary" and all the other women who have "complications" that need to be checked in on regularly. I usually fall asleep through my test because, well, I'm just lying on a reclining chair/table thing in the dark listening to heart beats. It's suprisingly relaxing. Yesterday however, because I desperately needed to use the bathroom and was there for two hours hooked up to monitors because "Gary" had the hiccups, I was pretty alert. Alert enough to eaves drop on the woman doing an NST next to me.

Today "Gary" is at 35 weeks. Yesterday, the woman next to me, we'll call her Bad Mommy, was at 33 weeks. As the technician was measuring her fluid levels with the ultrasound machine, she pointed out to Bad Mommy that there was a lot of calcification in places that there shouldn't be calcification. Susie the tech. then asked Bad Mommy if she is a smoker. Bad Mommy said yes, but, "I've only had three cigarrettes today." My heart hurt right then for Bad Mommy's baby. The poor little kid is getting smoked out every day. As I continued to be monitored, the conversation got worse across the curtain. The amniotic fluid for a baby should be between 8-22 oz. but Bad Mommy's fluid was at 5 oz. Nothing for the little baby to float around in or help it out. As if smoking and low fluid wasn't enough, they brought in another technician to do a more in-depth ultrasound. At that point, they told Bad Mommy that her baby, at 33 weeks, weighs barely 2 pounds. Considering that "Gary" weighs 7 lbs and a baby at 33/34 weeks should weight at least 4, this little baby sure seemed to be in trouble.

Driving home, I was sad. I even told my Mom and Ross about it because I felt so bad. I guess it is another example of some sort of hidden maternal instinct I didn't know I had coming out, but I truly felt bad for this little baby. It is so sad to see a baby starting on the wrong track before it even has a chance to start out on the right track. Maybe if Bad Mommy hadn't have dropped so many F-bombs in the 45 minutes we were there at the same time, I might have felt bad for her, too.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Analogies and Metaphors to start the new year

Haley sent me an e-mail of actual analogies and metaphors from high school student essays. A few were funny and I wanted to share.

  • He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
  • Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  • The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But, unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  • The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  • He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  • It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids with power tools.
  • He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  • She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
  • It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.


Related Posts with Thumbnails