Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It...

and I feel (mostly) fine!  All weekend I kept thinking to myself that this is the end of a great era...the Drew, Sarah and Luke era.  Honestly, I feel a little sad, but mostly really excited, because I know that we are on the verge of a brand new era with our baby boy joining our family and I know it is going to be great!

I have been cherishing all the moments with Luke.  The great part of having been off of work this last month is that I haven't had the stresses of work, the time commitments of work and I have gotten to spend more days with Luke than normal.  He has become such a little snuggler especially at night (for a long time he was way too independent to snuggle much).  He pats my back and reaches for my hand when we are cuddling before bed and he loves to get his little face right up next to mine.  It seems that even in the last few weeks he has matured a lot.  He is trying to do more tasks independently and we are picking up more and more language from him.  He loves to run races (starting with yelling "ready, set go!"), play ring around the rosie (he mostly just hums randomly and spins in circles and then yells "all fall down!"), he  counts to three before doing something fun (like trying to climb over the dogs), he is enamored with the dogs...he takes them treats and tries to wrestle with them, we are working on him not pulling their hair (or mine for that matter),  and he just giggles constantly.  He has his "toddler moments" of being extremely demanding (which is a little daunting to us right now with a baby just around the corner) but overall Luke is such a joy.  We have absolutely adored having him as our only and first child.  He is a parents' dream, or at least this mama's!

It makes me feel a bit nostalgic that he won't be our only child anymore, but I am so thrilled that he will have a sibling to share his childhood and hopefully a lifetime with.  Our baby is so lucky to have him as a big brother. I know there will be moments when he pulls baby brother's hair, tries to poke his eyes out like he does his doll, steal his binky etc., but for the most part I believe that in time Luke will be just great and the idea of watching them play together over the years excites me.

It's hard to believe the time is upon us for this new chapter!  Next week this house will be full of little voices, dirty diapers and likely some overwhelmed parents!  In the mean time, here's to our first baby...the joy of our lives!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It is amazing what a good night's rest can do for peace of mind and clarity.  I awakened this morning feeling at peace with our son's upcoming birth and to many kind emails, texts and voicemails.  Thank you so much for all your support and prayers.  We are a very blessed family to be surrounded by so much love.  I have talked to a few friends who have had c sections (and also have toddlers at home) and I feel much better overall about the recovery and have gotten some great tips on caring for Luke.  A birth day is simply that, the day someone is born, and while a huge and exciting day it doesn't come close to measuring up to the sum of each and every day from that point forward.

Now, I am just excited to meet our little man, welcome him with open arms and introduce him to everyone!  Hopefully he stays put until next Friday morning at 7:30!  Thank you again for all your love and support!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Rolling Stones

They said it best folks..."you can't always get what you want."

This morning we went for the version, and as you can probably guess, it was not successful.  We started off with the most thorough ultrasound I have had in either pregnancy.  One positive from today, we know for certain that we have an extremely healthy little boy from his fingernails, to his kidneys, to his left ventricle, to his parietal lobe you name it, they checked it today and they all looked perfect.  He measured in at 7lbs even and his fluid looked great.  The perinatologist said everything about him looked perfect and he was a great candidate for a version.  I was worried we might not get to try, so I am grateful we at least had the chance.  The perinatologist tried for about 10 minutes and the little man just never budged.  He would kick at her hands trying to move his bottom and that was about it.  His heart rate was perfectly steady the entire time.  Despite the medication they gave me to relax the uterus, every time the doctor really tried to move him much my uterus would contract giving him less space to move.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't pretty emotional about the outcome.  I went in to it this morning with low expectations but still a hope that he would flip and the finality of knowing that he is staying put and will be born via c section makes me feel really sad.  I know millions of babies are born via c section.  In fact, of the 10 women or so I know that have had babies since January all but 1 has had to have a c section for a variety of reasons.  I know it isn't that big of a deal and I will be fine.  I just had such an amazing experience when Luke was born.  It is the most favorite day of my life and not just because I got to meet him but because it was fun and exciting and I just loved the experience.  It is hard for me to know that I won't get to experience that likely ever again.  Even if we have more children, they will likely have to be born via c section.  I am totally scared to have the surgery, sad that I won't get to hold our baby right away, worried about the recovery time and worried about not being able to carry Luke around for some time after the surgery.  I am already worried about Luke feeling neglected when the baby arrives and this just adds insult to injury.  I am sure I will look back and realize it wasn't as bad as I built it up in my mind to be, but I am still disappointed.

I have some time to get over it and I am confident that I will.  I just need a couple of days to reset my expectations and come to terms with the inevitable.  I vow to not let the method of delivery ruin our son's birth day.  This pregnancy hasn't quite been the journey I had hoped for and the delivery won't be either....BUT the positive is that the final outcome will be, and in the end, I know that is all that really matters.  So, next week we will be holding our second son and it doesn't get much better than that...that will continue for years to come, while the rest of this will just be a memory of the past.

I thank all of you for your concern, prayers, texts, emails, phone calls etc.  It means the world to us!  We have had lots of people praying for us; for a healthy baby and for a final somersault, and if I had to choose just one of those prayers to be answered it would most certainly be the healthy baby, so thank you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day, Full Term and Flips

I am a bad mommy...I forgot to take any fun pictures at Father's Day this year!  BUT, we had a fabulous weekend!  We have managed to cram a lot in to the last few weeks of what we feel may be our last taste of freedom for awhile...we felt this way before Luke too, and still managed to do a lot, but this time we are a little more fearful that we will be home bound for awhile!  We shall see!

Saturday we had a group of friends and their kids out to the lake, 5 couples, 6 kids present, 2 more in utero, 3 dogs and lot of was a great way to spend the weekend!  Yesterday we enjoyed lots of family and daddy time!  I must say that I couldn't dream of a better daddy for my boys, Drew is amazing.  He is fun, sensitive, engaged, caring, and rambunctious!  The perfect combination.  I love watching him with Luke and Luke adores him.  Sometimes it annoys me (in jest) how much Luke adores him, but if there were ever a time for him to be a complete and total Daddy's Boy this is it!

My parents spent the weekend in St. Louis so I had a nice lunch with my dad on Friday before they left to celebrate the day.

I am also officially full term as of yesterday, so while I would really like to keep this baby where he is for at least another 7-10 days, he is welcome to join us at any point.  It is interesting though, on Friday at my OB appointment she gave me my chart to take to the hospital in case I go in to labor and my due date was listed as June 29th, July 4th AND July 10th....11 days between the first and last, so who on earth knows when this baby is going to arrive.  He clearly has a mind of his own!

At my ultrasound all looked great, he is going to be a bigger boy than his brother, especially if he hangs around until July 10th...on Friday at 36 weeks 5 days he weighed in at a whopping 6lbs 12oz...meaning that he is likely going to be 8-8.5 lbs if he stays put...we shall see.

He is still breech, so Wednesday morning I check in to Shawnee Mission for the version.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that they can turn him and I can have a natural delivery.  BUT, since the beginning of January we have worried about his growth, if I would make it full term, about preeclampsia  and several other factors...none of which have come to fruition.  So, the bottom line is that if the version is not successful, likely on July 1st I will have a c section and a healthy baby boy.  So my recovery is longer, so I need more help with Luke, so I don't get to hold our baby right away...the important thing is that he will be here and will be healthy, the rest I will get over.

Please say a little prayer that the version goes as smoothly as possible on Wednesday.  There is always the chance that the baby may not respond well to the procedure and I would have to have a c section right then and prayer is that at my next post I have a head down baby that is still in my belly!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strength of a Woman

Since I am going to be highly outnumbered in the Keller household very shortly, I am happy to report that we are at least raising Luke to respect the lady of the house!  His new favorite song is Shaggy's Strength of a Woman, smart kid knows a good message when he hears one! All kidding aside, the kid goes nuts when the song comes on!  This video doesn't really do it justice because it was captured while driving last Saturday and the binky hides the smile, but you get the point.  The kid loves to dance and knows his mama is one tough cookie! ;)

Desperate Times...

Call for desperate measures.  That's right folks...I have officially quite possibly gone off the deep end in my attempts to turn this baby.  I have done headstands, laid on an ironing board at a reverse 45 degree angle, played music to the baby, put frozen peas on his head, swam in the deep end of the pool and done flips and now this....

What on earth is going on here you may ask...this is Chinese Medicine folks.  That's right I have resorted to burning Moxa on acupuncture point Bladder 67 in an attempt to turn my baby.  I have officially become either a hippy or down right insane. But, I have some time on my hands and what do I have to lose?...everything to gain.  If it doesn't work, I am in no worse shape than I started.

Thanks to my friend Bethany Good who is now moonlighting for me as a Chinese Medicine Dr.  We have been burning Moxa during the kids' naps the last few days...Moxa smells like...well let's just say the neighbors might be getting ready to call CPS on the mom's getting high in the backyard during nap time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hoping for a Break!

Well...if United didn't drop us last week, we gave them further reason this week...seriously?  I know.  Let me just clarify, after last week's post my mom actually thought that we had received notification from United that they were considering dropping our coverage...I was only kidding around, and I am very aware that our recent health issues are extremely trivial compared to many people suffering out there.

Drew left town this week for a work trip and even though in my head I felt confident I wouldn't have this baby while he was gone, I was still a little nervous, especially considering I am still heading for a c section with this breech baby.  Luke and I had a great day on Wednesday playing with friends and relaxing together but as the day progressed Luke started to have a severe allergy attack.  I honestly didn't think much of it because it seems every time he is on antibiotic for his ears he seems to get a lot of congestion about a week in.  By the time bedtime rolled around I noticed he was wheezing a little bit but I thought it was just the nasal congestion so I suctioned him out and put him to bed.  I went to check on him a few times and the wheezing was getting louder, finally I lifted up his shirt and saw that his chest was retracting significantly.  So I scooped him up and took him to Children's Mercy at about 11pm.  By the time we got to their waiting room Luke had very shallow, fast breathing and a lot of retraction.  They skipped the check in process and took us immediately back to see the doctor.  Luke got some steroids and a breathing treatment, which he hated.  The last time he had breathing treatments he loved them because they made him feel so much better (in fact, after the first one he signed "more please"), but this time he screamed bloody murder and fought us the entire time.  When we left 3 hours later, Luke had a "diagnosis" of asthma and I had been "trained" (I use that word very loosely) on how to manage his asthma and left with an action plan and 4 prescriptions which I was told needed to be filled immediately so I could use them at home if he struggled with his breathing again that night.  So my 9 month, pregnant tired, a@* hauled my 19 month old child who was jazzed up on steroids to the 24 hour CVS at 2:15 in the morning.  Awesome. To the inconsiderate, slow, rude pharmacist who "helped" us in a record 60 minutes (the prescriptions had been sent over 25 minutes before we even arrived), I have a call in to your manager, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Let's just say that after exhaustedly trying to contain Luke for the first 30 minutes in the store, I finally allowed him to create total chaos, pulling things off shelves, running through the isles, trying to open bags of candy anything to irritate the guy enough so he would want us out of the store, I didn't work very hard to clean up the mess before we left either, and I don't feel badly about it now either.

After just a couple of hours of sleep, Luke woke up struggling to breathe again, so I went to give him his inhaler.  The same inhaler the respiratory therapist at the hospital told me it would take 2 people to administer; one to hold the child down, the other to give the meds.  Sounds pretty realistic, right?  Who thinks up these kind of instructions?  Anyway, I was NOT successful, my mom came over to help and we were only partially successful.  It is awful to watch your child struggling to breathe, have medicine that can help them, but not be able to get the medicine IN him.  So I called the pediatrician and said I needed a lot more training to administer these meds.  So we spent nearly 3 hours yesterday morning at the pediatrician.  That session included 15 minutes of pure hell while me and the nurse held down my again steroid jazzed child (who was unrecognizable to me at this point) who was flailing, thrashing, arching, kicking, punching, pulling and screaming while we tried to administer a breathing treatment.  I am pretty sure he scared off the super full waiting room of kids who heard him screaming bloody murder for 15 LONG minutes.  I would like to point out that Luke is probably the most laid back kid, 90% of the time, I have never seen him act like this.

The good news is that I have found a way to give Luke his medicine, by myself, although my mother in law was gracious enough to help me twice yesterday. Luke is breathing well, he is back at daycare today so I can finally "rest" and put my feet up...almost forgot about those doctor's orders!

I am really bummed that it appears Luke has asthma, I am hopeful that it is a minor case and that since we have medicine and know warning signs now that we can control it and not have a middle of the night  trip to the hospital or any other time for that matter.  I had asthma as a kid, and I had hoped that that wouldn't be one of the things I passed on to Luke...seems that poor kid has inherited all the things I don't really care for in myself...hopefully he will get a few positive things too!

The great news is that I am still pregnant and only 9 days from a full term pregnancy, 37 weeks!  The biophysical this morning went great, baby is still breech but my amniotic fluid was better which is important to help him turn.  If he hasn't turned by my appointment next Friday we will schedule a version at the hospital for the week of June 20th, if that is not successful then I will have a c section July 1st.

I feel like I have been asking for an awful lot in my prayers lately, for Luke's health, the baby's health, to not go in to labor, to have the baby flip, to not have a baby with Drew out of town.  I need to be grateful for the small successes and the answered prayers and not focus so much on the c section possibility, especially.   The most important thing is that we have a healthy delivery and baby.  Hopefully in the next month we will all 4 be home with two healthy kiddos and all these things will just be a memory and we will be figuring how to manage 2 under 2...that's when the funny versus the dramatic posts will most certainly begin!

We have spent the last 2 weekends at the lake and are working on acclimating Luke to the water again...

Luke has been hilarious and ornery lately...his favorite thing to say is "Don't do that" while shaking his head...which makes me realize that we have been saying THAT too much!  Oops!  He is in to everything, but does love to be helpful and bring us our keys, shoes, phones etc.  He is such a sponge and absorbs everything, both good and bad!, and I love watching it.  He has a new baby doll that he is practicing with, he is going to be a great big brother!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ode to United Healthcare

It is weeks months(!) like this that I am grateful to not be one of the millions of Americans without health insurance.  Lord Have Mercy, United Healthcare is going to drop our family come 2012.  It is RIDICULOUS!  Between this semi eventful pregnancy, Luke's never ending head cold/ear infections/tubes/breathing issues and Drew's back problems we have been giving the old insurance card a WORKOUT.  I can think of many years where the card never left my it is positioned before my driver's license and debit think I am kidding...I am not!  In the last 10 days Luke has been to the pediatrician 3 times...not that unusual (before you go thinking I am some hypochondriac mother, I can assure you that I am not...I will do most anything before going to the doctor...our little man just cannot catch a break), I have been to the OB 3 times and to Shawnee Mission hospital 3 times.  I wish I could say we are coming out of it, but Luke has a horrible ear infection, despite the tubes, that isn't responding to ear drops so he is BACK on another oral antibiotic and has been running a 103.9 degree fever, which is compounded by a reaction from the MMR vaccination.  I think we may have finally had a break in the fever this morning, but the little man won't let me get further than 2 inches from him before he begins to cry and needs to be held/snuggled (as much as I love when he is snuggly, it is growing increasingly more challenging to hold him on my lap and cuddle with him as Baby Boy is taking up almost all of our room).  As I sit here, I am having contractions and drinking gallons of water by the minute to try to relax things.  I won't get in to Drew's back issues, but he hasn't been the healthiest of his life this spring either.  Even if our family's overall health improves, having a baby definitely increases our overall utilization of our insurance.  I am really excited for the day that we go more than 2 weeks without a doctor visit!  This too shall pass, right?

So, United Healthcare, as much as I despise your twenty dollar co pays at times, I am thankful for your unfailing support this year...we aren't even halfway through 2011, please don't drop us...we promise (???) next year will be better!  (at least I hope so!)

Biophysical profile this morning for Baby Boy was fine, he passed in a just a few minutes...still breech and hanging tough, apparently he hates gymnastics.  I think I have about 2 weeks left for him to do this on his own before we check in to the hospital for a version.  I haven't heard the greatest stories about versions, but I am willing to endure a little pain on the front end if it means we can avoid a c section.  The great news is that we are one week further along and he is that much stronger than last week...hoping for a minimum of 16 more days with him in my belly!