Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Awesome Mom -- Gwladys Ann

For those of you who don't know, my mom is the one staying with me while I am in Phoenix... I wanted to post this for Mothers Day, but am a little behind. (Can you imagine why???) There is no way that I could have ever done this without her. Every one here talks about my great support system and how that is one of the reasons that I am doing so well.... She is at the top of my support system!

Thank you, Mom, for traipsing through 110 degree weather every day to:
-Feed me non-hospital food
-Rub lotion on my feet and belly
-Wash my feet and hair
-Find ways to entertain me when I get bored
-Hold my hand during new IV's
-Wash my clothes so they don't stink like hospital
-Run the shuttle service back and forth from the airport to pick up Stephen and my friends who come and visit
-Decorate my room for Memorial Day
-Run errands for me when I think of new things that I want
-Be my cheerleader when I am feeling down

I hope that one day I will be as good as of mom as she is!!!

P.S. Thank you, Dad, for letting mom leave you and come and take care of me. She misses you tons!
Mom & Dad

Last Year @ Misty's Wedding

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good News & Grandmas

We are well into Week 26... Yippee! I am feeling well enough to get back to blogging and I thank my sweet husband for taking over when I was not up to it.

Week 26 started out with great news.
1. My cervix is still closed.
2. My gestatational diabetes test came back normal. (I don't have to give up Jelly Bellies!!)
3. My fetal fibernectin test (FFN) came back negative. Fibernectin is a protein that acts like glue to bind the babies sacs to the uterine wall. Before delivery the glue starts to "dissolve" and the sacks pull away from the uterine wall to prepare for delivery. The FFN test looks for the presence of fibernectin. If there is none, the odds of delivering in the next 2 weeks is low.

The babies are all growing great! We did a growth ultrasound at 25 weeks and the babies weighed:

Baby A - Girl - 1 lb. 9 oz.
Baby B - Girl - 1 lb. 9 oz.
Baby C - Boy - 1 lb. 14 oz.
Baby D - Boy - 1 lb. 9 oz.
Baby E - Girl - 1 lb. 7 oz.

We will do another growth ultrasound at 28 weeks. We are getting close to finalizing the names for all of the babies and will let you know once we do!

All of the babies Grandma's were here this weekend... Mama Jude, Nana and Grandma. They all doted on me, cooked for me and bought me tons of gifts. It was fun having them all here and it made the weekend go by fast.

Nana, Grandma, Mama Jude

Other news of the week: My mom is teaching me how to crochet and I got a trapeze for my bed. My nurse told me that the trapeze is not to be used extra curricular activities... Where's the fun in that???

Oh and one more thing.... I am now up to 208 pounds!! 2 pounds away from the 75 pound minimum weight gain goal! Wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Week 25 Update!

(it's still Stephen)
We made it to week 25! Ellen is doing well. She is still on the same levels of Mag and Terb and will not likely be taken down, but her spirits are high. Her contractions are steadily around 5-7 an hour. The plan at this point is to try to get to week 28 before administering the steroids that will help the babies develop. Dr. Elliott is concerned that the steroids will increase the frequency of the contractions, so the longer that we can wait the better.

Kari did a wonderful job taking care of Ellen. She brought her (and me) bagels every morning, and lunch and dinner every day to help Ellie gain weight. It is increasingly difficult because she has little to no appetite, and her stomach is squished by many babies.

Here is Kari displaying some fresh guacamole made just for Ellen(and me). Delicious!

This was a very exciting weekend! We were visited by Kari, Bob, and Dana.

Ellen has kind of got me on picture restrictions, so I had to hold her down this week to get a picture.

Ellen really enjoys picking out and eating jelly belly candies. Bob decided to get some as a gift for the visit..............

a ton of them!

We all ate them until we were sick.....and then ate several more. (watch out for buttered popcorn)

Kari and Dana helped Ellen with hydrotherapy. As you can see from the pics below, they worked equally hard.

Ellen has a great attitude, and with all of our family and friends help, we are going to reach our goal. The support continues to amaze us both. Thank you all for everything!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Week 24 Update!

Stephen for Ellen again. Ellen is still pregnant! This is a very important milestone because this is the bare minimum that a preemie can survive. She is having contractions, but the doctors do not seem too worried. They are debating on when to administer the steroids for the babies.

We had a bit of excitement in the middle of the night Thursday. We were moved to the 5th floor to allow an influx of mommies to use our room and nurse for giving birth. I patiently (not) packed up the mountain of things our friends and family had sent, and brought them up stairs to our new, much older room. It is smaller and the air does not get nearly as cold, but it works for Elle's temporary new home.

Here is one of the amenities in our new room. It doesn't work, but it helps remind us of a simpler time.

Our dear friend Kari came this week to take care of Ellen while Gwladys goes home.

As you can see, she is all business!

Here is another picture that I am not supposed to post, but I can't help it. This girl is being pumped full of meds, can't get out of bed, and is scared out of her mind, but still warms up the entire room with that smile. No wonder the nurses argue over who gets to take care of her.

This may be the last time I blog for Ellen after this, but it is important to exercise the lungs while bed ridden.

Happy Mother's Day! Someone got Elle a mother's day fortune cookie!

It's from the babies. Looks like we can relax now. 10 more weeks would put us at 34 weeks.

Thanks again for all of our support. We can not keep this up without everyone's thoughts and prayers and kindness.

Stephen out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Week 23 Update

Hello everyone. This is Stephen again for Ellen. Ellen is doing better as far as contractions, but on a high dosage of Mag Sulphate to accomplish this. Dr. Elliott is very hopeful that we can still reach our goal of 32 weeks. Ellen gets two different rewards when she behaves(contractions). They are hydrotherapy and wheelchair rides. The hydrotherapy consists of a giant bath tub that she gets to float in. I didn't see this happen so that's about all I have to say about that.

Here is a pic of Kimber, Ellen, and Amy on one of Ellen's 30 min excursions to the "Healing garden" The Hospital has 4 different gardens. This is our favorite.

Here is a broad pic of the healing garden.

Thanks to our wonderful family, friends, and church family, Ellen has a well decorated room.

The mag causes Elle to feel hot, so the room is VERY cold. (see proof above as two healing garden gnomes visited)

I am making light, but Ellen and I are very thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers. We are keeping track of all of the loving things everyone is doing for us. The volume is already overwhelming.

Week 22

This is Stephen. Ellen is unable to focus due to the mag, so I will fill in for her temporarily. That is why you are just now seeing week 22 at week 23. We had a bit of a rough week. Ellen handled it well, but the doctors had to up her medication to slow the contractions. She is being monitored 24/7 by an awesome nursing staff(that is really cute as well). I will have to remember to tell Elle's brother Neal that information when he returns home. I am now going to Phoenix every weekend, and will update my blog more regularly(as my call frequency has increased tenfold the last week). Please leave comments as to how I am doing. I don't really care for me, but want to do a good job for Ellen.

PS - she told me not to post that pic, so no one tell her. I think she looks great!