Thursday, April 3, 2014

C-Section Hospital Bags!

So as we get closer to Puff being delivered I thought I would do a post on what's in our hospital bag.  Yes I know there are many different lists/suggestions on what to take with you to the hospital and there are even less for families who are going to have a c-section delivery.  Even though this isn't our first time, while packing our bags I kind of forgot everything that we actually took and what we used after we had Chloe.  Don't feel like you have to follow this list, or any list out there, I searched through a few on Google and Pinterest, and kind of adapted it to fit what I felt Chris, Puff, and I would need while we stayed.  With Chloe we stayed in the hospital for 3 days, and I know there's a chance we could stay longer this time around, I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared.  (On 2 blogs I read one family stayed for 4 days, and another family stayed for 7 days.)

Here we go:

Our Main Bag

For Me:

  • Wallet & Insurance Cards - Will actually be in my purse 
  • Belly Bandit - this is something that my sister told me about before Chloe's delivery, and let me tell you it is amazing!  The belly bandit helps to kind of hold everything in place, and to me it took the pressure off of my incision, I got up 1 time without it on and that was the worst thing I could of ever done. Also they aren't just for c-sections, you wear it for 6 wks after the baby and it helps with weight loss, and shrinking your uterus back to its normal size!
  • 2-3 Night gowns  - I didn't like wearing pants after Chloe's c-section, for me it was uncomfortable for anything to touch or sit near my incision.
  • Flip Flops 
  • Slippers
  • Robe -  Helps with the cold hospital rooms
  • 2 Nursing Bras - 1 of those sleep nursing bras, and then just a regular one.
  • Going Home Dress - I'm planning on wearing a dress to the hospital and just wearing the same one home, I'm only going to be wearing it for maybe a hour before I get into a hospital gown anyway.


For Chris:
  • 2 Shirts
  • Sweat Pants
  • P.J. Pants
  • Light Jacket
  • Slippers
  • Quarters & Dollar Bills - For the vending machines
We didn't really pack much for Chris, just some things for him to lounge in, he's planning to go home every night like he did when we had Chloe so he could check on Magic and Smokey, and he can get anything that we might need.

For Puff:
  • Going Home Outfit
  • Couple Hair Bows - A girl could always use a bow! Plus one is going to match her going home outfit.
  • Pairs of Socks
  • Mittens - Don't want her scratching her pretty face
  • 2 Sleeper Onesies - They are button up ones and have the feet on them, both are NB size
  • 3 mon Onesie - Just in case she does come out 8 pounds, and the NB onesies are to small
  • Burp Cloth
  • Swaddle Blanket - I received some super cute/soft Aden and Anais Swaddlers at my baby shower's, I know they have blankets there to swaddle her in but I kind of want to use her things, and know that we can swaddle her in the ones we have at home.
  • Light Blanket - For the car seat when we head home.
  • Stuffed Animal
Bathroom Bag:  This is all pretty obvious, will be packed up the night before, and travel size things are perfect for this bag!
  • Phone Chargers - I have 2 - 10 ft charge cables in this bag so they are easy to find 
  • Travel Sized Brush & Comb
  • Few Hair Ties, Bobby Pins, & a Hair Clip
  • Little Make Up - Some women don't want or have time to do their make up, and that's okay!  I was just going to take some eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara.  Plus if you want to do pictures in the hospital some moms want to have on a little make up.
  • Travel Mirror
  • Lip Balm - I love those little eros lip balms, and plus the air at the hospital can be pretty dry
  • Face Wash/Face Wipes
  • 2 Travel Sized Shampoo/Body Wash
  • Deodorant - for both Chris and I
  • 2 Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Contacts, Case, & Solution
  • Glasses Case
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Heart Burn Medicine -  I got a prescription for Prevacid this time around, with both pregnancies I have had the worst indigestion, I don't know if I can take it while in the hospital, but being a prescription I'd rather take it with me and ask.
  • Colace (Stool Softener) - If you haven't had a baby or haven't heard, this is TMI, but trying to go number 2 afterwards is HORRIBLE!  I'm not sure if they can give any in the hospital, they did give me Mylanta to help with gas pain, so some hospitals may give you a stool softener if you ask.
  • Advil - This is for Chris, I don't know if the hospital would give him anything if he got a headache so I'd rather be safe then sorry.
Misc Items:  Some of these things are going to stay in the car until we need them
  • Camera & Charger
  • Nintendo DS & Games
  • 2 Pillows - Will stay in the car until we need them just another comfort from home, plus those hospital pillows are so flat
  • Blanket - This will stay in the car until we need it, and is mainly for Chris, they gave him pillows and blankets for him to sleep on but like the pillows they weren't to soft or comfy.
  • 2-3 Large Reusable Grocery Bags - I got mine from Michael's Craft Store, and were super cute/cheap.  I read a mom on another blog did this when she had her last to put all the things you get to take home from the hospital, and anything else so it won't take up room in your other bags.
  • Snacks - These will probably be in one of the reusable bags, even though there are snack machines, I figure having snacks will come in handy if we don't want to leave the room, or when my nieces and nephews come visit they can have some. 
On to the maybe items:  Not sure just yet if we will be taking these things or not just yet
  • Nursing Cover - I was thinking I can go ahead and figure out how it will sit/work, and I might can use it if we have unexpected guests, so they wouldn't have to wait in the hall or anything like that.
  • My Brest Friend Pillow  - I was given this pillow by a friend who loved it, it falls similar to the nursing cover, I just keep thinking I can go ahead and figure out how it will work for me.
  • 1-2 Bath Towels - Read this one on another blog as well, she had just grabbed a cheaper one from Target and took it with her.  The hospital towels are so thin and scratchy it is a good idea to bring one softer with you.
  • Nurse Thank You's - I really do want to do some kind of thank you for the nurses, I'm just not 100% sure what I would like to do just yet, once I figure out what I'm wanting to do it won't be a maybe anymore.

When it's all written out it seems like a lot of things, but when they are all packed it all fits nicely in a small (like carry on size) rolling duffle bag, and a medium sized square bathroom bag!  I've had our bags packed for the most part since I was about 32 wks, most people don't get theirs ready till about 35 wks, but I figured since we know we're going to deliver at 37 wks I'd go ahead and do what I could to not fret about how quickly she will be here.   

Friday, March 28, 2014

Many Updates and Pictures!!


I haven’t typed in here in a while and have many updates and pictures I’d like to share with everyone!  As of March 10th we are going to the Dr every week now, and on the 14th we went to the new Baby Glance for some 3D/4D sonograms.  Of course Puff did not want to cooperate with us, she had both of her chunky legs up in front of her face, and her arms crossed behind them right in front of her face as well.  We got a few good pictures, but not too many that we could see her face fully, I’ll post some of them below.   

We also went back and saw our high risk Dr on March 18th, to get his opinion on when we should deliver, for those who don’t know I have a “classical” or vertical cut on my uterus, where as a normal c-section uterine cut goes horizontally.  Because of this every pregnancy I will deliver via c-section and I cannot have contractions due to the increased risk of possible uterine rupture.  He still suggested that we deliver anywhere between 36 wks and 38 wks (the closer to 40 wks I get the increased chance of labor).  We also got a good scan of her, which the sonographer said everything with her looks great, and everything has developed perfectly!  We also got some more 3D sonograms from them, and after trying for some time got some good ones of her chunky little face.  Chris and I agree that she def has my nose and cheeks, and she’s got daddy’s big lips.  According to her measurements at that time I was 32 wks, and she averaged 34 wks, and according to measurements could weigh 5 lbs 7 oz, which puts her in the 95th percentile for growth.  When we went to see Dr Martinez on the 10th when I was 31 wks my fundal height (the measurement from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus) measured 34 wks as well.   Which that just means that there is a big possibility she will be a larger baby, and could be around 8 lbs at birth, which I was 7 lbs (not sure how many ounces) and Chris was 6 lbs 11 oz at birth. 

We went back to see Dr Martinez on March 27th to discuss what Dr. Maher suggested and when we would most likely deliver.   As they both said we would shoot for the middle of 36-38 and go with 37 wks which I am 37 wks on the 19th, the day after my birthday.  Dr Martinez had said most likely we will deliver on either April 19th or April 20th, which I know the 20th is Easter this year, and it’s also my grandma’s birthday so that would be a pretty cool day for her to be born.  She would share my grandma’s birthday, and she would share Chris’ granny’s name for her middle name (Allie).  We don’t have anything set in stone just yet, but we are going back on April 1st and I’m guessing we will have the day scheduled for certain by then.

With around 3 wks left, its def getting more surreal that it’s going to be no longer be just Chris and me for the rest of our lives.  We’ve been together for 8 years, going on 9 in June, and its different to think how everything’s going to change, and will be such blessing.  We never really were able to get to have this feeling when pregnant with Chloe due to us just enjoying her pregnancy and here being with us for as long as we could.  And even though I’m nervous and know it’s going to be tough in the beginning this journey we’ve been on, from Chloe’s pregnancy to Puff’s pregnancy, have been such blessings for us, and something that have helped to mold Chris and I for the better.
     
Puff 20 wk sonogram, and 32 wk sonogram, look how chunky she's gotten!! 
 
 Puff at 32 wks, def has her daddy's lips!
 
 31 wks, 3D sonogram from Baby Glance with her arm right in front of her face 
 
 Some of our maternity pictures done by Mari Annelise Photography, 29 wks
 
 
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

HPE Awareness Week & Remembering Chloe's Diagnosis

Holoprosencephaly is a big, confusion, hard to say, medical term that in all my years I had never heard until we were pregnant with Chloe.   Holoprosencephaly (HPE, once known as arhinencephaly) is a cephalic disorder in which the prosencephalon (the forebrain of the embryo) fails to develop into two hemispheres.   In some cases it can be a genetically caused disorder, but in Chloe's case, and other babies, as many Dr's put to us "it was a lightening strike of bad luck".  Meaning there's no reason why her brain didn't develop properly, it just happened. 

I remember being angry, confused, and just all around pissed at the world when we found out something was wrong with our Chloe, and it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that our first daughter wouldn't be coming home with us. 

We first thought she had cysts on her brain at 16 wks, and we knew something was wrong, but it wasn't until we were around 18 wks when we saw one of the high risk Dr's that he gave us a more of an idea diagnosis of what Chloe could possibly have.  I remember that day being so mad, I thought we had done everything right.  I recall having to take Chris to work after the appt and just being so hurt, and mad at the world.  Why did something like this happen to us, and to our daughter.  I had been so angry for those 2 wks, that I think it was that afternoon that I was finally done feeling that way.  I remember texting Chris while he was at work and telling him I wanted to give her a name, I was done feeling angry about her condition, and I wanted to do everything we could to make the most of the time we had with her.  Even though we knew we would still have tough days, from that day forward we let it all go and just let God take everything.  Which I know we should of done from the beginning but when your put into a situation like ours, or any tough situation, it hard to just let it all go and not be angry in the beginning.   I think it was that same day that we decided to make this blog, which had def been therapeutic for us, and I pray helpful for others.  We went to Dallas at 20 wks, for the fetal MRI where Dr Twickler had given us the for sure diagnosis that is was HPE, and I remember her asking us what our Dr's thought Chloe could have, and she was very impressed with what information we knew.  She had determined that Chloe's brain didn't develop, or divide, she had a primitive brain, meaning a sack filled with spinal fluid, a little of her brain stem, and cerebellum had developed, but that was it.  All of her movements were reflexive movements due to the brain stem, Chloe didn't know she was making the movements. 

Chris: it, as was said numerous times, was very tough for us. The empty feeling we felt in our chests was just the tip of the iceberg. Also as was said, this blog really helped me realize a couple things. One thing that I have come to realize is that writing takes me to a calm place, a place where I forget my problems as I let it out, a happy place if you will. The other is that I actually enjoy writing now. I've never really had an urge to put my thoughts on paper, or online,  for the world to potentially see.

Recently I decided to remove my Chloe bracelet permanently. It oddly was almost as therapeutic as writing on this is. I wore that bracelet every single day, never took it off, since I put it on. It was me holding on to hope that maybe she would somehow defy reality and come home. I say down, rubbed the bracelet, and laid it around her urn. I'll forever have a piece of her with me and I'm okay with it now. I feel changed, I feel almost human again, I feel almost like I did 2 years ago.

Friday, February 28, 2014

29 Wks and Counting!

I know I haven't wrote in here in a while, but I am now officially at 30wks! 

We also go the results of the glucose test that I had at our 28 wk visit, and everything was good there so I don't have gestational diabetes thankfully!  But I am having gallbladder spasms, which are very uncomfortable, so I was started on a medicine and a diet to help with that.  We are going to go back when I'm 31 wks,  and I think we'll start the every other week visits after that?  I know he had mentioned we may see the high risk Dr one more time just to get his opinion on our possible delivery time due to me having a classical (vertical) incision on my uterus.

It's crazy to think that as early as 7 wks we could be going to have our little girl,  or as late as 9 wks away. O_O I told Chris the other day when I realized how close it was that I didn't think I could do it.  I think I feel that way this time because with Chloe we knew from about 16 wks that there was a very high chance she wouldn't actually come home with us, so we just enjoyed her pregnancy as much as we could, and never went through any preparations for her to come home.  Now we know Puff will be coming home with us and we're going to have a child to take care of for the rest of our lives, it's kind of a surreal feeling this time around.

We also got some maternity pictures done by our friend Mari, with Mari Annelise Photography,  which I recommend to any one in our area.  I will def be posting them soon, I never took any maternity pictures with Chloe, so being able to this time was def something we looked forward to being able to do.

Other then just being tired, and taking random naps when I don't even think I'm that tired, everything's been going really well thankfully.  We've got the nursery basically fully done, just have to touch up a few spots of paint, and get the curtains/ decorations hung.  We've got her crib, changing table, and rocker all where we want them to be too.

I guess I will end this post there, and I will def be posting pictures of her room and our maternity pictures once we have everything!  Just keep praying everything continues to go well for us, and our little miracle!!


Notes from dad: 

I've slowly realized that the days are only getting shorter and the weeks are starting to feel like mere blinks of my eyes. I'm growing nervous, anxious, and overall excited about what is to come. Until this point I've ignored the fact that my life is about to change forever yet again. Chloe's life and (predicted, but) premature passing hit me like a freight train. My life was forever changed by a little girl whom I never got the chance to truly meet. 

Puff, I think will bring joy and light back in to my life. As I've said before, I'm out of the dark hole, yet a big part of me is still missing. It will be a challenge to take care of a child full-time, but it'll be a challenge I'll accept with open arms. 

-Chris


In the picture I am 26 wks pregnant with both Chloe and Puff, you can def tell there is a difference in their growth.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

25 wks and upadates/milestones!

I am 25 wks as of Sat, and feeling pretty good, minus having strep throat for a second time this pregnancy, and all the lovely coughing/drainage due to this crazy weather we've had.  It really doesn't feel like I'm 6 months along, I guess that's due to the fact that we've known I was pregnant since I was like 2-3 wks along, just like with Chloe's pregnancy. 

We have finally started to feel her movement on the outside of my belly around 24 wks, I've been able to feel her move since about 14 wks.  Chris finally felt a pretty impressive kick on the 22nd, after only feeling light movement before that.  Let me say this little girl has some tough kicks/punches for sure.  Today I finally got her to respond to me pushing a little in a spot that she had just kicked me at, and while I was putting a little pressure she hit hard right on my hand, kind of like a "hey would you watch it!" Lol, I guess she's got the soccer gene all of us Hart kids have.  We didn't get to feel Chloe move quit like we have Puff, even though this is my second pregnancy all of this is def new for us.  With Chloe it was a lot of the butterfly feeling for me, and Chris felt her move just a little a few times, so Puffs movements are def amazing to feel/watch.  Some other updates are that around 35 wks we will know when we will deliver.  It could be as early as the week of April14th (I'll be 36 wks), or as late as the week of April 28th (I'll be 38 wks).  If some of y'all don't know my birthday is April 18th, so this little girls birthday will be very close to mine :).  We discussed at our last Dr's appt that the earlier we deliver there is a chance I will have to do steroid shots before delivery to ensure that Puffs lungs are properly developed before she makes her big appearance.  We've also got her room started, we're painted white and gray stripes on the wall that her crib will sit on, and the other walls are going to be are brighter hot pink. 

We go back to the Dr on the 6th, and then we'll go back 2 wks from then for my 28 wk glucose test.  Still praying everything goes well!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday sweet Chloe!!

Little did we know, a year ago today, it would be our first and last time seeing you, or holding you Chloe.  Even though we have pictures to us remember this day, and all the days before,  we still miss you dearly.  I wonder who you would've been if you could of stayed with us, what you would look like, the things you would like.  I am very thankful for the 27 wks that we got to spend with you, even though there were many rough and trying weeks, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  All though you were little, all of 10 inches long, and weighed 10.4 ounces, we know you had the strongest hearts, and are growing so big in heaven.  You made the largest impact on our lives, and will continue to do so in the lives of your siblings.  I pray that you continue to watch over everyone, and am thankful that you have helped to bless us with another little girl that I know will have a little bit of you in her.  I pray that we make you proud everyday, and know that we love you very much.  Till the day we all meet again.  Happy 1st birthday our sweet Chloe!! Mommy and daddy love and miss you so very much!!

Chris:
In the last blog post I decided to release some of my pent up aggression and after it was all said and done I felt real good. It's weird that posting in something like this would have an affect on me. That being said I have decided that it would be in my best interest to keep doing so. 

I'll start off with some sad notes, but will end it the best way I know how. 

I'm sorry Chloe that I couldn't fix what was going on. I was powerless in this and I often feel like I let you down. I know you're up there with Great Granny and PawPaw hanging out and watching over our entire family. 

I was being selfish after you passed away, I kept thinking 'I lost my daughter, why my daughter?, why me?'. I couldn't help it. That day I lost a huge piece of me and I was devastated about it. It wasn't until I was talking to my best friend that I realized how selfish I had become. He had gone through a very rough patch which still haunts him to this day. (which is completely understandable) I couldn't imagine the pain of losing a parent suddenly. I remember looking at him and telling him 'it wasn't just you that lost someone, your dad lost someone, your sister lost someone, everyone she ever came in contact lost a special person.' It wasn't until after I said that, that I realized Chloe wasn't just Lindsay and my baby. It was my mom and dads first grandbaby, my sisters first niece, my mother-in-laws 8th grandbaby, and a new niece/cousin for the litter. 

Another thing that we talked about was the fact that as the 'rule' states, is that you are supposed to bury your parents, not your children. I've heard that saying in the past, but never did I ever think it would apply to me. I know that at some point I will have to bury my mom and dad (God willing, not for many many years from now), but never did I think I would ever have to attend a memorial service for my offspring. 

I remember at the memorial service, the sheer amount of people that showed up. For a little girl, who never graced this earth with her presence, to have a flock of people show up was amazing. For the first time during this whole situation I finally felt and saw what true love and friendship was all about. None of the people that showed up had to, yet they did out of the kindness in their heart. Two nurses from our doctor in Odessa even made the trip which I would've never anticipated. It was great seeing the balloons hit the sky in that iconic heart shape. It was almost like a final goodbye and 'I love you' from that sweet angel in the sky. 

On a lighter note now. This pregnancy has been extremely fun and adventurous to say the least. Everything from the stereotypical morning sickness to the fact that she can't handle chicken cause it's slippery (which for some unknown reason makes her gag) is hilarious. This pregnancy (just like with Chloe) has brought us a lot closer together and our love for each other is greater than I could of ever imagined. Our relationships with our friends also seems stronger as well. It's crazy what a death and pregnancy can do to people. 

I personally wanted to say a big Thank You to anyone that reads this and to everyone that has been a part of our lives, whether it was from the beginning or not. Our friends really helped us through a very rough patch in our lives and there is no way we could ever repay that debt. 

'Let go and let God'
Happy Birthday baby girl! I love you!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Pre-delivery nerves already and then some

So as everyone probably knows, I have to have another c-section this pregnancy, and every pregnancy here out, due to having a "classical (vertical)" incision on my uterus.  I think I'm kind of prepared for it, due to already knowing what to expect but I guess with the pregnancy hormones I'm kind of starting to get nervous about the thought of another c-sec.  Chloe's delivery was my first surgery, first IV, and first real stay in a hospital.  I remember my blood pressure was high when we went in so it wasn't the easiest for the nurse's to do my IV, and after they couldn't get it the first time I remember telling Chris that I was ready to go home, and that Chloe could just stay in my belly.  I was sooo over it, and I'm afraid it'll be that way this time when it comes to the IV, even though I know Chloe's delivery was more then just nerves, we also knew that we weren't going to be able to take our baby home.  I know this time that part will be different, but I'm still nervous, and I'm sure Chris is nervous about getting sick in the OR once again.  But hopefully he'll actually eat, take a xanex, or something before hand lol.  When we saw the high risk dr, he was telling us we will deliver around 37 to 38 wks, which we had known, I can't go into labor on my own, or have any kind of contractions.  I guess I'm nervous about all the unknowns of after Puff is born, like when she'll come out we'll actually know, we will hear her cry, see her shortly after she is born, and when she'll go to the nursery, ect...  With Chloe we didn't know when she was actually born, and we didn't get to see her until we got back into our recovery room.

On a lighter note, I can already tell this little girl loves her daddy though.  Anytime I feel her more I try to put my hand there to see if I can feel it on the outside, and once I do she'll sometime stop moving, but when Chris put his hand on my belly she is all about moving around.  I think she may like when I sing too, or at least I hope so, when I sing in the car I can sometimes feel her move around.  But it may be her way of saying "hey mom, stop singing!" Lol!  My belly buttons starting to poke out more now too, or as Chris say's "the turkey's getting done".


Chris: I really haven't put anything in to this blog until now. I don't know if it was just due to nerves or didn't know how to put anything, but now its time.

Chloe's pregnancy was a smorgasbord of emotions. Everything from pure joy and excitement to pain and agony. I haven't ever felt true hate and anger until the time after her delivery. I was mad all the time, wasn't the happy person that people were accustomed to. I only got more and more angry as the day passed. Knowing our baby wasn't home, knowing that when she got home she would be sitting in a box on a bookshelf. It really pissed me off and I eventually hated myself for thinking that way and acting the way I did. It wasn't until I took a step back and realized I was in a deep depression and was in denial about it. A few months after Chloe's birth Lindsay and I had what came to be known as a 'come to Jesus meeting'. It took me opening my heart and mind to her for me to finally feel like the old self I was, instead of the shell I became. To this day I have mixed emotions. For instance I'll see a dad walking around with his daughter and a piece of me gets green with envy and jealousy. I think 'that should be me.'. Then I realize I have a daughter, that no matter what, is always with me.

The reason I think I got so mad about it all was the fact that I couldn't fix what was going on. Anyone that knows me knows that I can fix damn near anything. If I can't, I'll find someone who can and will be there until it is fixed. Instead I had to let go and let nature take it's course. I couldn't stand sitting there and waiting for a solution (which deep down I knew wasn't coming). I wanted her healthy, I wanted us to be happy, I wanted perfection, but most of all I wanted my daughter here. Unfortunately it didn't happen. I had a decent support system there for me. My mom was still quite sick from a stem cell transplant, so that combined with Chloe was very tough for me to handle. Luckily when family fell through my friends came in. The first night at the hospital my best friend called me and 'kidnapped' me for a little while for dinner (which was the only thing I ate between the c-section and the day we left the hospital). I never really thanked him and let him know just how much that meant to me. For that small amount of time I was free and away from this tragic reality that I was shoved into.

After the 'come to Jesus meeting', our lives completely changed. We finally started to move on a little (still with Chloe at our sides) and started to feel like ourselves again. I look at life a lot different than before, I understand that each moment should be treasured because you just never know. That little girl had a huge impact on me, and still does to this second. I still want to make her proud of her daddy.