Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Luci's Helmet Hat

Eli and I were worried about Luci's head. She had a lot of hair, but we still thought it was a little flat in the back. We brought it up with the doctor at each of her appointments. He assured us that most kids grow out of it, but to be sure to give her lots of tummy time. By the time she was 9 months, it was time to take some action. 

We took Luci to a prosthetic doctor who specializes in head molding. He put this cool sock on her head and covered it with imaging dots. She looked kind of like batbaby. Dang cute!

He then used a camera to scan her head and came up with the image of her head. As you can see, it was a little flater than normal. I don't remember the exact ratio that put it in the non-normal range, but we were hoping for a big change.

He then completed the image. When we weren't there, he rounded out the back to what Luci's head should look like and sent it to some company. That company created a thick, clear plastic helmet. The helmet prevented her head from growing out to the sides and pushed her growth to the back to round it out.

We're not exactly sure what caused her head to be flat. Obviously baby skulls aren't totally fused together or hardened after their birth. She could have spent a lot of time on her back the first few months after her birth. The doctor also said it could have been her position in the womb.

 It took Luci a little while to get used to it. Her head was always sweaty! She had to wear the helmet during the hottest parts of the summer. She had to wear it 23 hours a day - even to bed! She was able to take it off for bathing, swimming lessons, and for a head breather.

Most of the time, she was reasonably happy. She didn't really like putting the helmet on and off. We had to wash the helmet all the time though because it got so sweaty and stinky! Luci had so much hair! The doctor was worried about her overheating because of her hair. He said most kids he dealt with had less hair, so we had to put her hair up in a fountain through the top of the helmet. Her hair took awhile to retrain after the helmet came off.


Sometimes she wasn't very happy. Isn't her dress that her aunt made her super cute? Her baby doll has a matching dress too.

In the end, she only had to wear the helmet for 3 months. Her head shape changed so much faster than expected. It's still on the lower range of the "normal" range, but it worked! It's amazing what doctors can do these days. We still think she's perfect!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You're Having a Baby...Now!

On most Sundays Eli, Luci, and I head up to my mom's house for family dinners. It's a tradition that started while I was in college and carried on when Eli and I moved closer to my parents. I had been feeling a lot of "pelvic pressure" for a little bit before we went up and was feeling a lot when we got there. I was talking to my sister Melissa about it while we watched the girls play with their kitchen. 

I didn't want to seem paranoid, but it was starting to freak me out. I felt like I had a few Braxton Hick's contractions throughout the day, but nothing like labor contractions. I just thought that baby girl was stretching out her arms and legs while she still had a little room left.

Taking Melissa's advice, I called the after hours nurse at my OB/GYN's office. I described what was going on and she told me to head over to Labor & Delivery at the hospital to be monitored. I'd done that a dozen times with Luci (I had to be monitored twice a week due to my gestational diabetes), so I figured it would be a quick trip. We left Luci with Grandma saying that we'd be back soon and to save us some sopita and tacos. Lucky for us, the hospital was 5 minutes away.

We checked in and got hooked up to the monitors (a fetal heartbeat monitor and one for contractions) and then waited. Baby girl's heartbeat was strong and I wasn't registering any contractions. The nurse had me drink about 100 oz. of ice cold water and do a urine sample. After about an hour, Nurse came back and did an "internal" exam, just to make sure things were okay. She gave me a worried look and said, "You're 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced." What?! I didn't have any contractions, how the heck was that possible?

Per the on-call doctor's orders, I was swabbed for fetal fibronectin (a protein that can cause preterm labor) and monitored for another hour. There were still no contractions and my test came back positive for the protein. The nurse was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be able to go home. After the hour, I was examined again, had dilated another 1/2 cm and was 75% effaced. I was officially diagnosed with preterm labor and was going to be transported to a Provo hospital that was better equipped to deal with babies born earlier than 34 weeks. The nurse was pretty sure that I would have a baby girl by the end of the night.

While waiting for the ambulance, I was given an IV drip with fluids, antibiotics, and a bag of magnesium (which is supposed to stop contractions). I was also given a steroid shot that was supposed to help the baby's lungs develop faster. My brothers, Jake and Josh, also came and helped Eli give me a blessing and followed us to Provo with our car. The ambulance came, loaded me up, and we were on our way to Provo. On the trip down I made several phone calls to coworkers to get a sub and see if they could help with lesson plans (the perks of being a teacher).

We arrived in Provo and got set up in a room on the maternity floor. I was re-examined (stayed the same) and was left to be monitored. For a week. I was finally taken off magnesium (which made me go cross-eyed) and the IV drips and put on an oral antibiotic after two days. I had to wear some annoying compression machine on my calves to help circulate the blood. And I just laid there. The only excitement I experienced was a few contractions (that I didn't even feel) during sleep. I was given an oral medication to stop those contractions. It worked.

I was left to do lesson plans, read books (Divergent & Insurgent - books recommended by my students), watch a Law & Order: SVU marathon, and a lot of GSN. By the way, I am really good at Chain Reaction and The Pyramid. It was nice to have room service. I enjoyed carrot cake or mint fudge brownies with most of my dinners. However, by the end of my stay, I was done. Even though I had a lot of visitors, I was bummed I couldn't move. Luci was with her grandparents. I missed my brother's wedding. And I felt FINE. I was finally able to leave on Monday, after a week, and was sent home on strict bed rest.

I had an appointment with my OB, who changed my bed rest to a modified bed rest. I can now lay in bed, sit in a chair, and sit on the couch. I can even shower on my own - thank goodness! Eli is back at work. I've finished a couple of more books, watched all seasons of Cake Boss (thank you Netflix), and planned out the rest of this year for my long-term sub.

Since I really can't do much, we've arranged with the Relief Society (what the group of women in my church are called) for ladies in my ward to take care of me. I've been spoiled! These wonderful women volunteer their time and come over to visit, make me lunch, and toss some ingredients in our crock pot so dinner is ready when Eli and Luci get home. They've also helped clean and do laundry, which are all things I can't do, and things that Eli is sometimes too busy to attend to every day since he plays with, feeds, and bathes Luci.

Despite the fact that I can't do anything helpful around the house and there are days when I can't feel my rear end, I haven't gone crazy yet. The time is passing by quicker than I expected and I get a little human interaction during the day. Even though I can't hold or play with Luci, she still cuddles next to me and we sing songs and read books. And I have an amazing husband. I know this is a lot for him to handle, but he knows the importance of giving baby girl a little more time to cook and goes above and beyond.

I'm 29 weeks tomorrow. We're aiming to last 34 weeks, are hoping for 37 weeks, and will be amazed if we can hold on until 40 weeks. Here's to 5 to 11 more weeks!

I could never finish the carrot cake. It was amazing! Surprisingly, I lost weight in the hospital.

 I did have an awesome view in the hospital. This was the first day it snowed here.

This showed up on my daily pregnancy countdown the day after I entered the hospital.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

Halloween was a little different this year. I've recently been put on modified bed rest due to preterm labor (more on that later), so I didn't get to go out with Eli and Luci. I was bummed because this is the first time Luci was able to go Trick or Treating. She loved it!

Eli first took her to a few homes in our neighborhood. Luci loves knocking on doors, so she had no problem with that part. It took her awhile to realize that when she knocked on the doors, she got a treat. She pretty much gave up after she got a lollipop though. She's never had one before, but she knew exactly what to do with it. Eli and I have a pretty strict no candy/sugar/sweets policy for Luci right now, but we let her have the tootsie pop. Needless to say, she devoured it! How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? For Luci, it was about 5 before she started biting and ate the whole thing, tootsie center and all.

After Eli & Luci did a little neighborhood Trick or Treating, we loaded up (yes, me included) and drove up to my mom's house. Grandma likes to show off the kids. We met Melissa and her family up there and Grandma, Dad, Auntie Mel, Uncle J, Maci and Madden all went Trick or Treating. I sat on the couch, promise. Luci loves her cousins and had a blast with everyone. Since she's actually started walking now, she insisted on walking everywhere, which meant they only made it to a couple of homes, but she brought back enough candy to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Eli and Luci had so much fun this year. I can't wait to join them with Little Sister next year! 
 She was not giving up the lollipop!

Luci, Grandma, and Madden

 Luci, Grandma, & Maci
(Maci was a Packers cheerleader, Uncle J was a Packers player, Madden was a football, and Auntie Mel was a Ref. It was too cute!)
 Luci LOVED this little ghost kid statue

 Luci lovin' on Maci

 Eli had a hard time keeping up with her!

 Knock, knock!

 They were a little weary, but the candy won in the end!

I had planned on making her costume, but being in the hospital limited my movement. Melissa made the skeleton portion with a freezer paper stencil. I cut the tulle for the tutu. Thanks for your help Mel!

Monday, November 5, 2012

3 + 1 = 4

In May we found out that we were adding to our family! We were shocked and amazed. We had decided that since it took us three years to get our Little Luci, that we would try a little earlier, just in case we needed a little help again. We figured 18 months would be a perfect age difference. We loved the idea of having kids close in age so that they would have someone to play with and can share in some of the same activities. We also figured it would be okay as long as they were in different grades in school.

It worked faster than we expected! We confirmed with the doctor that we were pregnant. He also broke the news that we weren't as far along as we first thought. We were under the impression that our due date would be December 25, but after an ultrasound our due date was changed to January 25, 2013. On our first appointment our doctor decided to scare us a little bit and told us he thought there was a chance that we were pregnant with twins! Can you imagine how freaked out I was? Eli and I weren't too shocked because twins run on both sides of our family, but to have twins that close in age was intense. After two weeks we were able to go in for an ultrasound and found there was only ONE!

This little one has been so much more active than Luci ever was. We've also recently had a little scare, which I'll post about later, that's enabled me to start catching up on our family blog. We really are so excited to be adding to our family! With the amazing girl that Luci is, we can't wait to find out what this new little one will be like.

                                      By the way, we're having another GIRL!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

15 Months

I missed the post about Luci's first birthday. I'm going to attempt to catch up, but so much changes in a toddler's life in 3 months!

At 15 months Luci:

  • is finally walking!
  • has 7 teeth (that's one new one since she was 10 months!).
  • can blow her nose - at least she pretends that she can.
  • loves to sing!
  • is ALWAYS dancing!
  • can sign "more," "milk,""all done,""dog,""bird,"and "thank you."
  • has added "thanks," "stinky," and "Maci" (her cousin) to her vocabulary.
  • loves lollipops! She's only had one, but she gave up on Trick or Treating once she got one.
  • can bark like a dog, growl like a tiger, moo like a cow, neigh like a horse, and baa like a sheep.
  • is into putting things in baskets, purses, and bags...and then taking it out. And back in. And out.
  • loves giving hugs, blowing kisses, and eskimo kisses!
  • enjoys long walks outside and pulling leaves off of trees.
  • swinging on swings.
  • can point to her eyes, nose, teeth, ears, hair, chin, cheeks, knees, belly, belly button, and feet.
  • can also clap her feet!
  • loves the song "If you're happy and you know it..."
  • will eat any type of fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy, but not a huge fan of meats.
  • is curious about how things work. She constantly pulls things apart and puts them together.
  • LOVES her grandparents, her cousins, and her aunts and uncles! 

It's amazing how much Luci learns and grows. She picks things up so quickly and is so much fun! She brings so much joy and laughter into our lives. We could not be more proud of her and are so blessed to have her in our home!