Monday, May 31, 2010

38 weeks, 3 days

And more lounging..

I'm still hanging in there! Crazy, huh? We have had such a good holiday weekend. We were able to see my uncle and cousin and his wife, who stopped through town briefly on Sunday. It was wonderful to see them. They live across the country from us and it is a rare treat to be able to spend time with them. We also received a visit from one of my best friends from college and her kids. We are having such a fun time hanging out with them and I will be sad to see them head back home tomorrow.

I feel like I'm 90 years old. Any amount of energy exerted and my back starts to hurt and my contractions make me want to lie on the couch and never get up. At the most, I have four more days of being pregnant so I think I can handle the discomfort for that little amount of time.

I hope you all had a fun, safe holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

38 weeks, 1 day

We are still waiting and have no news. I have gotten to the point where I am physically very uncomfortable. Contractions + being 9 months pregnant + taking care of a 3-year-old = UGH. Other than that, we are doing fine! More later..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

37 weeks, 6 days

More lounging and reading!

Elijah has been such an incredibly good boy lately. The behaviors that were about to drive us crazy a few months ago have lessened a lot. I have found myself feeling sad for him lately because soon his world is going to be seriously rocked. I know this is a very happy thing and getting a sibling is an amazing gift, but I can't help but feel a little bit bad for him at the same time.

I'm getting more convinced that our prayers will be answered and that we will indeed have a 39-week baby. It is what I have been praying for all along, so maybe God is just going right ahead and answering that prayer! My c-section is scheduled for next Friday, June 4th, so that is the longest we will have to wait to meet Not-Zooter. Whenever it happens, I can't wait to meet him!

By the way, we have no idea what we are naming this child. Dan and I have had some disagreements about a few names and we just cannot come to a final decision. Maybe we will end up putting "Zooter" on the birth certificate after all. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Still no news

I had my weekly appointment today and not much has changed since last week or the week before or the week before. After my doctor asked me, "Are you having any contractions to speak of?" again (seriously), she said that things ARE progressing, just not quickly. I'm still not dilated at all, but my cervix is changing shape. She said she wouldn't be surprised if I called her at 8:00 tonight or if I saw her again next week. It's anyone's guess!

I'm still in disbelief that I have made it this far (almost 38 weeks!). I'm beginning to wonder if the past four months of bed rest were even necessary. I think that will be one of those things that I will always wonder about but never know. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three-year anniversary!

Sorry to disappoint everyone by continuing to have no baby news. My contractions were bad through the night, but back to "normal" this morning.

I wanted to mention that today is the three-year anniversary of Elijah's first open heart surgery! I cannot believe that much time has passed. There are certain things about that day (and following 11 days) that I will remember as if they were yesterday.

(This photo was taken moments before handing him over for surgery.)

You have come so far, Elijah, and we love you so very much!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Still no sign of baby! My contractions aren't completely out of control, like I was positive they would be at this point. Hmmmm.

We were able to attend Elijah's IEP meeting this morning. His teachers and therapists had nothing but positive things to say about him. He has really thrived in the three months he has been in preschool. I am so happy I was able to give up some control and let him try it because it has done wonders for just about every area of his development.

(Look at our silly boy.)

Apparently he is "one of the more chatty ones" in the class. :) He does the same thing at school that he does at home and everywhere else: he constantly says "hi!" to people. Like, to the point where it is borderline annoying to people who don't know him. His teachers think it is something he does because he doesn't know what else to say and he wants to say SOMETHING. He knows that "hi" will always get a response back, so he says it 450 times in a row.

Next year he will be going to preschool three days a week (up from two) and he will be in an integrated class, which means part of his class will be non-IEP/special education students. This is very exciting because it will give him a broader peer spectrum, if that makes sense. Right now he is the most talkative kid in his class, so he doesn't have many peers to act as a model for him in that area. I also think being in an integrated class will help to push him in the gross motor area, as well.

I could not be more proud of the progress our amazing boy has made! A year ago he was crying through every therapy session, not talking and fighting us every time we got his walker out. Look at him now!

I will end with a few very cute Elijah sayings:

His teachers told us that toward the end of each preschool day, he says, "Home see Mommy!!" Awwwwww.

Last night when I put him to bed, he said, "Good night, Mom. Mom go downstairs?" I said, "Yeah, Mommy is going to go downstairs now." He said, "Mommy go downstairs and play?" I wonder if he imagined me going downstairs and playing with his barn and animals.

Lately he likes to say out of the blue, "Yo Mommy!"

We always sing songs before bed. Sometimes he will sing along with me and sometimes not. The other night he just listened and when I was done, he said, "Good job, Mom. Good singin', Mom." Thanks, sweetie.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

37 weeks, 2 days

This boy likes to snuggle and lounge.

I'm still pregnant! No news yet. I packed my hospital bag last night, so I'm ready to go whenever the baby is ready to go. I have also been a wee bit anal about laundry and cleaning lately. I want everything to be ready ready ready!

Oh and I got to meet Andrea this weekend! She is as sweet and nice as I expected her to be. Now I have to get out to California to meet the rest of her awesome little family.

I will have Dan write a post as soon as anything starts to happen with Baby!

Friday, May 21, 2010

37 weeks!

This is me taking photos from the driveway with my new lens and Elijah doing his usual reading on the way back from the park with Dan.

As of today I have reached the 37-week point in my pregnancy! Thirty-seven weeks is considered full term! I truly never dreamed I would make it to this point. I feel a lot of different emotions as we await our new arrival. The main feeling for me this week seems to be grumpiness, but I am also feeling grateful and happy and weary and scared and anxious all at once.

I have been on bed rest for sixteen weeks! That seems like an eternity. I have gone through such a spectrum of emotions over the past four months. Part of the reason for this week's grumpiness is that even though I have permission to move around a bit more now, I really can't. My contractions are keeping me from doing much (they are getting quite uncomfortable, but still are not regular), so I really won't be free until after I have healed from my surgery. I can't remember what it is like to be physically active and to not be in pain or discomfort when I exert myself even a little bit. Once all of this is over, I will never take that for granted again!

I got my last progesterone shot last Friday, so right about NOW is when my body should be figuring out that it's not going to get any more shots. I'm bracing myself for possible craziness in the very near future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some random Elijah stuff

I am way behind on posting Elijah photos. I figured I better start posting more before we are preoccupied with the new baby.

We have an IEP meeting for Elijah on Monday. Who knows if I'll be able to attend or what our status will be then, but it's something we have to do at some point. I am curious to hear what his teachers will say about how he has done at preschool so far this year and what their goals are for him next year.

I haven't wanted to mention much about this until we have more details (and get professional opinions), but I have been kind of concerned about some of Elijah's very repetitive behaviors. I am eager to hear what the people at ECSE have to say about some of the things we notice here at home. He is SO INCREDIBLY REPETITIVE about certain things, and I want to know if it is something we need to look into further or if it is just typical kid stuff. More to come on that.

A cute Elijah thing that I have made note of is how descriptive he is when he refers to an object or a place. He doesn't ride the bus, he rides the "yellow bus with two doors." He doesn't go to the park, he goes to the "one green park" or the "one blue park." He doesn't ride in our cars, he rides in the "big red car" or the "little red car." He is more observant than I am!

Preschool days are still really trying for our family. Being there must be extremely overly stimulating for him still because he is usually pretty crazy on the days he is there. He really loves it, though, so we are happy we decided to start sending him to school. He asks me almost every night, "Go fee-gool 'morrow?"

Still no sign of baby! The frequency of my contractions continues to increase, though, so it could be any time. My guess is still the 25th, which is next Tuesday. We'll see if I'm right very soon!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

36 weeks, 5 days

Elijah thinks we got the infant car seat out for him to use. :)

Well, I'm in a bit of disbelief, but nothing has changed since last week aside from my increasing frequency of contractions. My body is still (aside from the contractions) showing no signs of labor. I'm a bit confused as to how my uterus and cervix are sending such conflicting signals.

I am contracting a lot, and it is pretty uncomfortable to be doing anything but lying down when they hit. I haven't been sleeping well because I even contract all through the night on most nights and I just lie awake and count them. This may be part of the reason I am so tired and grumpy lately.

The plan is to go back to the doctor in a week. I'm not sure I will last another week without going into labor, but who knows?! This could be a 39-week delivery after all. Body of mine: you confuse me!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My sunshine

Elijah has been asking me to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him a lot lately. Then he sings it with me, which happens to be the cutest thing on the planet. So, here are some pics of my little sunshine.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A fun visit

Our visitors this weekend were the awesome Kathy and Isaac! They were a few hours away for a graduation and drove up to the Cities just to hang out with us for a day. It was so nice to spend time with them, and it was fun to see Isaac and Elijah meet for the first time. I was extremely sad to see them go. I cannot explain in words how nice it is to have a heart mom to share fears/experiences/joys with in person. And it makes it even better that she is just an awesome person!

Isaac is such a sweet little snuggle bug. Elijah needs to take notes from him and start sleeping a little bit later in the morning. Thanks so much for visiting, Kathy and Isaac! Elijah talked about you guys all day today.

Well, I'm still pregnant! My contractions are about the same, maybe a little worse than normal. I'm expecting things to start getting a little bit crazy later in the week. I still can't believe I have made it this far. It seems surreal, yet awesome!

It's way past my bedtime! I hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Four years

There have been way too many photos of me on this blog lately. I have filled my quota for the year! No more for a long long time.

Today is Dan's and my fourth wedding anniversary! We had our picture taken for this reason, but I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by also posting a shot of my belly.

Tomorrow I get my last progesterone shot. That means things should start to get interesting soon. Tomorrow also marks 36 weeks! This is the exact point I went into labor with Elijah, so it feels like things should start to get crazy any time now. And it finally feels SAFE. Aaaahhhhh, it feels so incredible to be at this point!

Elijah caught a tiny little cold. I heard a couple little coughs this morning and a couple more after he went to bed tonight. I'm praying that's the extent of it and that it doesn't turn into anything worse.

We have two awesome visitors coming to visit this weekend. I can't wait to see these two people and I can't wait to post photos of their visit!!!

We saw this pretty double rainbow tonight!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

35 weeks, 5 days

Elijah always asks me to make faces for him. The three most common requests are, "Mommy sad!" "Mommy happy!" and "Mommy mad!" :)

I just got back from my weekly visit with the doctor, and like last week, everything checked out great! Aside from the contractions, I am still showing no signs of labor. Maybe this baby will surprise us and make his appearance at 39 weeks?

My tummy feels HUGE. I am bigger than I ever was with Elijah and I feel uncomfortable and...well, huge! It's all worth it, though.

My doctor wants me to stay on bed rest until I reach 37 weeks and after that I can start to move around a little bit more. I am so very happy that I have almost made it to 36 weeks. Fifteen weeks ago, it seemed impossible that I would get this far!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

35 weeks, 4 days

If you know Dan, you'll know that Elijah stole this face from him. I love this picture.

Not much to report today! Things are about the same. We just keep waiting and wondering when Not-Zooter will make his appearance. I am being extra cautious about not moving around too much this week because I would love to make it to 36 weeks. I'd love it even more if I made it to 37 weeks. We will see how it unfolds!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mama's Day

My boys were extremely good to me for Mother's Day today (as they always are). I woke up to breakfast in bed and Dan gave me a Mother's Day gift that I didn't expect at all. He gave me a new lens for my camera! I can't wait to play with it a bit. I have the best boys in the world. I think I heard "Happy Muver's Day, Mom!" from Elijah about fifty times today and it never got old.

I did make it out to brunch with Dan's family, which was yummy and of course, fun. I considered not going since my contractions are a little bit out of control right now. If I weren't so well-versed in the subject of contractions, I may have considered going to the hospital in the middle of the night last night, or at least calling my doctor. I had contractions every 6-15 minutes or so from the time I went to bed until 4:00 am. And then they just stopped! Hmmmm. It didn't worry me enough to call the doctor, but it did worry me enough to get serious about doing some packing today. Elijah's little suitcase is all ready for him to go to Grandma's house for a few days. It's crazy to think that we could be having a baby any day now!

Have a good week and Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms!!!

I'll end with two of my recent favorite Elijah words:
carnival = "caramel"
parrot = "carrot"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Out of Elijah's mouth

We got out Elijah's old play mat that he used to roll around on when he was a baby. We are slowly getting out more and more baby things in preparation for Not-Zooter's arrival. So Elijah has been pretending to be a baby and playing on the play mat, even though he is far too big for it. Today he was laying on it and he said, "Animal pway mat. For baby bru-er. Baby bru-er coming soon!" :) So he really does know that his brother is coming soon! He has been acting like we are speaking in German whenever we talk about his brother, so his acknowledgment of him was a nice surprise.


When I was putting Elijah to bed last night I said, "I love you, sweetie" and he responded with, "I 'ove you, Mom. Happy Muver's Day, Mom." He and Dan had given me some flowers as an early Mother's Day gift, so he must have had it on the brain. So sooo sweet.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting ready

Elijah got a new suitcase! He is ready to pack up some of his things and go to Grandma's house for a few days, whenever the baby decides to arrive. (And could he possibly look any cuter in these pjs?)

Looks like he will be a self-sufficient little traveler the next time we are traveling through an airport.

I'm at the 35-week mark today! There have been times over the past few days when I have wondered, Could this be it?! My contractions get a little crazy in the evenings and they are getting more and more uncomfortable. I have no idea how much longer my body will hold out. Sometimes I feel like it could be a few more weeks and sometimes I think it will be much sooner.

Elijah has had two really good days in a row as far as his behavior goes. There is such a difference in the mood in our house at the end of a good day. We don't have many weekend plans, besides maybe a Mother's Day outing (if my body is behaving) and just trying to keep this baby where he belongs. Have a great Mother's Day weekend, all you awesome mamas!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

34 weeks, 5 days

This is what I do when Dan tries to take a picture of me. I suppose I should allow him to take another belly shot soon.

I have said this a million times and I will say it again: This experience is SO DIFFERENT from my last pregnancy experience. Do you know how weird it is to leave doctor's appointments without receiving terrible news? I have reminded myself all day today that I should actually be thankful that the doctors don't remember me from one visit to the next because it means I have a healthy baby and a (relatively) normal pregnancy.

I did get to see my doctor today and she asked me, "So, are you having any contractions to speak of?" Uhhhhh, are you kidding? Isn't this something she should probably know by now? That I've been on bed rest for 14 weeks because of my many contractions? When I answered "yes," she actually looked a little bit surprised. I would be lying if I said that didn't frustrate me, but there isn't much I can do at this point.

My contractions have been kind of crazy today, but everything checked out great at my appointment. Aside from the contractions, I am showing zero signs of labor. I go back in a week for another check-up and we will go from there. I can practically taste the end and it feels unbelievable to know there is a good chance I could deliver a FULL-TERM BABY!

Dan and I (mostly Dan) have been chipping away at our To-Do Before Baby Arrives List. We have just a few things left to do and then we will be ready for Baby! I think this is the first time I have really let myself get excited. I can't wait to meet our new little man!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The spunkman

Can you tell Elijah has been picking out his own outfits lately? :) He likes to layer and he is extremely selective about what shirt(s) he puts on in the morning.

He has also been asking to snuggle with a blanket and pillow on the floor a lot.

And check out his new big boy bike! He can't quite reach the pedals yet, but he does a great job of scooting around on his "bwue bike." Look at my big boy!

Something I hear about nine million times every day is, "WOOK, MOM!" He could be showing me any number of things, but most of the time he is showing me his armpit. When I go in for the tickle, he either giggles uncontrollably or he puts his arm down and says, "HHhhhug! Hug!"

He has started climbing into the love sac and surrounding himself with pillows and blankets. This is the first time he has shown interest in the love sac, and it almost looks like we could lose him in there.

Our patience is still being tested here in the Porta house. Elijah's new thing is banning meal times. Getting him to the table has never been a struggle before, but suddenly it is. We have completely cut out juice and snacks between meals and that sometimes helps to make him hungry enough to come to the table willingly when it's time to eat. Sometimes not, though.

We made a trip to the park this weekend and I realized what an incredibly friendly little boy Elijah is. He says, "HI!!" to everybody at least once. It's funny how some people are receptive to his hellos and some people just aren't (how could you not be?). He loves people so much. He takes after my dad in that way. My dad is the world's friendliest person and Elijah appears to be following in his footsteps.

Well, here we go with another week! I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. I'm curious to see if I will get to see my doctor and if she will remember who I am. Next week I will receive my last progesterone injection, so shortly after that we will get to see how well the shots have been working. My personal guess for when I will go into labor is May 25th. Just a weird hunch I have. Have a good week!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Airway concerns?

Last fall we thought we might be able to get Elijah off pulmonology's radar, but after many scary croup episodes this winter, he is definitely still on their radar screen. We took him in to see his wonderful pulmonologist (we love this doctor sooo much) and chatted with him about all of the croup he experienced this winter and what it all means.

As he explained to us, nobody knows a whole lot about croup because it is incredibly unsafe to do testing on an airway when it is in the middle of a croup episode. And because a lot is unknown about it, well, there isn't much to do besides deal with it once it arrives. Great! We already knew this, though, and it is the reason we have such a good plan of attack when croup does arrive.

The severity of Elijah's episodes, although considered "severe," are not what concern Dr. K. It is the frequency of the episodes that concern him. Why, oh, why is our little boy getting so much croup? That is a very good question that apparently has no answers. It could just be because he is simply prone to it and will be for a few more years. Or there could be something else going on in his airway.

Almost three years ago Elijah had a bronchoscopy done to explore his airway because he was a "squeaky" baby. He sounded like a squeaky wheel when he breathed, so the ENT put a scope into his airway and found...nothing. His airway was completely normal. The squeakiness apparently had no cause and it eventually went away. Since Elijah has been intubated so much, though, Dr. K thinks it might be worthwhile to do another bronchoscopy to make sure nothing has happened to his airway since then. Dan and I really don't feel like there is anything wrong with his airway. Our instincts tell us that he is just prone to croup for whatever reason and will eventually grow out of it.

A bronchoscopy means more hospital time and more sedation and more anxiety and all of that fun stuff. The ONLY thing that makes me want to go against my gut and get the surgery done is what happened a year ago. I strongly considered going against Elijah's neurologist's recommendation to get a brain/spine MRI because I didn't feel it was necessary. We did go ahead with it, though, and it is a good thing because it caught his tethered spinal cord. So we shall listen to our very smart doctors and do what they suggest, I think. We are waiting for Dr. K to collaborate with the ENT doctor and get back to us about a recommendation.

It's funny, I literally just had the thought this week that we could possibly go this whole year without a surgery (minus a heart cath, of course). This is what I get for thinking such things!