"For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Where has the past 2 months gone? (Written 12/17/13)

When you're pregnant and people tell you to enjoy every minute once the baby comes because it goes by fast, I never would have been able to comprehend just how fast time does go by. I am already 2/3s of the way through my maternity leave, Christmas is nearly here and my precious little peanut will be 2 months old tomorrow! Crazy! 

So much has happened over the past 2 months, I don't even know where to begin... I suppose it could be summed up by saying, our little one has had a bit of a rough start. She has been starved, confined to strange contraptions, poked with needles, knocked out and cut open. Sounds scary and it has been, probably more so for me than her. Let me explain....

Shortly after bringing Brynlee home from the hospital I started to notice she was taking on a slightly yellowish hue. Sure enough, at her first appointment with the pediatrician she was jaundiced. So common but still not something you want to hear as a new mom. You don't want to hear that anything is wrong with your baby. After another trip to the hospital to have more blood drawn, it was determined she would need to be put in a bili-blanket until her bilirubin levels started to falling. Thankfully, they were able to deliver the crazy contraption to our home so we wouldn't have to be admitted to the hospital. 24hours a day she had to be wrapped in this light. Not fun for her, for us or for anyone who came to visit her. However, it worked like a charm. Just a short 36 hours after it was delivered, we were given the ok to discontinue using it, her bilirubin levels were dropping. Again, jaundice is so common, I had it and so many of our friends and family have had it or have had children that have had it. We were just so thankful to get past it.... 

At our 2 week appointment, she still had a hint of yellow in her eyes and slightly in her skin but they said it could take some time for it to completely fade. Everything else seemed to be going ok, she was a little fussy but some babies just are. We were brought back to an exam room and told to strip her down to her diaper and bring her in to get weighed. My heart sank when I saw 7lbs 2oz register on the scale. She was 7lbs 8oz at birth and 7lbs 1oz at her 48 hour appointment and I knew she was expected to have gained her birth weight back and then some. Clearly, that hadn't happened. Dr. C suggested that I begin pumping and bottle feeding, so we were able to quantify the amount she was taking in. If I wasn't able to pump at least 2oz every 2 hours were instructed to begin supplementing formula. We would return in 3 days to have her weighed again. We went home, I pumped and was only getting 1/2oz every 2 hours. I was starving my baby!!! We began supplementing formula and by Monday she had gained 13oz! I began taking a supplement called Fenugreek to increase my milk supply which worked within a few days. She has been strictly breastmilk fed and is continuing to gain weight since, thankfully. 

As you can imagine, once she was past the jaundice and no longer starving she was a much happier baby. We were out of the weeds and finally able to enjoy or HEALTHY baby.... Or so we thought...

At about 3-4 weeks I began to notice that often after I fed Brunlee, her belly would get really full and firm. By the end of the day, she would have a big ole Buddha belly but by morning it would be back to normal. I assumed (TIP: never assume as a new parent) that this was just gas andas soon as she would pass it, was when the distention would reduce. The pattern continued for a little over a week until I began to notice she would wake in the morning and her belly was still full. By the 2nd day her belly was so big and hard you could see her veins and she was becoming obviously more uncomfortable. While changing her diaper that evening I noticed a bulge on the left side of her pelvis. I knew, right away, that this was likely a hernia. 

First thing the next morning, we brought her to the doctor. She confirmed it was in fact a hernia which was easily fixable, usually with an outpatient surgical procedure. Her real concern was not the hernia but the distended tummy. The doctor asked us to take her immediately to the children's hospital ER. She called to let them know we were coming and also had a surgeon on standby to fix the hernia. Needless to say, this triggered panic for me. So many things were racing through my mind but mostly was what a horrible Mom I was for not bringing her in as soon as her belly got a little big. 

After several hours in the ER, 2 X-rays, a dye contrast enema, 3 attempts at getting an IV started, no eating allowed for her, it was determined that the blockage could possibly be caused by something called Hirschsprung's Disease. Basically it's when the nerves in a portion of the intestine, colon or rectum have not developed. It was also determined that she didn't have just 1 hernia but 3, 2 inguinal (in her pelvis) and 1 umbilical. Surgery for repair was scheduled for the following morning. They would also be doing a biopsy to test for Hirschsrung's at that time. 

We spent the rest of the day in the hospital with a much more comfortable baby due to the passing of much, if not ALL, of what was causing her belly to be so big. Thank goodness the hospital supplies you with diapers, a change if sheets and blankies and a shower for Mommy!! 

Surgery was scheduled for 8:30am so, just like if you or I were having surgery, she wasn't to eat anything after midnight. Unlike you or I, Brynlee normally eats 3 times between midnight and 8:30am. I was envisioning a night from hell but, much to my surprise and relief, she slept the majority of the night and didn't start to get fussy until right before we were taken down for surgery. 

The procedure took less than an hour and went very well. At this point the surgeon wasn't very confident the blockage was caused by Hirschsprung's but did the biopsy anyway. My concern was, if it wasn't Hirschsprung's and it wasn't caused by the hernias, what was causing it? He told us we'd cross that bridge when we came to it but we would probably be referred to a GI doc. 

We had to spend the next 24 hours in the hospital to be sure she didn't have any apnea episodes. She had 2 but both very minor and only lasted a few seconds. 

The next morning we were cleared for  discharge and Brynlee seemed to be doing very well. Especially after being able to eat! We were so happy to be going home!!! 

That Thursday we went back to the surgeon to get the biopsy results and so he could check the incisions. The biopsy was negative for Hirschsprung's and she was given a clean bill of health. Praise God we were out of the weeds... Or were we?? 

The next week and a half we great! She was happier, her belly looked normal, she was pooping, her incisions looked almost healed, all was well... Until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving... 

Wednesday morning I begun to notice her tummy was a bit more grumbly than normal. It sounded much like it did pre-surgery. By the time she got up from her nap at 1pm she was exhibiting clear signs of discomfort. By 2pm she started crying and didn't stop until 6pm. Her tummy was, again, very distended and she was very " burpy". Back to the doctor we went... Thankfully she slept the whole way there and had pooped by the time we got to the pediatrician's after hours office. The nurse practitioner examined her and massaged her belly and she pooped again. After the 2nd diaper change she was all smiles. There wasn't a doctor at the after hours office so the nurse practitioner got one on the phone. Cozart spoke to him about the surgery, what the surgeon said he thought after repairing the hernias and told us to keep an eye on her and sent us home. Clearly something was causing her to have difficulties passing gas/stool. But what could it be? 

It's been a week and a half, and with a little massaging of her belly periodically, we have been able to avoid another distended belly issue. We still don't know what is causing the issue but we have an appointment this Wednesday to discuss it with one of our pediatricians. It could be something as simple as gas or an allergy to something I'm eating which is really what makes the most sense but we will see. 

It has been a bit of a rocky road the past 2 months but there have been a TON of fun moments as well. Brynlee is smiling and cooing and seems to get bigger every day! She absolutely loves her playmat, going for walks in the stroller, watching the fan in any and every room of the house, and bubble baths. She's not too fond of, having her clothes changed, getting out of the bath tub, her swing and she would rather lay on her playmat or the bed then be held for an extended period of time. Kind of a little miss independent already! 

I am so incredibly excited for Christmas and to finally have my family here and meet our little Sweet Pea! I am also very much looking forward to healthier days ahead for her and many more milestones to blog about!!! 


4 weeks

1 month

Just out of surgery

Angel face

Happy Girl

Excited for Thankgiving

Christmas Tree Shopping

Ready for church

Bath time (her favorite part of the day)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Brynlee Grace Dahl Lawrence

So it's been quite some time since my last post. I have had a few "things" going on that have taken precedence over updating my blog. Shortly after my last post my time was consumed with nesting, and for good reason...

Four weeks ago yesterday (Monday, October 7th), I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant and 100% confident that I would be going well past my due date. I couldn't really explain why I felt this way except for the fact that everything you read about your first pregnancy and going into labor is that the majority of women go past their due date. This would be the week I would be communicating appropriate contact info for my maternity leave to all my accounts at work. We would be ordering the final items needed for the nursery and finish decorating. I would begin my weekly OB appointments. I had started to pack our hospital bag but still needed a few things which I would pick up in the next coming weeks. We had our hospital tour scheduled for Friday and we needed to register at that time as well. I had at least 2 weeks left but was beginning to get a bit antsy about getting everything finished... Now I know why!

Monday evening, Cozart was at work, I had fallen asleep on the couch but wasn't able to fall back to sleep once I moved to our bed. I tossed and turned for well over an hour. At around 11:30pm I got out of bed to use the bathroom. After finishing, I walked back to bed and as I was laying down, I felt like I may have pee'd my pants a little. (Eek!! Had I really lost control of my bladder already? I thought that happened after giving birth???) I ran back into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and it just kept coming, I really had zero control. A minute or 2 passed, it stopped but I was a little freaked out. I tried Cozart... no answer. Then I tried my Mom at home... no answer. (odd she wouldn't answer the house phone) I tried her cellphone and she answered right away. I explained to her what had happened and she said "Honey, your water broke!". I was completely in denial. "But I'm not due for more than 2 weeks!!?? And I'm not having contractions or anything.". Mom replied, "I don't think Brynlee cares, she's coming now! Is Cozart home? Have you called your doctor?". Oh geez! No he wasn't home and no I hadn't called the doctor so I got off the phone with her but not before asking why she didn't answer the house phone. She informed me she was with my Grandma and that she really wasn't doing well. It was then that I knew she was right, Brynlee was coming soon and Grandma would be with us until she did, just as she said she would.

I tried Cozart about 40 more times (seriously, 40 times), with no luck. I also left a message for the doctor and was just waiting to hear back. 20 minutes passed before I decided to attempt to reach Cozart on the station line instead of his cell phone. Thank goodness someone answered and was able to get him on the phone. I still hadn't started to have contractions so I told him to just keep his phone on him and not to bother rushing home just yet. Shortly after talking to him, the on call nurse called and said I would eventually need to come in to confirm that my water did in fact break but to come in when I felt I needed to. Within 30 minutes contractions had begun and I decided it was time for Cozart to come home.

By the time he got home my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and lasting about 30-45 seconds. According to what we learned in our child birth class, we were in the first stage of labor and there was really no need to rush off to the hospital just yet. I was still able to talk on the phone with my sister and my Mom, I was packing anything I hadn't already packed in our hospital bag. We read the car seat manual and installed it in Cozart's truck. I even started a load of laundry, thinking we'd have enough time for it to finish and for it to dry. Contractions were intensifying but definitely manageable. Another 45 minutes passed and my contractions were getting worse and lasting longer than 30-45 seconds. I decided, after some convincing from my sister, that we should probably head to the hospital. (that load of laundry never made it to the dryer...)

We got to the hospital around 2am. I was fully prepared to have to sit and wait in the ER for some time. We were scheduled for our L&D tour and to register the coming Friday, clearly that would not be happening as planned. Much to my surprise, they met me at the door with a wheelchair, Cozart parked the truck and we were wheeled right up to L&D triage. At this point it was getting more and more difficult to talk through contractions and they seemed to be lasting forever (in reality probably about a minute). The triage nurse asked me a few questions, put us in a room and told me to get into a gown and she would be in to check me. When she returned she was able to confirm that my water did in fact break, I was dilated to 5cm and they would be moving me to a delivery room right away. We asked about how long she thought we had before Brynlee would be gracing us with her presence. She said it would probably be another 5-6 hours... Let's just say, she was a little off on her estimate...

By around 3-3:15am we were in our delivery room and my contractions were beyond what I had ever imagined. My "plan" was to go au naturale . Both my Mom and my sister had with all of their kids, there should be no reason I shouldn't be able to do the same. Boy was I wrong! After discussing (in between screaming through contractions and getting REALLY annoyed with every one telling me to breathe) with Cozart, we decided to go with the epidural. The nurse started my IV and told me I would have to have fluids run through me before we could start the epidural... UMMMMM... NO! I needed relief NOW!!!!!!!! Cozart could tell I had had about all I could take and asked the nurse to check me one more time. She obliged, but only to appease Cozart. She did and to her astonishment she asked whether or not I felt like pushing. I said screamed, YES!!!!!!!!! She then informed me that I would NOT be getting an epidural and that the baby was coming NOW!

35 minutes, of excruciating pain, at 4:03am with blood shot eyes and a hoarse voice I met our 7lb 8oz, 20.4 inches of love, sweet, little, miracle baby. Cozart and I were completely overwhelmed with joy and utterly amazed that she was here! And so quickly! 4.5 hours start to finish and my OB didn't even make it to the hospital on time. I guess he didn't think much of it when I told him the women in my family delivery babies in less than 5 hours. Maybe he'll listen next time?? :)

The next several hours are somewhat of a blur. There was zero sleep, we were 100% in a state of intoxicating baby bliss. What I do remember is staring at her thinking, "Are you really ours?", "I can't believe you're here!" and being in a very VERY cold hospital room in L&D triage because there were no rooms available on the main floor. (apparently there was a baby boom in Orlando on October 7th & 8th)  It was mid afternoon/early evening before we were moved to our "birthday" suite. A temperature regulated room, with much more room and a place for Daddy to sleep. Thank goodness.

Shortly after settling in to our new digs, my phone rang. It was my Mom, whom I had spoken to several times between the evening before and the present time, but this time my heart sank. I knew why she was calling. When I said hello, she responded through tears. My grandmother had just passed away almost exactly 12 hours after Brynlee's arrival. It was no coincidence that, despite knowing for sure what our due date was, having no complications and no sign of her coming early, she decided to arrive on this day. My Grandmother promised she would not go to heaven until Brynlee was born and that's exactly what she did. Earlier that day, my Mom went to see my grandma, to tell her Brynlee was here, we were both doing well and to show her a picture. Mom said she smiled and only hours later she decided it was her time.

I can't, exactly, put into words the emotions I was feeling when I hung up the phone. I was completely overjoyed with the arrival of our little blessing but all I could do was sit in bed with her and cry. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that I would never see my Grandmother again, on earth and Brynlee would never meet her. After crying for sometime I realized, Grandma not only knows Brynlee, she'll be with her every day. She will forever be her guardian angel and it will be of no surprise to me if she is stubborn and has an amazing sense of humor just like Grandma too.

My Grandmother was an amazing, God-fearing, strong willed, loving, independent, honest, giving woman. All the qualities I pray our daughter will too possess. She was also my favorite person in the entire world... I think I was left with a pretty amazing replacement!

It's been 4 weeks today, since Brynlee's arrival and Grandma's departure. I can't believe how fast time is going, and that it's taken me this long to post her birth story! (oops!) I hope to give updates more frequently as we are finally starting to get into, somewhat, of a routine. Until then, here are a few photos of Brynlee's first few days with us... Enjoy!!!

Just minutes old... Mom looking rough but oh so happy!!

Sweet Baby!

Love this face!

Going Home!!!!

Long fingers... Future pianist perhaps?

And big feet just like her Mom. Grandpa used to say: "Big feet = strong understanding"

Fist bump???

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weeks 33 & 34...

33 Weeks, 4 Days... Go Bucs!!

Weeks 33 & 34 Update:

Size: At 33 weeks she is said to be a little over 4lbs and 17inches long (the size of a pineapple). At 34 weeks she is said to be 4 and 3/4lbs and 18 inches long (the size of a cantaloupe).

Movement: Lots of hiccuping and pretty consistant acrobatics. Although she does have her lazy days too. 

Sleep: I am only having a difficult time getting to sleep when I start thinking about everything we have to get done in the next month. I stay asleep for about 4 hours before I have to get up to pee. I have been able to fall right back to sleep before having to get up again, to pee of course. 

Symptoms: Just in the past week I have started to feel really HUGE! Breathing is a challenge and I seem to bump my belly into everything (the sink, counters, I've shut the car door on it). Hopefully there is enough padding and fluid to keep from doing any damage but it wouldn't surprise me if she is born with a bump or bruise or 2. 

Cravings: I would say sweets but I have always had a pretty intense sweet tooth so I wouldn't necessarily chalk that up to pregnancy. 

Weeks 33 & 34 Happenings: The Bucs season opener... unfortunately we didn't win. (for those of you who don't know my husband well, he is a DIE HARD Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fan. When the Bucs lose, our entire household, pets included, mourn.) I won't mention the fact that we have mourned 3 weeks in a row now. (Yikes!) Hopefully Brynlee's arrival will come on the heels of a few wins or her first impression of her Daddy could be pretty depressing! Onto more positive happenings like.... 
My (Florida) shower! It was nothing short of fabulous! Brynlee, Cozart and I are very lucky to have such amazing friends and family! We had good food, a gorgeous AND delicious cake, wonderful company and our little girl is sure to be the best dressed kid in town with all the adorable outfits she got! 

Here are just a few pictures from my special day... 

What weeks 35 & 36 had/have in store: Cozart and I attended our (8 hour) Child Birth class. More nursery progress (hopefully). We begin our weekly OB appointments and have our prenatal visit with our pediatrician. And the final countdown begins... Starting with today which marks one month until my last day of work before maternity leave... it can't come soon enough!!!!! 

Cole update and other Prayer Requests: Just after posting my last update on my nephew, Cole, we were informed that the poor little guy would NOT be given the ok to go home until after he has recovered from the surgery they will perform to reconnect his intestines. This could keep him in the hospital for another 2-3 months! It was a pretty rough day for my brother and sister-in-law but since then, they have  been given some good news about potentially reconnecting his intestines sooner rather than later. You can follow his progress, on his Caring Bridge Journal here. He is a tough little guy and has done so well but we are still looking for all the prayers we can get for continued progress and a healthy life for this sweet boy!

My other prayer request is for my Grandmother, Gen. Recently we were given news that she may be leaving us due to a series of little heart attacks (which she will tell you, the doctors were imagining) and a leaky valve in her heart. Selfishly, I want to request prayers for her to get better and stay with us forever, or at least until Brynlee is born and my sister gets married in June, but I know that that's not fair to her. She is 95 years young, has raised 8 children, 9 including Joanie who passed as a baby (Brynlee will be her 90th Grandchild), she has battled and BEAT breast cancer multiple times, she has an amazing sense of humor and an incredible faith in God. She is my favorite person in the entire world and I just can't imagine her not being here. I can't pray for her to stay with us forever so I pray for her peace, comfort and that she knows just how much she is loved, adored and the incredible impact she has made on so many lives, especially my own. I am officially in the NO FLYING part of my pregnancy so if I could just ask for one selfish thing, I pray that she hangs on just until I can come home to say goodbye. Thanks....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Maternity Shoot...

I grew up, raised by a Mother who felt it necessary to have my picture professionally taken about once every 3-6 months. I think it is safe to say, I will be doing the same with our daughter. In fact, why not start before she's even here!?

One of the many many blessings in our lives is having OUTRAGEOUSLY TALENTED friends!! We had our Christmas card pictures done (as seen in the pic to the right, with the puppies) by my friend Jessica Swatts, (you can view her website and blog here).  And we had our maternity photos done, last week, by our friend Angela Lucia (you can see her website here.) 

Our initial plan was to have our maternity pictures done at the beach but after some himming and hawing (on my part) we decided to have them done at Cozart's grandmother's, again. (the same location as the Christmas card pics) I am so glad we did! We had so much fun and the weather was actually a bit cooler than normal, Thank goodness! 

I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you are in the Orlando area and looking for a photographer for family pictures, newborn pics, wedding, holiday cards, senior pics, etc, make one of these girls your first call, they are simply THE BEST!!!! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Single Digits Remaining.... YIKES!!!!

My feet have officially disappeared...

32 Weeks, 6 Days

Weeks 31 & 32 Update:

How Far & Size: 32 weeks, 6 days at the time of the 2nd photo. At 32 weeks, she is said to be the size of a squash. Weighing approximately 3.8lbs and measuring between 15.2 and 16.7 inches long. And I can feel every centimeter of her squirming! 

Name:  We received the lettering I ordered for her wall, so there is no turning back now, Brynlee is set in stone (or wood)! Still no further discussion regarding the middle name....

Love it!!!

Movement: Still moving like crazy, although she has her lazy days. I can definitely tell she is filling up any left over space in there. Even the slightest movement can about knock me off balance. 

Sleep: 4:30am seems to be my normal waking hour lately. Although, I am happy to say I have been able to fall back to sleep fairly quickly the last few nights. 

Symptoms: Well I started wearing heels again, and miraculously, the sciatic pain vanished. I guess flats aren't always the best option, especially if you're anything like me and wore 4"+ heels every day pre-pregnancy. Heartburn has become more and more frequent and has increased in severity. Tums, chocolate milk or almond milk are my saviors these days. Shortness of breath is something I seem to struggle with every morning and right after I eat.  And last but not least, I am just not comfortable sitting or lying in certain positions for very long. I know it may sound as if I'm complaining, but I can assure you I love every ache, pain, jab, discomfort, etc. They are constant reminders of this little miracle growing inside of me and how far we have come to get to this point. Which reminds me of one last symptom, I'm pretty stinkin emotional! I can't remember the last church service I sat through when there wasn't tears streaming down my face at one point or another. Even the most ridiculous of TV shows leave my eyes puffy and my nose running. (Kay and Phil renewing their vows on Duck Dynasty really had my going, just to give you an example.) 

Cravings: Root beer is still tasting exceptionally delicious, although I wouldn't say it's something I "have to have". I also, did make Cozart take me to Menchies for some frozen yogurt on Monday. :) 

Week 31 & 32 Progress: The carpet is down! Yay!! And the crib, stroller and car seat arrived today! Curtains are hung (I still need to steam them though) and her name will be once the crib is put together. 

The week ahead: I am kind of looking forward to one last week of nothing pressing before all the craziness ensues.  We have baby showers and get togethers with friends and family, classes and weekly doctor's appointments, work stuff I have to do before I am officially on maternity leave and just the overall anticipation of her arrival and it all starts next week. So for this week, my only plan is to take time to count my blessings!! 

The first of many blessings is my sweet baby nephew, Cole. I am happy to report he is doing GREAT! (if you missed his story, you can read it here) He is no longer relying on assisted breathing, has been moved out of the NICU and is very much enjoying being held by Mommy and Daddy. They hope to be able to bring him home in the next couple of weeks. I can't tell you how much I wish I could go see this little guy but for now, staring at pictures (like this) will have to do. Thanks for all your prayers for this sweet boy, they are certainly working!!! 

Is this guy precious or what!!!???

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 30... Where has the last 6 months gone???

30 Week, 4 Days

30 Week Update:

How Far: 30 weeks, 4 Days (at time of photo)

Gender & Name: We were able to confirm, at our 3D/4D ultrasound on Tuesday, that she is still in fact a girl! Thank goodness because there is so much pink being added to this house; from clothes to toys to hair bows and even a wall in her room is pink. I ordered wooden letters (Brynlee in pink) for her wall from Etsy and can not wait until they get here! There hasn't been much more discussion about her middle name but I'm sure that conversation will resurface any day now.

Movement: She's still very active but I can definitely tell she is getting quite snug in there. There isn't quite as much room for her to wind up before she punches me in the bladder. 

Sleep: Between the sciatic pain and restless leg syndrome, sleep has become challenging. Dr. S says it's ok for me to take Benedryl which not only helps with falling asleep but I also don't wake up quite as stuffed up. I am trying not to rely on it every night but it's definitely helped when I'm desperate for some rest. I am still probably getting more sleep now,  than I will in a few months. 

Symptoms: Sciatica, Heartburn, Restless Leg Syndrome, general discomfort. 

Cravings: My sweet tooth is pretty out of control. Still loving fruit and root beer. 

Week 30 Happenings: We successfully held a garage sale and earned enough money to pay for her carpet and installation. (not to mention we got rid of a bunch of junk which is what I'm happiest about!) We ordered carpet; it will be laid next week. Cozart finished painting the trim. Mom has started on her bedding. As I mentioned, we also had our 3D/4D ultrasounds. And here she is.... "some" of you may not think she's very cute from these images but I think she's adorable. (I may be a little biased though)

The blurry patch over her left eye is actually her foot. (already working on her Eka Pada Sirsasana or Yogaidrasana)

The ultrasound tech also took measurements which indicated her weight to be approximately 3lbs 6oz and measuring 30 weeks (which was just one day ahead at the time). She wasn't very cooperative, having her feet or hands in front of her face for most of the time, but I am very happy we were able to get a few shots of her face. 

My sweet baby nephew was born last Tuesday. He was a month early and was delivered by c-section due to his recent ultrasound indicating fluid in his belly. What a little trooper he is. He spent his 2nd day in this big scary world in surgery where they found his intestines had twisted and a portion died due to lack of blood. They removed the dead tissue and created 2 stomas with bags attached for now. They removed 650ml of fluid from his belly. He's definitely our little miracle baby. Tyler and Amanda (my brother and sister-in-law) were able to hold him for the first time yesterday. It makes me tear up just thinking about it and how strong they have been for him. Little Cole Patrick Fraser is a fighter and improving more and more everyday. I can't wait to see what kind of mischief Brynlee and her cousin get into when they grow up! If you have a minute and could say a quick little prayer for Cole and Tyler and Amanda, it would be so appreciated.  

Cole Patrick Fraser born August 13th, 2013 @ 2:49pm, weighing 7lbs 4oz.
I love this little guy so much already! 

Week 31 preparations/plans: We have another appointment on Monday, it's always exciting when we get to hear her little heartbeat. I will be happy once the carpet is in (next Monday or Tuesday) and we can order her crib, FINALLY! And Cozart's Mema is getting baptized on Sunday. Not nearly as busy of a week as this last one was, so I hope to fit a prenatal massage in at sometime as well!

65 days to go.......

Sunday, August 11, 2013

27-29 Week Update... Sorry for the delay! :(

29 Weeks, 3 Days

It goes without saying, I have been a bad blogger! I have no idea where 3 weeks went and why I wasn't able to get one picture (or at least give you an update). So sorry! Here is your 27, 28 and most of 29 week update....

27, 28 & 29 Week(s) Update: 

How Far: 29 weeks, 3 days at time of photo. 

Gender & Name: We have our 3D/4D Ultrasound on Tuesday so hopefully they are able to confirm she is still a girl, at that time. :) I think it's safe to say Brynlee is set in stone but as for her middle name... (as I mentioned in a previous post, Cozart likes to change his mind.... a lot) I still would like it to be Dahl but Cozart feels it should be something biblical or something that means "Gift from God" or something of the sort. She just may end up with 2 middle names. Not a huge deal, accept it would totally mess with all the monogramming I'd like to do! ;) 

Movement: She is still very active and still often while I am trying to fall asleep. And she likes to jab me in the bladder. I am constantly feeling a rhythmic pattern of movement which I am convinced is hiccups. Although, Cozart seems to think I'm crazy. 

Sleep: I have been experiencing some serious sciatic pain over the past 2 weeks which has really made sleeping (or lack there of) a ton of fun. [insert sarcasm font] I also seem to wake up as I normally would, earlier on, only now, I can't get back to sleep for a prolonged period of time. I guess I should just chalk this up as preparation for what's to come, huh?

Maternity Clothes: Obviously! I'm not a fan of what is available and justifying the cost of something I will only (hopefully) wear for a another few weeks has become increasingly difficult. I think it would help if I didn't live in AFRICA... or at least a comparable climate. It's HOT.... REALLY REALLY HOT!!!! 

Symptoms: SCIATICA!!! Ouch! Round ligament pain... also OUCH! Sleepiness and irritability although I think both are more a result of the ridiculous heat. (Never thought this Minnesota girl would say this but... "Is it winter yet?") Even with the aches, pains and heat, I am still all consumed with joy and overwhelmed by this little blessing growing inside of me. 

Aversions: Nothing

Cravings: Ice cold water because.... Did I mention it's HOT? 

What we've been up to in weeks 27, 28 & 29: Fabric was ordered and has been delivered to my Mom's house for her to work her magic! Her room has been completely cleared out, painted and the new trim installed. We also have gone through all of our crap valuable possessions and held a garage sale to get rid of what we didn't want. What didn't sell will be donated and/or put on craigslist or ebay. We registered for our child birth and newborn class as well as the breast feeding class. 

What I am looking forward to in the coming week: Our ultrasound on Tuesday (fingers crossed she cooperates and we get some good pictures). Picking carpet and having it installed so we can start buying her furniture. I'm not really "excited" about the breast feeding class, which is also Tuesday, but it will be good to check it off the list. Showering Baby Dylan and Leanne on Sunday. And getting to see one of my BFF's, Ashley. 

So much going on and I don't anticipate it slowing down anytime soon. It's so hard to believe she will be here in less than 3 months!!!! YIKES!!!!! 73 days to go......................

Saturday, July 27, 2013

(Crazy Busy) Week 26...

26 Weeks, 4 Days - this picture cracks me up! Ha!

What a crazy busy week! I am still trying to recoup from the go go go, but it was worth every minute. My adventure began on Wednesday evening with a flight from Orlando to Detroit and then on to Grand Rapids. I didn't get into GRR until almost midnight but was so excited to be greeted by my 2 favorite boys, my nephews, Jack and Owen. I seriously can't get enough of these 2. And I can still say that (honestly), even after our 11 hour drive from Michigan to Minnesota the following day. This trip is old hat for the boys, my sister and their 2 dogs but not one I would want to make while 6 months pregnant ever again. My back was sore, feet were swollen, I had a headache and felt achy all over. I even shed a few tears once we pulled into my parents' driveway. 

Cocoa and (part of) Boo
Friday, a group of us, including the bride to be (Katey), her friends, Maeve, Brianne and Brittney, our sister-in-law, Amanda, a friend of the family, Bri and my Mom all made our way to the Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul to go dress shopping for Katey. We had a ton of fun and she said Yes to the Dress after just trying on a few dresses. She was stunning in everything she tried on but we were all oohing and ahhing when she slipped into "the one". It's perfect and gorgeous and everything you would hope your wedding dress to be. We had lunch after and decided to cancel her second appointment for the day. With 4 of the 8 of us being pregnant, we spent the time we would have spent at the 2nd dress shop, at Babies-R-Us instead. A day full of wedding stuff and babies... doesn't get much better than that! 

After we returned from dress and baby shopping I met my Grandmother (Shirley) at the local Relay for Life to walk in honor of my Grandfather. He passed away from lung cancer a year ago on July 17th; I was so grateful to be a part of this evening in his memory. 

Saturday was my baby shower, hosted by my Mom, sister and friend Angie. It was so much fun to celebrate little Miss Brynlee and a pretty emotional day too. I feel so blessed to have the amazing friends and family that I do. All of which took time out of their busy summer schedules to join us for a morning of onesie decorating, lots of laughs, a few tears and some of Mom's home-cooking. (oh and some yummy cake that was almost too cute to cut into!) 


Diaper Cake made by Katey

Sunday, after church, we went to see my Grandmother (Gen) in the facility where she is currently living. She was so happy to have visitors and she finally got to "get her hands on that bump she's been praying for for so long". She made a quilt for Brynlee and although she would tell me it was made to be used (like all the others she's made); I think it just may have to be tucked away until she can understand just how special it is and how special the person who made it is to me. (she's kinda my favorite person in the whole universe!) It was another emotional day but yet another I am so very grateful for. 

Bright and early (4:30am), Monday morning, Katey and I headed to the airport. It is such a crazy feeling knowing, the next time I set foot in Minnesota, I'll be a Mom and have a little one in tow. (here I go crying again...) 

26 Week Update: 

How Far: 26 weeks, 4 days at the time of the picture with my nephews at the very top. Jack is supposed to be holding up a 2 and Owen is holding up a 6 (ironically, Jack is 2 and Owen is 6). There was actually a picture of us all posed the way we had intended but this one makes me laugh so I had to post it.

Gender & Name: I hope it's still a girl (as you can see she has a pretty good start on her wardrobe - courtesy [mostly] of Aunt Katey and Grandma Mary. I'd really hate to have to take all this back). Provided she is still a girl, her name is still Brynlee. 

Movement: She's still a little wiggle worm. One of these days, I hope she cooperates so I am able to get a quick video of it. I really don't know how woman can go without knowing their pregnant. I would be seriously concerned if my stomach moved the way it does due to indigestion! 

Sleep: Yes please! This week kicked my booty but the positive is I am having no trouble sleeping at all. 

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes! There is no more hiding this bump. I just hope my ever expanding belly, butt and thighs decide to disappear as quickly as they've made their appearance. :( 

Symptoms: Heartburn. Slowing fading energy. 

Aversions: After this weekend, I will NEVER eat Taco John's again! BLEH!!!!!!

Cravings: Fruit, Rootbeer, Sweets

Week 27 Projects: Ordering fabric for her bedding. More work on the nursery. Preparations for a garage sale that MUST happen SOON!!! 

Gen and Gen ;)