Saturday, May 29, 2010

Good News / Annoying News

This definitely isn't a good news/ bad news post. So instead of bad news, we'll call it annoying news.

First, the good news! I went to the doctor on Thursday, and my cervix was actually LONGER (2.3 cm to be precise). Who knew 3mm of change could be so exciting? The whole time I was on bed rest with Reid things never improved. They didn't get worse, which was a victory, but we never saw a reversal of the initial condition. The first six weeks of this bed rest journey looked to be the same. Things were either getting worse or staying stable. I never dared hope for improvement.

We're not sure why things have gotten better. Perhaps the experimental progesterone injections are working? I have made it to 26 weeks, and I know that with every day that passes, our baby girl is growing and developing by leaps and bounds.

The annoying news: I have been on bed rest for 6 weeks. That's 42 days. I think. This happens to be the length of my entire bed resting journey with Reid, and I'm STILL not as far along this time as I was when I started bed rest the last time. In short, I'm slowly losing my mind. I'm getting cranky and horribly Vitamin D deficient. My muscles have atrophied and my energy levels have plummeted. And I still have 8 more weeks before I am far enough along that my doctor will let me off of bed rest.

The real tragedy of this situation--the thing that keeps me up at night--my hair. That's right, folks. I'm that shallow. You see, the day the doctor put me on bed rest (April 16, for those who are keeping track), I had planned to call and schedule an appointment to get my hair cut and highlighted. I was already at a Level Yellow hair emergency, but we had been so busy that I had not had time to see the lovely Dana. We have now surpassed Level Red. DEFCON 5. All-out hair crisis. My head is an unruly, frizzy mop. What's worse? R-O-O-T-S. I'm seeing my natural hair color for the first time since I was 15, and it is NOT pretty. The pasty-white-soft-and-jiggly-bodied, frizzy-two-toned-headed reflection that greets me in the mirror is the stuff nightmares are made of. Seriously. I'm pretty sure that after this hair experiment, Brian will never again complain about me spending money on my hair. (Okay, okay, if you know Brian you know that this is not true. He will always complain about the amount of money I spend on hair maintenance.)

Prior to my appointment on Thursday, I made the executive decision that my strict bed rest had lasted long enough. I was still going to be very, very good and cautious, but I was going to go see Dana so she could take a weed whacker to my head. I just needed to run this by my doctor, but I was sure he would agree. After all, I've been SO GOOD the last 6 weeks. I may have gotten a tad carried away and also started planning an outing with Brian, Reid, my parents, and my sister and her family. The big outing was going to be today. I was going to go for a wheelchair ride in the Arboretum.

Then came Thursday. The day of reckoning. I ran my list of requests past the nurse before the doctor came in. I guess she ran them by the good doctor. He walks in the exam room and says:

"I hear you have a couple of requests, and the answer to both of them is...YES! 8 more weeks you are welcome to get your hair done and go to the Arboretum."

Evil, evil man. I'm seriously considering firing him and finding another (more permissive) doctor. When I told him that I was pretty sure I would lose my mind if I wasn't allowed to leave the house soon he said:

"Allison, this is probably politically incorrect, but I don't really care about your mind right now."

Alrighty then.

And so this beautiful, holiday summer morning, I am blogging from the couch. Again. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it for 8 more weeks. I will persevere, and I will succeed. And of course I know that it will be worth it in the end. Meanwhile, if you have the misfortune of visiting me in the near future, avert your eyes and spare yourself the agony of seeing me in all bed resting glory.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reid's 1st Birthday (3 months later...)

Here is my VERY belated post on Reid's first birthday party. Go ahead and judge.

February 20, 2010:

I'm normally not overly sentimental, but the night before Reid's first birthday, I sat in our room holding the little knit soccer hat he wore the day he was born and crying over how small it was. I could not believe how big our baby was getting. The last year has been filled with such joy, excitement and learning, and we are so proud of our precious son.

Reid: one day old

Reid: One year old

Reid's party was train-themed. He loves to play in boxes, so Daddy constructed a train out of cardboard as the centerpiece of our fancy party. I decided to make Reid's birthday cake, and it may be the last kids cake I ever make. Good heavens, what a stressful mess!

When time for the party arrived, wouldn't you know that Reid "I'm-Not-A-Great-Napper" McFarland was sound asleep in his crib as guest after guest arrived. Brian and I finally woke up him over an hour into the party. He loved seeing all his guests and playing in his cardboard train. He enjoyed his cake and actually didn't make too big of a mess while eating it. It was a great day, and we are so thankful for all of our family and friends that came out to celebrate our sweet boy.

Reid's friends partying without him while he naps.

Reid playing in the train with Daddy.

Playing in the train with Auntie Sarah.

Reid's friends Rylin, Avery and Carson

Singing Happy Birthday!

Reid just woke up and is trying to figure out why all these people are in his house.

Very excited about the balloons before the party started.

Eating yummy cake.

The finished masterpiece (sort least it didn't collapse before the party started)

And one last funny picture. The train engine being held up by a tequila bottle the night before Reid's party. This pretty much sums up the cake-baking experience.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New House

Here is a picture of the front of our new house along with a couple of pictures of Reid playing the weekend we moved in. I promise to try and have my "people" take pictures of the inside of the house one of these days.

Being pulled in the ice chest by Grandad in my new backyard.

Front of our house...Brian has since spruced up the landscaping a little

Reid loved the water table we got him for his birthday (in February!); he's just now getting to use it.

I like our house a lot, but the backyard is by far my favorite part. Reid adores being outside, and at our old house we had the pool in the backyard and lived on a street that was fairly busy. So he wasn't allowed a whole lot of freedom when playing outside. Now he plays outside every day. He digs in the dirt, rolls in the grass and plays on his little slide/climber.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Early Retirement and Other Ramblings...

It's official. I am retired. I submitted my letter of resignation to UT Southwestern last week as a formality.

The plan (before my crazy cervix took over my life and the rest of me completely lost control) was to work through the end of May and then resign. I would say my good-byes to all my coworkers and gather up all my belongings. My affairs would all be in order, and it would be a clean break. I would have closure.

I left work on Thursday, April 15, telling my coworkers I'd see them Monday. Obviously, God had other things in store for me. So now, I'm retired, but all of my "stuff" (diplomas, books, lab coats, important paperwork, etc...) is still in the office. Even worse is the fact that I shared an office, they have already hired my replacement, and I feel like my work stuff is in the way and has likely been moved into a heap somewhere. This is fine and understandable, but it just leaves me feeling such a loss of control and closure. In fact, I'm getting a tad anxious just typing about it. And by a tad, I mean my heart rate is up, my palms are sweaty and I'm getting slightly nauseous and dizzy.


I am happy about my decision to leave work for the next year or two (or five). In fact, I had started to really look forward to being a full-time stay-at-home mom during this pregnancy. I was only working two days a week, and it was great in some ways. However, I often found that working part-time left me feeling like an inadequate speech pathologist and an inadequate mom. I have completely unrealistic expectations that being a full-time SAHM will resolve all of my inadequacy issues.

If I'm honest (and I usually am), leaving my job has created even more issues for me. I'm struggling with feeling a loss of identity and with nagging fears about the future of my career. I always wanted to be a SAHM, and I know that this is the right thing for our family right now. I hate that societal pressures (and apparently my own belief system) have left me feeling like a less valuable person because I'm not working outside the home. The funny thing is, I have always respected SAH moms and I always wanted to be one. It is very odd to me that when it comes to my situation my feelings change so very much.

This has all exposed some major flaws in the way I view my identity and self worth. And this post is getting too philosophical and I'm getting sweaty palms again. So enough of that.

In other news, I had a doctor's appointment on Friday. My cervix had stayed the same length as two weeks earlier, and we considered that a victory. The really big news is that we have reached 24 weeks which means this baby is considered viable outside the womb! I know the reality of a baby born so early, but I still feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I get my first round of steroid shots this week to help the baby's lungs develop more quickly in case she is born prematurely. I also started a somewhat experimental treatment last week called 17P injections. You can read about them here if you are really bored. A home health nurse comes to our house to give me the shot. It was the longest needle I have ever seen in my life! I don't usually have needle anxiety, but I'm not kidding when I say the needle she injected in my "hip" was roughly this long: ___________________________________

I didn't cry. It really wasn't that bad. I get to have another one on Wednesday--which is my birthday. Oh happy day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


This will be a fairly short update because we still don't have Internet at the new house, and I'm blogging via iPhone.

I had my first follow up appt and sonogram on Friday. I was actually kind of excited and hopeful. I thought things might have improved since I went on bed rest. At the least, I hoped they would have remained the same. I mean, in the last two weeks, I have not participated in any of Reid's daily care, I have not been to work, and my activity level has been pretty minimal. I sat up at the table for some meals and sat in our leather recliner occasionally, but I spent most of my time on the couch or in bed.

So, Brian and I were very disheartened when the ultrasound showed that thing were worse. My cervix is down to 2.0cm from 2.8cm on 4/16. It is frustrating and scary to do the right things and to still have a negative outcome. I could not feel more out of control right now.

The good news: our sweet baby girl continues to grow and thrive and measure perfectly.

The bad news: I'm just now 22 weeks, and we've got to keep her safe and healthy inside of me longer. A LOT longer!

The plan: even more strict with the bed rest. I'm trying to stay lying down except to get up and go to the bathroom and for the occasional shower. No getting up to get a drink, sitting up to eat, etc... That, and lots of prayer. We continue to trust in the Lord and know that he us good. He already knows the plans he has for our precious girl.

And, *when* (not if) I make it back for my next appt in two weeks, I'll be 24 weeks, the baby will be viable outside of the womb, and I will be far enough along to receive the first round of steroids to speed lung development.