Saturday, October 29, 2011

The final days

Today is going to be a great day! Brett and the kids are on a plane right now heading up to stay until little miss is delivered. Last night, I decided I should get my act together and pack a hospital bag. In a way, it was bittersweet. I so desperately want to see and meet my sweet girl, yet a huge part of me would rather pretend none of this exists. Every night, I lay in bed and ask myself these two major questions. A.) Am I strong enough to watch my poor baby suffer? B.) Why me?

So for those of you who have been there and done this I know those aren't crazy things to ponder. I also know that for some reason I have been given this blessing and I must cherish it as so. I ask every night for the grace and strength to get my baby home safely. I have to have faith that all of my decisions so far during this process have been made with the most thought and best intentions. We have also been shown by friends, family, and even strangers that Olivia has a purpose and will change the lives of so many people.  My mom once she arrived and came to CHOP with me for appointments just keeps saying, "I know we are in the best place. I can feel it." I too, know that Olivia is a fighter and if anything like her big sister will add even more spice to our life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

More brotherly/sisterly love is heading up!

The city of Brotherly Love will have 3 new residents at the Ronald McDonald house Saturday. Nathan, Delilah and I are FINALLY heading up to Philly at 6:15 on Saturday. It is about time, because I have been so worried I wouldn't make it since Melanie always has a tough time keeping our babies in until the timer goes off. All the research and flight schedule tracking weren't needed. The kids and I can't wait to have the family whole again. Especially when our little Olivia pops out.

We have one of the best surgeons in the country doing Olivia's Norwood surgery (1st surgery of 3), Dr. Spray. While some local hospitals take 5 to 10 hours, Dr. Spray said he is in and out in 3 hours. The less time on bypass, the less time opened up means our little girls chances go up and up and up!

Melanie will be delivering at HUP (U Penn Hospital), possibly induced at 7am Nov 1, 2011. If we are lucky Melanie will get to hold Olivia for 5 to 10 minutes, and then she'll be whisked away to CHOP through a tunnel. Not to be held again for weeks, just a little hand holding and toe squeezing. We are diligently try to stay sick free, but everyone seems to have a little bit of a scratchy throat. Delilah and I are taking antibiotics, and I'm sure Melanie and Nathan will soon follow.

This blog is about to start heating up with some serious action so stay tuned. By action I mean Olivia's birth, surgeries, and recovery which I know she will do great! Hope you all enjoy reading as Olivia grows up to be an annoying little sister to Nathan, and a wonderful little girl. I know I'm ready to fast forward to Year 3 and have all these surgeries behind us, ha ha.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Nifty Fifty Diner

Dora Explosion

Jersey Shore

Exciting weekend

So this weekend, we had quite a bit of excitement here at the Ronald McDonald House. The daily routine here can get a bit mundane so please realize this term of excitement wasn't all that exciting to most. Our days consist of basically sleeping until 10:30am philly time, waking to eat an early lunch and then heading out for a daily activity. We then head back for when dinner is served at around 5:30pm and sit and talk to other residents here until about 7:30pm. Then it is rush for an open tv and watch tv until about 11:00pm. Exciting right?

This Saturday, we were awoken to a fire alarm honking in our room at 7:10am. We were then greeted by New Jersey's finest in all out gear trying to figure out what was going on. Turns out, someone was smoking in their room. So we decided to scrap going back to bed and took a nap later that day.

Yesterday was Nathan's 8th birthday. It was really hard to not share in his special day, but I know he had a great time with Brett and his family. I have a countdown going until Brett and the kids come up which is this upcoming Saturday, so only 5 more days. Then the fun part begins and Olivia will arrive in 7 days. The thought of her arrival is scary at times, but I forget about her being a baby. The planning and logistics get in the way of thinking, "oh no we will be outnumbered in 7 days".I am going to try to get pictures of my room and the trip up here for all to see. As many of you know, I am not the techno one of our family.

On the road.....

BB with Ronald
My beautiful roses from my family

Thursday, October 20, 2011

She only weighs what?

So yesterday, I went to the much anticipated doctors appointment. She weighed in at only 6 pounds 10 ounces. I was kinda disappointed. The week before she was estimated to be 6 pounds 9 ounces. I know she has grown more than just 1 ounce. I have gained three pounds, how did she not get any of the goodness? So, needless to say that was frustrating.

   Brittany and Melissa switched places and the first day Brittany was in bed for 7:30pm. She made fun of me for wanting to sleep all the time, but traveling and the time change takes its toll on everyone. Last night was by far the nastiest dinner at the House. Sauerkraut, Beer Brats and salad isn't something we always have at home. Getting used to the different menus here has probably been the hardest part besides missing the kids.

   We are all adjusting at our own pace and some days are easier than others. There are a few moms here at the RMH who have their small children with them. This makes me miss the kids more and seeing them all at dinner is super hard. Brett and I cherish the skype time we have every evening with the kids running, playing, throwing the football, and telling me all about what happened at school that day. Some nights I get the crying and then there are times when they don't want to talk at all. I sent them bears with my voice recorded for them and they were a big hit. They both spent the night in our bed last night which Brett says can't happen again.

   Today, Brittany and I went to get a manicure and pedicure. It is the small things that keep you from going crazy with no tv in your room and little else to do to occupy yourself. Tomorrow we may even try to schedule a prenatal massage. We shall see.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Philadelphia... the next chapter

So.... I am now in Philadelphia and the long journey has begun. I arrived a few days ago and  much to my surprise the Ronald McDonald House had an opening. Melissa, my sister, and I got settled in to our lovely Dora themed room. It basically is a room decorated to the brim with Dora and Diego items and it even has a very nice yet large mural of Dora on the wall. Each day gets a tad longer as I sit here and anxiously await the timing when I will go into labor. In order to keep from going crazy, each day my sister and I take a new adventure to either sight see or find the nearest store of one kind or another. On our second day here, we visited the lovely Jersey shore. For those of you watch that crazy show, it isn't very impressive. The weather here is beautiful. Well, for a pregnant woman at least. The highs are in the low 60's and the lows are in the mid 50's. It is definitely fall here and the leaves changing colors is a sight that New Orleanians are not quite used to seeing. We starred out the car windows in amazement with many toots and horns blowing for us to get a move on. People here, I have learned, do not obey speed limits but will stop for people in a cross walk. Going 80 mph, is very commonplace even if it is a posted 40mph road. This becomes very scary when you are driving up and down hills at that and you come from flat land country.
          I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday where we will find out exactly how big ms. olivia has gotten. I know she is huge so I am loving referring to her as GIGANTOR. I will try to upload some pictures if I can figure it out so everyone can get a peek at our lovely accommodations and the sites. Another update to come soon.