Laboring

Hello folks, Jon here with my first ever blog posting. We are still in labor and are at 12 hours and counting since our arrival this morning. We have tried several things to speed up the process including some tub time, a method Liz has always wanted to try and was finally able to, as well as stairs, walking, Swiss ball bouncing, etc.

Readings for both girls look good up to this point. Liz is dilated to about a 5 and Finley is at about a -1 position.

We just completed the epidural as Liz is concerned she may not have enough energy left at the rate we are going. Liz was truly excited to meet the anesthesiologist.

We were pleasantly surprised this morning when they set us in a room across from the “Resuscitation Room”, which is where Finley will be taken upon her birth for setting up breathing and food tubes as well as checked out prior to her entry into the NICU. During our previous tour, they thought we would deliver in the Operating Room which looks exactly like what it is. Large lights over an operating table, white walls, a genuinely sterile environment. Instead, we are in a normal Delivery room (#1) and have the normal comforts of said room as well as some we brought from home. Between us we have (3) cell phones, (2) laptops and an ipod. At one point earlier today we actually spoke to one another.

The staff at Emanuel have been very gracious. Our primary nurse, Heidi, has been very helpful and Donna, the head nurse of the NICU, also came and introduced herself and answered several questions. Our doctor, Dr. Lee, would prefer to have Finley delivered  by this evening but ultimately her timing may not coincide with our wishes. Additionally, we have the assistance of Rhonda, our doula, who has greatly helped along with the process.

More to come…

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39 weeks – induction scheduled for Thursday!

Thursday. I wasn’t expecting that.

I went to the Doctors appointment just expecting to have a normal ultrasound, the joyous event of having my membranes stripped (insert sarcasm), and to schedule the induction for Monday if things didn’t happen before then, as we had discussed previously.  But then the math on the ultrasound measurements returned with Finley now in the 10% category for growth and even though the ultrasound tech thinks because of many reasons (Finley head down low, kept moving and breathing like crazy) she didn’t get good measurements and we both think that this result is totally wrong – because it could be accurate, the Dr can’t wait until Monday to intervene. That means if Finley doesn’t come before then, I am checking in to Emanuell at 5:00AM on Thursday to begin the induction process.  Based on their math – they think she will be a little over 6 pounds. But the ultrasound tech and I talked about how you can see fat rolls on her, and she has those chubby cheeks- we think she is totally going to be bigger than that.  She predicted 8 pounds.  I just don’t believe there is anything going sideways with her growth- but I am going to trust that there is a reason we need to go this route (if it comes to that). God has gotten us this far and there have been so many praises – so I will just continue to trust and have faith.

My stats:  1.5 cm dilated, -1 station, and 70% effaced – not a ton of progress this week…. Her BPP was 8/8.

So here we are, almost at the end/beginning of the next phase of our journey.  What we need prayer for….

1. Whatever God’s timing is for her arrival, just that the labor goes smoothly and there are no complications and her entrance into the world is easy – and no C-section for me.
2. That she stabilizes quickly and does not develop pulmonary hypertension.
3.  Pray for wisdom for the doctors and nurses to make all the right decisions regarding our/her care.
4. That she is strong and stable and does not require ECMO.
5. That they are able to do her surgery quickly and that God uses Dr Bliss to heal Finley.
6. That God uses Jon, Finley and I and this situation to his glory- may Finley’s recovery just be astounding and a testimony to God’s power.
7. Strength, peace and calm for Jon and I…  Help us to be a support to one another and lift each other up, rather than unleash negative emotions upon each other.
8. That Finley recovers quickly and gains strength after the surgery and there are no further complications.

I know I am asking a lot – but I am praying boldly (as my friend Cody would say) and am petitioning God for all these things and know that through him – all things are possible.

A friend shared this verse with me and I love this version of Philippians 4:6-7 from The Message;

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Thursday or Friday Finley will be making her grand appearance and beginning her fight – I can’t wait to meet her. I just know this little girl is going to astound me.

38 weeks (and 4 days)

Slowly making progress… -2 station, 70% effaced, and still at 1 cm… Starting Friday if I haven’t gone into a labor (funny, I feel like I preface all my plans with that statement these days) I will start with some of the natural methods to get things moving (primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture).  I have decided that she is coming between 39-40 weeks… we’ll see if Finley agrees. With Rowan I said she was coming on her due date, and she arrived the day before. Finley did well on her BPP today and fluid level is about the same – so no changes for the worse. We’ll be updating the blog very regularly once I go in labor (either myself, Jon, or our doula) and hope you will continue to send up lots of prayers for Finley.  You can sign up to get emails that notify you when we update on the side bar to the right of the page.

2 of the CDH babies whose stories I have been following and praying for  – Noah and Niklas are now at home! Praise God!!

These two verses are the ones I am clinging to right now…..

John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give is not fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  (Trying to hard to feel his peace – there are times that I do, like today… but the fear is knocking more loudly as we get closer…)

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

37 weeks + 4 days

Well, I am officially full term, even though we want her to stay “cooking” for another week and half at least.  I got the BEST present today at my ultrasound appointment- the ultrasound tech took at ton of 3D images. I have included a few of them here – including the one of Finley smiling! It made me cry to see my baby so clearly.  She stuck her tongue out at us a few times and gave the best pouty face. Such a blessing to be able to see her already like this. LOVE her chubby cheeks!! I can’t wait to meet her. The appointment went well – she scored an 8/8 for her BPP, my fluids are at  24 – the high end of normal, but Dr Lee isn’t worried and NO progression since last check… still at 1cm, 50% effaced, -3 station.  Just trusting in God to carry us through.  I have never spent so much time in prayer – I am definitely learning to bring all things to him and praying boldly.

Please continue to pray that her lungs will be functionally mature, that she doesn’t develop pulmonary hypertension after birth, and that she stabilizes quickly and they are able to do the surgery within days rather than weeks.  Also please pray for babies Noah, Niklas, Elijah, and Whitney currently fighting their battles (see other CDH blogs for their stories)…

Psalm 33: 20-23 “Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

36 weeks…. the countdown continues…..

I am making the rounds at Northwest Perinatal. Met another partner today, Dr Watson – everyone there is wonderful and I know that regardless of who I draw when I go into labor – I will be in good hands. NST went fabulously and they said she is looking great. Had my Strep B test and will find out in a few days about that. He checked me and my cervix is soft and I am about 1 cm dilated, but he thinks it should be still a few weeks. This is not uncommon for a second pregnancy. I am not to take anything that is supposed to ripen/soften the cervix because they don’t want ANY chance of her coming early.  He said 39/40 weeks would be perfect – so that is what I am praying for.

Thank you for all your prayers for both Finley and myself (and Jon). I do really feel a sense of peace about what lies ahead and that can only be God. If this were left to just me alone, I would be in full out obsessive freak-out mode.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the perfect Zen place all the time – I do get scared and worried and my mind wanders – but I try to bring it back and pray and I know that God is in control. Finley is in his hands and I have to trust in him and his plan.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6

35 weeks, 5 days

I will start right off with the good news… Her growth was 37% this time (up from 31% last time) and they estimate her to be 5lbs 11 oz right now.  Heart looks good, doesn’t seem to be under extra pressure from the organs in the chest cavity, and no fluid accumulation. My amniotic fluid is looking good at 19 which is at the higher end of normal, but not excessive yet. You’d think that my stomach was extra big hearing strangers go – “whoa, any day now, huh?”

Praise God for listening to our prayers, and I just hold steady to believing that all these things in her favor will mean that she will have the strength to fight once she is here and God has plans for my little one.  I will be 36 weeks as of Friday – and I can’t believe that she will be here in 2-4 weeks.  My finish line is approaching and her starting line.

I’m not posting the ultrasound shots because they aren’t very good this time.

Prayer requests:

1. That her lung growth will continue and that we will all be amazed by how much lung she has at birth!

2. That she does not get the severe pulmonary hypertension after birth.

3. No ECMO is needed after birth.

4. That she stabilizes quickly and surgery can happen within days of her birth.

5. That she says in until at least 38 weeks.

6. Prayers for other CDH babies currently in the hospital around the country fighting; Noah, Niklas, and Elijah.

Psalm 34:3 “I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

34 weeks

The weeks just keep flying by. I can’t believe that she could be here in as little as 4 weeks.. The NST was uneventful – though it is funny that if they are sleeping, they buzz them with this vibrating buzzer to get them to move around some more.  Basically, they try to annoy them. They said her heartbeat looked really good and they didn’t see anything that was a cause for concern. I did ask more about the growth issue and apparently between the last 2 ultrasounds her growth dropped from a 40-something% percentile to 30-something % (I need Jon to be in these appointments to actually remember things) but they will need one more scan before they call it a trend since ultrasound error can be 10%.. So I am just hoping and praying that it is exactly that- an ultrasound error and not indicative of a trend. Apparently if she drops down to 10%, it will be time to get her out… These are worries I don’t want so I just pray that this is all nothing, or that she catches up this week.  The next ultrasound is next week.

Rowan did the cutest thing the other day.. she lifted up my shirt (which she likes to do a lot), kissed my belly and said, “I love my baby sister.”  There is nothing I want more in this world than for the day when Rowan is able to hold and kiss baby Finley.