Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Callum is 9 Months!

Callum is 9 months old today! Despite my hopes to blog regularly, I haven't written a blog since he was 1 month old! Obviously, SO much has happened since then, way too much for me to write about. What an incredible 9 months though. He has actually been here for as long as I carried him! (These months sure went faster than when I was pregnant! ha!) I've done a lot of reminiscing over the last couple months as I have thought about where we were last year at certain points... remembering in March(10wks) when I had a blood clot that hemorrhaged, in April(16wks) when I began loosing amniotic fluid, the awful weekend in May(20wks) when we found out I was ruptured and had almost no amniotic fluid and were advised to terminate our precious baby because 'he'd never live anyway'. Following that was three weeks on bed rest waiting, hoping, and praying to make it to June 7th(23wks), my admission day to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis... then, the entire summer and the rest of my pregnancy spent there with more waiting, hoping, and praying, and finally, how much your prayers sustained us and the arms of God held us.

As I meet the year mark of all these points, I feel this twinge... again overcome with relief and thankfulness, yet my heart still remembers well the sadness of being away from Stella and Ryan and the anxiety of what we were facing. Not to mention, how many countless times I thought about and wondered where we would be a year from then?! And now, here we are! Ryan, Stella, me and our beautiful, happy, healthy and HUGE baby boy! Yes, he's huge! He may have had a rough start, but he has certainly caught up. He is meeting all his milestones... well except crawling. We're pretty sure he's just going to go straight to walking. After all, he does have a big sister to chase around!

He is such a charmer and sweet heart. He seems to love everyone, but no one can hold a candle to Mommy. I'm definitely the apple of his eye, and I'm going to remind him of that some day when he's too "old" or too "cool" for cuddles and kisses from me! There are times... about every day, when I'm holding him, and he hangs on so tightly to me with his head on my shoulder, I swear... it's like he knows how much we went through together, and how hard I fought for him. I close my eyes, breathe in his incredible scent, my heart skipping a beat at how powerfully overcome with love for him I am, and I thank the Lord once again for the incredible gift his very life and presence is. Even on the days when I'm exhausted by the craziness of having two kids now (props to you mothers of more than two!!), I remind myself how blessed beyond measure we are.

Not long after Stella was born, I wrote a little song for her, and so of course, I had to have one for Callum too. He smiles EVERY time I sing it to him. Here are the words **his name means dove.

Little angel boy, precious one
Little angel boy, sent from above
Little angel boy, sweet little dove
Callum Ryan Moses, you are loved

Happy 9 months lil guy, we love you!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Callum is 1 month!

Yesterday, Callum was one month old. These past few weeks being home have really flown by... many days are kind of blurred from lack of sleep. It took a while the first couple of weeks, adjusting to the new normal while recovering from the c-section and 4 months of bed rest, but I feel stronger each day. I have absolutely loved being home again, and Stella continues to tell me, "Mommy, I'm so glad you're home!" Callum has adjusted well too. He is showered with love, kisses and cuddles from his sister... something I'm sure won't last forever, so I'm enjoying it now. He is still sleeping much of the time, and is very pleasant and sweet. He gets a little miffed during diaper changes, when he's hungry of course, and sometimes when he just wants to be held, and I can't blame him. He's starting to be a lot more calm during his baths, and I think he's almost decided he likes them. At his 3 week check up he was up to 6 lbs 11 oz, so I'm guessing he's just above 7 by now.

I still replay last 6 months daily, and have many emotions as I remember... where we started, all that transpired, and where we are now. All that time and all the worry, yet all those prayers and all the hope that continued to grow. I am still overwhelmed with such thankfulness at how things turned out for us. We have been given such an incredible blessing, it's hard for me to express and take in.

Here are a few of my favorite pics taken since we've been home.

Sleeping like a baby...

Stella loves to read to him...

And snuggle with him...

Stella has told me many times, "Mommy, you have two childs now!" Yes, we do, two beautiful, wonderful babies. My heart is so full and our cup is overflowing.

With love,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Welcome Callum Ryan Moses Schweain!!!

The last two days have been an absolute whirlwind! I can hardly believe I'm sitting here writing about the birth of our son. Callum Ryan Moses was born Wednesday, September 22nd at 6:38 pm! He weighed 6.5 lbs and was 20 inches. I'm so excited to write and share the details and great news, BUT the best part of all is that he is perfectly healthy! He came out crying immediately, showing off his strong lungs- the lungs that doctors weren't sure would be formed because of the period of time he went without adequate amniotic fluid.

Wednesday began like any other "normal" hospital day. I began the daily monitoring session which usually only takes about 20-30 minutes. But, that day, after barely 10 minutes, my nurse came back into the room and gave me some juice to drink. She said she thought he must just be a little sleepy, and needed a little boost. He was having some decels or dips in the heart rate that they normally don't see, as he is usually very reactive, passing his "test" right away. I wasn't too worried, but this was definitely new. Over the next hour and a half I began to grow a bit more nervous as she'd come back in and have me change positions, letting me know they just wanted to watch a little longer. After over and hour and a half a resident came in and told me that they would be transferring me to labor and delivery to be monitored for a few more hours, and that they could very well send me back, BUT this could be an indication that it might be "time". And here we thought thought it would still be 5 more days... he has never stopped keeping us guessing! The monitoring in labor and delivery continued to show the dips which led them to check his position and investigate what my cervix was doing. He was head down and my cervix was softening and about 1.5 cm, and they felt I could be in early labor. They told me the decels were likely an indication that he might do better at this point on the "outside", and they wanted to begin induction. So, before I knew it, I was calling Ryan saying, "You definitely need to get here. He's coming today!" They started me on pitocin and "real" contractions started right away, but unfortunately the decels were happening after every contraction and were becoming more concerning as the pitocin was increased and contractions strengthened. They explained them as "late decels" which usually means that the placenta is being stressed, in turn causing stress to him. They were worried about how he'd handle harder labor as we had only just begun. I have since found out that the placenta was really small and in an odd place. One of the doctors told me today that they were really amazed at how he was able to grow and develop so well considering it's size...(on top of everything else, just another detail making his story so amazing.)

As much as I was hoping to avoid a c-section, I knew the doctors truly wanted to help us achieve a VBAC, and I was confident that they weren't advising the c-section casually. Ryan and I had time to adjust and be excited and thankful that we were about to meet our baby. It was a MUCH different experience for us this time. I was actually awake and Ryan was with me. We were able to hear his first cries, (the most beautiful sound), meet him together, and Ryan was able to take pictures and cut the chord.

We have enjoyed every minute with him since, and the high hasn't begun to wear off. Stella is completely in love with her baby brother. She holds him and sings to him, and tells him how much she loves him. Like every parent, I've already spent hours staring at him, taking him in, feeling like my heart could burst from all the love and thankfulness I feel. We just can't express enough how much your prayers have meant to us, how they comforted, strengthened and carried us. What a story we have to tell him! What a testimony his life is! Thank you for sharing this life changing experience with us, and all the fears, concerns, hopes, and joys that were a part of it. Thank you for praying with us and for us, for believing in our sweet Callum and rejoicing in his survival!

About his name:
Callum is a variant of the Latin word for dove, Ryan is of course is in honor of his Daddy, and Moses means "Saved from the Water."

With love,
Kristin, Ryan, Stella and Baby Callum

Friday, September 17, 2010

The best laid plans...

I'm writing this entry once again back in my room in antepartum. Yep! Today was NOT the day! We knew going in this morning that there were no guarantees about what the amnio would show, but still hoped that the lungs would be mature. We made the trek to labor and deliver and got all squared away. I was dressed in my every so flattering hospital gown and ready for the amniocentesis. The procedure really wasn't that bad, and my doctor's description was pretty much spot on with what to expect. The 3 failed iv attempts earlier were actually more painful. It was a really strange experience, considering the needle punctures your skin AND then your uterus... but the anticipation and wondering was actually worse than the procedure. Not much more than an hour later the doctor was back in and let us know that the lungs did not show enough maturity. The cutoff number is 55 and his was 54.3, so really close, just not close enough. They're confident that by 39 weeks OR if I go into labor before on my own, that he will be ready. I do not doubt that from the beginning God has worked by preserving this little life and his habitat, and has once again to us, made that clear. It's sort of a relief, because the balancing, weighing and speculating have only gotten us so far. He is still being sheltered and protective and where he needs to be. Granted, I felt more than overwhelmed once again, going back to my hospital room knowing it could be ten more days... more time away from Ryan and Stella. At this point, we probably won't be home till October... crazy. BUT, I'm really thankful for the results today that told us, "Mom, Dad, I just need a little more time." So, little one, you just stay comfy and keep growing, and we'll be patient until the time is right and you are ready.

With love,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maybe baby......

Just wanted to give a quick update. I'm feeling much better, and we are going to try again tomorrow! We'll start the evaluation process early in the morning, accessing baby's position, then proceed with the amnio for lung maturity, and that will determine whether we can deliver. So, that's about all we know right now. On Monday, I was reminded once again, that things can always change last minute, and as it's always been, there's only so much we can control. We'll update as soon as we know how things look. Thank you SO much for your continued prayers, thoughts and encouragement! Can't wait to share the good news with you very soon!!!

With love,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hospital Day 99.............. No baby today!

I was hoping to be writing this with wonderful news about our baby being born, BUT it just didn't happen today. We were all ready, when last night I began noticing that I was coming down with something... the same thing Stella had, that my mom ended up with over the weekend? uh..oh... I had a recognizable and annoying prickly feeling in my nose and a scratchy feeling in my throat. Sure enough, by morning, I was in full blown cold mode! I expressed concern to the nurses, and at that point was only worried about passing something on to the baby. "Here baby, have a nice respiratory infection to welcome you into the world!" They took me down to labor and delivery to begin assessing things. My cervix was completely unchanged and unfavorable, and he was back to the transverse position. At that point we began discussing the c-section and had decided to move ahead until I said, "One thing I'm concerned about though...", and proceeded to tell them about the cold that was getting worse by the hour. That changed everything. My doctor said that there's no way we could do surgery today knowing that I'm developing some type of upper respiratory infection because of the danger it could pose with anesthesia if for some reason I needed to be put to sleep. Also, anytime you combine a URI with surgery the chances of developing pneumonia are increased. We'll just have to wait until it clears up. SO, that was a little disappointing. We did not do the amniocentesis, as they only want to do that test if we are moving straight to delivery subsequently. I had experienced so many emotions already this morning, including those thoughts of "I'm not ready for this today!" to "Okay, I AM ready for this today!" I do feel some relief though because as the day has worn on, I'm definitely feeling worse. It would have been very hard to deliver and deal with being sick on top of everything- hard to care for some one else when you're struggling yourself.

I'll keep you posted over the next few days and will be talking to the doctors more. Hopefully this will pass about as quickly as it came on. Until then, it's back to my old digs in the antepartum unit. I said goodbye once again to Ryan and Stella, feeling that familiar sadness. At least when the time really comes, we've pretty much packed everything up! Tomorrow I celebrate day 100 here at the hospital! How bout those apples!

With love,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hospital Day 95 - Almost 37 Weeks!!

I can hardly believe that I am almost to 37 weeks! This week has been one of building excitement, anxiety, and anticipation as we are nearing Monday, the day that COULD end up being the big day! I find myself riding waves of emotion as I realize our baby is so close to entering this world, and drawing his first breath, bringing such an incredible miracle into our lives. I know you're all waiting as excitedly as we are to see how everything turns out. I don't have too many finite details for you, but I can tell you the "menu" of scenarios that we are preparing for on Monday.

They will begin by checking the baby's position. I've mentioned that he has consistently shown a fondness for the transverse lie which isn't that uncommon, but not favorable for a traditional birth. Not to mention, such position adds to the risk of chord compression or prolapse. Basically, it makes the doctors nervous, which in turn, makes us nervous. Yesterday we had a quick ultrasound to check his position, and once again, he was in the transverse lie. Actually, he was sort of between that and a breech lie... sigh... he still has a few days to move yet, so I'm hoping he will "head south!"

If he is still indeed not in the head down position on Monday, they will proceed with the amniocentesis and check for lung maturity. If they find lung maturity, then we will have the c-section shortly after. That scenario would no doubt make for the shortest route to having him in our arms, but I still have my reservations about the c-section (longer recovery and well... being cut open in general), which is partly due to my previous experience. But, I also understand the value of a more "controlled" environment and at this point, solely want the best possible outcome for him.

If the amnio shows the lungs are still immature, that will override the chord risks, and we would continue on until 39 weeks, save for spontaneous labor before then, of course. That means another week or two in the hospital, so that will take another emotional re-adjustment. If he IS found to be head down they will then check my cervix to see if it's "changing" and becoming favorable. If so, we would then have the amnio. Again we'd be checking for lung maturity.

Induction would be the next step if lungs are mature, another scenario I'm a bit nervous about. Let's face it, inductions don't always work and many times are a road to c-section regardless, and I would normally never volunteer for induction. Because of my prior c-section with Stella, and my early hemorrhage and membrane rupture this time around, they are more limited in the induction process. There will be progression expectations within a shorter window, all in an effort to avoid any problems of safety for both of us. Many of you know that I was determined with Stella to avoid induction, and went 11 days past my due date, allowing for the most natural progression. However, nothing about this pregnancy has been "normal" or predictable, so that certainly influences my openness to a less traditional approach. And, finally, if my cervix is found to be unfavorable or unchanged, then induction would be even less likely to work. So, then comes the question... do we continue to wait, or do we proceed with the c-section? I've been told though by most of the doctors that they will not be comfortable with letting me go beyond 39 weeks.

You can see that these many possibilities are keeping me on edge. All that said, what an incredible feat that we are HERE and NOW, and that these options are before us at 37 weeks- a goal that medically speaking, NO ONE thought we could achieve!!! So, if I sound a little intimidated, I am, BUT I am thrilled, elated, and rejoicing for such an extensive "menu" of options! Besides, I'm still holding out for spontaneous labor by Monday morning if you'd like to add that to your prayers!! But, considering how well things have gone thus far... I probably shouldn't hold my breath. :-)

So, until Monday, the anticipation will continue growing, and unfortunately, I'll keep biting my nails...

{Please join with us in prayers for safety through the delivery}

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
~ Proverbs 18:10

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
~ Psalm 4:8

{Because hope is what we've held onto since our journey began, I pray yours is overflowing}

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13

With love,