A Quick Trip to Labor & Delivery & A Room Update!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Well, we had our first trip to Labor & Delivery on Friday of last week and hopefully it will be the one and only trip until the big day is here! Luckily, we were back home shortly after arriving but it was a bit too close to how Emma came into the world for us! I woke up Friday morning exhausted and with some pretty sharp pains very low in my stomach (like where you get menstrual cramps) but it was only on the left side, so I was assuming it was round ligament pain or "lightening" as Jackson drops lower. Finally, after about an hour the pain went away so I decided to head into work anyway because of how much time I have already had to take off because of doctor's appointments.

Jackson ended up being pretty quiet the rest of the day, all through the morning, after breakfast and even after lunch which was out of the norm for him so I started to get worried. With Emma, I stayed at home from work one day and ended up calling the doctor because I hadn't felt her move much that day. They told us to head right to Labor & Delivery and that's when we found out I had pre-eclampsia and they started the induction that day. So, after trying to get Jackson to move more and drinking cold water, eating something sugary, and even leaving work and laying down for a while, I made the phone call to my doctor's office knowing where we were headed. Sure enough, 5 minutes later, we were making the phone calls to the parents to coordinate things for Emma and Shamus and we were off. And just like with Emma, Jackson started moving up a storm pretty much as soon as I got hooked up to the monitors! What a stinker! But this time, my blood pressure was okay and I didn't have any protein in my urine so we were okay to head home.

Apparently, I still am not drinking enough though (this is getting ridiculous) because the nurse asked me if I wanted some water (after knowing we were heading home) and I said no thanks, but about 2 minutes later she came into the room with a tall cup of water and said "I brought you one anyway." Dang. I was more nervous about sitting in rush-hour traffic on the way home after drinking a big cup of water but down the hatch. Turns out, I was actually having contractions that I couldn't feel every few minutes (they were pretty regular too) but once I drank the water, they stopped.

So although we were relieved to be headed home, I was also very frustrated that here we were again, right after things had settled down, worried and not knowing what was about to happen. I am now definitely to the point where I just want to be holding our new baby because at least then, we won't be so on edge and certainly because of what happened with Emma, and because of having pre-eclampsia with your first baby and being more likely to have it again with your second baby, I am very nervous and constantly worried and looking for signs this time around. But, although I am VERY ready to have this baby, I am also thinking about the fact that this could very well be the last time I am pregnant ever. So with 3 weeks left, I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Despite the back aches, swelling, contractions, lack of sleep, and inability to move at a normal pace. :)

But, we were home by 6:30PM Friday evening and had a good "practice run" with having my mom pick up Emma from school, coordinating with Shamus, etc for the big day, so I think we are ready!

We also made some more progress on Jackson's room this weekend (and by "we", I mean The Painter Lady, ha)! We ended up hiring Ann once again to help us with Jackson's room for a couple of reasons. The first being that she painted almost our entire house a few years ago (because we have some open areas that are two stories, etc that we couldn't do) and we loved what she did. The second being that if it was up to us to paint stripes, it would not only take 3 weeks, but would end up all wavy or crooked. :) So this way, we got the painting done faster, maybe not exactly cheaper, but we love it! We actually had a couple other things on our original list for Ann to paint (bedroom, bathroom, etc) because we were going to do a few small remodeling things, but that was right before Shamus's surgery hit our budget, so we put the painting on the back burner. Plus, my mother in law (Hi, Meredith!!!) is an amazing painter and always willing to help us with some home projects during visits so we figured some of the other things could wait.

So here are a few pictures of how things turned out! I took these pictures with my phone so they are pretty dark but you get the idea. :) I'm waiting for the room to be a little more finished before breaking out the big photography guns. (I'm only about $50 away from my Speedlite that I have been dreaming about so I'm thinking I may just have to splurge since I got the rest of the money through Christmas and Birthday presents and have been waiting for months!!) :)

I ironed one of the curtain panels that we have but decided that its a bit much to have two panels on each window, and one on each window wasn't doing it for me either. So I am going to return two panels, and make a valance out of the ones that we have already! Other than a few small things, like hanging a little shelf and getting some pictures hung, we are all set for baby!

Now, I just need to figure out what to hang on the walls! Since Daddy is such a big baseball fan and has been dreaming of being able to teach his son to play baseball, I am thinking about doing a little photo-shoot with baseball themed things. Wes has a ball and glove that I can take pictures of, and we got a super cute baseball "All Star" outfit that I could take some shots off too, but I think I need one or two more things.

A Little Bit of Everything...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well, to save time and simplify the number of blog updates I was planning, here is a post about a little bit of everything. :)

Today I turned 36 weeks pregnant, so officially 9 months! My due date is exactly one month from today! Wow! I have been feeling relatively good lately, still feeling like I shouldn't complain given everything that we went through a few weeks ago, but it sure is getting harder by the day! Wes now has to consistently put my socks on for me, and I officially had to retire the high heels. Oh man! I have gained just about 28 pounds, so still not terrible, although I am certainly feeling the effects of the weight whether its walking up the steps (add on a toddler and thats an extra 50 pounds pretty much) or just being on my feet. So far sleeping is touch and go. Some nights are horrific, coupled with heartburn, muscle pain, and going to the bathroom 1,000 times, but the good part is, is that some nights are still pretty good! I have also been having more and more Braxton Hicks contractions, much more so than with Emma (at least that I can remember). Although they don't seem to be doing much yet because at my doctors appointment yesterday, I hadn't made any progress. DOH!

I definitely feel like I hit a growth spurt from 35 to 36 weeks and hopefully that means that Jackson is following along! Here I am at 35 weeks (left) and today, at 36 weeks (right).

Jackson is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (in theory) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. Jackson swallows both of these substances (eewwwww), along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of his first bowel movement. At the end of this week, Jackson will be considered full-term and he is still in the head-down position.

We still have some work to do on his room but here is what it looks like today, a big mess! :) It was looking more like a nursery a few days ago but since we are painting strips on the top part of the walls, we decided to hire a professional to do that part since taping isn't exactly our strong suit when it comes to painting ha! So all of Jackson's furniture is moved into the middle of the room, curtains aren't quite ironed or hung yet, but all the furniture is put together, clothes are washed and put away, organizer is built and filled with goodies so we just need some stripes and a baby!! I haven't yet gotten around to what kind of "decorations" will be in his room, but that can wait and maybe give me something fun to do in my last two weeks.

Daycare was also closed this week because of President's Day so Emma and Mommy had a special day at home together! Although it started off a little rough with a cranky baby (I think those two year molars are about to make an appearance) we ended on a fun note after an exhausting trip to Barnes & Noble. It was a good thing that I decided to take Emma's shirt off before we started finger painting because little Miss Sunshine decided that she needed to paint her belly! Good thing this paint is awesome and wipes right off, no matter how long it dries on something!

Needless to say, directly after our painting fun, Emma went right into the bathtub! She loves the bath, so much so that Mommy can tend to get bored waiting for her to be ready to get out (normally during the week its a bit quicker before bedtime but once and a while I'll let her stay in there for as long as she wants haha). So this gave Mommy some time to play with her camera! Man, I really need to get my Speedlite!!

Dear Emma...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear Emma,

I was sitting down the other day thinking about how your world is about to get turned upside down with the addition of your new baby brother. but found myself thinking more about how excited I am to see you become the amazing big sister that I know you will be. You're only 19 months old right now, but have been handling all of the changes and stress right along with Mommy and Daddy. You are absolutely amazing and Daddy and I couldn't have asked for a bigger blessing in life. You and your baby brother are our entire world.

At 19 months old, you are one of the funniest people I know. You are incredibly smart, have a vocabulary of who knows how many words, have 16 teeth, and are a tiny little peanut in the 5th percentile for weight, and 25th percentile for height. Whenever we go somewhere together, I am constantly stopped by strangers commenting on your amazing blue eyes, and just overall how cute you are.

You have an incredible personality and are already so much like Daddy it's scary! You have the most expressive eyes I have ever seen, and you make me laugh every single day. You already are stringing together multiple words and have numerous three-word sentences, and continue to have a love for anything related to animals and books.

Daddy and I are incredibly lucky that you chose us to be your parents.

I can't even imagine what a great big sister you are going to be to Jackson. I can already picture you teaching him animal sounds (because animals are your favorite thing in the entire world right now), telling him all about your puppy, Shamus, and your kitty, Arby and reading him books, just like you try to read to Mommy and Daddy. And I am sure there will be many times where you just plain teach him how to get in trouble. Ha!

You continue to have this incredible love of life and haven't changed since you were born as one of the happiest and easy going babies that I have ever known. Of course, you have your moments, and that's not to say that you aren't incredibly sassy, but that's exactly what Daddy and I love about you.

Just one year ago, we were about to start your first ever swim lessons, and today, you are learning your colors, sounds that letters make and continue to amaze your parents.

Mommy and Daddy love you with all of our hearts and we will continue to do so for all of eternity.
Love Forever,

Peace Out NSTs & Fluid Checks!!

Jackson passed his Non-Stress Test (NST) with flying colors again this morning and my fluid checked out as well and was back up to 13.5, so we got the okay from the doctor to stop the twice a week testing unless something changed!! Woo Hoo!! What a relief!!

So now, instead of three appointments each week, I am down to my one regular appointment with my doctor which I can handle! Shew! I just have to keep drinking lots of water, rest on my side whenever I can and go back on March 10th for another growth sonogram. At that point though, I'll be 38 weeks and practically ready to deliver any day anyway!

35 Weeks & 35 Days Left!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jackson turned 35 Weeks "old" today!!! One more week and I will officially be 9 months pregnant! WOWZA! Overall, I haven't been feeling to bad. The hardest part is probably sleeping lately, and pretty much my entire day hinges on how I slept the night before. Unfortunately, Wes has been sick for pretty much the past three weeks, but has been having a tough time shaking this cough over the past few days so between that and the typical three bathroom trips a night, it's been a bit of a long week already.

I did catch myself today though when I was talking to Wes about how uncomfortable I was feeling because Jackson is sitting very low. So things like putting on shoes, rolling over and even just sitting are getting very hard to do. But then I thought of what we were expecting to face about three weeks ago and how we were preparing ourselves for having a baby at 32 or 33 weeks and spending weeks in the NICU. That changed my attitude immediately. At least until Jackson gave me a swift kick to the ribs. Ha! But needless to say, we are lucky that he is still "cooking" and that we aren't spending most of our days and nights at the NICU right now, so keep the bathroom trips every 30 minutes coming. At least for now. I might be singing a different tune in another two weeks ha!

Jackson doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 lbs (think honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in there, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same (and has been). His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete, so he'll spend the next few weeks just putting on weight.

I was thinking back the other evening about how I was feeling at this point with Emma and it was just about now that things started to go downhill and the swelling really started, etc. My cravings have been pretty different between the two, but I just started to notice a few similarities, like tonight when a Dairy Queen Blizzard popped into my head. Haha! I'll have to save that for a special occasion though. :) With Emma, I was craving vegetables...especially brussel sprouts, but Jackson has been singing a different tune and he wants sweets! He also wants LOTS of orange juice and is a big fan of cereal. I think I probably eat more bowls of cereal in one week with Jackson then I did my entire pregnancy with Emma! So far, I have gained 26 pounds which isn't too bad. I feel like its much more spread out this time though and noticing it a lot in my legs and arms and my face. But still...I am pretty happy with 26 pounds and only 5 weeks to go! But here I am as of today!!

For a fun comparison, here I am at 35 Weeks with Jackson (Left) and Emma (Right)!

No Longer Waiting to Exhale!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just call me Whitney Houston (minus any singing talent of course)!! I finally feel like I am no longer Waiting to Exhale because we got another good report today! Okay...so that was a stretch, but it's been a long few weeks so cut me some slack. :)

I feel like finally, a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. There is still an additional 25 lbs everywhere else but at least the weight off of my shoulders is gone. Ha!

We had a huge sigh of relief last week after our growth sonogram but still had a few reservations because of the big drop in my fluid level. However, we found out today that its no longer an issue! After drinking as much water as humanly possible over the weekend, and spending the majority of the time in the bathroom (haha) it was well worth it because my fluid levels were back up to 11 today (increase from a 7 from Thursday)! So it was just because my fluid intake dropped off apparently which I didn't really even realize, but given the crazy emotions we have been going through I'm not surprised it fell off my radar. Jackson also passed his NST from this morning so the nurse thought that as long as I get another good report (NST and fluid check) on Thursday of this week, that the doctor may decide that I don't have to keep going twice a week and I can go back to my regular weekly visits with my doctor!! So fingers crossed that all of this craziness is behind us and we can just concentrate on having a normal, achy, sleepless last month of pregnancy like most people! :) So needless to say my day was filled with this...

A little something to keep Jackson happy (okay...so a lot of something to keep Jackson happy. That's a 1L bottle of water)...

and a little something to keep Mommy happy.

Hey...everyone needs a little reward now and then right?!?!

34 Weeks & A Good Report!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hi Everyone!!

Sorry this update is coming a little late after our big appointment on Thursday but we ended up getting some very good news for a change!!

First of all, we made it through the 34 week mark last week on Wednesday and come to find out, we are pretty much right back on track with Jackson's weight!!

The estimate we got for Jackson's weight on Thursday was 4 lbs 11 ozs. Even though it's not an exact science, I feel pretty good knowing that the technician that was doing our sonogram was only 2 ounces off of her previous guess for a baby. And given all the worrying we have done the past few weeks, even if it's wrong, it feels good to just think that he is right on track. According to Baby Center he should weigh about 4 3/4 pounds (like a cantaloupe) so that sounds good to me!

Jackson did a great job putting on some weight over the past two weeks, which will help him regulate his body temperature. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well.

So on to what happened on Thursday....

I was a nervous wreck the night before and that morning. So much so, that I pretty much had my hand on the phone getting ready to call the doctor because I took my blood pressure on Wednesday night and I was convinced that the pre-eclampsia that I had with Emma was back with Jackson. Wes convinced me to wait for a while, keep taking my blood pressure and if it was still high in a few then to call. Well, I feel asleep. Ha! It was still higher then normal in the morning, but a much more manageable range so off to the appointment we went. It seemed like forever waiting in the waiting room of the Fetal Assessment Center that morning but finally we headed back to our growth sonogram first. We had a new technician that I hadn't had before but she was very good. At first I got nervous though because she was really fast at what she was doing, but then I realized it was because she was good at what she does. :) She was very sweet and answered a lot of questions for us and immediately told us how he was measuring as soon as she found out.

Jackson was still measuring two weeks behind in his belly area, so he was measuring just about 32 weeks but the good thing was is that although he was still measuring small, he had actually grown a good amount in the past two weeks. During our last growth sonogram, his belly measurement was in the 5th percentile (which we didn't know last time and is probably exactly why the doctors reacted like they did) but this time around he was in the 28th percentile because the little man hit a growth spurt! His head and everything else were once again measuring pretty much right on track at 34 weeks. So he went from the overall 28th percentile to up in the 40th percentile for weight!! It's still a bit confusing on how he can still be measuring two weeks behind, but almost average for weight, but basically that means he is just tall and skinny...just like Emma and just like Daddy. Ha!

So after getting some good news, we were off to another room for our next NST which Jackson passed. It took him two rounds this time, but then ended up showing off in the end almost to say "Oh yeah...take this! I'll pass this test and any other test you can throw at me lady!!" Haha! During that time, we were talking to the nurse about the results of the sonogram and we did get one piece of not-so-great news which was that my amniotic fluid level had a pretty drastic drop since Monday. I was already getting that checked once a week, and had that done on Monday, but they measured again while doing the sonogram and I had gone from a 13 (in whatever units they measure it in) to a 7. So pretty much almost cut in half. The nurse actually said that I wouldn't have to come in for anymore NSTs since Jackson got such a good report if it wasn't for the fluid level drop. So, we are still going in twice a week for NSTs and instead of getting my fluids checked once a week, it's up to twice a week. The nurse said that if I had measured a 5 or a 6, I would have been upstairs in the hospital hooked to an IV. So I narrowly dodged that bullet!

The plan was to send me home and basically drink as much water as humanly possible to get those fluid levels back up. On Monday, we will have a better idea of whether the fluid drop was from my fluid intake or something else (like the placenta not functioning properly). I'm pretty convinced that it has to do with my fluid intake...I don't know why because I didn't drastically change my drinking habits (at least not that I know of) between Monday and Thursday, but maybe my brain and body are just tired of worrying all the time and tired of the emotional roller coaster that this  has been, so my brain is convincing me we will be back to normal levels on Monday.

Another Passing Grade!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Well, little Jackson passed his latest NST this morning! I was a little nervous because he was pretty quiet even after Mommy ate breakfast but he passed and passed on the first round again! We also had a quick sonogram to check my amniotic fluid which is still in good shape, followed by an appointment with my regular doctor as well. So it looks like we are going to make it to 34 weeks (fingers crossed) which is another big milestone for the little guy!

Our next hurdle is a big one, and is certainly one that is already on my mind, so I can only imagine how I am going to feel the night before. Thursday is our next growth-sonogram where Jackson will get measured again and we will see how he is doing. I'm actually trying not to think about it too much yet because I will just start to panic and get nervous, so that's pretty much all I am going to say about Thursday (at least today). We will certainly keep everyone posted!

We had a really productive (and exhausting) weekend though which has really helped to calm down a little bit. I finally had to admit that I couldn't do it on my own and had to call in the reinforcements (the mom) haha. Saturday, my mom came up and we got a lot done like going through Emma's clothes and bringing out anything Jackson can wear, bringing upstairs and washing the swing, pack-n-play, car seats, infant bathtub, etc. We also got Jackson's chair rail molding put up, and on Sunday added an organizing unit and curtain rods to his room as well. Sunday was a day of cleaning but we made really good progress and I feel much better.

I know this isn't a very interesting post but hopefully more to come! For now, I am exhausted!

New Year's Resolution (Budget) Update!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Well, with everything going on lately with Jackson, I started to trail off a little on my budget tracking but got back on the horse this week because I really wanted to see what things looked like after not changing any spending habits, but just tracking how we spend and where. This was actually a really good distraction so it worked out well!

I actually did pretty good over the month of January keeping things updated until last week. Here is a little bit about what my system was and some lessons learned for moving into February.
  • Set up budget tracking sheet starting from a template I found on Bank of America's website. You can read more about how I set up my sheet here.
  • Set time aside every Monday and Friday at lunch to do a quick review of what we had spent/earned over the last few days.
    • Monday's and Friday's seemed to work out well because we get paid on Friday's and it was easy to keep track of our weekend spending on Monday afternoons.
Lessons Learned from Month One:
  • Lesson Learned #1: Do not put in any advanced payments or income in the spreadsheet until it actually happens. For example, we use online bill pay. It got a little confusing when I would "take credit" for paying a bill in the spreadsheet when it was just set up, as opposed to waiting until the money actually came out of our account. This made reviewing and tracking things a bit harder. The same applied for our income. I can easily look up how much my paycheck is going to be for the following week, but found that it was easier to track if I waited until the actual money was in our account to "take credit" for it in our spreadsheet.
  • Lesson Learned #2: The more line items you add in the spreadsheet the better. I started lumping a few things together, but found as we spent money, they really needed to be broken out. I ended up adding 10 different "Unplanned" categories by the end of the month which helps me understand what exactly we spent money on.
  • Lesson Learned #3: Use comments to make sure you remember important things. At the end of the month, it was clear that we spent more than we brought in for January (more to come on this) but our bank account didn't look all that bad because we ended up transferring money. That wouldn't have shown up in our spreadsheet unless I made a note. Ideally, we want to get to the point where transferring money is only an emergency kind of thing.
  • Lesson Learned #4: I'm not sure I figured out the best way to do this yet but I need to find a better way to track any credit card purchases throughout the month. I mainly used our online banking that shows all of our accounts, including mortgage, etc. But we had a few out of the ordinary expenses (like surgery for Shamus) that we put some money on a credit card for. So unless we paid for something using our debit card, it didn't show up on our spreadsheet.

Okay, so I know this is probably really boring to most people and probably way TMI that you don't care to know about but I figured that budgeting is something that a lot of people struggle with (us for sure) so why not share what works well and what doesn't for us. My mom is probably freaking out thinking I am going to post all this financial information online, but I know better than that so don't worry mom....I'll be really general. Ha!

Observations/Notes for Month One:
  • January was a "learning" month for sure. We had a few changes from last year that we had to wait and see how things shook out and we certainly had a few surprises along the way that we will hopefully get to avoid in some of the upcoming months (things like changing insurance companies so seeing exactly how that was going to affect our income).
  • Our overall income was pretty close to what we were expecting but was a bit lower for the month because of our insurance changes.
  • We had several expenses this month that we weren't planning for which ended up ultimately leading to our need to transfer some money. Things like:
    • A huge emergency vet bill to cover unexpected surgery for Shamus.
    • My student loan payment kicking back on.
    • A big increase in medical bills (from December that hit in January) because of our multiple sonograms, which is exactly why we switched insurance plans.
    • An unexpected car repair bill of almost $200 for a new windshield.
  • But one good thing about spending more money then we were planning was because I paid extra on a few of our credit cards to get some small bills paid off before Daycare payment #2 starts. We actually do pretty good with credit card purchases, but tend to get a few small ones that just linger around. So although we spent more, some of the that money went to "good" as well.
  • As far as how much we spent on our "normal" expenses versus how much I estimated was pretty close.
    • Things like mortgage, line of credit, daycare, car payments, insurance payments, gas and electric, etc (the big hitters) were right on target.
    • We didn't spend as much money as we were expecting to in a couple of places like cost of dog walking (because of snow days), tolls, Costco (diapers, wipes, etc).
    • We spent more than our estimate in a few areas like credit card payments (where we sometimes made two payments in one month, or I ended up paying more to get rid of a payment), parking costs, gas and groceries (we were over $200 higher than our estimate here).
So where does all of this leave us? This exercise really helped me understand exactly where we are spending money and exactly where we need to focus on cutting back. So here are our focus items for February:
    • Plan better or include estimate for home improvement (we spent $271 in January for new kitchen faucet, bathroom fixtures, etc)
    • Plan better or include estimate for Birthday presents/gifts for family and friends (we spent $195 in January and I was surprised to see how high this expense got so quickly)
    • Reduce purchases of the liquor store (we spent $106 in January at the liquor store which isn't terrible, but we could probably cut back here a little - sorry honey!)
    • Reduce money spent on ordering food & buying lunch (we spent $238 in January so we could certainly cut out some expenses here)
    • General purchases (we spent $314 in January on just stuff like at target, or baby clothes, etc). So we need to keep a better watch on those small store trips, because they can sure add up!
We have a better idea of what our income will look like in February but I need to go in and add some additional estimates for some of the "unplanned" expenses, and update some of our February estimates based on January actuals. I also need to figure out a good way to keep track of anything that we end up putting on our credit cards (hopefully nothing)!

If you made it this far...you deserve an award!!

It's Going to be a Good Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I don't know whether it is because of the fact that we turned the corner to 33 Weeks today or because miraculously I didn't have to get out of bed once last night to go to the bathroom (which hasn't happened in weeks haha) or because of the phone calls and emails we have been getting from family and friends, but I am feeling much more optimistic today and decided that today is going to be a good day!

It's been incredibly hard to concentrate on anything other than what's going on with Jackson. This week has gone by incredibly slow (I still can't believe it's only Wednesday) and the days at work are going by even slower.

Yesterday was a productive day I think, despite still feeling very frustrated, confused and emotionally drained after two more doctor's appointments. I was able to get my second dose of the Betamethasone steroid yesterday morning so in another 24 hours Jackson will be considered fully dosed-up! I have had a few side effects from the steroids but that should wind down now that I don't have more shots (at least most likely not unless something changes). I have had a lot of hip and back pain over the past two days which can be a side effect, as well as restlessness (which explains the awful night of sleep on Monday) but overall not to bad. I found myself feeling pretty miserable last night because along with the hip and lower back pain, I got hit with a monster case of heartburn and also started to have sciatic nerve pain as well. But then I realized that today was Jackson's 33 week milestone and that no matter how crappy I feel, and even if it gets 1,000 times worse for me, it's all worth it because that's just one more day that Jackson is getting stronger and is staying out the NICU. So bring on the heartburn, the shooting pains down my back and legs, the swelling, the headaches, the stuffed up noses, the lack of sleep, you name it. Every day counts and that's a small price to pay for being able to keep little Jackson where he is for just one more day.

This whole thing has certainly been a roller coaster and yesterday I was really on the downhill slope, but today, I feel like I am ready to climb until the next dip hits. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, and I am sure later tonight I will slip back into the nervous wreck that I am before each appointment since it's a day to day thing, but until that point, I'm just focusing on getting through today and getting that little baby to 33 weeks and 1 day.

I was thinking about posting the normal 33 Week "How's your baby growing" status today but since Jackson isn't quite hitting that mark, who knows what he is concentrating on this week! Apparently he is supposed to weigh a little over 4 pounds and have passed the 17-inch mark but hopefully we will find out tomorrow what his estimate weight and length really is. Again, he is supposed to be rapidly losing that wrinkled look but with not much weight on him, he is probably a skinny minnie, little wrinkled old man. :)

So I will continue to keep everyone posted through the blog on our daily progress! Tomorrow is the next little hurdle to get through, as it's Jackson's next NST, but hopefully he is going to keep up the good work and movement and pass the test with flying colors!
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