Monday, May 28, 2012

spreading the news...

In the waiting room:
my dad, my grandma, my aunt Candee
my mom, sister Elizabeth, Danny's mom, sister Maggie

A champagne toast when they heard Henry's lullaby over the loudspeaker

Danny sharing the news and pictures
That's one proud daddy!

Momma and Henry

Grandma Velina meeting Henry for the first time

My parents

Grandma Viv loving on Henry

Grandpa Mike

Henry's great grandma Fran!

Grandpa Ernie looking pretty darn proud

First picture of our sweet family of 3!

Spreading the news....all the way to Alaska!
This is me calling Kelsey to tell her about Henry

and Skyping with my brother in Cleveland

this one doesnt need an explanation
: )

On the day you were born...

5am before leaving for the hospital

Last belly shot before meeting our sweet boy

Danny and I stopped by the "golden arches" for one last pregnancy craving

Arriving in Room 3126 at Blanchard Valley Hospital

ok, I lied 1 last belly shot

.....a few hours later....

Friday, May 25, 2012

precious boy

Henry Michael Sullivan
May 22, 2012
8lbs 13oz
21in and dad couldn't be happier!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thoughts at 39 weeks

*At this point, every thing I do is my "last" before baby...Sleeping in on Saturday morning? last time. Wearing my "favorite" (and I use that term loosely) maternity shirt? last time. Going out to dinner just Danny and I? last time.

*I am hot, hot, hot. If God gives me any control over the situation, I NEVER want to be pregnant in the summer.

*Forgetfulness has settled in. Last night some dear friends came over in a last ditch SOS. Construction is finally finished at our house but putting everything back together is a t.a.s.k. At one point I had one friend painting my kitchen, another spraying weeds in the driveway, someone else installing window screens, and last but not least someone mowing the grass. Anyway, I ordered fried chicken for dinner because it was hot and I didn't want to cook. I went to the store only to be looked at blankly and was told I ordered it from the store on the complete other side of town. A fifteen minute trip turned into an hour. oops.
*Henry is comfy, Mommy is not.

*Danny has become one with his engineering degree, Miller Lite, and Graco products...assembling a bouncy seat, pack n play, swing, and stroller all in one night.

The end is in sight!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Don't tell my heart....part 2

Part 1

After several long hours of monitoring my doctor thought it would be wise to continue monitoring through the night and to consult with a maternal fetal medical doctor in Columbus. She also added that is Henry "decel-ed" 3x into the 80's that they would go ahead and do an emergency c-section that night. Enter sheer panic! My thoughts flooded from "...but we're not ready for the baby! What exactly do you think is wrong with his heart? The baby book told us to pack our stinkin' hospital bags last week and here we are at the hospital without a bag! Are we meeting Henry tonight?" I had not called our families to update them on our stint in labor and delivery because I only thought we'd be there a few hours but with even the hint of a looming c-section D and I started to make phone calls. Finally I made D a list of things to get from home for a "pseudo hospital bag"and ordered dinner from the cafeteria (they had not allowed me to eat for 6 hours at this point because we didn't know if I would be delivering or not).

We settled in for an excruciatingly long night. Hospital beds are not comfortable, alarm bells and fetal heart monitors kept us occupied, and we were down right worried. The entire experience was surreal.

In the morning (5/2) we were discharged and appointments were made for a fetal eco-cardiogram and consult in Columbus. We left the hospital with few answers and no "plans" for how to proceed.
God love my poor husband went to work and I spent the day in a stupor trying to nap and wash baby clothes so that we would be somewhat ready if Henry had to be delivered early. My precious friend H2 came over unsolicited with chicken nuggets and ice cream to distract me while we got baby things together.

Thursday (5/3) morning came quickly, as D and I were exhausted and mildly stressed (remember on top of all this baby drama we are also in the middle of construction on the outside and inside of our house). We loaded our car with everything we would need should we be bringing home a baby early...diaper bag, mom's hospital bag, dad's hospital bag, car seat...the works.

Once we got to Columbus we did what any expecting couple in our situation would do...we had Chick fil a for lunch and then headed to the hospital!

We had a fetal eco cardiogram first and then met with a pediatric cardiologist. The ultrasound tech was very knowledgeable and spotted Henry's problem immediately. Within the same breath as spotting the problem she reassured us that Henry would be ok, for which we were extremely grateful. We finished the eco cardiogram and then waited for the cardiologist.

Dr. Wilson, the pediatric cardiologist diagnosed Henry with Premature Atrial Contractions or PAC. Essentially Henry's heart has an electrical misfire at causes premature or extra beats in the upper chambers of his heart or atria. These extra beats throw off the rhythm of his heart and can cause the lower chambers of his heart to "stumble" when it is their turn to beat resulting in an arrhythmia. More than likely little H will out grow this condition during childhood BUT if he does not it should not interfere with his overall health and well-being.

For the remainder of my pregnancy (which is only 3 weeks!) I will be visiting the doctor 2-3x per week to monitor Henry's heart rhythms. There is a slight concern that the extra beats could cause Henry's heart to go into a too fast regular or irregular rhythm. In that case we would deliver him  (at this point he is ready, just fattening up) and he would be given medication to regulate his heartbeat.

After Henry is born we will continue to monitor his heart with another eco cardiogram and a few other non-invasive tests. Our family doctor will be working with Dr. Wilson in Columbus to ensure that Henry is well cared for.

While D and I are completely reassured that Henry is healthy and going to be ok, I can't help but worry just a bit about his little heart. It is painful for me to listen to his irregular rhythm several times a week on the monitors because it just sounds like he is working extra hard. However I am so relieved that prognosis is excellent and that while it sounds awful on the monitors Henry's heart is ok. will all have to forgive me for not returning phone calls and for late baby shower thank you notes. It has been an extremely long few weeks at casa de Sullivan and my heart and mind have been elsewhere. : ) 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Don't tell my heart...

The story of Henry's achy breaky heart...
A few weeks ago during a routine visit to my doctor a midwifery student was having a hard time finding Mr. Henry's heartbeat. I breathed slowly and confidently because he was moving like crazy and attributed her lack of success to his bountiful movements. When she did find his sweet heartbeat it sounded like .... galloping horses, or a lopsided broken record, or the little engine that "could" going up hill. My momma ears immediately perked up and I knew something was not quite right. I had the student go get the midwife to listen. The midwife said that his movements made the heartbeat sound funny and not to worry. I was not completely satisfied with her response but left the office and tried not to worry.

The following week Henry had a sharp decline in movement. Our kitchen and family room ceiling had just been repaired, dust was EVERYWHERE, and I was struggling with my asthma. My family doctor treated my asthma symptoms and sent me to the OB's office for a  fetal non-stress test because little H wasn't moving as often as he had been. "The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes" - American Pregnancy Association

Long story, short, the minute they attached the heart rate monitor to my belly I heard ... galloping horses, or a lopsided broken record, or the little engine that "could" going up hill. The nurse heard it too. After a few minutes the midwife came into the room to adjust the belt. A few minutes later the OB came into the room to listen. A few minutes later D was called from work because something was wrong. Henry had failed his non-stress test. He wasn't moving as often as he should and he had some kind of heart arrhythmia.

We were sent back immediately for an ultrasound, where we found out that he weighed 5lb 8oz and was considered to be in the 49th percile : ) The ultrasound showed that Henry was indeed ok and his lack of movement was attributed to my difficulty in breathing. To be honest, D and I don't recall if his skipped heart beats or arrhythmia was addressed at this time. We were so relieved that he was ok we forgot to ask.

The following week (5/1) I was back in the office for a previously scheduled ultrasound to monitor growth. D was not with me because we had had 10 ultrasound at this point and this was appointment was supposed to be completely routine. I was casually chatting with the ultrasound tech as she waved the wand across my belly to document Henry's heartbeat and then stopped. We both heard the, now familiar to me, sound of ...galloping horses, or a lopsided broken record, or the little engine that "could" going up hill. I told her I had now heard this irregular beat 3x in the past 3 weeks and was concerned. We had had so many ultrasounds, if something was wrong we would know right? She said yes and then checked his umbilical cord pulse which showed the same ...galloping horses, or a lopsided broken record, or the little engine that "could" going up hill rhythm. THEN she told me that my amniotic fluid level was considerably lower than last week. That coupled with the arrhythmia lead her to consult with the doctor while I waited in the ultrasound room sweating bullets.

My OB wanted me to do another non-stress test, which I did, and failed. Henry most certainly had an irregular heartbeat and there were times when his heart rate would drop or "decel." My OB decided it was best for me to go to the hospital to be monitored for a few hours to discern what was going on with Henry's heart. In an effort to be brave I hadn't called D up until this point. When the nurses asked if they could call my husband for me, I lost it. Clearly something was wrong if I was going to the hospital and the nurses were offering to call D.

I went across the street to the hospital and up to labor and delivery. My OB told me to go ahead and go up and not to wait for D to get there. A few quick minutes later I was hooked up to monitors and D was walking in the room. I tried to update him but my head was spinning so we spent the next 2.5 hours simply listening to Henry's heartbeat, watching every decel, and discussing how weird it sounded. It didn't help that several hospital nurses commented on "the baby's impressive arrhythmia."
Apparently some irregular heart rhythms are normal for babies in utero but Henry's rhythms were more than the normal amount.

**This is becoming an novel so I am going to break it down into multiple posts.**