Inspired By Bug

In 10 days, my beautiful miracle baby will turn 1 year old! I cannot believe how fast time has flown! He has turned into a kind-hearted sweet little boy whose favorite word is Mama. There is so much I want to write about him as his birthday approaches but that is not what this post is for. 

About three weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to take a leap of faith and start a business that has a good positive message and will hopefully allow me to stay at home with Caleb and his (hopefully) future siblings. So I did a thing…


I created an Etsy shop called Inspired by Bug. Bug is is our nickname for Caleb. I wanted to create clothing and merchandise with a positive message that would support and encourage others, specifically those within the Infertility community. Currently our shop is supporting NICU Awareness Month and donating 20% of our proceeds from our IVF/Infertility section to help support the doctor’s and nurses that care for these tiny miracles.


I am adding new listings everyday and have many things planned for the Infertility Line. One of them being Baby Dust. I purchased a Baby Dust ornament the Christmas before we transferred Caleb and I prayed that that would be the last ornament we put on our Christmas tree without a child. God answered my prayer. I want to provide to others that same hope and encouragement that that small ornament brought to me. 

Currently most of the items are seasonal, inspirational or NICU related however I have two beautiful designs in the shop specific to IVF and Infertility:

The support I have received from the blogging community is beyond words. I looked at my stats prior to starting this post and my blog has been visited over 100,000 times! That is insane! I am beyond thrilled that our story is reaching so many people and that we can provide a ray of hope (and a little humor) along this tiresome an often lonely journey. 

Please take a moment to check out our little shop. Follow us on Instagram @inspiredbybug and join our Facebook group Inspired By Bug VIP to check out deals and giveaways! 

I will not leave you hanging for so long this time! I will be back shortly to talk ALL things Caleb as well as our plans for a sibling! 

Also, our story will be featured on the Beat Infertility podcast on Oct 23rd. The podcast is available on iTunes (and I assume on Android related apps…I don’t know…what can I say? I’m a Mac!)

This is my friend, who has also struggled with Infertility, holding our soon-to-be one year old Caleb! Her shirt says “She Believed She Could and So She Did” and his shirt says “The Little Embryo That Could”

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Christmas Photo Shoot

I will admit it. I am a Pinterest addict. Guilty as charged. When we started trying for a baby, I pinned all kinds of cute things to do with the little one. Little artwork with tiny hand and foot prints, cute costumes to put them in and posed picture ideas for every occasion imaginable, just to name a few. Today I decided to do an impromptu Christmas photo shoot with little man with some of the ideas from Pinterest. Normally, I fail miserably at recreating perfection from Pinterest, but I get an A for effort! This time though, I might just call this a Pinterest win! What do you think?

Caleb Update – Eleven Weeks Old

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It’s been a while since I have updated! I want to get back into writing more but my little man has been keeping me busy and on my toes. It seems he learns something new every day. It is so much fun to see him discover the world. The other day he saw rain for the first time and just stared at the rain on the window from his car seat as we drove home. Then the following day he felt rain on his face for the first time. The look of confusion and amazement on his face was so sweet. He loves watching the ceiling fan and the way the light plays on the walls. He loves staring at the fire in the fire place and any shadows.

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He is a genuinely happy baby. We are so thankful and blessed! Every day he smiles and tries to laugh. At the moment his laughs kind of sound like cries and whines so if you aren’t looking at his face you can’t tell if he is happy or mad. He loves watching baby animal videos on YouTube. He smiles and giggles at them. He has also taken to watching the TV. At first we thought he was just staring in that general direction, but it has become quite obvious that he is actually watching the TV. He has a bouncer that has some toys hanging from it. If we put his hand in the loops on them then he will hang onto it and pull on the toys. He is also starting to discover his hands. He hasn’t been staring at them in wonder yet but he does clasp them together and intertwine his fingers. He makes repetitive motions with his wrists and he loves sucking on his hands. For the past few weeks if I have him on his tummy on my chest while I am reclined in a chair he will roll over and gravity will help him land in my arms. We have been trying to get him to roll over during tummy time but he hates it and just gets frustrated. Last night as soon as Chris put him on his tummy he rolled over for the first time! Of course I missed it and looked up just as he was on his back! We tried to get him to do it again but he wouldn’t. He just got frustrated and whined. He has been vocalizing more and experimenting with different sounds. Sometimes it sounds like he is trying to mimic the sounds that we make.

 

His favorite songs are Wheels on the Bus, O Come All Ye Faithful and My Favorite Things. He loves Peek a Boo and baths and being on the changing table (he just laughs and laughs). At the moment the only thing he hates is Tummy Time. He has slept through the night on two separate occasions. We give him his bath around 7pm and then he cuddles with me and I give him his last bottle around 8:30pm. We put him down in his rock n play in our room around 9pm. He has two different sleeping patterns. The first is he will sleep from 9pm – 3am then wake for a bottle then sleep again until around 6am which is when we wake up to take him to my parent’s house. The second pattern is he will sleep from 9pm – 12am then wake for a bottle then sleep again until around 6am. Either way he is only waking once in the night to feed. At not even three months old I will take that for a win!

Yesterday we put him in his pumpkin suit for what will probably be the last time as he is getting too big for it. I wanted to capture a picture of him wearing it and compare it to when we put him in it when he was two weeks old. The difference is huge! He is getting so big! He has a long torso like his momma so some of his 3 month clothes are getting a bit tight. He has graduated to some 3-6 months and 6 month clothes! He is also starting to outgrow his size 1 diapers! Looking at the comparison of him nine weeks ago, he looks so tiny!

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Speaking of size, he is in the 25th percentile for height and weight. At his 2 month appointment (9 weeks 5 days) he weighed 11lbs 14oz and was 22.75” long. He went from the 44th percentile at 3 weeks to 25th percentile at 9 weeks. I was concerned, but the doctor doesn’t seem to be.  Since we have been dealing with reflux, he has had a few days where he hasn’t eaten much and that can cause the decrease in percentiles. He was not a fan of his 2 months shots. He had several vaccines that were combined into one oral vaccine and three shots. He took the oral vaccine like a champ. The first shot he just kind of looked at us in shock, then second shot he started to scream, then the nurse quickly did the third and then ran out of the room. It took us a few minutes to calm him down. I think it was much worse on me than it was on him. He was lethargic and lost his appetite for a few days afterwards and it has taken us almost two weeks to get him back up to where he was feeding wise. He is now taking about 26oz a day in 5oz bottles every 3-4 hours. We upped his Zantac to 1.4ml twice a day and he seems to feel better. He isn’t arching his back, shaking his head and thrashing as much anymore.

The week of Thanksgiving I went back to work and because of the reflux issues the week prior my milk supply tanked. I was never able to get more than 10-12oz a day and then the reflux issues, stress and going back to work caused my supply to dwindle each day. It got to be too much for me to hook myself to a pump for half an hour to only get 1oz. I was at my wits end. It was causing me anxiety and stress and taking me away from spending time with my son. I made the decision to just stop. Since we were only pumping and not nursing it was a lot easier to just quit. My milk supply was so low that I was able to stop cold turkey. We returned the hospital grade Medela Symphony we had rented and that was the end of that. I felt a lot of guilt with quitting but I also felt immense relief. It was one less thing I had to stress about and it was one thing that I could control. Having control over that and choosing to quit made me feel like I had some control back in my chaotic little life. I needed that.

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I have found it harder and harder to be away from my little guy. I thought that each day and each week it would get a bit easier but it’s not. My mother watches him during the week which is more of a blessing than she realizes. It is so comforting to know that he is well taken care of and is being given the attention that he needs. Plus she sends me pictures and videos throughout the day which helps me and comforts me!

 


Last Saturday we took him to meet Santa! I was so glad that he didn’t cry or scream. Honestly he had no idea what was going on. He is very good about letting strangers hold him. I attribute that to letting him be around people and the public since he was 3 days old. Everyone loved his little reindeer suit and he got a lot of compliments!

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We took some pictures on Thanksgiving with both sides of our family! It was so wonderful to get everyone together and Caleb was finally able to meet his Uncle Rob! On Black Friday we went to a popular local farm and cut down our Christmas tree! This was a tradition we started two years ago when we bought our house. It was so special to be able to take Caleb to cut down his first Christmas tree!

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I think that’s all the updates for now! I promise I will try and update more often! We wish everyone a happy, safe and blessed holiday season!

Caleb’s Birth Story

As my little miracle is asleep on my chest, I thought I would take some time and finally write out his birth story. 

We had a C-section scheduled for 7:30am on September 25th. We decided the best and safest way for Caleb to enter the world via C-section due to the fact I had the worst polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid) they had seen in decades. I had over four times the normal amount. This caused Caleb not to engage therefore if my water broke there was a chance of his cord prolapsing and causing an emergency situation. In addition he was consistently positioned face up facing my left hip which would make a vaginal delivery difficult. 


My OB knows I have severe anxiety and she knew how much pain I was in with the extra fluid and since she was on call that weekend she said as long as we arrived after midnight on September 25th we could go ahead and do the C-section since I would be 39 weeks. On Saturday September 24th, my best friend and Caleb’s godmother drove 6 hours to come be with us for his birth and house sit our pets while we were in the hospital. 

Everyone anticipated that I would want to be at the hospital at exactly midnight. And that was the original plan. I got everything ready and decided I was going to lay down for a bit to try and get some sleep. For the first time in months I slept for a three hour stretch! Both Chris and Katie stayed awake and couldn’t get a wink of sleep. When I woke up, I told them it was go time and we packed up to head to the hospital. 


We arrived at the hospital around 2:30am. The nurse said that my OB had called about 8pm the night before to let them know her C-section might come in early. She knows me so well! I was taken back and hooked up to the monitors. They checked my cervix and I hadn’t progressed, still 1cm and no effacement. As soon as I was checked I started having contractions. Up to this point I had been having “uterine irritations” due to the polyhydramnios. They basically feel like contractions but don’t show on the monitor that way. This time they were showing. 

After a short while, a nurse came in and introduced herself and said we would be having the C-section at 5am. She started looking at my arms to start my IV. I told her I only had one good vein and it was in the crook of my arm. But they don’t like using that area. After several minutes of examining both arms she decided to use the one good vein. Around this time I started shaking uncontrollably. My arms, my body, everything was shaking pretty badly. My teeth were chattering too. I asked what was happening and was told it was the adrenaline from nervousness and knowing what was about to happen. 

As I was being given my pre-meds, which were anti-nausea meds and fluids, another nurse came in and said that my C-section would be delayed as there is one anesthesiologist on the floor and 4 women decided they wanted epidurals at the same time! Damn them! The nurse held off giving my the antibiotic as that has to be given within an hour of the C-section. So Chris, Katie and I continued to wait. We asked if Chris could do skin to skin as soon as he was born. They agreed. So when Chris dressed in his ghostbusters outfit he took his shirt off underneath so he could put Caleb against his chest. He accidentally put the nurses hat on which caused a laugh!

About 10 mins later, the nurse comes in and says okay, the women decided against epidurals, it’s go time! She pushed the antibiotics and we got up and started heading down the hall. About halfway to the OR, the phone rings and another nurse tells us to stop. One of the women changed her mind again! Come on lady!! So back to the room we went. By now my nerves are in full effect and the shaking is getting out of control. They can’t give me anything because it would make Caleb drowsy when he was born. 

Maybe another 10 minutes go by and the nurse comes back and says it’s for real this time and she wants to get me back there before anyone else changes their mind! I get to the OR room and get up on the table. I was most scared about the spinal block. I do not do well with needles. The anesthesiologist was a very nice and attentive Asian man. He talked me through the whole thing. It took a while to get me numb enough. I kept jumping everytime he added more numbing and then I would freak out and say I’m sorry!! Apparently my spine was tight so it took a little longer to get the needle positioned and the medicine in. One it was I immediately felt a warm sensation move through my body and down my legs. The nurses helped me lay down and I started feeling nauseous. My OB had to hold a bowl beside my head because I vomited a few times. 

Once all that was over, they brought Chris in. He sat by my head and held my hand. He had his phone out to take pictures. (I didn’t realize that he actually recorded some of it on video!) I felt so good after the spinal took full effect. I was so sleepy, I really honestly almost fell asleep. It was the first time in months that I was comfortable and not in any pain. I had to ask if they had started because I wasn’t aware of what they were doing. By the time I asked, they were already in! When they broke my water I could breath! I even kept repeating that over and over again which had everyone laughing. I found out later that they had to change out the suction canister because there was so much to water! One scrub nurse has been an L&D nurse for 26 years and has never had to change out the canister. Chris said it was like a fountain!

After I could breathe again, I was even sleepier because I felt so good!! The anesthesiologist continued to talk me through everything and told me they were about to push on my belly and get Caleb out. Less than a minute later I heard him crying. My OB said he was spunky!! He was taken to get checked out and weighed. Chris went over there with him. When I got to see him for the first time he was wrapped up under Chris’s ghostbusters outfit. 


Caleb Robert was born at 6:11am weighing 8lbs 2.7oz and 19.5 inches long. His first APGAR score was 8 and his second one was 9. 


It took less time for them to stitch me up than I thought it would. Soon enough they transferred me to a gurney and put Caleb in my arms for the first time. The spinal numbed my ring fingers and pinky fingers too so I was worried about him falling off. They wheeled us to recovery where I was able to get ample doses of morphine. I was told repeatedly to stay on top of the pain. 


I am not sure what time we were taken to our room (322). Katie was there waiting for us. The rest of that morning is a bit of a blur due to the morphine and exhaustion. Actually looking back, most of the hospital stay is a blur. Our parents came around lunch time to meet him. Everyone immediately fell in love. 


We had some issues breastfeeding from the start. He had a tongue tie and I have flat nipples so it made for a difficult time learning to breastfeed. He lost quite a bit of weight his first day, down to 7lb 7oz. Because of that we started supplementing. He had his tongue tie corrected and his circumsion on Tues the 27th. Because I felt so good, we decided to leave the hospital a day early. Recovery from my C-section was 10 times less painful then having all that extra fluid for the past few months. 


The past 7 weeks have flown by so fast! I can’t believe how big he is getting! I am so in love!

Our Miracle is Here!

Caleb Robert was born at 6:11am on Sunday September 25th, 2016 via Caesarean section. He weighed 8lbs 2.7oz and 19.5 inches long. He is perfect in every way. God couldn’t have blessed us with a sweeter child. I am planning on doing a post on his birth story and first week of life when I get a chance, but I wanted to update everyone on his arrival! Here are some pictures!

38 Weeks Pregnant!

Wow!! It has been a while! I can’t believe it has been 5 months since my last update. Life has definitely been busy and, honestly, making a tiny human is so exhausting that all I do is eat, sleep and work. So, what have we been up to? Quite a lot. 

Zoey Update:

Zoey is doing great since her surgery. The tumor was benign and there are no signs of cancer anywhere else in her body. She has adapted to being a Tripawd beautifully. She is always the talk of the town whenever we take her anywhere. 

Baby Shower:

My best friend threw me a beautiful baby shower at the beginning of July. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate Baby Caleb with family and friends. We were showered with love. 


Maternity Photos:

We went ahead and took them at the end of July and I am so glad we did! They turned out amazing!


Work:

Hubby was offered a new position within our company. He started his new position today and it’s nice to have a fresh start. He is also now working in the same building as me so when I return to the office we will be able to carpool which is very convenient. 

Pregnancy Update:

This is what you all have been waiting for. Currently I am 38 weeks 1 day! I can’t even believe that. It feels like it has gone by so fast yet so slow. We have had a few bumps along the way and several visits to L&D. 

  • June – I started getting faint and having heart palpitations. I was given an echocardiogram and had to wear a shooter monitor for 24 hours to see what was going on. Turns out I was throwing PVCs which is quite normal, especially in pregnancy due to the added stress on the circulatory system. 
  • July – I began experiencing severe pains throughout my abdomen and back. Very similar to gallstone or kidney stone pains. I went to L&D as I was only 28 weeks at the time. I wasn’t having contractions and the doctor chalked it up to gastroenteritis (it wasn’t). We did blood work to check liver functions and all came back normal. 
  • August – starting at my 28 week appointment my belly started measuring around 3 weeks ahead. Because I am a bigger girl, I didn’t really think anything of it. By my 32 week appointment it was measuring 36 weeks so my doctor decided to do a growth scan at 34 weeks. At that appointment, Caleb weighed 6lbs 14oz and had 33cm of amniotic fluid surrounding him. He was measuring at 37 weeks gestation. Amniotic fluids levels were high as hey are supposed to be under 25cm. 
  • Labor Day – I woke up to wet pants and was afraid my water had broken. Went to L&D and turns out I just peed myself and was advised if my water was to break since I have so much, it would be like a swimming pool. 
  • September 8th – at my 36 week appointment I asked if we could do another scan to see if my fluid levels were still high since I wasn’t feeling any better and still had a lot of pain. Caleb weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and my fluid had increased to 36cm. I passed my glucose tolerance test in June so I don’t have gestational diabetes which can cause excess fluid. At this point my doctor became a bit concerned and sent me to Maternal Fetal Medicine for a scan and consult as there can be issues with the baby that can cause excess fluid. 
  • September 13th – had my scan at MFM. Caleb weighed in at 8lbs 5oz and I had 32cm of fluid. So I am staying pretty consistent with the high amount of fluid and was officially diagnosed with polyhydramnios. Caleb checked out great. He is swallowing as he should be. There are no obstructions. His bladder and kidneys are functioning great. So I fall in the category of idiopathic polyhydramnios which means, they have no idea why I have it. 
  • September 15th – at my 37 week appointment we checked the fluid again. Sitting pretty at 34cm. Caleb scored another 8/8 on his biophysical profile. The tech said he is just happy as can be floating around in his own personal swimming pool. When we saw the doctor, we weighed the risks of letting my go into labor on my own versus inducing or performing a C section. The biggest issue with polyhydramnios, especially as severe as mine (over 35cm is considered severe) is that Caleb won’t engage himself into my pelvis. He will just float until my water breaks. When that happens, the force of the water breaking can cause his cord to prolapse posing a life threatening situation for him. In addition, he is also sunnyside up and no amount of trying to turn him is helping because of the amount of fluid. So when my water breaks and he does descend, he will be face up. Lastly, he is on track to be a 10lb baby. After weighing the pros and cons, we decided the safest way for him to arrive into the world would be by scheduled C section and we went ahead and booked the OR. 
  • September 18th – of course since we now have an eviction date scheduled for him, I wake up at 3am with incredible painful pressure and waves of back pain. After trying a warm bath and various positions, the pain wouldn’t cease. 6 hours later we called the doctor to see if I should come in and be checked then off to the hospital we went. I was only 1cm dilated and 30% effaced and the monitor wasn’t showing I was in labor. I have been having “uterine irritations”due to the excess fluid that do show up as small contractions on the monitor. We also found out my tilted uterus has tilted my cervix backwards which made the cervical check extremely painful. We were then discharged and sent home.

So that brings us to today! I am just counting down the hours until Baby Caleb’s arrival. He will be coming into the world on Sunday Sept 25th at 7:30am. I am just trying to take it day by day. We have the nursery finished and the house is almost clean. My mom is having some maids come on Friday to do a deep clean and get it nice for Caleb. 


I think that is all for now. Sorry the post was so long and scatterbrained but I wanted to give an update before his big arrival!


Pregnancy Update and ER Visit 2.0

So much has happened since the last update that I don’t even know where to begin. Currently I am 16 weeks 5 days pregnant with our little boy, Caleb Robert. 

  
My morning sickness has still stayed away. Thank goodness it wasn’t just a fluke. I have continued having itchy ankles, legs, arms and abdomen as well as restless legs. The itchiness got so bad that I finally caved and called my doctor a few days before our monthly OB appointment. It was preventing me from sleeping I couldn’t imagine waiting a few more days. I had tried everything. There was one night that I was laying in bed, encased by my pregnancy pillow, covered in calamine lotion with Vicks vapor rub on the soles of my feet with socks on them and frozen bags of broccoli covering my legs. Just to try and get some sleep. I should have had Hubby take a picture! Anyways, I gave them a call and left a message. I got a response that afternoon that they wanted to bump up my appointment to the next day because they were concerned about the itchiness. 

  
The first thing the doctor wanted to check at the appointment was the spot on my cervix they saw last time. Luckily the results of my Pap had come back and negative so there wasn’t too much concerned. Well, up in the stirrups and I go and guess what? The spots (plural) were still there. Smaller. But still there. She said they appeared to be filled with fluid and tested one. It contained tissue as well. She decided to take a biopsy of it right then and there. Yup. Worst fear of this appointment confirmed. That was not a fun experience. Definitely not something I want to do pregnant or not. Apparently I was bleeding a lot and she had to put some magic cream on it to stop the bleeding. Luckily, the pathology report came back the other day and the sample was normal! One crisis averted!

Now it was time to talk about the itching. Since I have a history of gallstones and the itching was mainly on my ankles/legs and wrists/arms, my doctor was concerned I have intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). Normally it shows up in the third trimester but it is possible to appear earlier. It can be very serious for mom and baby if left untreated, especially in late pregnancy. She went ahead and had some blood drawn to check my bile salt levels as well as my iron levels for my restless legs. Those tests came back normal, thank goodness! Want to know what the culprit was? We changed our laundry detergent from Ecos to Baby Dreft and apparently I am allergic to it. Once we switched back, within a few days the itching went away!!

  
Today, I called my doctor because I have had a migraine for 2 days and my pregnancy safe meds were not working. I was advised to go to the ER to get some medication to break the cycle. I met my husband there and was taken back fairly quickly. They were very nice and efficient and I saw the doctor immediately. He prescribed what he called “The Migraine Cocktail” which was all pregnancy safe medications. Pretty soon I was hooked up and given Reglan, Benadryl and magnesium. So shortly after the Benadryl kicked in the nurses came in with a fetal doppler to listen to Caleb’s heartbeat. Since I have one at home and I know exactly where he is, I advised them. Of course they didn’t listen to me. She tried for about 10 mins to get his heartbeat but couldn’t find it. At this point I wasn’t super worried because she wasn’t pushing very hard or in the right place. I even offered to do it since I know where he is. She ignored me. She had the other nurse go and get the ultrasound machine. She found him but in her words “I can’t find a discernible heartbeat” and proceeded to ask the other nurse if she saw anything. At this point, in my drugged stupor, I started to worry. A few more tense minutes (probably seconds) pass then I saw him move! Sigh of relief. She still didn’t find the heartbeat on the ultrasound but when she went back to the doppler she found it. I honestly don’t think she had any idea what she was going. When we got him I found his heartbeat within 10 seconds on our doppler. Definitely a great investment!

  
So I realize this long update is filled with drama and issues I have been having but in reality it has been a very positive few weeks. We got the mural painted in the nursery and got the crib built. We also visited my mother in law who broke her hip a few weeks ago and she gave us a load of wonderful things for Caleb. We have been doing a lot of housework and yard work. It has been nice to finally be showing and have a baby bump to rub! I will leave you with a few pictures of the nursery: