March of Dimes Monday- Guest Blogger

First of all, I want to thank Kim for asking me to share my story and for getting as much information together to share with others for encouragement in their own experiences with babies born premature or that had to spend time in the NICU due to circumstances. So thank you for caring Kim!

My name is Rebekah. My husband and I became pregnant with twins through IVF after several years of trying to conceive naturally with no success. After several weeks of morning sickness and a couple of scares with bleeding, I thought I was finally in the clear to enjoy a "normal" pregnancy at around 13 weeks. This lasted for a short time though! At 17 weeks I started noticing some pretty intense tightenings and low pressure. Even though this was my first pregnancy I knew this wasn't normal. I was seeing my Dr every 2 weeks because I was having twins and the mild complications from early on. I had an appointment at 19 weeks and mentioned the pressure I was experiencing. At this visit I learned that my cervix was a little shorter than they like to see at 2.8cm. I was also having mild contractions. I was instructed to start limited activity and resting as much as possible. That same night I went into the ER with constant contractions every 10 minutes or less. I was 19 weeks exactly. If you ever experience anything like this you know what a difference a week can make. Because I was 1 week short of 20 weeks, they would do nothing to stop contractions. I was sent home and instructed to call my Dr in the morning. When I went in the next day, my Dr measured my cervix again to see if the contractions I had been having had any affect on my cervix. It measured 2.08, so a little less than a centimeter lost in 2 days. I was diagnosed with Incompetent cervix and an irritable uterus. I was placed on strict bed rest and started taking medication to help control the contractions. It seemed to be helping and I was released to go home so I would be more comfortable, as comfortable as strict bed rest can be. At 20 weeks 5 days I had another trip to the ER with contractions and was sent home again with instructions to call my Dr in the morning. I saw my Dr. first thing that morning at 20 weeks 6 days. My cervix measured .67 and the membranes were bulging. At this point we only had 1 option and it was risky. We were told our only chance of saving our babies was an emergency cerclage. Most cerclages are placed between 12-15 weeks. The later in the pregnancy the more risky it is. Trusting our God and the wisdom of our Dr we went forward with the cerclage. I had no idea what to expect. The gave me an epidural so I wouldn't feel anything, but I was wide awake and very aware of everything going on. Even though a peace had overcome me, it was the scariest time in my life. The procedure went well, but the next 2 days would be critical. This started my hospital bed rest. I received steroid shots at 24 weeks to help mature our babies lungs. I was transferred at 24 weeks to a bigger hospital that would be able to better care for the babies if they were born early. We were monitored 2 times a week by a fetal-maternal specialist and watching my cervix closely.

At 29 weeks exactly, Haven and Jackson decided to make their arrival. I had been having contractions all day and the medicine they had been giving me didn't help this time. We had an emergency c-section. Haven Joy was born at 7:28pm and Jackson Levi at 7:29 on September 29, 2009. Haven weighed 3 lb. 2 oz., just under 16 in. & Jackson weighed 2 lb. 14 oz., and again just under 16 in. in length. They were both breathing on their own at birth, but needed assistance quickly as their tiny bodies were getting tired. They both were on c-pap for 2 days. By day 3 they were on oxygen cannulas and I got to hold them for the first time. They were on the cannulas for almost 2 weeks and were given caffeine. The caffeine affects the part of the brain that reminds them to breath on their own. Even though they were born 11 weeks early, they did amazingly well. We didn't have any major problems. They had the normal brady's and apnea that we had to get over and they had to grow and learn to eat on their own. They were fed through a gavage until about 2 weeks before going home. We started practice nursing and using bottles. This was the last thing they had to learn. Haven was released after 5 weeks and Jackson at 6 weeks in the NICU.

Today at 17 months, 14 months 2 weeks adjusted, Haven is doing great weighing 18 1/2 lb. and Jackson, very healthy, at 22 1/2 lb. We are still behind from their actual age but should catch up around age 2. They are so amazing and I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be their mommy.

Thank you Rebekah for guest blogging today!

This is another reason why the March of Dimes is so important! Please, if you can, donate. Click on the widget in my right hand side bar to make a donation. Thank you.


Bows for Maddie

I tried my best to get a good picture, but Kyndall was a busy body yesterday morning when I was trying to take a picture of her bow!

In Memory of Sweet baby Maddie. You can read her story here.


March of Dimes Monday

If you know me or have read my blog for a good amount of time, you know that I am a huge advocate for the March of Dimes. This year will be our 3rd year to participate in the March for Babies, and my first time as a team captain.

Why does the March of Dimes need donations?
-543,000 babies, or 1 in 8, are born prematurely each year.
-Premature birth is the number 1 killer of newborns.
-Premature babies cost ten times more than healthy babies.

The March of Dimes wants to teach moms to be how to be as healthy as possible during their pregnancy to cut the risk of have a premature baby. However, just because a mom takes her vitamins, folic acid, and omega 3 pills everyday, goes to the doctor for every appointment, exercises, and eats properly does not mean she will not have a preemie.

When a mom does a preemie or a baby with birth defects, the March of Dimes is there to help. They are currently working on how to spot the causes of preemie birth, how to stop preterm labor, and how to better care for preemie babies. They are also working on ways to detect and hopefully prevent birth defects, but its going to be a long process! Did you know that 70% of the causes of birth defects still aren't known? That's way too much if you ask me!

Now, I know you're wondering how you can help, right? Well thanks for wondering, because I'm going to tell you how you can! You can go to my team page: Team Kyndall, and make a donation right there! You can use your credit card or PayPal! How simple is that?


Sic 'em Bears

Today over at Kelly's Korner, her Show Us Your Life theme is Alma Maters(aka where you went to school.)

Well, if you can't figure it out from the title, I went to Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. Graduated in December 2005.

Mascot: The Bear
Colors: Green and Gold
Founded: By the Republic of Texas on February 1, 1845, making it the oldest university in the state.
Favorite Traditions: Homecoming, Sing, Island Party, and Diadeloso
Other facts: Since 1953 the university has hosted Dr. Pepper hour every Tuesday from 3 to 4 pm. Famous Baylor Alumni include: Jeff Dunham (comedian and ventriloquist), Angela Kinsey (The Office), Michael Johnson (4 time Olympic Gold Medalist), the members of The David Crowder Band, and Ann Richards (former governor of Texas). Parts of Hope Floats was filmed on the Baylor campus, including the Armstrong Browning Library.

Why I chose Baylor: Well, growing up in a Baptist church my whole life and seeing so many graduating seniors going there, I decided to look into it and fell in love with it. Well, that and my mom had bought me some Baylor things when I was super little.

While, I only spent 3 1/2 years there(yes, I did cram 4 years into 3 1/2 years. I took a lot of summer classes), I enjoyed 98% of my time there. My freshman year, I live in Collins, along with about 600 other girls. Sophomore year, I lived in Dawson, and my junior and senior years, I live off campus in an apartment. I made so many wonderful memories and friends while I was there. I remember one particular thing about my freshman year. It was a snow day so a couple of girls from my hall went walking(well more like skating) around campus.

I was not in any sororities and didn't do much outside of school work and go to sporting events. While we were not known for our football team back then, it was still loads of fun to go to the games! Homecoming was always a blast with the bonfire the night before and the parade the morning of the game. Chad and I have made it back to one Homecoming since then, but I hope to make it to another one.

Now that we have Kyndall, she has been Baylor-fied from the get go! She has been to a football game and has been to campus a few times.

Here we are next to Judge Baylor:

AHHHH! Sic 'em Bears!!


2 year old "well" baby and then some

Well, today was Kyndall's 2 year appointment.

Her weight: 22.08lbs, putting her in the 4th percentile for weight, also keeping on her weight growth curve since birth.

Her height: 33.5inches, putting her in the 37th percentile for height. She jumped up quite a bit from her 18 month appointment where she was in the 23rd percentile, and way up from her 12 month appointment when she was so far below the charts it wasn't funny.

Her head: 19inches, putting her in the 67th percentile. Big head means bring brain, right? :)

Her pediatrician also discovered she's got an ear infection, but we caught it early so he gave us an antibiotic to prevent it from getting worse.

And now for the "then some."

Look at this super cute pillowcase shirt!

And this adorable outfit! The pants are a little big, but we'll put a dart or two in them, and they'll be perfect!

I got them from here. Aren't the adorable!!!


Guessing Game

Wanna play a little guessing game?

Kyndall has her 2 year old well baby appointment on Thursday.

Take a guess at her weight and height!



Snow Day

Yesterday, we got an unexpected snow day!

Originally, my job was going to open at 10 since the local school that we follow for weather delays/closings was only going to start late, but the school changed their mind and closed- like everyone else already had across most of the state of Texas.

The snow day was good because it gave Kyndall an extra day to recoup from being sick. It also gave her a chance to run off some of her excess energy since we could let her go outside(which would not have happened had she had school.)

This time, I made sure to get a picture of her and me together in the snow since I didn't back in January.

Look at how big the flakes were! That's pretty insane when you consider I live in East Texas!

Of course, we did some diaper box sledding this time too. Kyndall would have gone up and down the hill all day if we had let her!

She wanted to go down her slide, but the steps were too slippery so Daddy had to help out.

She made it down pretty quickly, and cleaned off the slide pretty well too! When she got up, it looked like she was wearing white pants rather than black.

Kyndall's outlook on snow is 100% different than it was last year! Last year she didn't want to touch it, have anything to do with it, and wanted to go inside as soon as we got outside. This year, she can't get enough of it.
This morning, we walked outside and most of the snow had melted, and Kyndall said, "snow go bye byes." I think she was a little sad, but there's always next year!