6:30am wake-up call! I was completely amazed at how wide awake the kids were. Usually, they're slackers. They hate waking up early and getting dressed for school. Not this day! They were awake, dressed, and ready to go before me! It was actually kind of funny, they were rushing me instead of me rushing them. I know they couldn't help it. They were excited about finally having the chance to see Sophia.
In the middle of me rushing around to get myself ready, Angel made an early run to the store to fuel up the gas tank and grab the kids something to snack on while at the hospital waiting. This made things so much easier, especially since noone seemed interested in eating breakfast.
7:30am, my parents arrive. I'm so thankful for my parents. If it weren't for them, I'm not sure what I would do. We sat around and talked for maybe 15 minutes and then it was time to go. Out the door and packing the kids in Pappy's van. This isn't always an easy task. They usually sit and fight over who is going to sit where. Not today! Everyone knew right where they wanted to sit... no fights, no questions asked.
Angel and I hopped in the truck and tried to follow behind them. I can't believe how heavy traffic can be at 7:50. But after finally making it onto the highway, we caught up with them. Besides heavy traffic and a patch of roadwork, everyone seemed to be in high spirits.
Our first appointment was for 8:30am.... meeting with our social worker, Mindy. This woman is amazing. I thank God every day that we have her. If it weren't for her, I'm sure everything would be much harder then it is. We sat down and talked with her for about 30 minutes. During this time, we were able to get our birth plan set in place. I think it's a rather good one. And if there are things we would like to add to it, we can just let her know and we can get it added. I'll add Sophia's birth plan to the tabs above soon.
9:00am MDC meeting with the NICU team... this was the part I was dreading! I wasn't sure what to expect. None of my kids have ever been in the NICU (not that Sophia will be going there). We walked in the room, and of course I was a bit nervous in the beginning. But after sitting down and being introduced to everyone, I felt more at ease. I remember sitting down and thinking, "I hope my other kids are behaving." Now time to get down to business about Sophia. One of the doctors I can remember by name was Dr. Johnson! She was so very nice. We all discussed what was going on with Sophia and then it was Mindy's turn to speak. She filled everyone in on our birth plan. Noone seemed to object to anything. Moving on, Dr. Johnson started telling us about some things we can expect to see or hear during delivery. We were told that we're allowed to bring in our own hats for Sophia. But the best thing to do would be to have someone make them because store bought hats will be too big. I remember back when we bought hats for our other babies, they always seemed to be too small! How could those same hats be too big? My poor, precious Sophia :( They went on to tell us that there may be times when Sophia's breathing may stop. When I heard this, all I wanted to do was cry. Thankfully, I had 2 cans of orange juice and some cheez-its. They kept me pretty busy... or should I say distracted, during times that I felt that I had to cry. Before long, our meeting was over. Honestly, I felt relieved. I knew our special time was coming!
We came back down to MFM and my parents and kids were all sitting there waiting. Mercedes had decided that while we were in our meeting, she was going to the Gift Shop to buy her baby sister a gift. She wanted me to open it right away, so I did. Inside this gift bag was an adorable stuffed animal of a white-tailed deer. After a little bit, Junior seemed to be feeling a bit down and asked his Nanny to take him to the Gift Shop so he can buy something for his baby sister too. While they were in there, Angel and I snuck outside for a bit of fresh air and a few minutes to talk alone about everything we had been told. I could tell by his facial expression that he was hurting. I just wasn't sure which part of the meeting had made him feel this way. It turned out that it was exactly the same thing that had been bothering me... being told that Sophia may end up gasping for air. That hurts our hearts deeply. After a few minutes, we put ourselves back together and went back into the hospital. By this time, Junior had his gift picked out. And of course I was told to open it right away. So I did. This time, it was yet another stuffed animal, but this one was a gray squirrel. So cute!
10:30am our family visit with Sophia! My parents waited for us in the waiting room while we went back with all the kids. This was nothing new for Javier. He's used to this. He loves sitting back and watching his baby sister show up on the overhead monitor. Mercedes, Junior, and Jordan all got comfortable and sat back to watch. Mercedes had lots of questions to ask, "What's that?" "Oh wow, is that her heart beat?" "Oh my gosh, is that her arm?" She was absolutely amazed! The boys were all fairly quiet and didn't ask any questions. About 20 minutes into our ultrasound, Junior started asking if we were done yet. I'm not sure if he was getting antsy or just uncomfortable with the situation. Shortly after, the scan was complete and we had to wait for the doctors to come in with their findings. We were told that everything is looking good, but fluid levels are high (at 30). This made me nervous. I told the doctor how I had been having experiences with Braxton-Hicks contractions and how I have noticed that it is hard to breathe if I lay on my right side or on my back. He told me that the reasons for these things is because of the fluid levels. He told me that they could do an amnio reduction, if need be. But that if the high fluid starts to affect my health, we'll have to have Sophia early. This was something I absolutely did not want! With more pictures of Sophia in hand, we proceeded to check out and scheduled another appointment for 1 week later to check fluid levels.
I was so ready to get out of there! Before we left, we talked with Mindy 1 more time with the information on where to go to meet our NILMDTS photographer. We had some time left over so we decided to surprise the kids and go to McDonald's for lunch. I almost think that was a mistake! (lol) The line was so long. I took the kids into the PlayPlace while we waited for Angel to bring the food. Then, trying to get the kids out of the PlayPlace to eat was not very easy! After a little while, they finally decided to sit down and eat. They finished up with their burgers and ran right back in! Atleast we made it to our photoshoot location on time! While getting Javier out of his car seat, I noticed he had chocolate on his shirt. I was so upset! I couldn't get it out. I remember thinking, "Great! This poor woman is going to think that we let our kids go around dirty!" Nothing was ever said!
1pm family pregnancy pic time! We had such a blast. It was a bit chilly out there, but well worth it in the end. The boys ran around for a little, while I filled out a form and Kathy searched for a nice area for the pictures. Somehow between that time, Javier ended up with a scratch on his chin from a stick he was playing with. I remember hoping that it wouldn't show up in the pictures. Everyone seemed to have had a good time with the photoshoot. 60+ pictures later and we were done. We hung around for a few minutes talking with Kathy (the photographer). She apologized for everything that we're going through. She also told me that her first photoshoot with NILMDTS was with a woman that had an anencephalic baby. She asked if I would like to talk to her sometime. Of course I would! So I'm waiting for an e-mail from her.
Fast forward to today...
We went in for a 1:30 appointment to have fluid levels checked. Unfortunately, they're still high. But have dropped a little bit. I'm hoping that this means that Sophia is learning how to swallow. I guess noone will know for sure. All I can do is hope and pray that she is. We left with 7 more pictures of our sweet girl. I'll try to add some of these pictures later.
I think that's it for updates for right now. Time to get the kiddos in bed and settled. Thanks for checking back!