Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Isabelle's debut

Isabelle Claire Holt: born on May 23rd. Weight: 8lbs. 15ozs.  Height: 20 1/4 in

Isabelle's going home outfit from the NICU

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Isabelle update...

This will be a quick update... but Isabelle has arrived!!  She was born on Monday, May 23rd at 1:30pm.  She weighed 8lbs and 15ozs and was 20 1/4 in. long.   I had a very quick delivery which caused her to have some issues.  That night she was transported to the NICU in Pensacola.  I was discharged the next morning so I could be with her and Ryan and I are now staying in the Ronald McDonald house.  She is doing much better as of today.  The oxygen has been removed and she is keeping her levels high.  She is also feeding very well so we are hoping to be discharged by the end of this week. 
I will do a complete update once we have her safe in our arms at home.  Right now, I am going to go hold my little girl and do some mother/daughter bonding.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ready to meet baby Isabelle

Tomorrow might be the day.  We will know in the morning if I am too far along to be sent home.  My last appointment, I was 5-6 cm and tomorrow if I am a full 6cm then I think I will be sent directly to the hospital.  Ryan and I are preparing as if I will be 6cm since my contractions are getting a lot stronger but still not consistent enough to warrant going to the hospital on my own. 
I have thought about Isabelle all day today- not much different than any other day but we are now so close.  I am ready for this pregnancy to come to an end but I am scared and emotional to meet my daughter.  Those words are hard to say but my emotions are still raw.  I have had 5 months to come to terms with Isabelle's diagnosis and without a doubt, these have been the hardest 5 months of  my life.  I have dealt with every type of emotion possible and then come to find out they resurface and I have to deal with them again.  I often wonder what it would have been like to not know throughout the pregnancy.  How would this time have been different for me? What would my reaction be like after delivery? This pregnancy has been very difficult but at this point, I am thankfully for knowing.  I have been able to research (although that can be scary at times), I have found other families with children with DS (this has helped tremendously) and I have come to terms the best I know how.  Although I am scared, I am anxious at the same time to finally meet her and begin this new journey.
Ryan has been my rock.  I often wonder how he is dealing with everything because men are different.  He doesn't seem to express any feelings one way or the other like I do.  Once he came to terms and realized that this is the baby girl we were meant to have, he has never expressed any negative feelings/emotions and has just been anxious to meet her.  I am so thankful for him because his strength has helped me more than he realizes. 
I love Isabelle with all of my heart.  There is no doubting that.  I feel like I have already had to protect her.  We still haven't told a lot of people about her having DS because we didn't want to hear any opinions- good or bad.  (Although I am sure more people know than I actually realize).  We had already listened to some opinions that were too difficult to handle.  It makes me realize that I am Isabelle's advocate.  God has given her to Ryan and I and she is our responsibility.  That is something that I do not take lightly.  God must realize that I am actually stronger than I think I am because he has chosen us to be her parents and that is a big responsibility.  Although I am scared of our future, because I can't fully grasp what our future now holds, I know that Isabelle will be a blessing in our family- our entire family.
I am praying that if tomorrow is the day, that the delivery will go smoothly and Isabelle will arrive healthy.  She has a lot of people that already love her and are very anxious to meet her.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aiden's VPK graduation

On Friday night Aiden graduated from VPK.  He is now officially a kindergartner.  Well... he will be when I can remember to actually go and register him.  His graduation was too cute and we are very proud of him!
                                              Can you tell he is excited??
                               Daddy helping him get his cap and gown on.
                                                 Our proud graduate!!

Last day of school celebration...

On Thursday we started a new tradition with the boys.  We have decided that we will take the boys somewhere special to celebrate the last day of school.  We took them for pizza and then went goofy golfing.  The boys had a blast and it was great making some new memories.
        Right after pizza, we had to visit the pet store close by. It is the little things that make them so happy!

 Aiden talks about this bird often.  He would like to bring him home but I am not sure he would be able to save up the $1700 required to purchase him.
 Now time for a little goofy golf.  Aiden is getting a quick lesson on swinging left handed.  We learned quickly that we are not the best golf teachers.

                                                 Patiently waiting their turn.
              This is where Daddy's golf ball landed.  Stuck in the porta potty. Nice!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our busy week...

Isabelle is still hanging strong.  As of Monday, I was between 5-6 cm.  I have no idea what I am doing at this point.  You would think with my 3rd child, I would be a pro but not so much.  I was induced with Ethan (stubborn kid didn't want to leave his cozy bed) and with Aiden I was already in the hospital at the time of delivery.  So, with Isabelle I am trying to figure out my own body and know when I am in labor.  I assume I will know when it really happens.  I have been continuing to work especially since I am about 2 miles from the hospital rather than 20 miles when we are home.  I haven't been wandering around town as much in fear of my water breaking in public.  I have been told I should call and request some towels to be brought to my office just in case my water decides to break at work, but I can't seem to muster the courage to radio for someone to bring towels to a pregnant woman's office.  I can already hear the gossip!  I think I will take my chances.  My contractions are super strong as they should be at 5-6 cm dilated but they are still not consistent.  At my next appointment, this coming Monday, if I am fully dilated to 6cm then I will be sent to the hospital since it will no longer be safe for me to be walking around.  So I assume, if Isabelle doesn't arrive this week then we will meet her on Monday.  I am kind of feeling the pressure to have this baby since I have been told by a few people that this week works best for them but it doesn't seem like I have much say in the matter.  Isabelle will decide on her own when she is ready. 
This afternoon we meet with our Realtor and the new house is still going strong.   It is scary to think we are having a baby and moving all at the same time.  Surprisingly, I haven't been as stressed out as I thought I would be.  Trust me... I definitely have my moments and it still is early but so far so good.  Our families have been great and supportive so I know everything will work out in the end.
Ethan's last day of 1st grade is tomorrow.  He was so excited when he came home today.  He immediately had to show us his awards he received and all of his good grades.  He received a ribbon for making the A honor roll the entire year and he received a certificate for being at the highest level of reading.  He is now able to read books from the 2nd-3rd grade levels.  Smart kid!!  He is also testing for the gifted program at school.  I am not sure who or where he got his smarts from but we are proud of him.  My only worry is that I will no longer be able to help him with his homework.  Will I understand it?!?  He passed the first phase of the testing and now has one more phase.  We will be called sometime during the summer for him to test.
Ethan also has his last baseball game/ tournament on Friday night.  We have a bit of scheduling conflict for Friday night but Ethan doesn't want to miss his last game.  He has improved a lot during this season and wants to finish it out with a bang!
Our big boy Aiden is graduating from VPK on Friday night.  He has been very busy practicing his songs for us and giving us a sneak peek of what we might get to hear. 
I have been so busy or forgetful that I have yet to sign Aiden up for kindergarten.  I hope I am not the only one!!  That is now on my to do list as soon as I have Isabelle. 
So here is to a busy week and now praying that Isabelle decides to stay put so I can attend all of these events with my boys. 
Hopefully on Saturday, we can relax a bit because I am tired just from thinking about the next 2 days.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

At Peace...

*Blogger has been messing up on some posts... this post was actually written this past Wednesday. Not to confuse anyone with the dates.

This morning, I received a phone call from my doctor's office telling me where I needed to deliver Isabelle.   This decision was made due to how far along I am already.  But now that I know and everyone is on the same page, I feel at peace with this decision.  I am finally not stressing out which for me... is saying a lot.  God has protected Isabelle so far and we will not forget about her now.  I still remember at 16 weeks, being told about the DS and the heart defect and then hearing that there are a lot of things stacked against her.  The doctor said, we will be have to wait and see if she can make it through this pregnancy.  You know, ever since that appointment, we have gotten encouraging news and great reports from each appointment there after (and trust me... I have had a lot of appointments!).  At each appointment, we learned that things that they initially saw are no longer there or the issue has decreased so much that it is no longer a problem for her.  Our Isabelle is a strong little girl and a fighter.  She continues to amaze me and I know that she is going to completely change our lives for the better. 
I was at home sick today so I took a little time to read my devotional and of course, it talks about peace.  (Isabelle is going to have to hold off for a few more days because I am not capable of delivering a baby right now.  Whatever I have is kicking my butt.) 
Jesus Calling:
Thank Me for your problems (What?!? I definitely haven't mastered that yet... that is difficult to do) As soon as your mind gets snagged on a difficulty, bring it to Me with thanksgiving.  Then ask Me to show you My way to handle the situation.  The very act of thanking Me releases your mind from its negative focus.  As you turn your attention to Me, the problem fades in significance and loses its power to trip you up.  Together we can deal with the situation, either facing it head-on or putting it aside for later consideration.
Most of the situations that entangle your mind are not today's concerns; you have borrowed them from tomorrow.  In this case, I lift the problem out of today and deposit in in the future, where it is veiled from your eyes.  In its place, I give you My Peace, which flows freely from My Presence.
Isabelle, your family can't wait to meet you.  You have a lot of people who already love you so much!!

Is it time?!?

I have heard this phrase numerous times this weekend.  Is it time?!?  Are you about to have the baby?? 
This past Thursday night, we thought we were going to have to call the doctor and head in to the hospital.  My contractions were pretty close and I couldn't get them to settle down.  However, at the time I was by myself at the house.  Ryan had taken the boys to the baseball game and then stopped by the store for some dinner.  When he got home, I explained what was going on and his response... "but I haven't showered or eaten yet!"  Thankfully he was able to do both since the contractions started to subside.  I wouldn't want to inconvenience anyone else in the family.
The contractions seem to be worse in the mornings but today, I have been in a lot of pain.  I am having a lot of back pain but my contractions are still not very consistent.  I was induced with both boys so I have no idea what to expect if my body goes into labor naturally.  All I know is, I am not enjoying this back pain and my contractions are becoming a lot stronger/painful.  In the morning, I go to my check up and we will see if I have progressed any further.  I have finally hit the 37 week mark so I am feeling more confident that Isabelle will do well if we deliver now. Plus, I am finally getting over my cold.  I had to explain to Isabelle that Mommy couldn't handle delivering her while I was coughing up a lung.  I couldn't imagine being in labor with the way I felt this past week.  Thankfully, I am only dealing with a little head congestion at this point. 
There are a lot of changes going on in the Holt household.  Isabelle should arrive soon and we are in the process of buying a new (for us) home.  That's right, while I am on maternity leave, I will be moving and setting us up in our new home.  All while the boys insist on staying home as often as possible to take advantage of me being out of work for a while.  I am not sure how all of this happened but I now have to figure it out along with coping with a new baby, getting her appointments scheduled and learning exactly what I am doing and need to do for Isabelle.  Can you say stress?!?  But... I am excited.  We have wanted a newer home for so long and this has really just fallen into place.  I prayed that if this home wasn't meant to be, then things would not go smoothly.  So far so good.  We still have a lot to do before things are final and we need to actually sign the papers but at least we have the ball rolling at this point. 
Wish us luck!! Who knows... my next post just might be introducing everyone to our baby girl!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 36- Isabelle update

I had my regular OB appointment today and we found out that I am 4 cm. dilated.  I knew my contractions were getting a lot stronger!  Since I am in week 36, I can continue to work and just pay close attention to my body to know when to head to the hospital.  I am nervous!!  I was induced with both boys so now I am worrying about being at work or around town and my water breaks.  How embarrassing!!  Although if I am at work, then I am just about 2 miles from the hospital.  This would be very convenient. 
So, very soon we will be meeting baby Isabelle.  I better get busy and get the rest of her things put together.  I am a major slacker.  I did at least pack my bag and a few outfits for her so at least I am making a little progress. 
With Aiden, at week 35 I was sent straight from my doctor's appointment to the hospital and then told I had to stay for a week before I could deliver.  I hadn't packed a thing so Ryan had to bring me clothes.  I think he forgot how big my belly was because he kept bringing in my pre-pregnancy clothes.  I couldn't let that happen again.  Lesson learned!!
Tomorrow is my last high risk appointment before the delivery.  I love seeing Isabelle even if it is via ultrasound but I have about had all I can handle.  Now, we are just ready to meet her face to face!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Today has been a full day packed with church, family, food, and even a little nap.  I woke up with a sore throat and congestion so we were slow to get started this morning but we made it.   Two great ladies spoke during the service today about Motherhood and some of the trials we face so a lot of it really hit home.  They did an excellent job tag teaming. 
I feel so blessed to be a Mother.  Often times, I wonder if I am doing everything right, saying the right things, disciplining the correct way.  But then I get a little pat on the back every now and then when another parent compliments how well mannered they are or how they listen.  That is when I think, I must be doing something right.  Parenting is hard work but it is so worth it.  I am blessed with two loving, funny boys who keep me on my toes and bring a lot of laughter into my life and a little girl on the way.  These children have changed my life so much already and I can't wait to watch them grow and reach milestones that will form them into the adults they are meant to be.
This morning I woke up to breakfast in bed and this...
(Hopefully Ethan drew me as a pregnant Mommy and that explains the really big dress!)
I found out that the boys wanted to wake me up at 5am to deliver my breakfast so thankfully Ryan was able to push the time back a few hours.  Also, they mentioned making pancakes, bacon, eggs and sausage for breakfast which made my stomach turn so last night I asked Ryan to try and convince them to make a lighter breakfast.  So, I ended up with yogurt and oranges.  It was definitely a nice treat!!
Soon I will be a mother of three.  We are all getting excited to meet Isabelle.  Tomorrow I have my appointment with Dr. E so we will learn where we are with the pregnancy and when she might make her debut.  Although my body is definitely feeling some changes, I am glad she is staying put.  The longer she stays cozy in my belly, the stronger she will be. 
And to my Mom (aka Nana), I want to thank you for being a great role model for me.  You have always been there for me through the good times and bad.  I am blessed to have you in my life and thankful the boys get to experience your love like I have.  I am excited for the influence you will have on Isabelle and the opportunity to help show her how to grow into a loving, Godly woman.  She has already touched each of our lives so much and I know that you have loved her unconditionally from the moment we told you we were pregnant.  For that,  I am forever grateful.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wow!! I never saw that one coming...

Yesterday we had Isabelle's 35 week cardiology appointment and things are looking great.  We didn't receive any different news from our last visit but it was nice to get confirmation that we are dealing with the best case scenario when it comes to the AV canal defect. 
On to more interesting news... I was caught off guard when Isabelle's cardiologist explained that my blog has apparently caused quite an stir which is hard for me to grasp since my blog is strictly about my children and my feelings in dealing with Isabelle's diagnosis.  This blog has never (nor will ever) be used to bash or speak unkindly towards anyone.  I trust each and every one of my doctors and have faith that they know who and where will give Isabelle the best care during and after her birth. 
This blog has been a tremendous help to me and almost like free therapy.  These days, I am able to express my feelings better through writing than I have been able to verbally.  However; I can't afford for my words or feelings to be misconstrued and have an affect on Isabelle's care or even possibly the hospital that will deliver her.
I am going to continue to write about Isabelle especially when I feel the need to express my feelings/emotions but I might hold off on posting until after she is born.  She is my number one priority at this point. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What is Mommy thinking?!?

So this afternoon, Ryan and I went to speak with a Realtor about a house we are interested in.  Can you say crazy?!?  Like I really need to add more stress into the mix right now.  I am currently trying to keep Isabelle content at least until Saturday (36 weeks) and at times, she is not cooperating.  Now, we are going to possibly put an offer on a house.  I have mixed emotions right now about the house.  While I am excited that we found a house that fits our needs and is quite a bit larger than the house we are currently in, I am so nervous about the timing.  Plus, we are looking at keeping our house as a rental.  Yikes!!  While this is ideal, again this is very scary to me.

All I know is that I have 3 boys that are very excited about the possibility of us purchasing this house.  At this point, I am out numbered but like always, I am worrying enough for all of us. Don't get me wrong, I am super excited for the possibilities.  This house is large, lots of storage, newly remodeled and has a big back yard.  It even meets the conditions Ethan has on us purchasing a new home: 1) he must be able to stay at the same school and 2) all the bedrooms are on the same level. 
I pray that if this house is meant for us, then all of the doors will open and this process will run as smooth as possible.  If the timing is not right and this house isn't meant to be,  then I pray the doors will close and we can move on. 
We should know something by Thursday so we are keeping our fingers crossed and excited to find out the outcome. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Turkey Creek

On Sunday, we had some family/pregnancy photos taken.  I can't wait to see how they turned out!!
We went to Turkey Creek for the family photos and the boys couldn't resist dunking their heads in the water (with a little help from Daddy).

And here is Mommy and Baby Isabelle...