Kinsley Estelle June ๐ŸŒธ

I want to share a piece of writing that means more to me on this day than any other words have in my life:
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a motherโ€™s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.โ€  Ecclesiastes 11:5

I have no understanding, and there is no logic to what I feel, but if there is anything I am certain of, it is that she is ‘the work of God, the maker of all things.’


Welcome to the world, beautiful baby girl.

Kinsley Estelle June Hoebeke
06.25.17
7:37pm
6lbs 11oz
19.5 in long


 

Update

It’s Monday, and I think Nick and I were really hoping for a father’s day weekend baby, but she is still tucked away safely in my belly, doing her own thing with no real intention to come out according to any schedule we make.

That’s okay, though. The weekend was a little frustrating, because even though she obviously had no intention of making her arrival, she sure made it seem like she did.

I had an appointment on Thursday, June 15th where we underwent our second stress test and passed with flying colors. The doctor checked me for the first time and explained that I was 70% effaced and dilated to 1cm. She explained that while she has no special calendar that tells her when a baby will be born, based on what she knows and what she’s seen, she would say that Kinsley could arrive sometime within the next week or very shortly after.

To me this made sense. I was 37 weeks and 5 days at the appointment, and a week from then would put me at just about 39 weeks- a good time to have a baby.

She explained that if everything looked good and we were still moving forward without any real danger or complication, she was okay with talking about the possibility of inducing the last week of June, any time after my 39 week marker, which is June 24th.

I left the appointment hopeful that we could have a baby in the next week, but things seemed like they might be going faster than the doctor anticipated when I started having contractions the following afternoon.

The contractions I had Friday were inconsistent and not painful, so I chalked them up to braxton hicks or maybe early labor, knowing that it wasn’t time for her to come yet. The following day Nick and I were up before 8 am and the contractions had already started by 7:30.

I kept a running list the entire day Saturday of each contraction and how long after the previous one it had occurred, keeping in mind that the doctor said if they are 5 minutes apart consistently for an hour or more it might be a good idea to come to the hospital.

There were several periods where the contractions were 4 and even 3 minutes apart, but they still weren’t super painful, and even after 45 minutes of contractions 4 minutes apart, then the contractions would suddenly be 7 or 8 minutes apart for the next hour, so I knew that things still weren’t as consistent as they needed to be for us to go to the hospital.

We decided at around 1:30 pm that maybe we should take the dog for a walk to try to speed things up, since contractions from 7:45am till 1:30pm aren’t exactly the most fun way to spend the first half of your Saturday.

We walked for an hour and a half and toward the end of the walk, especially when we got home, the contractions seemed to be stronger, so we decided we should go to the hospital and find out what kind of progress my cervix had made and if we were close to Kinsley’s arrival.

We spent the next 4 hours in the hospital. I was checked again, and to my surprise I was still only 1 cm dilated. The nurse explained after hooking me up to the monitor that while I was having a lot of contractions, no labor was being done on my cervix, so I wasn’t dilating any further. She told us that there was a good chance I’d been having contractions for so long because my uterus was irritated and I may have been dehydrated.

She had me drink two glasses of water and monitored the baby’s heart rate for a little while before offering us a solution.

She said that everything looked good but that these contractions were not active labor, so if I wanted to go home and be able to relax and get some sleep, the best thing they could do is give me a shot that would relax soft muscles like my cervix so that the contractions would let up. She explained that if the contractions were true labor then the shot would do almost nothing, and in two hours the contractions would return.

I really don’t like medicine of any kind. I’m really not into taking things that my body doesn’t create itself, especially when the benefit to taking said medication isn’t outstanding. So this was tough for me, but we decided that we really wanted to know if this was true labor, and the only way to do that was to have the shot and wait a few hours.

She put the needle in my left arm and whatever was in the syringe made its way into my bloodstream. Within 18 minutes the contractions had almost completely stopped. She unhooked me from the monitor, but not before telling me how absolutely adorable my bump is and saying five times how exceptionally healthy Kinsley must be because of the results she was getting on her monitor. She sent us home and told us that if the contractions started again and occurred 5 minutes apart and were increasingly painful, then I should come back, but until then drinking plenty of fluid was the best thing I could do, especially if I wanted the false labor contractions to stay away.

I wanted a chicken sandwich, so we went to BK and got one. Later that night I had a few contractions, and Sunday morning they began all over again just like the day before.

Since it was raining, and there was nothing we could really do outside, I decided to go grocery shopping, hoping it would loosen things up further and maybe the contractions would become real labor pain, but I had no luck.

I went to bed last night and woke up around 1:00 in the morning with really painful contractions that lasted about 5 hours, but were irregular so there was nothing to be done.

And now it’s Monday and I’ve had a few contractions but nothing like the weekend. My next appointment is Wednesday and hopefully then there will be some talk of inducing since they are legally able to this Saturday. The sooner we have Kinsley, at this point, the better, because Nick would really like to work 4th of July week for the overtime and holiday pay benefits, rather than end up taking it off for Kinsley’s arrival. Obviously he is prepared to do whatever, but the extra cash from working the holiday would be nice.

That being said, if we can schedule accordingly, it won’t be unlikely that Kinsley be born the beginning of next week. Fingers crossed that I can be induced as early as June 26th, one week from today!

We were totally ready for a father’s day weekend baby, and now we’re even more ready than before! 

Kinsley June, feel free to join us any time. ๐ŸŒผ

 

 

Baby Shower ๐ŸŒธ

So we (finally) had our baby shower today!

What a beautiful baby shower. I am in awe of the generous outpouring of love (and gifts- holy cow!) that we received today. The time and money that people put into this to make sure we had an amazing celebration did not go unnoticed. I could not be more grateful or have a fuller heart. โค๏ธ

The people who showed up to the shower today brought food & gifts & smiles & laughter & warmth, and really made me realize even more that I have the most amazing family. There is no doubt in my mind that we will have more than enough support if we ever need it. 

I’m so glad that all these special people were able to come together to help celebrate Kinsley June and our growing family. I could not be happier. 

So now we just have one thing missing: a baby! 

Any time now Kinny Jay- we’re ready for ya ๐Ÿ˜‰ (as soon as I get all these gifts put away! She is one spoiled girl). 

Update: Pray


 One week ago I began writing this post, when the expiration date on the milk jug in our fridge said 06/06/17. I kept thinking, how can that be…? However surreal, it was a fact.

That morning I poured myself a colorful bowl of Captain Crunch and sat down at the table, thinking about the fact that I realistically could have a tiny baby in my arms before the milk on the shelves at the grocery store became expired, and that was so strange to me.

Today is the 31st of May, and we are only 31 days from my doctor given due date. At any time during the next four weeks I could deliver my baby. One week ago that surreal fact excited me, but it doesn’t today.

This morning I sat down at the table with a bowl of chocolate chex. By the time I had finished swirling my spoon around in the white-turned-chocolate milk, the cereal was soggy and I was so filled with worry that I couldn’t eat it, so I poured it down the drain.

I kept thinking, how can this be…? However surreal, it is a fact: yesterday at Kinsley’s 36 week ultrasound, the doctor came into the room and said to Nick and I, “your ultrasound gave us an interesting surprise today,” and he described the potentially dangerous complication that was found.

According to the doctor, Kinsley will be a baby born with a Single Umbilical Artery or SUA. What this means is that Kinsley’s umbilical cord only has two vessels, a vein to take things to her, and one artery to take things away, where a normal umbilical cord is made up of three vessels total: two arteries and one vein.

Anywhere from half to two-thirds of babies born with a single artery umbilical cord are born healthy and with no chromosomal or congenital abnormalities. Of the remaining babies born with SUA, studies suggest that about 25% have birth defects, including chromosomal and/or other abnormalities. These can include trisomy 13 or trisomy 18, however, the most common pregnancy complications that occur in infants with SUA are heart defects, gastrointestinal tract abnormalities, and problems with the central nervous system.

The doctor explained that while it isn’t a normal thing, it isn’t the rarest complication ever to exist, and it isn’t super uncommon. He mentioned that sometimes these babies can be born with congenital defects like double uteri or two ureters, some babies can be born with organ abnormalities like having one kidney or three, or two where only one works properly, and other babies with SUA are 100% healthy as if having only one artery in their umbilical cord had no effect on them whatsoever. He said that in extreme cases, these babies are born with chromosomal defects, where they have more than one copy of certain chromosomes, like #13 or #18, in which case ultrasounds will pick up serious and sometimes fatal organ damage or delayed development.

Our doctor told us we shouldn’t be worried about those things because all of our ultrasounds have come back perfectly normal, and none of the typical symptoms of these abnormalities have been found on our scans. Typically, a baby with SUA that has chromosomal or other abnormalities will be born before 37 weeks, and will show signs like low birth weight, a sloping forehead, organ damage/extra organs/two few organs/organs in the wrong place, stunted growth, extra fingers or toes, etc. However, Kinsley is weighing 5 pounds 8 oz at 35 weeks and 4 days, which is one quarter of a pound larger than typical babies at 35 weeks, and much larger than babies with abnormalities.

The doctor informed us that since ultrasound scans are very good at picking up abnormalities, due to the fact that we have had normal ultrasounds it is likely that our baby will be born without any congenital or chromosomal abnormalities. Nothing is 100%, and we will not know for sure if she is completely healthy until she is born, but he has instructed us not to worry until then.


All of my remaining weekly appointments have been changed to include non stress tests (NST) which will take place at the beginning of my appointment. I will go in and they will put straps around my belly to monitor Kinsley’s heart rate better. When she is moving her heart rate should increase and when she is at rest it should decrease. If this is the case, the test results will be deemed “reactive” and no issues will be found. If not, sometimes further testing will be done to determine if she is getting the oxygen she needs from the umbilical cord despite it having only one artery.

The doctor explained that if it is determined at any of these appointments with non stress tests that Kinsley is not getting what she needs on the inside, they will schedule a cesarean and she will be born early to ensure she is able to get what she needs. He said it is common for babies with SUA to be born early, and by cesarean. In addition to that, my ultrasound shows that I have extra fluid, which may also cause me to go into labor sooner. He laughed and added that this extra fluid is also the reason I am measuring a bit bigger than most women at 35 weeks, and is likely the cause of most of my discomfort.



Before we left the appointment he assured us that babies with SUA are born healthy all the time, in fact, he delivered over the weekend with a single artery umbilical cord, and that woman’s baby was perfectly fine.

Of course, nothing is 100%, and that’s the thought that had me in tears on the phone with my mom last night as I told her the worst that can happen to this precious child.

Nothing is 100% is all I could think as I tried not to sob while chopping the vegetables for our stir fry last night.

Nothing is 100% ebbed away at my glass half full for the rest of the evening, even when Nick hugged me and told me not to worry because everything will be okay and he needs me to be strong for him too.

Nothing is 100% slammed around in my mind when I poured my soggy chocolate chex down the drain this morning.

One week ago I sat down hardly believing that I could have a tiny baby before the milk in our fridge expires, and that’s still a very real and strange possibility. Today I’m eating my breakfast with excitement and worry over when she will be here, and I’m praying, too- for her, and Nick, and myself.

I’m not praying that Kinsley June is born ‘normal’ because she is already whatever she will be. I’m praying that when she comes I will be ready for whatever that is, no matter what the outcome looks like.

I hope you’ll pray for us too.