3 Years Ago Today

At 6:23PM, I delivered Kyle via emergency c-section, after days of struggling to keep him in. I don’t remember his birth (I was put to sleep), my recovery was a complete nightmare, and he spent 6.5 months in the NICU before ever coming home. But I’d do it all over again, just to see his smiling face every morning. I’m so thankful to have him, and despite how difficult this week is for us every year – I know that I always have something special to celebrate at the end of it. And that’s that he survived all the odds, most likely with the strength of his little angel, Konner, that watches over him, and he’s still with us today.

Please light a candle today to remember Konner, and say a prayer thanking God giving us Kyle, as well as this blessing still growing inside of me.

Christmas is Coming!





Karl and Kyle set up the Christmas Tree today. Karl actually put it on our bedroom so that I could enjoy it with them. Kyle got to hang several little ornaments along the bottom. All the while saying, Wow, Oooh, Yeah, and so on. This is the first year that he’s really taken an interest in Christmas or even the tree. So I’m thinking this is going to be a great year for him. He’s already got a jump start by learning Jingle Bells, so sweet.

Kyle also got to tour his new school this past week. Karl met with the Director and District Nurse. Everything went great, and Kyle played like a big boy during the meeting. They go back for evaluations with the PT, OT & ST groups on December 6th. It seems so real, my little boy is going to start school!

As a little school gift, mommy has ordered him a very special something, to be given on his birthday. Using most of it will be limited to play indoors until the spring comes, but I know it will be special none the less. We bought him the complete Kidorable Frog Collection. Boots, Hat, Umbrella, Raincoat, Backpack & t-shirt. He watches this little show called Jack’s Big Music Show on Noggin, it’s all about music and learning. Anyway, his favorite singer, Laurie Berkner, does a song called Boots. During the song, they feature Frog Rain Boots. Kyle LOVES it. He yells, Hop, Hop, and will being hoping or dancing around. He also stomps and acts like he’s splashing. It’s just too cute for words. Well, I know he wants boots – so I was thrilled to find the exact ones for him.

To discuss his health for a moment. It seems he has picked up a stomach virus somehow. Karl had to take him to the Pedi on Wednesday, and if things haven’t cleared up by Monday, we’ll have to schedule him in again. However, he does seem to be doing better than the other day. He’s stopped throwing up, but we’re still working through the loose stool issues – or should I say poor daddy is. :( I have to be a little careful around him, to avoid getting sick myself.

This picture is a little older, but it’s from the first snow.

And one more, just because.

Pregnancy News…
Well, you’re going to have to get this info on another site. I wanted to keep this blog dedicated to Kyle. So, we’ve set up a blog for baby. You can access it at the following link:

http://knoernschild.aboutmybaby.com/

We’ve loaded in some pictures, and added another update there. We have many more pictures to scan, convert and upload, but I can only ask so much of Karl at a time. He is truly the best man in the world. I don’t know how he’s managed to do as much as he has thus far, but I can’t thank him enough for caring for both Kyle and I.

More news from the homefront

Next week is Kyle’s big week. He gets to meet with the Early Intervention School Director and get to tour his new classroom. Karl will be meeting the director and nurse to go over Kyle’s general history, basic needs, etc. There’s another meeting scheduled in early December for evaluation and placement purposes.

Kyle seems to be quickly getting around his limitations. The other night, he managed to pull out several dresser drawers, positioning them like stairs, and begin scaling them. Karl pulled him away before he got up to the second set, LOL. He’s also on a talking streak lately. Learning several new words and sound combinations every day. Books still seem to be among his favorite toys, particularly his Big Baby Book.

Today he did the CUTEST thing. I was laying in bed watching the end of Bringing Home Baby, and the mom and dad were giving their baby a kiss. Kyle was next to me, and crawled over and gave me a great big kiss – I just wanted to cry, it was so sweet :)

One of the moms from my Mothers & More group dropped off dinner tonight, and has offered to pick Kyle up on occassion for playgroup in the neighborhood. In addition, one of my neighbors has also offered to pick him up from time to time, to come down and play at their house. I was so thankful for their offers. I know Kyle will really enjoy getting out to play with other kids. I feel horrible that he isn’t able to do much, in the way of out of home activities or getting to see other kids. Fortunately, Karl is working from home full-time now, and his mom has come up a couple times – spending several days to help out. At least I know Kyle is getting enough quality playtime and attention here in the home.

Pregnancy News

Last Friday, due to an overwhelming number of contractions, the Peri put me on Indomathicin to help break through the contractions and give me a little relief. They also ordered up contraction monitoring. I did have some relief through the weekend, but the contractions started up strong again yesterday. Today I had 9 contractions in 2 hours, then I’ve had about 3/hour since. Fortunately my cervix is holding strong, but it’s enough to cause concern. At today’s appointment, the Peri decided to put me on a terbutaline pump. My home nurse comes tomorrow to give me my 17P shot, and I think she’ll have the pump with her. If not, that will be set up on Thursday. I’ll continue with the 17P shots until I reach 36 weeks, regardless of the use of terbutaline.

We opted for the terbutaline pump this time, because the pills proved to be inconsistent, as they are only as effective as your system processes it. In my case, they were wearing off before it was time for the next pill. In addition, I had alot of chest pain from the spikes as a new dose was delivered every 4 hours. With the Pump, I’ll instead have a low, continuous stream of medicine pumped in via needle, under the surface of the skin. The continuous flow minimizes some of the risk/side effects often felt in using the pills. It’s also a consistent dose, but if I do have breakthrough contractions, I’ll be able to press a button so that a bolus dose is delivered immediately. Pump doses can also be monitored and adjusted easily vs. pill form that’s dependent on the pre-manufactured dose. Procardia was another option, but since I’ve been on bedrest, my blood pressure has been pretty low (90s & low 100s over high 60s/low 70s). The doctor expressed a concern about having a negative response/increased risk, since the drug is intended for treating hypertension (high blood pressure).

In general pregnancy/OB related news… I’ve lost a couple more pounds this month. So I’m back to being 10lbs under my prepregnancy weight (I had gained back 2.5 of that in the month prior, now negated from the loss). It doesn’t really seem to matter what I do, I can’t gain anything substantial. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be affecting the baby at all. They’re doing regular growth scans to ensure that baby progresses as they wish. Right now he’s measuring nearly a week ahead, so that’s reassuring. However, I’m measuring 32-33 weeks at only 23 weeks along. That’s a little frightening. Still no explanation for the abnormal growth, they’ve just chalked it up to an anomaly. I go for my Gestational Diabetes test in two weeks. The dr doesn’t see any reason why I won’t pass. Which is reassuring, because I don’t need any more bad news.

In conclusion, I will continue to see my OB every two weeks, and my Peri twice/week. Hopefully the Peri will change to one time per week soon, because admittedly, all these appointments take alot out of me. But I know it won’t change until they’re comfortable knowing that I’m not at risk for cervical change, and not until my contractions are under control.

Halloween, Progress & Pregnancy Woes



Kyle was so interested in Halloween this year. As every treater came to the door, he had to check them out with a big grin on his face. He was even trying to reopen the door after they left (scary, since he can unlock the door too now). Most of the night, he sat perched near the front door, staring out the sidelights, or in the front dining room, looking out the window. He just had to be part of the action. He also got to go down part of the block to hand out cards and stickers to his little friends. Here he is in a little overall outfit I made for him, in “Ugly Doll” fashion.

Progress
Kyle is making some great strides in development again this week. He’s been trying to let go of things and stand on his own, but still gets a little scared. Well last night, he kept going from sitting to almost standing upright, over and over again. He was so proud of himself, as were we. It was hard to get pictures of him doing that on the camera, so I don’t have any to share :(

He’s also continuing to work on sounds and words. The latest addition is Box, quite a complex word for him, but he really loves “K”-like sounds, and X is a good substitute for K. And of course hearing him sing Old MacDonald is just the cutest thing ever. E, I, E, I, O – Duck, Quack Quack. He’s just so cute!!!

Kyle is getting better at following commands, particularly cleaning up, and bringing items to mommy. He used to pick his toys up constantly, but got out of the habit, so it’s nice to see that returning. He also helped daddy put all of his clean clothes in the basket. In addition, he’s getting more coordinated in helping to put his clothes on and take them off. He can’t put his socks on, but he will set them on his feet. And he loves doing the velcro on his shoes. His other big responsibility is helping with his medicine. He’s such a big boy now that when we hook up the syringe to his feeding tube, he insists on pushing it down, LOL. He also knows how his tubing connects to his feeding pump, but he isn’t strong/coordinated enough to open the feeding cap, and insert the tube properly, so we still help. I’m so proud of him!

Pregnancy Woes
Well, at my Perinatologist appointment on Friday, we found out that my cervix had shrunk from 5cm to 3.7cm in 3 weeks. 3.7 is still within the range of normal, but the drastic change was a bit of a concern. In addition, I’ve been averaging around 20 contractions per day, plus general BH irritation contractions. Activity picked up on Saturday night, despite being on modified bedrest. The baby dropped low and was kicking my cervix, causing more contractions than normal. They were timing around 15min apart, so we called L&D and off we went. Once there, they manually checked my cervix, which hadn’t noticeably changed (thank goodness). So they put me on fluids and gave me an ambien to help me rest. The contractions at first were sporadic but close, some 5min apart, some 15, some a little more. But given that it was more than just irritation (Braxton Hicks) contractions, my OB kept me overnight for observation. They released me the Sunday morning on complete bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy, or until they decide otherwise.

So, I’m 22 weeks, and on complete bed rest – which isn’t easy to accept having a toddler, but we’ll do what we must. My Mother in law has offered to come up and stay with us for a little bit, and should be arriving today. After she’s gone, we’re going to work with friends/neighbors to come in on Tuesdays & Thursdays to help out. Karl works from home the other days, so it’s not going to be as terrible as it could be. In addition, the wonderful moms from my Mothers & More group have offered to bring in dinner one night a week. The support is just overwhelming, and I’m so thankful to have friends to help, since I don’t have family in the immediate area.

My only major concern, is that Kyle starts EI Preschool in January (4, 1/2 days/week) I just want to make sure he’s getting the care/attention he needs in that area. And unless we can get the school director and nurse to visit us here, Karl will have to do all of those planning meetings, plus the evaluations with the therapists without me. I’m confident that he can, it’s just that this has been my hands on area, so I’m nervous.

When Life Gets Ahead of You…

When life gets ahead of you, you just don’t take the time to post updates. I’ve received more emails than I can count over the past few months, asking for updates. I’ve responded to most by email, but I must apologize for the lapse in updating.

Things have been going very well here with Kyle. He’s grown so much, currently around 34lbs, and somewhere in the 37-38″ range (it’s been a while since we’ve checked height). When I look back at his weight this time last year, Kyle’s gained more than 10lbs. He’s now filling out the length in 3T clothing, but his waist needs adjusted (I’m so glad they sell pants that you can adjust). I really can’t get over the growth. This time last year, I bought his first size 18-24mo outfit, and it was baggy on him. By spring we were just needing 2Ts, and I thought for certain, given that I had to cuff them twice, that we would be in them through this winter. No such luck, so Mommy has been on a shopping spree getting his cold weather wardrobe in order. And cold it is!

Speaking of Mommy, it seems that Kyle is going to be a big brother, but I’ll post more on that below.

Catching up is the Game of the Day
Because Kyle missed his big developmental milestones at age 2, we seem to be well behind the development curve. However, each day we’re adding more repitition to learned words, and he can now phonetically pronounce more than half of the alphabet. This is a huge accomplishment, given that Kyle never developed the proper oral muscles that normally develop with eating. Eating is still at a stand still, nothing by mouth – but he will mimic eating sounds and expressions, play with some foods, and pretend feed his little people and stuffed animals.

Kyle is still not walking or standing independently, but we’re so close. On the standing front, we’ve managed to get him to stand solo, without him knowing it on several occasions. But as soon as he realizes what is going on, he sits down. We know he has the ability, particularly because he’s been going into a controlled sit from standing without holding on to anything for some time. For walking, we can now walk (sloppily) while holding one hand, and better with two hands. Kyle can also scale the stairs upward, then down by holding the ballisters.

Everything just takes so much time, but I know he won’t go off to kindergarten crawling – so I try not to get too emotional about it. It’s just hard sometimes when he’s frustrated and can’t communicate, or wants to do something that he’s physically unable to do.

School Already?!?!
In January, Kyle will be starting EI Preschool. Attending every day of the week, except Wednesday, from 8:30-11AM. The school is very close, and I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it. We meet with the director next month, then again in December before he starts. Kyle will go through the routine testing as well, to ensure proper placement. Class schedule is a bit more than I expected, but I’m sure he’ll have a blast – he loves being around kids. We’ll continue with his regular therapy schedule on Wednesday’s in home.

In other family news… I’m 20 weeks pregnant today!
That’s right, we’re excepting a new baby in March (due date 3/13). We found out at 18 weeks that it’s going to be another boy – his name withheld, because life needs a few surprises ;). He’s healthy, active, and already measuring a week ahead.

Certainly with another pregnancy, comes many – MANY concerns. Early in the pregnancy, I was having blood pressure problems, undoubtedly stress induced. Fortunately, my levels are better now than they have been since I was pregnant last. I’ve been experiencing more braxton hicks contractions as the pregnancy progresses. With a few days consisting of 15-20 episodes, which can be frightening as I remember how things progressed before. However, the past week has been better.

Preventing, predicting, and managing pre-term labor has been the subject of most all of my OB & Perinatologist visits (I see them every couple weeks). To help I’ve spent the entire pregnancy on restricted activities (not quite modified bedrest). In addition, I began taking 17P Progesterone Shots to help in preventing PTL from occurring. It’s proven to be 42% effective in delaying PTL up to 32weeks, and 30% effective for the duration of pregnancy. Those that do deliver early, on average show higher birth weights, and better lung development. Which is very promising, given my history. The drs said without it, I have a 75% chance of going into pre-term labor. I have a home nurse that also comes in weekly to deliver the shots, and see how I’m doing. Should anything change, I’ll be put on contraction monitoring and issued a terbutaline pump (vs pills last time). But so far, despite increasing BHX, I’m doing worlds better over my last pregnancy.

I do have one very big oddity the drs are watching closely. Like last time, I’m measuring way ahead of where I should be. At my 15 week appointment I was measuring around 22+ weeks. By 16 weeks I was 24 weeks ahead, and at my last drs appointment (19weeks), I was measuring around 26 weeks. My uterus is a good 3 inches+ above my belly button, and I look every bit of it, as I start to really fill out my maternity clothes. I can’t remember the last time I saw my feet while standing.

As far as pregnancy weight gain is concerned, mine is almost non-existent. I lost 10lbs early on, because I was so sick. So far I’ve only gained back 2.5lbs (still down 7.5 lbs). I was overweight to begin with, so the drs aren’t concerned at this point. Saying that I might only get back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time delivery comes. Which will be via c-section, due to having a vertical c-section with Kyle.