Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I want to document Hadley's few days on Earth for a few reasons. 1) I want to remember every detail. There are certain things I will never ever forget, they are seared in my mind. However, as time goes on, I know I will forget small details. And I don't want that. 2) I have heard from many people that Hadley's story is inspiring. This fills me with joy. A lifetime being Hadley's mommy would have filled me with more joy BUT....we must find and make meaning from things we don't understand. It's human nature to want to make connections and try and make sense of the unthinkable. If my sweet 3 lb beauty can help anyone, I want her to. There is beauty in her story and there are miracles present. I want to document some of those here. Miracles are not dusty old stories found in the New Testament, they are alive and real and we know. After all, we saw them firsthand...

Few people in my life know this, but we almost lost Hadley when I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was December 26th and the day before we had announced to my family that we were expecting. Talk about great joy! We were on a plane heading to Oregon to see AJ's family and were ready to give them the big news in person. I felt a bit off that morning (I have learned that anytime I feel "off," I should seek medical care. Lesson learned) and hurried to the bathroom before our flight boarded. My heart sank. There was blood everywhere. I started to shake and panic. I was miscarrying. I just knew it. I rushed out of the bathroom and shook my head as I made eye contact with AJ. I whispered to him, "I'm bleeding. I think I'm miscarrying. What do we do?" We both sort of panicked and got on the plane. Hindsight is 20/20....I have no idea what we were thinking even stepping foot on that plane. I was crying the whole time people were boarding and I crushed my face against the window and mourned the loss I knew was coming. The flight attendants went through the safety talk and then we noticed the blood was flowing even more. "That's it," AJ said, "There is no way we are taking this plane. We need to get you to the hospital." By this point, the plane was backing away from the gate. AJ jumped up and went up to the flight attendants. People were staring at this hysterical man and his crying wife. The pilot came out and we had to sign all this paperwork saying we were choosing to get off the plane by choice. The plane pulled back to the gate and I knew people were feeling both frustrated but also concerned for us. They got me a wheelchair and the flight attendants comforted me on the tarmac while AJ helped the pilot and luggage handlers get our bags. We began to race through the airport to get a cab to take us to the hospital. Suddenly, we saw our Pastor and his family right there in the airport. He asked what was wrong and I wailed "I'm pregnant and bleeeeeeding." He stopped in his tracks and said "Let me pray for you." I will never ever forget his words. He talked about how God is with us, how God is so big and can do anything. They said they'd continue to pray for us and AJ and I continued our run through the airport. We hopped in a cab and I can laugh now thinking of the poor cab driver's face as we told him our destination was the ER and I hysterically gripped my belly. Once we got to the ER, the doctors and nurses looked at us with knowing eyes: it seemed like a pretty typical early miscarriage. We waited around an hour, trying to come to grips with the inevitable. They performed an ultrasound and suddenly....thump thump thump. The sound of her heartbeat filled the room. Tears filled my eyes. The doctor looked stunned. "Baby is about the size of a sesame seed and I'd say the heart probably developed just a few days ago, but yes, your baby is just fine." I carried that memory with me the entire pregnancy. Our girl was a fighter. She liked giving mommy and daddy heart attacks, but she was there.

AJ and I are country music fans. Most often in my car I listen to country music (sometimes the occasional hits station or sometimes Christian music, but it's usually a country jam in my Corolla). One night when I was around 25 weeks pregnant, I heard a Dolly Parton song and baby girl went WILD in my tummy. I called AJ over and sure enough, he could feel her too. We tested it out with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, and a few others. Baby girl enjoyed those, but it was evident that Dolly was her most fave. We played the song "Jolene" for her all the time. If you aren't familiar, it's a classic number about a woman begging her man's mistress to back off. So totally appropriate for a baby in utero. A day or two after she was born, AJ, my mom, my sister and I all went to visit Hadley. AJ started singing "Jolene" to her and suddenly she began moving and grooving. She lifted her arms up (we had never seen that before!) and we knew she heard her daddy singing and recognized the tune. I will treasure that moment always.

The next miracle was that I managed not to go into labor after my water broke. The doctors told us that each hour I managed to not go into labor following our arrival at the hospital was significant. If I could make it 3 days with no labor, there was a great chance I could keep her inside until 34 weeks. Each morning the nurses would come in and update the white board on the wall: 29.3, 29.4, 29.5. Each morning was a victory! Before my hospital stay, I was in the trenches of an end of year school countdown. I wanted nothing more than to rush through the days and move on. Being in the hospital and waiting patiently for baby to cook gave me some much needed perspective on time. Each day is a gift. I will never ever take it for granted again.

On one of our last nights with Hadley, once we knew the devastation of her prognosis, they allowed us to hold her. It took four people and about ten minutes to get her situated in our arms with all the cords, wires, and medical devices. I began to cry big ugly tears over my daughter. I loved holding her more than anything in the world. I knew I could count on my hands the number of times I could hold her before she passed. Suddenly, Hadley began rubbing my arm. Now, to put this in perspective, I think I saw her move her limbs maybe three times total in her short life. This was one of those times. For about 5 minutes, our sweet girl rubbed my arm and comforted me. It was amazing. It was like she was saying, "It's ok, mom, don't cry. I promise you'll be fine." I know in my heart this was a miracle, a sign of comfort I will treasure forever.

My doctor has been a bright spot in all of this. In fact, I only met her the day I delivered. Being a hospital patient, you simply get the doctor to deliver who happens to be on call that day. Ours was a true angel for us. She was patient, and kind, and compassionate. She would come in each morning and check on me and also call us each evening. She tracked Hadley's charts and vitals from home and even still, she has called us a few times since leaving the hospital just to check in. She was the first person to see and scoop up Hadley and I will always be thankful for her role in our story. But the most special part is that she does research on maternal/fetal infections and told us that she is dedicating her life to learning more about conditions like Hadley's and our sweet baby's information will be beneficial to her in her studies. She told us the information she learns about my body, my pregnancy, and Hadley can potentially have an impact and save countless babies. When I learned that, I experienced a great sense of calm. How many 6 day olds leave a legacy on the medical field?

Another miracle has been the people affected by Hadley's story. There is no doubt I am a proud mom. I practically forced each NICU nurse to admit Hadley was the cutest baby they'd ever seen. Doctors see cases like Hadley's, unfortunately, all the time. Nurses do too. But something about that little girl sparked something in people that was nothing short, of well, a miracle. I would find nurses weeping over her bedside, doctors would tell us they'd go in her room just to see her, even though she wasn't their patient. I forged amazing connections with nurses who shared some of their personal battles and how Hadley has helped them. Since her death, I have received countless cards, emails, and messages of people sharing how she has impacted them. Maybe she makes you hug your kids a little tighter. Maybe she makes you realize heaven is closer than you've imagined. Maybe she makes you appreciate the tiny gifts in life. Maybe she makes you be a little kinder, a little gentler, because you never know what battles people fight. Maybe she makes you want to try harder, give it your all. Maybe she makes you realize the power of the human spirit and the will to live. I pray every day that her story means something to you. Her life is powerful. I know, I'm her mama.

The biggest miracle, for me, happened on Hadley's last day of life. After meeting with doctors, specialists, nurse, neurologists, neonatalogists, looking at charts, information, brain scans, the grim reality of what we were facing was clear: Hadley would not survive. Without going into too many details, her sickness was shutting down her organs, and to me, the most heartbreaking part of all: her brain had shifted due to blood in her head and she was essentially without any brain function. She would never walk, talk, breathe on her own. I asked if there were any babies sicker than her in the NICU and I was told there were not. Most of the specialists believed she would not survive much longer in the NICU. I asked, through breathless tears, "Will she ever be able to come home?" I was told no, there is absolutely no way. We had a decision to make. We could let Hadley "code" and pass through the inevitable medical emergency that could occur at any moment (her breathing tube came out one night when we were there visiting. It was terrifying. 7 people swooped in around her tiny body, monitors beeped and there was chaos in the room. AJ and I stood there, silent, numb, watching them resuscitate our little girl. It was like an out of body experience) OR we could remove her machines and hold her without medical devices and let her pass that way. AJ and I went for a long walk one afternoon when we were still in the hospital (well, me in a wheelchair) and we chose the second option. There was a lot of careful thought and input that went into that decision. That is a choice no one, especially a parent, should ever be faced with. We chose Saturday, June 18th as the day. The night before we went and bought her a new outfit (and I proceeded to have a full on breakdown in Buy Buy Baby) and spent time with her until 2:30 in the morning. I got to do mom things like change her diaper and comb her hair. Each week during pregnancy I wrote her a letter. I got to read every single one to her. AJ read her books and we told her about how we met, our wedding, preparing for her, what her nursery was like.  It was magical. Saturday morning arrived and the doctors informed us we would have about 2 minutes with Hadley. 3 minutes if we were very lucky. They told us we'd go into a private room with our family present. I would hold her while all her devices were removed. A minute later, I would pass her to AJ and shortly after, she would pass from this life. I was devastated. The allotted 3 minutes passed and the nurse came in to check her heartrate and declare a time of death. Except....her heart was still beating. I held her again and told her about a million times that "Mommy loves you" then everyone in our family held her. We all said our emotional goodbyes and cooed over how beautiful she was. The nurse returned. Hadley still had a strong heartbeat. AJ and I passed her back and forth and told her stories about her being in my tummy and all our misadventures as parents to be. I told her how I cried in Subway because they ran out of buffalo sauce when I was craving it. AJ told her about all the funny onesies he bought her and how he sang to her every night. An hour passed, still the heartbeat remained. We inquired how long this typically lasted and we were told usually a few minutes, one baby on record survived 4 hours. I winked at my "Hadmuffin," my Princess Baby. We were better than all those other babies, weren't we? Let's beat the record.....and she did. For FIVE HOURS our angel baby clung to life. She opened her eyes for the first time and peered at AJ and I (she had to see for herself who these two nutjobs were). She cooed and breathed and sighed. I held her every way I'd ever wanted to hold her. For five hours we passed her back and forth, being parents. There were no monitors, no cords, no wires. Just us, mom and dad, and our perfect daughter. It was, without a doubt, one of the happiest times of my life. There was sadness, of course, but for a while, the world stopped turning and AJ and I could parent our little baby girl. It was a dream come true. At around 4:00, her breathing slowed and in my arms, I felt her take one last breath. Her heartbeat stopped and I paused... our perfect, remarkable, beautiful Hadley in my arms, no longer of this life. She was free, finally, and could dance with the angels as she became one herself. My angel baby was finally home.

Note: These images are courtesy of the amazing and talented Liza Tomkinson with Pretty Bird Photography. Liza and I had gym class together in high school (and by that I mean, we tried to stay in the back of dodge ball games and just chat) and she reached out to me and offered to take pictures of Hadley when she found out Hadley had been born and was in critical condition in the NICU. Liza, you will never know what these priceless images mean to us. We treasure them and your willingness to reach out will always be a source of thanksgiving for us. You have no idea. Thank you thank you thank you.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hadley's Birth Story

Oh friends, I have so much swirling in my head these days. I have so much I want to write, say, express. We are hurt. Heartbroken. Devastated. It's been hard. Harder than hard. There is no doubt in my mind I will spend a significant portion of the next months (and years) working through it all. I am not going to be shy about it, mental health is a major priority right now. I want to be honest about that side of it. I have journaled, and cried, and spent hours looking at pictures of Hadley and remembering how she felt in my arms. We miss her all day everyday. She never got to come home with us, but our house is still, empty, and quiet without her here. We take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. I promise one day I will get back to my regular blogging life: recipes, trashy TV show commentary, our day to day life, but for now, this space is a memorial. I want to use this post to share about Hadley's birth story. I gave birth with great hope that my daughter would be okay and there was great excitement surrounding her birth. At that time, we had no idea the sickness affecting our sweet girl. I was just a "regular mom," having a baby and it was a really special time. I don't want to forget any of it!

On Sunday, June 12th, I woke up in a pretty bad mood. I had been in the hospital for 10 days at this point, and while I will admit the time on bed rest did go by quickly (thank you blogs, books, visitors, adult coloring books, trying new hair styles, nail painting, daytime TV), I was frustrated being monitored 24/7 by nurses. I felt FINE. I was dialated to a ZERO. I just wanted to go HOME, sleep in my own bed, shower in my own house. I was tired of being woken up 3 times a night for temperature checks and round the clock antibiotic pills.  I had bruises up and down my arms from IV pokes and blood draws. Don't even get my started on hospital food. I lost 5 lbs. in my first 5 days simply because the portions were miniature. Each morning around 6:30, the doctor on call stopped in and did a quick check up. Usually these visits lasted a mere 5 minutes and ended with a comment like "Boring is good. Keep cooking that baby." After our fetal heart rate testing that afternoon (baby sounded great!), AJ headed home to do some laundry, rest a bit, and wait for the repair man as our air conditioning broke a few days before. I took an hour nap after he left and my dad arrived around 3:00 that afternoon. We hung out, chatted, he watched countless episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress"  with me (that, folks, is a GOOD dad), and played a trivia game on my phone. Around 5:30, he took me on a wheelchair ride to the cafeteria to get something to eat. I ordered a wrap and some chips and the second we sat down, I just felt "funny." Nothing hurt, I wasn't in pain, I just didn't feel right. It came out of nowhere. I picked at my food and about 10 minutes later, asked him to bring me back upstairs, I needed to page my nurse, I just knew something was off. The nurse came in right away and asked me about contractions....I had never felt a contraction before but was pretty sure I wasn't having them. I felt uncomfortable, but again, wasn't really in pain. She told me to lay on my side and she'd check on me in about half an hour. I texted AJ that I thought all was fine, but I just didn't feel right. He told me to text again when I knew more. The nurse paged the resident on call and they ordered a blood test and said they were coming in to examine me. Before all that happened, though, they took my temperature and bad news: I had a fever. I knew from all the talks the doctors and nurses gave me that a fever was a sign something was wrong with me, and potentially, with baby. The doctors called off my exam in the maternity room and asked that I be moved down to labor and delivery. The uncomfortable/achey feeling increased. I called AJ and told him to come back right away. I am so thankful my dad was with me during all this. I would have been very scared being on my own while all this was progressing quickly. I knew AJ would take about 25 minutes to get back, but in that time, I think I sent him about 5 texts with phrases like "drive faster!" "I'm scared, please hurry." It was about 7:00 now, and the the night nurses were coming on call. My new night nurse hugged me and told me "I was told you'd be the easiest patient ever. Looks like we're in for an exciting night." I burst into tears when AJ arrived, scared because it was still too early. I was 30 weeks, 5 days pregnant. I resolved with all my will to stay pregnant until week 34, I was so disappointed that I would never make it to that goal. My pregnancy was ending that night and I wan't ready, but mainly, I feared our sweet baby wasn't ready either.

Once I got to labor and delivery, I was told my blood draw report came back and showed some elevated cell counts: my body was beginning to show signs of illness. They hooked me up to the pitocin to start labor and told me this was the point of no return, baby was coming that night. They were worried she was in distress, her heart rate was erratic (and it had been perfect just 4 or so hours before) and I was feeling sick. I threw up all over my clothes and the nurses just cut me out of my Target maternity tank and put me in a gown. I was immediately hooked up to lots of IV's and the pain in my belly began to increase. It felt nothing like I expected. All the pain centered around my hips and lower back, it felt like my hips were stretching to their max and yes, by this point, it hurt. The doctors came in and told me I was dialated to a 3. About an hour later, I was at a 5. By this point, my dad had called my mom and she arrived with my sister and her boyfriend Joe. It was such a comfort to have my family there with me. I asked for my epidural (remember all the Hypnobirthing and breathing practice we worked on? Hahahaha, I was stressed because it was all so much so fast and I knew Hadley was in distress. This was not the time to be a hero I decided). I was scared out of my mind to get the epidural but I wanted a relief from the hip pain and I was told that should we need to have a C section and I didn't get the epidural, I would be put out completely. I did not want that at all. Within a few minutes, I felt sweet relief and it was delightful seeing my contractions on the screen and not feel a thing. I began to shake pretty violently and was told this is fairly normal in labor (did not know that!). I was sweating and felt burning hot so AJ put cool cloths on my face and I was able to close my eyes and rest for about an hour. It was about 11:30 now and the doctors came in again and said I was at a 7 and moving quickly. I continued to rest and try and stay cool for about another 45 minutes and then the doctors said I was at a 10. That's when things went from calm to crazy.

We need to get this baby out NOW, I heard the doctor day. They threw the epidural machine in bed with me, a nurse grabbed my IV pole, and 2 doctors, a nurse, and AJ went running down the hall to the operating room pushing me in my bed. We knew weeks before that Hadley would be delivered in the OR because she was preemie and she would be passed from that room directly into the NICU where she would receive immediate care. They threw AJ a surgical outfit (I guess that's what you'd call it?) and I remember him shaking as he rushed to put it on. They literally wheeled me right through the doors and shouted "Push now!" Luckily, even with the epidural, I felt the urge to push. I was parched and kept begging for water and they kept telling me no. I think I asked about 4 times. The nurses and doctors were excellent pushing coaches, but of course, AJ was the one really motivating me. Later, the nurses would tell us he was the best labor coach they had ever seen. I pushed with everything in me. I gave it my all. I remember thinking I would pass out from the strain. I tried to be lady-like and not make a noise, but that went out the window: I was pushing with all my might and there were grunts and yells like in the movies. Haha. Laboring was something I will always treasure. Doctors tell me I will most likely never labor again and will always have scheduled C sections in the future. Like I mentioned earlier, I knew Hadley's heart rate was not ideal and the spikes and dips shown on the monitor next to me proved that but overall I labored with the feeling that she would be just fine. It was chaos, but also there was a beautiful underlying hope with each push. I couldn't wait to meet our baby and couldn't believe it was really happening.

After a few minutes (might have been 5, might have been 20, I had no idea), the doctor came up by my head and said "Leslie, we need to get Hadley out as soon as possible. I know you want to labor this way and not have a C section. I can see her head, she is coming, but since she is so small, I cannot use tools to remove her. You need to do this. If she cannot come out with a few more pushes, we are moving to surgery." The pressure was on. I pushed with all I had in me, but in the end, the monitors beeping indicated she needed to be born ASAP and the pushes just couldn't get the job done fast enough. Within seconds, the room got even more chaotic and I was lifted onto the operating table. The next 2 minutes were pure hell. The anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural a few hours prior, came running in but there was not enough time for the meds to get to my body. I felt pulls, stretches, and cutting. I was screaming my head off. I remember thinking, this is not supposed to hurt, I am going to die. In about a minute, finally, my body began to calm and the pain melted away. AJ and the anesthesiologist were by my head and I was just laying there frozen in fear. I could hear the NICU nurses and doctors opening the window and preparing to catch Hadley. We were told later from the first cuts to Hadley being delivered, only about 3 minutes passed. I heard AJ say, "She's out!" and he told me how the doctor has scooped up Hadley and took her to the window. I heard no cries and my heart sank. I began frantically asking "Is she ok? Is she ok?" Doctors told me they had to work on sewing me up and would get us a report on her as soon as they could. I cried and proceeded to throw up all over the place. It felt like an eternity laying there, helpless.

 The doctor said she was going to check on Hadley and I think I asked "Is she back yet?" about 100 times in ten minutes. She came back in and announced "She's stabilized." I will never forget that moment. I lifted my hands to the heavens and shouted out "She's fine!! Thank you Jesus, yes yes yes!" AJ and I sobbed and kissed and hugged. Immediately after, they said he could go see her while they finished working on me. I remember being pretty foggy as they wheeled me back to the labor and delivery room where my family was waiting. I told them I had a C section but Hadley was okay and AJ was with her. The doctor came in shortly and said AJ was the proudest dad they had ever seen. He was taking hundreds of pictures and would be in soon to show them to me. I remember dozing off, feeling really out of it. AJ came in and showed me pictures of our daughter and I burst into tears. I had so desperately wanted skin to skin time immediately after birth and my heart ached that I still had not met my daughter. But none of it mattered, we had our baby girl. In another hour, the NICU nurse came in to give us an update and that was the first indication that we were nowhere near the finish line on our fairy tale.....

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our New Normal

I've been toying with the idea of blogging since I became a hospital patient last Thursday. There's been a lot swirling around in my head and while it's certainly not all processed, it feels good to write it out...like stretching a tight muscle. This blog was meant to be a place to record all about our lives and well, this is the biggest thing to happen to both AJ and I so it seems appropriate to document it here. First, let's get to what happened. As you know, I was ecstatic to put a bow on this school year and wrap it up. I had myself scheduled for a pretty busy last week of school and Wednesday evening I got to meet and go over some things with my long term sub. (I really believe it was fate that I was able to have that meeting just before all this occurred). I came home Wednesday exhausted and actually fell alseep on the couch in my school clothes (which I never do) and ended up going up to bed super early that night. I told AJ that I just didn't feel quite right: I was wiped out, achey and figured I was just limping toward the finish line on the school year. Around 4 am on Thursday morning, I awoke to being soaking wet and thought I might have actually wet the bed! Pregnancy bladder is weird and lest you think I just go around peeing, this surprised and freaked me out as well. I got up and while attempting to change clothes, a liquid gush came out of me and for about ten minutes just would not stop. I knew at that point, this was not normal and something was going on. I woke up AJ and he calmly called the 24 hr doctor line while I cried and took to Google (bad idea, Leslie) and began freaking out that either a) my water just broke at 29 weeks pregnant OR what I thought was more likely b) I was having bladder issues that the doc would just give me some meds to fix and I could be on my way later that morning. The doctor told AJ not to take me to our regular hospital because if it was an amniotic fluid leak, our hospital did not have the facilities to deal with a potentially very early labor and to go to the bigger hospital about 25 minutes away. I was fairly calm on the drive, still fully convinced there'd be a quick check up, maybe some meds, and I'd be able to make it to work by lunch. Well....

one of our cafeteria dates 

my home 

not a bad view  
      Almost immediately after arriving to the hospital the doctor determined my water did in fact break and that I would not be going home until the baby was born. Ummmm what??? I was put in a hospital gown, whisked into labor and delivery, hooked up to monitors, and started on some intense IV meds (some for baby's lung and brain development, steroids, antibiotics, and more). I felt sick, dizzy, and confused. Some of the medicine feels like fire flowing through your veins and I'd tighten my fists and repeat "it's for the baby, it's for the baby" over and over to make it through the intensity. In between being picked and prodded at, some NICU consultants arrived and told us that yes, no matter what, we would have a NICU baby. Boom. I have never ever felt more hopeless and afraid. The next 72 hours were crucial as that time would determine if my body would begin labor or if I might be able to buy some more time. I was moved from labor and delivery into the maternity ward late Thursday night and that's where I type this today. Tomorrow I turn 30 weeks pregnant and there are two scenarios that will most likely play out: 1) I go into labor naturally and deliver sometime between now and 34 weeks or 2) They induce me at 34 weeks or earlier if they see a need to have baby born sooner. I struggle every day with staying off baby websites. Want to feel like a depressed ball of crap? Google image "preemie babies." It's not fun and I've had to train myself to stop.


updating family 
    To say it's been surreal has been an understatement. I give thanks every single hour she stays inside and remember what one of the nurses told me: "Your body is a better incubator than any piece of technology we could ever offer." So we're scared. We're nervous. But we're hopeful. There have been rays of sunshine in all of this. Among them, the love between AJ and I. I cannot even explain the heights of it. Of course any good husband would be by his wife's side, praying for their child, and offering strength. But through it all, AJ continues to make me laugh. We still have fun together. Even here. True love is your husband washing your hair gently and lovingly while you cry in the shower. It's him bringing me a rose on Monday night for The Bachelorette. It's him showing up with a wheelchair and whisking me away on "date night" (hospital cafeteria). I always knew I picked a good one, but this experience solidifies the highs and lows and beauty of married life in a whole new way. I've also relied on the caring and love of others. My family has been here every single day and take shifts so I am never alone. It means so much. I've had visitors and emails, and calls, and notes, and flowers and it all is meaningful. Baby girl has a fan club and knowing she is being rooted for from near and far make us proud parents. We appreciate every prayer, well wish, and sweet comment. Today I attended a lunch for other women stuck here in the hospital led by NICU moms who have been here and get it. One woman had her teenage daughter with her who was born at just 25 weeks. I let lose in the class and proceeded to cry before I even told them my name, but it felt so good just to talk about it. To let it out and ask questions and to experience women holding up other women. And these nurses. Man. They are angels and their love and commitment to their patients picks up my spirit on a daily basis.

Libby made me this sign for my door 
 To keep myself from going crazy, I still make a daily to do list. It keeps me sane. The items on the list are silly things like "read," "shower," "color," "check email," "paint nails," but it gives me a mission and purpose. Between nurse check ins, daily fetal monitoring, wheelchair walks, books, and visitors, I honestly haven't felt too bored and the days really do go by quickly. I am still a ball of nerves and can't see a healthy baby wheeled down the hall without weeping, but each time they put the monitor on my belly and I hear that beautiful and holy "thump thump thump" of our baby's heart, I still smile.

"Enjoy the crazy good little miracle in life"