Thursday, July 26, 2007

2 weeks, 2 more visits to the hospital and a Baby Girl!!!

Let me start by announcing that Russ and I are the proud parents of Rhiannon James Crain. Our baby girl was born at 7:01pm on July 24, 2007. She was 11 weeks early weighing 3 lbs 3 oz and 15 3/4 inches long.

Okay, now let me fill you in on the last couple weeks. I last updated you the weekend we got home from the hospital, the first time. That Monday, I had my weekly dr's appt. Everything was fine. No contractions, no bleeding. My instructions were to continue bed rest and return on Thursday for my Glucose screen. Thursday came, the test went fine. I passed with a 104 (anything under 140 is acceptable). After the test I was hooked up to monitor my contractions. Still no contractions but Rhiannon's heart beat was spiking up to almost 220 and then returning to the 150 - 160 range. Dr Lake was concerned so were sent back to the high-risk OB, Dr Allaire, and were told that the Brethine I was taking was possibly making Rhiannon's heart beat too fast. He was also concerned that one side of her heart appeared to be larger than the other. So, I was admitted back to the hospital to be monitored. I was taken off the Brethine (medicine to keep me from having contractions) and overnight her heartbeat stabilized. Dr Carpenter, the pediatric cardiologist did a series of tests of her heart and told us that there appeared to be no structural problems with her heart and I was sent home. This was Friday, July 20.

I woke up Monday and felt terrible. I had a headache and was nauseous. My back was hurting and just couldn't seem to get comfortable. Later on that afternoon I started feeling cramping in my pelvic area but nothing I could consider a contraction. I took a warm bath and that relieved the discomfort for a few hours but after dinner I started having definite contractions. After I had 4 in 40 minutes, we went to the hospital around 11pm. I was 1.5cm dilated so I was admitted again into the hospital and was given medicine (Procardia and Magnesium) to stop the contractions but they didn't stop. At around 10 the next morning, my water broke and the nurse was concerned that it was all blood. Dr Harrison finished breaking my water around 6 and I delivered Rhiannon vaginally at 7:01pm. I was told that my placenta had ruptured, known as placenta abruptia, possibly causing the preterm labor. The NICU team was there waiting for her when she arrived. They had trouble intebating her and almost gave her daddy a heart attack with worry and anticipation. After almost 20 minutes, they were able to get her stabilized and after a brief kiss from Mommy, she was off to the NICU.

Rhiannon is a tiny thing but my little over achiever and has shocked the NICU staff with her progress. At 10am the morning after she was delivered they were able to take her off the ventilator and she has been breathing room air since then. She had a touch of jaundice but after a day under the billy light, it was successfully treated. They began feeding her breast milk on Thursday morning and she has been successfully digesting. She has quite the temper. If we don't place her just the right way, she pitches a huge fit and turns a bright shade of red. The nurses have already told us we were going to have our hands full when we bring her home!

I have started another website to update you all on her progress. It allows me to share more pictures and I have tons to show off. She's beautiful. The website is:

I'm still updating between visits to the hospital but hope to have it finished by the end of the weekend.

Thank you all for your prayers. We know how blessed we are that Rhiannon is doing so well and completely believe that is from all of your prayers. Please continue to remember our little Angel as she is still fragile and has a long road ahead of her. And pray for me and Russ as we had to come home without her last night.

Below are pictures of me holding her for the second time and of her snoozing.

Love to you all,

Heather, Russ and Rhiannon

Saturday, July 14, 2007

28 weeks and a little excitement

Well we've reached the 7 month mark and I'm happily composing this blog from the comfort of my home. We've had an exciting week.

Wednesday morning at work I noticed that I had started bleeding. I immediately left work and Russ and I rushed to our dr's office. After an ultrasound, Dr Lake noticed that my cervix had begun to thin. I was given my hospital admittance forms and sent to a high risk ob to verify Dr Lake's assessment.

At Dr Allaire's office (the high risk ob) another ultrasound was performed. Peanut is developing just as he should. They were checking in more detail for birth defects that could possibly cause preterm labor and luckily none were found. That was the good news. The bad news was that my cervix was completely effaced - 100% thinned out. I was to be admitted to the hospital for steroids to speed up the baby's lung development and it was possible I would remain there until the baby is born. He doubted I would make it to 34 weeks.

At the hospital I was given my first steroid shot and Brethine to prevent contractions. After several days of observation and no changes, I was released on Saturday to go home to strict bed rest. We were a little scared to leave my contraction monitor and the constant attention of the nursing staff but decided it would be nice to sleep in our own bed. The dr's are pleased that I have not progressed over the weekend and are hopeful that I can carry this baby to full term if I follow their instructions.

So for the next few weeks this is where I will be. I can get up to go to the bathroom and I have the special thrill of 30 minutes each day to take a shower/dry hair/get dressed, etc. We will have weekly appointments with our dr to monitor our progress and we will continue to check in with you every couple of weeks. We're still shocked and I am of course dealing with this not working with my pregnancy plan. But we know that this was God's plan for us and we are so very thankful that we were able to stop Peanut from arriving already.

Thank you all for the visits, calls, flowers, food, magazines and most of all your prayers. My mother and stepfather are on a trip out West until next weekend and the Crains are not due back until August. Needless to say we were a little scared without any parental supervision!! But all the love and support we have received from friends and family the last few days amazed us. We feel so blessed.

Please continue to keep up in your prayers. We will continue to update you with our progress.

Love to you all,

Heather, Russ and Baby Crain

Monday, July 2, 2007

26 weeks

Hi Everyone! It's July and we are about to make the final turn into our third trimester. I can't believe how fast the last few months have gone by!! We had our 25 week appointment with Dr Lake on Thursday. Mama and baby have gained 20 pounds so far, 4 pounds since our last visit. The baby's heartbeat was 151 bpm. We go back on July 19 for the glucose tolerance test to screen for Gestational Diabetes. I have to drink this sweet orange drink and then have my blood drawn an hour later. From what I've been told, it's not fun at all.

Below are some pictures of my bump, okay, it's now more than a bump, it's officially a belly!!!

According to, Baby Crain now weighs a little less than 2 pounds and measures about 14 inches. His weight will more than triple between now and birth as he rapidly puts on baby fat. He'll need that fat to help adjust to colder temperatures outside the womb and as a source of energy and calories in the first days of life.

Mama is starting to get a little uncomfortable. I have a constant pain just under my chest that stretches in a ring all the way around the middle of my back. Dr Lake says it is probably from the expansion of my ribs. The baby also tends to hang out under my rib on my left side. Whatever is going on, it is painful. Russ is a wonderful masseuse and his back rubs help me get comfortable in bed each night.

Peanut has been busy. He's moving around all the time. You can actually see my stomach move with each kick or punch. I can't make out what body parts I'm feeling but it's pretty fascinating watching my stomach change shapes with each movement.

On Sunday, Russ and I went shopping and ordered our crib. It should be here in a couple of weeks. For those of you that have asked, the picture below is of our crib bedding. I plan to register this weekend at BabiesRUs and Target. After a full day of church, driving and shopping we had a delicious dinner with our friends Amanda and Marc and their son Ethan at their home in Woodstock. Marc and Russ talked soccer and I was able to pick Amanda's brain about baby stuff.

Russ is enjoying his new job at the bank. I think it's fun to see him dressed up every day in a tie and slacks. He also started playing soccer again on Saturday and his knee continues to get stronger.

We hope you all have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday!!

Heather, Russ and Baby Crain

Saturday, June 9, 2007

23 weeks

First of all, I apologize for being a week late with my posting. We just returned today from a week at Myrtle Beach with the Lawson clan. It was a week of beach, food and family. Who could ask for more?

Russ and I saw Dr Harrison for our 21 week appointment on Thursday before we left for our trip and finally had another ultrasound. We had not seen little peanut since 9 weeks and my he has gotten bigger! No we didn't find out the sex but we came really close to changing our minds. I'm going to continue to use "he" when talking about the baby just because my gut feeling is that's it's a boy but there is always the 50% chance that I'm wrong. So back to the ultrasound. It was amazing. We were able to see the baby's profile, fingers, and legs. At first he had one hand on his chest and the other was holding his little foot almost to his nose. He then let go of his foot, stretched his little back and stuck his thumb in his mouth (you can see him sucking his thumb in the picture above!). We could actually see his jaw moving as he sucked his thumb. We also were shown all 4 chambers of the heart, the stomach and the bladder. All were functioning just as they should. The best part was that the ultrasound was all captured on VHS so that we could watch it over and over again. The heart beat was 157 per minute.

I'm feeling the baby move all the time now. Russ and Stephen were actually able to feel it too!! It's so fascinating. Each time he moves I stop what I'm doing and put my hands on my stomach and smile. It's just a little reminder that there is a little person growing inside me. It amazes me.

We have changed our mind again on the nursery and have decided to go with a star theme. To ensure that I don't change my mind again, we ordered the bedding. Now all we have to do is get a crib and we can really start putting everything together.

Russ was offered a job at Bank of America so he officially has a day job now!! No more working nights, weekends and holidays. He was also accepted at North GA and will begin completing his bachelors degree there in the fall. So many exciting changes in the Crain home!!

We hope you all are enjoying your summer. Please enjoy our pictures of little Peanut and of Russ and I at the beach.


Heather, Russ and Baby Crain

Monday, May 7, 2007

18 Weeks

We are 18 weeks now and head to bottom, our baby is approximately 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a large sweet potato) and weighs almost 7 ounces. My baby calendar says that she's busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you'll likely start noticing more and more. And on Saturday, I felt Baby Crain for the first time!! I had a glass of sweet tea and felt a unique movement that I have never felt before. And although it's too early for them to feel it too, Russ and Stephen were here with me for the experience. It was so amazing. . . just the realization that there is a little person growing inside me. Although my first image was of the alien in SpaceBalls. . . let's just hope that the baby doesn't pop out with a top hat singing "Hello my baby, hello my honey. . . ".

This was a week of dr's visits for the whole family. We had our 17 week appointment and everything is progressing smoothly. I've gained 9 pounds so far. We will have our Level 2 ultrasound at the next visit. It will be tough not to find out what we're having. Russ also had his third knee surgery on Friday. The plan was for arthroscopic surgery to shave off some of his bone around the knee. Once the surgery began, the dr thought his knee looked much better than expected and decided not to shave off any bone. He trimmed up some rough cartilage and tightened up his ACL. Russ is doing well since surgery. His knee is sore and swollen but it has been the easiest of his surgeries so far. I'm thrilled that he's off work until after our family vacation in June. I'm going to be so spoiled with him home every night!

I've been busy organizing and preparing the house for baby. My sister Katie passed down some baby gear and a friend and neighbor of my grandmother's gave us a gorgeous cherry cradle. We've started the nursery, painting it a cheery yellow. We plan to put up a chair rail and paint stripes underneath. We've picked out our nursery bedding and bought a dresser to use as a changing table. We still have a lot to do but it feels nice to have started. My appetite right now is outrageous. I will eat a full meal only to feel like I'm starving again as soon as I finish. I'm trying to eat healthy and it's been easier since my aversion to fish and vegetables seems to have disappeared. Lately I've been craving salads which is good. . . and ICE CREAM which is not so good. =)

We'll check back in with you in 4 weeks. Hopefully with some ultrasound pictures of little Peanut. Until then, I have attached some pictures of Russ pre-surgery painting the nursery and post-surgery recovering, and of my bump. I don't feel like there's been a major change since our last post but I keep gaining weight and growing out of clothes so it must be going somewhere!! Hope you all are well. Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers, grandmothers and soon to be mothers.

Heather, Russ and Baby Crain

Friday, April 6, 2007

14 weeks

Week 14 marks the beginning of my second trimester. From our BabyCenter calendar, Baby Crain "is now almost 3 1/2 inches long — about the length of a lemon — and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces. Her body's growing faster than her head, which now sits upon a more well-defined neck. By the end of this week, her arms will have lengthened and will be in proportion to the rest of her body. Her little facial muscles are getting a workout as she squints, frowns, and grimaces. She can grasp now, too, and she may be able to suck her thumb. "

We had our 13 week appt on Thursday and we were able to hear the baby's heart beat from outside my tummy. The dr also gave me the okay to resume regular activity so I can start walking and doing light exercise and believe it or not, I'm excited about it. I'm still feeling nauseous in the evenings but my energy level is much higher. I can even stay up until 10 at night! Party!

We had many "firsts" since our last blog. We bought our first piece of baby furniture. At a local consignment store, we found a hand painted wooden high chair. You'll see it in the picture above. My mother always had a classic wooden high chair and that's what I had pictured for our baby so we were very excited about this find. The cute stuffed monkey is one of Baby Crain's first gifts that Shelby bought while we were in Greenville. It's so soft and cuddly. This week was also the first time that my "bump" could be seen. It's amazing how quickly your body starts to change. But, looking pregnant is a very exciting first and in a few weeks I should be able to actually feel the baby move!

As for dad, he and uncle Stephen are going to start next weekend painting and getting the nursery ready for Baby. When he's not at work, he's studying for Chemistry (bless his heart) or working on our yard. I'm so proud of him.

We'll update you again at 18 weeks. Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

10 weeks

10 weeks marks the point when Baby Crain graduates from an embryo to a fetus. She (the website always refers to the baby as a "she" . . of course we don't know what we're having and we don't plan on finding out the sex until after the baby is born, until then, when you read my blogs and I refer to the baby as "she", just keep in mind that it could just as well be a "he") is barely the size of a kumquat — just an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce. She has now completed the most critical portion of her development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in her body rapidly grow and mature. Her vital organs — the liver, kidney, intestines, brain, and lungs — are now in place and starting to function.

As for Mommy, morning sickness doesn't seem to be an issue. I instead suffer from night sickness. I'm fine until late afternoon and then I'm nauseous until bed. Milk and yogurt seem to help calm my stomach but the best cure is to just to go to sleep so I'm generally asleep by 9 every night. I have had intense cravings for fried chicken, much to Russ' dismay since he has been weening us from fried foods since New Years. I also crave tangerines and grapefruits. Fish and all seafood have been my aversions. I can't even watch Captain D's commercials on television without getting nauseous.

We had our 9 week appointment last week. We discovered that one of my cousins works at our ob's office and she saw us this visit. We had another ultrasound and she printed out several pictures to give to the grandparents, including a large picture for us. This was the first time that the little peanut actually looked like a baby. The dr said that that Baby Crain was measuring at 9 weeks and the heart beat sounded strong. I've haven't had any bleeding in a few weeks and if there has been no bleeding by our 13 week visit, I can start walking and doing some very light exercising.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. The last few weeks have been much better than our first few weeks of pregnancy and we're blessed not to have any other scares. We've received a lot of advice and Russ and I feel lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. We'll update you all again at 13 weeks which will mark the end of the first trimester.

I have attached a couple of pictures of us both. My waist line is starting to expand but still not a huge difference yet.

Love to you all,
Heather, Russ and Baby Crain

Thursday, February 15, 2007

6 weeks

Russ and I are 6 weeks pregnant!! It's been an eventful few weeks and I've tried to capture the highights below.

Fri, Jan 26
It had been a very long closing week at work and I was supposed to go out and meet Jan for a friends b-day. I knew I was a couple of days late so, I purchased a box of pregnancy tests and decided to go home and ease my mind. I took the test and it showed immediately one line, not pregnant. So, I wondered into the kitchen to eat some dinner. I came back into the bathroom a few minutes later and to suprise there were two lines!! I'm pregnant?? Really!! So I took two other tests. All of course positive. I canceled my plans for the night and got on line to see how far along I was. According the calendar online, we were 4 weeks pregnant. And our due date is October 4, our anniversary!!!
The next few hours lasted forever. I sat on my couch dying to get on the phone and tell everyone I knew but I had to wait until Russ got home from work to tell him first. So, I wrapped the tests in a small green box with a gold bow and gave it to him when he FINALLY got home as a "late birthday gift". He was so thrilled!!
So then we had to decide how to tell the family. We knew that we needed to tell them all at the same time but that getting them all together would be a dead give-away. So, we decided to tell them Superbowl Sunday since that was the day that Russ asked me on our first date 8 years ago. We made brunch plans at the Crains and dinner plans at the Lawsons. How were we going to keep this quiet until then??
Keeping from Kerrie would be impossible since she was coming to spend the night the next night so she became my partner in my big secret. We went shopping for bibs as gifts to break the news to the grandparents.

Superbowl Sunday, Feb 4
Our big day! After church we packed up our grandparent gifts and went to Russ' parents house. The whole family was there, Rusty, Elaine, Ryan, Abby and Dr Amanda. Just before we sat down to eat, we gave Elaine her gift and made our announcement. Amanda's response was that she was wondering why I was in such a good mood! Elaine and Rusty decided that their grandparent names would be Grammy and Papa.
One down, one to go. We arrived at my parent's house that afternoon and when we got everyone together, we gave mama her gift. She was so excited that she and I jumped in the car and drove to both of my grandparents and two aunts to tell them the news. And we were back in time to watch the Superbowl. What a day!!

Valentines Day, Feb 14
Today we had our first scare. I started bleeding heavily at work and my dr. told me to go the emergency room. In tears, I called my mama and Abby, desperately trying to find Russ. Russ works at the country club in Gainesville, and Valentines' Day is a busy night there but fortunately, he was able to leave work and meet me. We spent 5 hours at the emergency room while they did blood tests, urine anaylses and an ultrasound. Finally the dr came in and told us that everything was fine. I was still pregnant, there was one fetus in the uterus (not a tubal pregnancy like they had feared) and it was mearuring at 6 weeks. And they heard a heart beat!!! My hormone levels were also normal for 6 weeks. I have a small ovarian cyst which may be causing the bleeding but since I was diagnosed as a threatened miscarriage, I'm stuck in bed for the next couple of days with my lap top. . . which is how you're getting this blog. =) Russ thinks I'll do anything to get him out of work on Valentines Day. It was the first Valentines Day that we had spent together in 6 years!! We're just happy that we ended the night with good news.
I have a follow up appointment on Friday with my ob so we'll know more then. But the bleeding has slowed, I'm still nauseous and feeling pregnant but please keep our little family in your prayers. And that I don't drive Russ crazy the next couple of days.

I've attached pictures of my budding baby bump at 6 weeks. We will continue to update you every few weeks.

Love to you all,
Heather, Russ and Baby Crain