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