Check me out, filling out that pink shirt! The first pic was in early February; the last was taken June 2nd, with about 26 days to go until baby's due date of June 28th.
And look, I'm in the final picture on the baby meter in my last post. (I think the thing starts back at the beginning when 9 months are over, so if you read this after July, it'll probably seem like we've started all over again. ;)
Just a little update for those of you who might still be checking out this blog. So much has happened since December!
First of all, I'm having the best pregnancy a girl can wish for; no crazy afflictions, not too nauseous during the first trimester, no hemorrhoids, varicose veins or high blood pressure, a very healthy baby boy, and no complications. We are planning on having a home birth -something that's very common back home in the Netherlands-, so I'm really looking forward to that, and yesterday my midwife said our Little Man is being very good, working his way down into my pelvis already AND facing the correct way. So far for me and Little Man.
Big Man on the other hand did not fare so well. For those of you who don't know already, on a trip to Mexico in February he got a little overzealous in the waves, and he and his body board got smacked into the beach one too many times.
Realizing he was "getting too old for this shit", he got out the water. The next few days he complained of a sore back and a bit of a headache, but we didn't think anything of it.
Then two weeks later -on March 7th- he sneezed, and that's when all hell broke loose. We were standing in the neighbors' kitchen, and I noticed him slumping to the left, his face drooping, and when I asked him what was the matter, he couldn't speak without sounding like he'd had a few too many.
I recognized the signs of a stroke immediately -yay Dutch public service information- and had the neighbors call 911. (I was too busy freaking out to be even remotely coherent, thinking I was going to lose my sweetie right then and there, at 6 months pregnant.)
Off to the hospital he went; they got him in a CT scan and on blood thinners within the hour, and that is without a doubt what saved him. They did a ton of tests in the ER, before sending him to the Critical Care unit, and it was obvious that he had lost complete use of the left side of his body. Turns out -we think- he probably tore his carotid artery in Mexico, which had then tried to heal up, thereby causing a blood clot that shot loose, went traveling, blocked the artery and then shut off the entire right side of his brain.
I spent a few agonizing nights on the floor and futons of the ICU waiting room, not knowing how to face the house alone, and was overjoyed when he started to show signs of progress and was transferred to the neurology unit, where they started getting him ready for physical therapy.
By the time he'd been in the hospital for a week or so, he was already able to walk 125 feet with a walker -that we referred to as 'Texas Ranger'. (The thing that kept him going? "I am too young to be using the phrase' My walker'")
By March 18 he was released to in-patient physical therapy at another care facility, and he continued to do really well. He was by far the youngest patient there, and the PT folks were very thrilled to have someone to work with whom they knew would actually make a full recovery.
We finally got him home late March, and while he still walked with a cane, he was determined to get back to his normal self as soon as possible, because he's stubborn like that. And he totally did!
Today, almost three months after having a severe stroke, he is mowing the lawn in the backyard, and we've just been going through a pretty heavy home remodel to get ready for the baby. (Yes, we're a bunch of nutters.)
He's already off his cholesterol meds -since his levels are great- and tomorrow's follow-up MRI will show if the torn artery has healed up well enough, and whether he's ready to go off the blood thinners as well. He's cleared to drive (!) and back to almost full strength on both sides! You'd certainly not notice anything if you didn't know.
Though I'd certainly not wish this on anyone, there's nothing like a good ole emergency to help put life into perspective and make you realize just what's really important: in my case Dave, our little Monkey Butt, and the great group of loving and concerned family and friends that rallied around us. (Did I mention the home remodel? They organized a work day where they completely made over our entire downstairs. We have some incredible friends.)
Yup, I think we're ready to have this baby now. :)