Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Catching Up!

Okay, it has been three weeks since I went into labor and finally decided to write a short (it will actually be long I'm sure) post about it all. If you are completely uninterested you can just skip this post... I lost my mucous plug at work just before lunch. By three I was having really mild contractions. I finished my day at work and then headed to the doctor. She said that even though my contractions were fairly close together that I was only dilated to a one and that it would probably be another couple of days. So Bob and I went home and made dinner and got all ready for bed. I laid down for a few minutes and decided that it hurt too much when I laid down. My contractions had been consistently three minutes apart for a couple hours but I really didn't want to go to the hospital and get sent home. I decided I couldn't take it anymore and we left for the hospital at 10:30.

This was taken a couple hours before we went to the hospital! I kind of miss the belly.

When we got there I was only dilated to a two so they had me walk around for a while. After about 45 minutes of walking I was dilated to a 4 and they admitted me. When they put in the IV they blew my vein on the first try and I think that hurt worse than any contraction, at least when it was combined with a contraction it was awful. We were then transferred from triage to Labor and Delivery, I was getting set up for my epidural and they had Bob leave the room. The first one didn't work but it was pure bliss after the second one. It was about 4 am and I was now dilated to an eight. They told us to get some rest (yeah right) and left us alone until about 6. Ezra's heart rate kept dropping and freaking them out, so they made me change positions a lot which is really hard when you are completely numb from the waist down. By seven they checked me again and I was fully dilated so they shut off the epidural (for Ezra's sake) and had me start pushing. About five contractions and twenty minutes later we had his head most of the way out. The doctor wasn't expecting him this quick and they made me stop pushing so the doctor could get some gloves on. The moment he came out and they stuck him on my stomach was the sweetest moment of my life.

Bob holding Ezra for the first time!

I had my new little guy and Bob was in tears and we just kept wiping him off. I then spent the next hour and a half getting stitched up. Apparently getting him out so fast takes a toll on you. It was totally worth avoiding hours of pushing though.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharing the wealth

We just wanted to post a few pictures for everyone who can't be here so you could all get to know Ezra a little better. He is still proving to be very strong and is becoming more and more alert and expressive. He cracks us up with all his faces, his crazy little arms and his skinny chicken legs.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our little champ!

Well, good news. Ezra is a big strong baby! The hospital staff was very impressed with how well he did. They were wondering if he would have any breathing trouble and if he would be able to eat okay so he spent his first night in the Newborn ICU. He had no trouble breathing and is a pretty good eater so he got to spend the next night with us (though we eventually sent him to the nursery so that mom could get some sleep).

Suckin' it down!

He did lose a little tiny bit more weight than they would have liked but he did such a great job that they let him come home with us yesterday!
Oh son, are you smiling? Nope, I'm just pooping.

He has really big feet like his uncles on both sides, so I bet he will be tall like them too. His strength is impressive. He already moves his head around on his own some and if he wants his hands in his face, he puts up strong resistance if you try to move them. He is continuing to eat well at home and he even lets us sleep (sometimes). He has a nice loud cry, but it starts out with a cute little baby bird like screech. He is super great and has already enjoyed a few visitors.

I wore my Chewbacca pants home! (Mom's favorite pic)

Dad's favorite pic

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shout Hooray!

It is my distinct honor and pleasure to present to you Ezra Robert Bowling!!! Our new addition arrived at 7:30am yesterday (the 4th). He weighed in at 8lbs. on the money, and he is 20in long. He has lots of hair and is absolutely wonderful! He and mom are doing great. Here's some photos and we'll probably blog again soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

1 month to go!

Here is a quick little shot of my belly at one month left. The Dr. said I was measuring small at my last visit (she thinks Ezra is staying deep and wide?). Ezra on the other hand has been measuring on the large size, so I guess it is a great combination. I have gained 27 lbs. so far.

I only get uncomfortable at the end of the day when my back has had enough, but a good nights rest with a few potty breaks usually does the trick. Bob also has to rub my legs because I have a tendancy to get leg cramps at night but other than that all is well. I really feel exceptionally great. I don't feel like Ezra needs to go, but Bob and I are getting super excited to see him. I plan on packing my hospital bag today and keeping it in the car, so I think we are all prepared (except the bottles).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Adventures

Well here is a little of what we have been up to the last couple of weeks. Uncle Rick, Aunt MaryAnn and Kimberlee (my side) came for a visit to the East Coast and graciously took Bob and I along for a little sight-seeing. We went to Marblehead, Salem, Gloucester, and drove around a lot to see the beautiful fall leaves. It was cold and windy, but we had a good time. As you can see I have been growing quite the belly too. (6 weeks to go!) I was suprised at how little dental talk occured, and how much of what did was between me and MaryAnn. (Rick is a dentist.)

Us freezing in Marblehead at a lighthouse not pictured...Rick is also not pictured.

Bob was sent to the stocks while we were in Salem for his bad behavior!

I also had my baby shower from the ward. I got some pretty cute stuff. I actually enjoyed hearing some of the advice I got, and it was good to get to see people in the ward I don't usually get to talk to much. I feel pretty ready for our little guy to arrive.

If our little guy doesn't like this blanket I am more than willing to use it for myself.

Bob and I also went a little crazy while trying to finish up the baby's room. It's still not done, but I would be okay with bringing him home to its current status. We made our sweet headbands from ribbons off of gifts that we have received.

As you might be able to guess, this was Bob's idea!

We also had the Chase's over for family home evening and carved pumpkins. It always seems to take longer than I ever remember, but I am much more happy with this years pumpkin as opposed to my attempt last year.
I made The Cheat from Homestar Runner and Bob made a Jack-O-Lantern with proper tooth anatomy.
As much as I have loved giving Bob a hard time about being a dental dork, I can't be too rough because some of his dental instruments worked really well for carving pumpkins. I guess we really will get our money's worth out of them.
Check out that molar, it has all four cusps. Ahh! Beauty!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Whether you like it or not

Well, as promised, we are officially announcing our baby's name. We had a girl's name but it took us a long time to agree on a boy's name. I eventually gave in and grew to love EmmaLee's suggestion of Ezra Robert Bowling.

This is on the wall above the baby's crib.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Extreme Close Up!

We just wanted to give a quick update on the baby. Our most recent ultrasound was on Friday (10/3). Not much has changed. The baby is doing good and growing like crazy! They estimated that he weighed about 4 lbs. That means that we are on track to have an 8 pound baby. He might need the extra weight since feeding will be a little tough for him but he's a champ! EmmaLee says that all the sweets she's been eating have been going straight to the baby. She may be right. Anyway, here's the promised extreme close up. He was really close to the uterine wall so it looked kind of like he had a blanket draped over his head. What a cutie!

The cleft is under his big-looking nose. Sorry about the picture quality.

Also we have officially decided on a name. We know a lot of people have been asking in the comments but you will have to stayed tuned for that blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And the Verdict Is...

Yesterday we finally met with the plastic surgeon that will be taking care of our baby after he is born. It was an all day appointment at Children's Hospital. We really liked the hospital. It was definitely kid themed which gave it a really warm feel. Everyone was really nice and helpful. We're really lucky to be out here for the great health care.

Children't Hospital Artwork
The appointment was really long. We went in at 8:50 and didn't leave until almost 5:00. They started with another ultrasound. During the ultrasound he starting playing with his toes - it was super cute! Next, they did an MRI to help them determine the extent of the cleft. They told us that it is definitely a complete unilateral cleft of the lip and palate. After the MRI we met with the surgeon and he told us about the surgeries. The baby will need an appliance that moves the gums and palate together placed surgically that will be in place for six weeks. He will need a surgery called a lip adhesion that will start to fix the nose, sew the gums together, and move the skin of the lip closer together. He'll have another surgery to completely seal the lip and fix up the nose more. Finally, at 9 months or so, he'll have another surgery to fix the palate. We were a little overwhelmed to hear about so many surgeries during the first year; however, we got the impression from the team that he will be in really good hands. We still have the same attitude towards the situation, we know that everything is going to be fine and that we will have a wonderful baby, we're just not excited about lots of surgery.

These pictures are actually from the last ultrasound that we posted. They didn't print these ones out for us before, but our doctors made a disc with all the ultrasound pictures to give to the specialists at Children's. Needless to say we took the opportunity to download the images onto our computer before we handed it over! In these you can see the cleft on the baby's left side pretty well. His face is in the middle and you can see the uterus on either side. In the bottom picture, his hand is at the bottom of the picture. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Abandoned Property?

So the most expensive part about attending Boston University School of Dental Medicine, after tuition, is by far housing. When we were moving here, no one wanted to rent to us without actually meeting us. We eventually signed a lease for an apartment which we saw no photos of and paid the entire first years rent all up front. It actually worked out really well for us and we like our place. Our landlord is okay but I think he stopped paying his landscapers or something. Our front yard has weeds as tall as I am and the back yard is too overgrown to even venture into now. I thought maybe he would send the landscapers at least once this summer...but now summer is officially over. Maybe I just need to borrow a weed eater from someone.

Our neighbors on the first floor were gone for a week awhile back when I took these photos so their newspapers piled up on the stairs adding to the abandoned lot effect.

We promise that we're not just squatting but at the price we're paying, we kind of wish that we were.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bunkin' with the Bunkers

Bob and I went camping with the Bunkers at Camp Joseph again this Labor Day weekend. Bob has been wanting to go camping all summer, so we took advantage of our last opportunity. We had a really good time and the weather was actually great. I feel like all we did was eat and eat and eat. I never once got hungry, but I attribute all the eating to our baby weighing in at 2 lbs 4 oz at our last ultrasound. (That bumped him from being a little below normal to a good way over normal.) We also joined the local "hill billies", according to Bob, and went floating down the river while we were there. It was a blast, and even though the "rapids" were pretty puny Bob and I both managed to get flipped over. I don't have any pictures of us going down the river because I forgot our camera, so you will have to watch the Bunker Blog if you really want to see some. I am posting this blurry picture of me looking pastey because this was the size of my belly at 100 days to go (and yes that is my pre-pregnancy swimming suit stretched over my belly).

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Whole New World

If any of you have ever been shopping with Bob you know that he really enjoys pushing the cart. He loves to pretend he is looking the other way and run into a display, or drive the cart on two wheels. He seems to never get sick of it. So keeping this in mind you can only imagine what it was like with Bob at Ikea. For those of you who don't know they have carts that manuever really easily. You can spin them, or drive them sideways, or on an angle. So as you can imagine that is exactly what Bob did THE WHOLE TIME we were in Ikea. I had to take a picture of him even though this was at one of his more mellow moments. The purpose of our trip was to get us new dressers. We are going to give the target stackable drawers (they are really crappy, but we more than got our money's worth) to our new little guy. So we needed something cheap but not as cheap as what we have been using for the past two years. We went with two three-drawer dressers, rather than the six-drawer dresser for the ease of moving and versatility, plus we saved like ten bucks. Although it is still cheap furniture, I'm way excited for our new drawers. They are soooo much better. It also cleared up some much needed closet space because I can fit more clothes in them.
Bob recommends that any of you who have never been to an Ikea go just for the experience, plus you'll probably find a good deal on something you like. This was his first time and he considered the whole thing quite "trippy." He said he could spend a month in there if he was building a house. They also have a little food place, so you could get some cheap grub (and they have a place for the kids to play) so you could even make it a date night. We didn't spend much time looking around, but it still took us almost an hour when we already knew what we were getting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Don't be jealous but this is #4!

Well back on the 8th we got yet another ultrasound. We were supposed to be finding out more about whether or not our baby had a cleft palate in addition to the lip. As it turns out the ultrasound was not as informative as we had expected. I walked away a little disappointed. (I think I was just tired and ornery because it was early.) The first tech that we had wasn't so good at figuring out how to give us a good 3-D picture, but she got some pretty good profile shots. They always seem to take them on the side opposite the cleft lip.

She left the room and the tech we had last time came in and took some better pictures. He got some really amazing 3-D ones showing us the cleft lip, but then he ripped them off and kept them. I was kind of mad because I knew all of you would be able to see the cleft in those, and actually tell what you were looking at. Next we had a doctor fresh out of school come in and practice, and then the main ultrasound doctor came in and looked at our little guy. She didn't really have any news for us except that he was growing normally and looked good. A nurse and our genetic counselor came in and they got a consent to send our info to the surgeon at Childrens Hospital and scheduled us another appointment. We are pretty popular when we come in. It looks like we will get an ultrasound every month until our little guy arrives.

All in all it was really fun to look at our little guy. His skull was more formed so he looked more normal. They told us it will be even more fun when he starts to fatten up. We will get a better idea of what he will look like. We will meet with our surgeon in October, and that ought to answer a lot of our questions. As for now we are loving feeling and especially watching my belly move as our little guy shows us just how much he loves to be active. We are getting more and more excited for him to come out so we can snuggle with him. But all in due time I guess.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, I'm only half pregnant.

Well folks, she's definitely showing. We took this photo yesterday to document the halfway mark. EmmaLee hit 20 weeks and 140 lbs. all on the same day (both significant progression points to her). She is now starting to feel the baby move fairly regularly. The first half has gone by wicked fast, so I'm starting to feel a little under prepared but lets hope the baby shower next week will help fix that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I guess 1st year wasn't a waste!

For you to really understand what a week we had last week, you may want to read the previous post before this one.

So I officially finished my first year of dental school two days ago. For the last 8 weeks I have been working in a dental office as noted in a previous post. The idea of it was to help us apply what we had learned during the year, particularly in our introduction to dental practice course. It turns out that the most important knowlege I applied during my internship was actually from Microbiology and outside of the dental office.

A few weeks ago EmmaLee got a bug bite on the back of her knee while we were at home. We didn't really think anything about it at the time. However, 3 or 4 days after our ultrasound she noticed a rash around the area and I noticed another rash on her chest. Because of what I learned in Micro and the bug bite, I immediately suspected Lyme Disease. The picture above is EmmaLee's rash. Lyme disease has this very classic "Bull's Eye" appearance. It is spread by deer ticks which apparently are very prolific in the North East. We think it was one of the smaller ones (larva or nymph form) that got her.

Part of the reason that we didn't worry when she originally got the bug bite is because we han't been to a wooded area recently. We did go in the woods in Concord with my sister's family but EmmaLee remembers getting the bite before that. We're still puzzled about where the tick came from. Well, we got her to the doctor that day and got her on some antibiotics. It immediately started to clear up. The doctor said that due to the immediate intervention there was very little risk of any of the chronic effects of Lyme disease and that the baby would be fine.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a pity party. We are actually doing really great and have a positive outlook about everything that is going on with us.

It's a......

So something you should know about EmmaLee - she's awful about waiting for surprises. A couple of years ago I told her I got her birthday present about 3 weeks before early and from then on the questions never stopped. It's a good thing I don't give in easily. Anyway, the point is that I was shocked when she said she didn't want to find out what we were having. Luckily I was able to convince her that we needed to. So for those who don't know, we're having a boy (the above ultrasound shows two thighs, a bum, and indicates his male-ness with an arrow)!!! EmmaLee says that she thinks every girl needs to have an older brother so we were glad to find out we're having a boy first. Unfortunately, the main purpose of this ultrasound is not to determine gender....

During this ultrasound they check all the major organs to make sure everything is okay. They looked at the baby's heart, brain, kidneys, spinal cord etc. These all looked normal but they noticed that the baby has a cleft lip. This is a 3D ultrasound showing the baby's face. You can see his head between the uterus on either side towards the top. You can see his eyes, nose and mouth. The cleft is on his left (your right). You can see the skull is not fully formed yet, but that is normal. The doctor said that she is pretty sure there is an opening on the palate as well. From our other ultrasound pictures it looks like the cleft in the palate is minor (to our untrained eyes), but we have another ultrasound on August 8th to take a better look. After that ultrasound we will start meeting with specialists. Despite all this, there is good news: the world leader in cleft lip/palate surgery is at Children's Hospital here in Boston. Also, clefts can be caused by many other disorders that can have negative effects but we had an amniocentesis performed to test for these other disorders and they were all negative. Our Father in Heaven really had a reason for us to be out here and we are definitely starting to understand that now. I'm sure we will have a handsome, strapping young lad in a few years down the road.
Here are a couple of other ultrasound shots that may help you visualize the cleft in the other ultrasound.

Here he is covering it with his hand like he is embarassed. He's cute already! The next one is a side view of the same thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thanks Eddie Vedder!

This last weekend we got a visit from the McDowells (Bob's sister and family). They told us that they would come visit us while we were in Boston and they came through with their promise with a little help from Pearl Jam.

For those of you who don't know my brother in law Craig, he's a big Pearl Jam fan. They were just on an east coast only tour so he took advantage of the opportunity to see them and us all at once. They played a show in Hartford, CT and two in the Boston area. Craig took me to the Hartford show and one of the shows here for which I need to give a public thank you!
We had a really good time while they were here. We took them on the freedom trail, to the Boston Children's Museum, to Concord and Lexington and to Newport, Rhode Island to see the mansions and the North Atlantic. It was an eventful weekend but it was a lot of fun. It was really great to meet our niece Parker and to play with Zoie too. Thanks for the visit guys! More visitors are always welcome!