Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick update

I'm back with another blogpost and it's only been 2 weeks since my last one!  Can you believe it, 2 WEEKS... not months or years, like you've probably become accustomed to!  And believe it or not, I've actually TRIED to update before now but something was wrong with the site/browser and I kept getting error messages.  I'm trying, I really am!  :)

So let's see what has happened in the last 2 weeks...

I haven't mentioned anything about it before but our dog Murphy has been having some "tummy troubles" (intermittent diarrhea & vomiting) for the past few months and despite many, MANY trips to the vet, the problem seems to be getting worse not better.  We've tried medications to treat each individual episode... they seemed to work but only for a few days and then we were right back where we started.  We've tried switching his food several times, including switching him to 2 different expensive prescription diets... they didn't work for very long either.  At first we just attributed it to him having a sensitive stomach, but it was becoming clear to us that something was definitely wrong with him.  About a month ago, Brian took Murphy to our family vet Dr. Cullum and he was "diagnosed" (a.k.a. Dr. Cullum suggested/suspected) as having a K9 equivalent of colitis.  Dr. Cullum switched him to another expensive prescription food that was a high fiber diet, and hoped that would work for him.  And it seemed to... until Sunday morning.  Brian had run out to do some grocery shopping and run a few errands.  He was gone for about 2 hours and when he came home, Murphy had had diarrhea all over our kitchen floor!  :(  Now, while the kitchen isn't the MOST ideal location for doggy diarrhea to take place, it was a MUCH better location than all over the basement carpet like he'd done a few weeks before!) - so on Monday afternoon, I took Murphy back to Dr. Cullum and told him that we needed to figure something out because we couldn't deal with this for much longer.  We've been sending Murphy to daycare ($27 a day!) just so that he's not left home alone while Brian and I are at work... we can't keep that going forever and we also can't stay home with him just in case he needs to go to the bathroom!  Murphy has always been a lean dog, but he felt much thinner to me than usual.  A neighbor of ours and even the office staff at the vet's office asked me "has he lost weight?  his head looks huge!" - to our surprise, he had lost 6 1/2 lbs since his last visit 2 weeks prior!  That's pretty SIGNIFICANT and more than 10% of his body weight!  After much deliberation, Dr. Cullum suggested the possibility of something called EPI (Exocrin Pancreatic Insufficiency) - he said he wouldn't normally have considered that Murphy might have EPI because he didn't fit the typical criteria of dogs who have it - most notably a chronic failure to thrive and severely underweight.  Other than these "episodes" he's been having with more and more frequency, he seemed otherwise healthy, just with a sensitive stomach.  Dr. Cullum explained that with EPI, the animal's pancreas isn't functioning correctly and isn't producing the enzymes necessary to digest food - meaning that Murphy also wasn't absorbing any nutrients from the food he was eating... and then when the undigested food dumps into his intestines, it causes so much irritation that explains the diarrhea.  The more I read about the disease, the more it really made sense to me that it could be what Murphy had.  EPI is treatable and as long as it's treated, it doesn't affect their life expectancy or their quality of life, but the treatment is lifelong and expensive.  We bought a bottle of enzyme powder that needs to be added to Murphy's food at every meal... he can't even have treats unless they have these enzymes in them.  We've been giving him the enzymes for a little over 2 weeks now and so far, so good... I've got my fingers crossed!  I also took him up to the vet's office a week later to be weighed and he had gained back 3.7 lbs of the 6 1/2 that he'd lost!  I'm feeling so encouraged, I really hope he continues to do well! 

Brian and I both are just getting over being sick... he had bronchitis and I had a bad cold that caused an exacerbation of my asthma.  I'm just finishing up my 2nd round of steroids to help my breathing, which is finally much better than it was.  I did get a new, fancy schmancy nebulizer machine that is pretty cool! 

My back has been KILLING me lately, like pain as bad as I had before my back surgery last December.  I can deal with pain, I've had back pain pretty regularly throughout the pregnancy and I've only taken Tylenol for it a handful of times... but when that pain starts to alter my ability to function, that's a different story.  I'm just hoping that once the baby is born, things will go back to normal because I really can't imagine having pain like this while trying to take care of an infant! 

In better news, I passed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test!!!!!  It was just as miserable as I thought it would be, maybe even moreso!  But it's over and I passed, which is all that matters! 

I had a routine OB appointment on Thursday of last week and I mentioned to Dr. Kaplan that I have been leaking some sort of fluid lately during coughing spells.  I told her that I thought it was pee, but that sometimes it would happen as soon as I came out of the bathroom from peeing so I didn't understand how that was even possible!  Dr. Kaplan wanted to do an exam to check for signs of ruptured membranes or the presence of amniotic fluid.  Everything looked good there, but Dr. Kaplan said that my cervix felt soft to her and also felt short/thin.  I asked her what that meant and she said it COULD be signs of pre-term labor, so it was something she wanted to keep an eye on.  I was scheduled to have an ultrasound the next day to check on Baby McG's growth (I've been having them every 4 weeks due to my thyroid problem) so she added an order to have them measure the length of my cervix at the same time and she said she wanted to see me back in a week, rather than the 2 weeks until my next scheduled appointment. 

Speaking of the ultrasound, Baby McG now weighs 3 lbs!!!  That's especially exciting for me because my sister Kelly was born at 28 weeks weighing only 2 lbs 7 oz so it's neat for me to think that my daughter is already bigger than my sister was at birth!  Plus Kelly was born more than 42 years ago and she survived with no problems, which means Baby McG has a pretty good chance of being just fine if she does happen to make an early arrival!  Right now she should be gaining about a little more than an ounce a day, or a half pound per week, so by the time our next ultrasound rolls around on 11/3, she should be about 5 lbs!  So exciting!  :) 

Anyway, I suppose this is long enough for now... look for another update again soon, probably after my next OB appointment on Friday! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Last Thursday 9/18 I had my last 4-week OB appointment. Now I'll be going every 2-weeks until I reach 36 weeks and after that I'll be going every week until the baby is born! I was surprised to learn that I actually LOST weight this month! Only a pound but still, I consider that a victory! Especially after vacationing in Mexico with my mom and eating ALOT while we were there!

I also had my 1-hour glucose tolerance test scheduled for the same morning. I was really nervous about the glucose tolerance test, mostly because I've heard/read horror stories from other pregnant women so I was really dreading it. Because I was so nervous, my wonderful husband insisted on coming with me and staying with me for the whole hour. The test was SUPPOSED to be performed at my doctor's office, ideally at the same time as my OB appointment, however as with everything else at that office, they screwed it up and I would've had to either wait until the lab technician came in at 9:30 (my OB appointment was at 8:00) or go to a LabCorp a few minutes up the road and have the test done there. My husband joked that we would probably get all the way up to LabCorp and not be seen until after 9:30 and that was pretty close... when you're given the sugary drink, you have 5 minutes to finish it and the test begins as soon as you turn in the empty bottle. My test began at 9:29 am. It was actually pretty uneventful and not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The drink, which only came in orange flavor, wasn't something I would go buy out of a vending machine willingly but it reminded me of a flat orange soda or orange flavored Hawaiian Punch/Hi-C. I did feel a little nauseous drinking something that sweet on an empty stomach, but I didn't throw up or even come close to it, thank God! An hour after I finished the drink, they drew my blood and that was that.

Until... yesterday. I got a call from my doctor's office saying that my test results were "abnormal" (your blood glucose level cannot be higher than 139, mine was 151) and that I would need to take the 3-hour test. UGH!!! I am REALLY dreading having to take the 3 hour test, for several reasons:

1. You have to fast for 12 hours before the test. That's a long time for a pregnant lady to go without food! You also can't eat during the test, which means that when all is said and done you will have been without food for about 16 hours! Did I mention that's a long time for a pregnant lady to go without food?! lol

2. You have to sit in the doctor's office for 3+ hours... who wants to do that?!

3. They stick you not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times!!!! Before you drink the stuff, then every hour for 3 hours.

4. If I fail this test, I have to meet with a nutritionist and a dietician and will be required to follow a diabetic diet for the remainder of the pregnancy. That does NOT sound like fun at all! Atleast it's only for 81 more days +/

EIGHTY ONE DAYS?! Holy crap!!! It hardly seems possible that we are going to be parents in that short of a time! This is something I've felt ready for my whole life, and yet, I'm not ready!! I was telling Brian the other day that I've always looked at my mother as my go-to girl, the one to go to whenever I have a problem, the one who can fix anything and everything... I'm not that person! Yet someone is going to be looking at me to fix their problems... what a honor, but so scary and almost overwhelming at the same time! What if I'm no good at this?? Everyone keeps assuring me that I'm going to be a great mother, but how are they so sure?? I really hope that I will be as great of a mother as I've been blessed to have.

While my mom and I were vacationing in Mexico, we had the carpet ripped out of our whole top floor and engineered hardwood floors installed. Unbeknownst to me, Brian took the week off work to do some projects around the house: he put new, wooden blinds up in the guest bedroom upstairs, the baby's room, and the kitchen... he stripped and repainted the front step (a BIG job), and the biggest job of all - he surprised me by painting the whole nursery all by himself! We had picked out the nursery color the week before, it's called "Pink Plungs" and boy, is it pink! lol Brian also surprised me by purchasing the matching border to the bedding set we've picked out - it's called "Pink & Green Flower" by Sweet Jojo Designs. We put it up together last week and it makes the room look so cute and girly! :)

Pink Punge is the color we picked for the paint in the nursery!

Daddy hard at work on the border!

Sweet JoJo Designs Pink and Green Flower

Now all she needs is some furniture! Actually, she HAS furniture... we just need to put it together. We've had her furniture for about 7 weeks now, it has been sitting in our living room in the boxes it came in while we were waiting for the floors to be done.  My Mom & Grandma bought the crib and Brian & I bought the dresser/changing table.  Now that the floors are finally finished, the boxes have been moved up to the nursery and now we've just got to find the time to put the furniture together. This is what it will look like when it is put together.
convertible crib

changing table/dresser

Because of my thyroid issues, we are having ultrasounds every 4 weeks to monitor Baby McG's growth.  So far she is measuring exactly where she should be, not ahead or behind.  My endocrinologist says he doesn't expect that to change because my thyroid issues are being monitored and controlled with medication, but I don't mind the extra monitoring just to make sure.  At our last ultrasound on 9/5, she weighed a whopping 1 lb 14 oz!  I can't wait to see what she weighs at our next ultrasound on 10/3!  Her movements are getting stronger and stronger every day, it really is such a neat feeling that I'm so thankful to be experiencing.  Anyone who has experienced this miracle of life and doesn't believe in God... I don't know what else to say about that.  I am completely amazed at the things my body has been able to do and how this tiny life has grown inside me! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Baby McG is...

a... McSHE!  It's a girl!  😊

We actually found out almost 2 months ago, which seems crazy when I think about it!  We went for a gender scan ultrasound while we were visiting my in-laws in Chicago.  The place we went to was called MyBabyBump 3D/4D and we brought Brian's Mom, his Aunt Mary, and his 2 sisters Erin & Natalie with us.  It was so exciting to find out what this little person is going to be, it just makes things that much more real!  😍 

I didn't want my family to feel left out so I had hired someone to bake a dozen cupcakes and I called her as soon as we found out so she would know to fill them with blue or pink buttercream frosting.  I had my mom pick the cupcakes up from her that afternoon and then that evenjg, everyone (my mom, grandma, sister, nieces, nephew, father & aunt) gathered at my mom's house for the big reveal.  Before they bit into the cupcakes altogether, everyone gave their final predictions.  Brian & I were able to SKYPE with them to see everyone's reactions.  It was a fun way to share our happy news!  😊

We are now 25w5d and we can't wait to meet this little girl!  Only about 14 weeks left (give or take) until we become parents and our lives change forever... in the best way possible!  I can't believe that I'm going to be someone's Mommy!  

A few months ago they reclassified me as high risk due to a few different reasons:  1) the fact that I was overweight pre-pregnancy, 2) my back problems, 3) my thyroid issues.  All that really means is that they're going to monitor me more closely which is perfectly fine with me!  Because of the high risk classification and the fact that I have a thyroid problem, they're requiring that I come in for growth scans every 4 weeks so they can measure the baby and make sure she has been growing appropriately (so far, so good) - my next growth scan is the day after tomorrow and I can't wait to see how big she is or how much she weighs!  I love seeing her and hearing her heartbeat, it will never get old to me!  

I'll post another update after my ultrasound (no, really... I will!) - lately I've been reading over my old blog posts and reminiscing about memories that I had forgotten about.  It makes me wish I had been better about keeping up with this blog but it's never to late to start!  😊

Friday, June 27, 2014

Baby On Board

Hello there, Blogland!  I know, I know... 13 more months have passed with not so much as a peep from me.  I'm a terrible blogger, what can I say?  I really have the best of intentions but I'm not sure what happens, it's like I blink and another chunk of life has passed me by!  S-L-O-W  D-O-W-N, life... S-L-O-W  D-O-W-N!!

I'd like to say that not much has changed since my last blog post but who am I kidding?!  SOOOO MUCH HAS CHANGED!!!  First and foremost, my husband Brian and I are expecting our first baby!  I am 16 weeks pregnant today and we are very anxiously awaiting our little one's arrival in December (12/13/14 is our super cool due date!)  In just 5 short very long days from now, we will be finding out if BabyMcG is a HE or a SHE!  I can't wait!  This is a road I wasn't sure I would ever travel, so to say that I am ecstatic would be an understatement! 

Looking back, what a whirlwind of a ride it has been.  This year, 2014, is monumental for us in so many ways.  We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, Dispatcher #33 turned 33, in a few months we will be celebrating 5 years together and just a few months after that we will be welcoming our first child... I think 2014 is going to be a very hard one to beat! 

Brian is who encouraged me to start blogging again, as a way to document the happenings of our pregnancy and the changes that are taking place in our lives.  And so that what I plan to do, for atleast the next 24 weeks but hopefully even longer so I have something to show our baby one day!  :)

Today, June 27th, is my husband's 33rd birthday.  In a few hours we will set out on a 12 hour drive to Chicago to visit my in-laws for a week or so.  As much as I dread the long car ride, I'm looking forward to spending that time with my birthday boy!  :)

ultrasound pictures:  6w0d, 7w4d, 9w0d

our 1st ultrasound @ 6w0d - we got to see the tiny heartbeat!
I have waited A LONG time to be able to say these words!
our little leprochan's 1st outfit that I bought

Saturday, May 25, 2013

She's baaaaaaack!

I cannot believe that it has been almost 2 1/2 years since I last blogged... that's crazy!  Well, I'm back and I'm better than ever!  I have experienced so much life in these "missing" months and there's no way I could possibly recap everything without missing something... the most important change in my life is that I am now a wife!  Brian and I were married on Sunday, March 24th 2013 at Top of the Bay on the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, surrounded by our family and friends.  It was a great day and we are overjoyed!  :)
After the wedding, we enjoyed a weeklong honeymoon in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic and stayed at a resort called Majestic Elegance.  It was the first time either one of us had ever experienced something like that and it was wonderful!  We went on 2 different excursions, swimming with the dolphins and snorkeling/reef explorer.  We made lots of memories that I know I'll never forget! 
It's hard to believe that we are almost halfway through 2013... time is FLYING and it's almost scary how fast life seems to be passing by!  I am now 32 years old (how did THAT happen?!) and I just started my 13th year of dispatching.  I have developed a love/hate relationship with my job... most days I love what I do but I do have the occasional day where I hate this job and everything about it.  But no matter what I'm feeling on any given day, I can't imagine myself doing anything else. 
Stay tuned for more blogs in the (near) future!  :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Well hello there, 2011...

Happy New Year!!! Am I the only one who can't believe that it is 2011 now?!


A.K.A. the year I turn 30... THIRTY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I'm hoping for a happy, healthy, successful year... not just for me, but for all of my family and friends too. In true Nikki style, my year has started out with a bang (already!) - it's time to hit the ground running!

I was fortunate to be able to take holiday leave on New Years Eve, which is awesome because I think ringing in the new year at work is a form of cruel and unusual punishment! LoL
To celebrate, Brian & I hosted a small get-together at our house... my Mom, Grandma, my niece Hannah, my sister Kelly and her boyfriend David came over to hang out. We had a pretty decent spread of different snack foods... my mom brought crab dip, I made some queso blanco dip, 'lil Smokies in BBQ sauce, bacon wrapped 'lil Smokies sprinkled with brown sugar, etc. We ate and talked and laughed and played Wii Sports bowling... Brian even bought some champagne for a toast at midnight! It was a really nice time and I wouldn't have chosen to spend it any other way... it was a great way to start my year, surrounded by people I love! :) We also took a bunch of photos to go along with the wonderful memories... I can't wait to frame some of these! :)

Myrtle Jean even joined us for a little while! :)
4 generations! :)
Mom and her girls! :)
I love this lady! :)
I love this lady too! :)
me and my "big" sister... I might be bigger but she'll always be older! LoL
our midnight toast... to many more years together! :)
isn't my mom pretty?! :)
Mom-Mom and her girl Hannah :)
Mom's Mii looked just like Michael Jackson... and his/her name was "MJ" LoL
Mom & Hannah got very competitive with their bowling! LoL
Grandma, the self-proclaimed Steelers fan, keeping warm under a Bears blanket! LoL
Kelly & David

Saturday was a lazy, unproductive day for Brian & I but atleast we got to spend it together. We actually got to spend 5 glorious days together before we both had to return to work... I guess the saying is true, all good things must come to an end. :(

On Sunday, Brian & I had planned to have some friends over to watch football. My friend Jon is a Cleveland Browns fan and since they were playing the Steelers this week, I thought it would be fun to watch the game together. So Jon & his fiance Amy came over and we hung out and watched the game... and then after that we watched the Bears game too. Brian & I love having "double dates" with other couples... we almost had one on Saturday with My Maria (one of my best friends and my former partner in Paramedic class) and her husband John but unfortunately that fell through... we'll definitely have to try again soon! :)

Monday was the dreaded first lecture of the winter mini-mester at school... as much as I dreaded going back to school, I know it's a necessary evil. Only a few more months until all this hard work finally pays off... graduation is scheduled for May 26th at 9am! The 4.0 GPA that I was surprised with last semester gave me the push I needed to keep on trucking! The next few months are going to be tough but I know it'll be worth it...

So that's about it for right now... not too much else going on except work, school & clinicals.

Until next time... :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

71 days

It has been 71 days since I last posted... so much has happened in those 71 days that I think it's impossible to even try to remember it all! My plan right now is to continue my little "siesta" through to the new year and then start fresh.

See ya in 2011! :)