Sunday, October 30, 2011

33 Weeks

Sorry this post is a tad bit late!  Friday I was with dad at Siteman all day and yesterday Pat and I did just about nothing!  We know our weekends of doing nothing are very limited and so we took full advantage of a clear calendar.  So, here I am now finally doing my 33 week post.  It's been a busy week.  I had Parent/Teacher conferences Wednesday and Thursday so by the time the week ended I was pretty exhausted.  I went to the doctor on Thursday and Landon's heartbeat sounded great.  The doctor felt around and he thinks that Landon is laying sideways.  Leave it to my son to make himself good and comfortable.  :)  His position is not really a huge deal because I will have a c-section.  So Landon can be as comfy as he likes.  We will have an ultrasound on November 21 and at that time they can estimate his size.  I'm thinking I have a pretty big boy on my hands.  He just seems to feel a lot heavier than Paige did.  We will love him big or small... every last ounce of him.  I'm excited that November begins tomorrow.  There is just something about being able to say, "my baby is due next month" that makes it all so real.  We are counting down the days now until December 9 (my scheduled c-section date).  There are only 40 days to go until we meet our little man.  We just can't wait!

How Far Along: 33 weeks
Size of baby: 17.2 inches and about 4.3 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes!
Movement: He is moving all around my whole stomach!  Crazy feeling!
Sleep: No complaints.
Symptoms: Braxton hicks are in full force, but not really painful.  I am definitely waddling now and by night time my back and feet hurt.
Cravings: Nothing specific... my meals are actually smaller now, just more often.
Best moment this week: Watching my stomach move from all the kicks and tumbles.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Day of Chemotherapy

Today I am off school because we had parent/teacher conferences the past two nights.  Currently, I am sitting in the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital watching chemotherapy flow into my dad.  I consider it an honor to be here with my dad.  "Honor" may be a strange word to use, however, my parents have taken great care of me since I was a child so being able to help my dad is in a way an honor.  I am honored to be able to give back to someone who has given me so much.  This is dad's fourth treatment and he is an old pro at it.  Me, I'm just a rookie.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about today. What if I didn't ask the right questions or didn't know the answer to a question the doctor asked.  Luckily, so far I think we are doing pretty good.  Our day started at 11:15 with dad's blood draw and luckily most things looked good.  Dad will have to have a blood transfusion on Sunday because his hemoglobin is very low.  Hopefully, this transfusion will give him some of his strength back.  At 12 noon we met with dad's oncologist and discussed dad's condition and his inability to recover from his last chemo treatment as quickly as the others.  We learned that dad's last chemotherapy treatment was quite a bit stronger than the first two causing him to be so weak and sick.  The treatment he is receiving right now will be the same dosage as the last treatment.  Finally, at 1:00 we headed to the treatment area where he is now hooked up to the chemotherapy.  Dad is fast asleep and I am taking in the sites and sounds of the several others receiving their own treatment.  Overall it's been a very interesting day and I have learned a lot.  Please keep dad in your prayers as he heads into the next few weeks of recovery!!!!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Rock n' Roll

Very early Sunday morning Pat and I woke up to head to downtown St. Louis.  For the past several months Pat has been training for a 1/2 marathon.  He has had so much determination and has been so dedicated to his training schedule.  I was so proud of him and hopefully his determination will motivate me to lose all this baby fat after Landon's arrival.  He worked hard week in and week out and he reached his final goal on Sunday morning.  Pat participated in the Rock n Roll half marathon and ran 13.1 miles in just over 2 hours.  Impressive!  My sister, Maria, and my brother-in-law, Evan, also ran the 1/2 marathon.  They both finished around 1 hour, 45 minutes  They are crazy good runners!  My nephew, Cole, and niece, Kate, and I hung out at the finish line.  We were there to cheer on all three of our runners!  The weather was perfect and we all had a great time! 

Pat about 50 yards from the finish line!
Cole, Kate and I cheering on the runners! 
Pat and I after his big run!
Evan, Maria and Pat relieved to be finished!
I'm so proud of all 3 of you!  Way to go!

Landon's Shower

This weekend some of our closest friends threw Pat, Landon and I a baby shower.  We were so touched that they even wanted to throw us one... we already had showers last year when we were pregnant with Paige.  We had several wonderful showers then and so we were surprised and tickled that they wanted to give us a shower for Landon.  It was the greatest evening.  They did not forget one detail and they put so much work into the night and made it extra special for Pat and I.  It was so nice to celebrate our son and to feel the excitement as we wait for his arrival.  Thank you so much to everyone who came and helped give the shower!  We are so blessed with such wonderful friends!

The adorable balloons on the front porch!

The cute wreath on the front door!  Daddy and his friends have already given Landon the nickname "LJ" for Landon Jordan.  Mommy will call him Landon!  :)

How cute is this diaper cake?  Just love it!
The food table!  There was tons of yummy foods!  Aren't the decorations great!?!
The gift table.  Check out the adorable baseball ottoman under the
table.  It's a great addition to Landon's nursery!

The night was so wonderful and we continue to be so thankful for the out pour of love for our little man!  Now, if he would just get here....  :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

32 Weeks

7!  Seven!  VII!  That's how many weeks until Landon arrives!  So very excited for this little man to enter this world.  This week we have been doing quite a bit of prep for our sweet little boys arrival.  We pre-registered at the hospital.  We finished his nursery (thanks to Aunt Marcia).  His clothes are all washed and put away.  His bedding was cleaned and put on he crib.  My breast pump was bought (thanks Grandma). I squared away details for my maternity leave with my school district.  And I must be entering the nesting phase because for the first time in a long time I cleaned our house real good  I scrubbed bathrooms, the kitchen floor, baseboards... I haven't felt like scrubbing a thing in months.  I'm sure glad I was gifted this boost of energy because our house really needed it!  So now all we need is Landon!  Pictures of the nursery coming very soon....

How Far Along: 32 weeks
Size of baby: 16.7 inches and about 3.75pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes!
Movement: My little man has become quite the big mover.  He definitely has days where he is more active than others.  I still feel kicks but mostly I feel him twisting and turning all about.
Sleep: Not too bad lately.  Once I fall asleep, I'm good until bathroom break 1, 2 and 3 in the middle of the night.  Just nature's way of preparing me for those middle of the night feedings.
Symptoms: I'm feeling braxton hicks quite a bit.  Nothing too strong, just my body getting ready.  I have a lot more energy, but my body is usually pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  My waddle is in full effect!
Cravings: I'm still eating quite a bit, but usually smaller meals more often.  I'm losing room.
Best moment this week: Just realizing how soon our sweet baby boy will be here!

A few prayer requests:

1.  Dad is still feeling pretty tired and worn down this week.  (This should be his good week).  Please pray that he is given some energy to enjoy this week as round three will begin on Friday.

2. I hate asking for prayers for myself, however, I am.  Please pray that Jesus can calm my fears and anxieties leading up to the birth of our son.  I have been very stressed lately as the fears begin to sink in.  Please pray for the Lord to bring a sense of peace over me.

Hold firmly to the word of life...

Philippians 2:16

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Foot Too Small

I came across this sweet print.....

and I immediately thought of these sweet feet...

...and boy did she ever!  Paige left her impact on this world in so many ways and she continues to do so every single day!  I just love those sweet toes!  How I wish I could kiss them now.  Thank you Paige for teaching us so much about life, love and faith!  We love you sweet girl.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Walk for Remembrance & Hope

This morning Pat and I together with family and friends walked in memory of Paige in this year's SHARE Walk for Remembrance and Hope.  SHARE is an organization that supports parents who suffer a loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss.  Unfortunately, we fall in that category.  Luckily for us, we had SHARE to turn to.  Today thousands of people from 21 states came out to remember their sweet babies who are now angels in heaven.  It was a gorgeous morning and the ceremony was equally beautiful.  During the service they read each baby's name and when your baby's name was read you released your balloon.  It was so very touching and our Paige received many balloons today.  I'm sure she is just loving it!  Thank you to all of our family and friends who came out today in memory of Paige.  Pat and I truly appreciate your continued love and support!

Paige's Posse

Pat and I before the walk

Our balloons heading for Paige!
We love you Paige!  We remember you today and everyday! 

We Will Never Forget You

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  It's so heartbreaking that we have to have such a day...  that mom's and dad's around the world have to feel the heartrending pain of losing a child.  A pain that Pat and I know all too well.  A pain that never goes away.  A pain that will be a part of us for the rest of our lives.  A pain that we will never understand.  A pain that can't answer why.  A pain.  An awful pain.  It hurts, but it's a pain I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  You see without this pain I would never have met my sweet Paige.  That is something I am not willing to give up.  If Jesus could of told me that he would give me a daughter but only for three days.... I would whole heartily live through that pain again.  Those three days with Paige here changed my life forever and I now know love, faith and Jesus much better and on a much deeper level than I could ever imagine.  Paige is our angel in heaven now and I know she watches over all of us... I still can feel her presence.

Today we honor Paige!

I can't help but wonder what Paige is doing in heaven today.  Who are her friends?  What does she look like?  Does she get to wear a bow in her hair in heaven?  So many questions... however I have peace in knowing that my baby girl is in the arms of Jesus today.  She is safe, she is healthy, she is happy.  That is all that matters!   Today we celebrate Paige.  We are thankful she is our daughter.  We are thankful she came into our lives. 

Wishing and praying for the day she will be in our arms again!

In just a few hours we will gather with family and friends to honor Paige in a Walk for Remembrance.  This walk is put together by the SHARE organization.  SHARE has been a large part of our lives since the loss of our baby girl.  They have been a second family to us and have truly carried us through this painful year.  We are honored to walk in Paige's memory and honored to walk along so many families who feel our pain.  We celebrate all of the baby angels today!  (Pictures and more on the walk later today)

Below is what Pat and I submitted for the walk program today....

Sweet Baby Paige,

Just a little over nine months ago you came into this world.  Sadly, a few short days later you had to go and be with Jesus.  We miss you so much everyday and we are doing everything we can to keep your memory alive.  We are so proud of the impact you have left on this world.  Your short life has touched the lives of so many people.  You have taught us all so much about faith, unconditional love and how precious life truly is.  We will forever cherish the three short days we had with you.  We are so thankful that we were able to hold you and kiss you.  Our arms still ache to hold you again and our hearts remain broken.  Not a day goes by that we don’t think about you and wish you were here with us.  We miss you so much and love you with all our hearts.  You will always be our baby girl!

We Love You,
Mommy & Daddy

Precious One
Precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.
We dreamed of you and your life
And all that it would be.
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.
We never had the chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.
I'll always be your mother,
He'll always be your dad.
You will always be our child,
The child that we had.
But now you're gone...but yet you're here
We'll sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy,
There's love in every tear.
Just know our love goes deep and strong,
We'll forget you never
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.
-Author Unknown

We love you Paige!

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Isaiah 57:1

Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Weeks

Each week is a blessing and I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be 31 weeks pregnant with our baby boy.  There are times that I have to pinch myself.... I just don't believe it's real.  In just 8 (hopefully very short) weeks our sweet boy will be here!  It's just so unbelievable to me and I am so thankful for this precious gift.  I had another doctor appointment this week and I heard his strong heartbeat and he continues to grow and I'm measuring right on schedule.  Praise Jesus!  Have I mentioned that I can't wait for December to get here?  :)  I am just getting so anxious to meet this little man and to hold him and kiss him and love on him.  My heart just melts thinking about it!  Can't wait!


How Far Along: 31 weeks
Size of baby: 15.7 inches and 3.3 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!!  Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Most definitely!
Movement:  At times I am amazed at the movement he is doing.  He will literally just move and move and move.  I still feel kicks here and there, but lately I think he has been doing some major switching of positions!  I just love feeling him, so he can move all he wants!
Sleep: Sleep is getting more uncomfortable this week. I am able to sleep but just not as long as I usually do!
Symptoms: I'm pretty tired at the end of each school day, but that is to be expected.  I'm feeling pretty well for being 31 weeks pregnant!
Cravings: I eat a lot of everything. 
Best moment this week: Hearing Landon's heart beat nice and strong!

Pictures to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3 Down, 3 To Go

Chemotherapy treatments that is...  Today dad completed his third round of chemotherpay (that is all but the shots he will receive for the next 10 days).  He had another long day at the hospital, but he is home now.  Dad has had a pretty bad cough for about the past week.  When the doctors heard the cough while dad was at the hospital today they ordered a chest x-ray.  Thankfully, the x-ray came back all clear.  We were a little concerned about pneumonia.  Dad has been such a sport throughout his treatment.  Even on the days that he is feeling bad he tries to stay positive and keep the end goal in mind.  This weekend dad was feeling pretty well.  He had a great visit with my Uncle Gene (dad's brother) who came in from Atlanta to see him.  Dad does get tired pretty easily, but after a short rest he is back up going again.  This week will be dad's bad week.  Starting about Thursday is when dad starts to feel pretty sick and weak.  This usually lasts through the weekend into the early part of the following week.  Please keep dad in your prayers as he faces the cruel reality of living with cancer.  We are so thankful that treatment is half way over and we continue to stay positive and believe that dad will be cancer free at the end of all of this. 

He who watches over you will not slumber...

Psalm 121:3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

30 Weeks!

I can't believe I am typing this.... I am now 30 weeks with my sweet little man!  I can hardly believe that in 9 weeks (or less) this sweet baby will be in my arms.  Can. Not. Wait.  I have often talked about my anxieties and fears throughout this pregnancy.  This week was a true test to my faith in God and His ability to take care of my baby boy.  On Tuesday evening I had noticed that Landon was not moving very much.  Usually at night I can feel him move quite a bit.  I did the usual things... drank a soda, layed down, pushed on my belly a bit.... and nothing.  My heart felt so heavy and I felt so sick and scared.  Pat was telling me over and over again that he was ok, but until I felt him I knew I wasn't going to be convinced.  I decided to lay down in bed a little early that night.  I layed on my left side... nothing.  I layed on my right side... nothing.  The tears started... big crocodile tears.  I prayed to God, but mostly I talked to Paige begging her to take care of her baby brother.  Finally, as I rolled back over on my left side I could feel tiny little kicks.  As I layed there longer they got a little bit stronger and were more frequent.  I slept much better knowing that he was moving around.  Well, I'm thinking Paige must have had a talk with her baby brother and told him that he scared his mama because this boy has NOT stopped moving the past three days.  I'm not talking just kicks here and there.  I'm talking full out rolling over, doing flips and practicing for the olympic games.... all going on in my belly!  It's crazy!  I can watch for hours (especially at night) little body parts move across my stomach.  It's just the most amazing thing.  I love it!  So, I guess I got what I was asking for... lots of movement!  I continue to pray that God helps me remain calm and faithful in His love.  Landon is in His hands and I have to trust that he is taken care of.  It's tough to give away that control, but really I never had the control (even though I wish I did).  Here's to a quick 9 weeks!
How Far Along: 30 weeks
Size of baby: 15.7 inches and 3.3 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Oh yes!
Movement: I love every single kick, punch and roll even the ones that kind of hurt.
Sleep: Falling asleep is getting pretty difficult.  I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I have TONS on my mind.
Symptoms: The braxton hicks have strated, but I can't complain.
Cravings: What do I not want to eat?
Best moment this week: Reaching the 30 week mark! 

Pregnancy Highlights:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chemo - Round 3

Today was the start of dad's third round of chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, the day started with a minor set back, but we are so thankful tonight that dad's therapy is still on track.  Dad was scheduled to get a PET scan this morning before chemo started.  Shortly after arriving at the hospital dad was told that he could not get the PET scan because his blood sugar was too high.  Apparently, the die that they use for the PET scan contains sugar and so with high blood sugar they would not let dad get the scan.  Thankfully he was able to continue with chemotherapy as planned.  He is back at home tonight with his little bag of "tricks" chemotherapy and is feeling ok.  The PET scan scheduled for today was part of the trial study that dad is participating in.  Ordinarily they would not even do a PET scan throughout treatment.  The plan is that in 6 weeks when dad receives his fifth round of chemotherapy he will get a CAT scan.  Obviously, we all are very curious to see if the chemo is working and we hoped that today's scan would answer that question for us.  We were so kindly reminded today that we are on God's time and His plan.  The PET scan was not part of His plan for dad today.  Although we are slightly disappointed, we keep our faith in God that He is doing what is best for dad.  We ask that you pray that dad handles this round of chemo with ease and feels little to no pain or illness.  Tomorrow my dad's brother, Gene, will be coming in town to visit for the weekend.  I hope this brotherly bonding time makes this round of chemo pass quickly.  Thank you for your continued prayers!  We appreciate them more than you know!

The LORD will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones.
Isaiah 58:11

Monday, October 3, 2011

Race to Cure Lymphoma

On Saturday my entire family participated in the Race to Cure Lymphoma.  We participated along with many of my dad's co-workers from St. Mary's High School and our team name was "Dragon Fire".  The race had a theme of superhero's and it truly was a great morning supporting my dad and seeing all the people there to help raise money to find a cure for lymphoma.  A big thank you to the faculty/staff at St. Mary's.  They have been absolutely wonderful to my dad and family throughout this whole ordeal.  It was their idea to do the walk and we just came along for the ride.  Most of us participated in the 1 mile walk.  Pat, my sister Maria, and brother-in-law Evan all ran a 10K.  They did great!  The kids participated in a 90 yard dash race at the end of the walk.  They all did a fabulous job as well!  We had great weather and my dad was very touched by the out pour of love and support. 

Here is our whole group!  Go Dragon Fire!

Pat and I before the big race.

My sister, Marcia, and I made capes for the kids to wear.  They said "Grandpa is My HERO!"
Here are Kate and Connor sporting their capes on their front side. :)

Grandpa with all his grandkids.  I know Paige is in this picture as well! 
 I could feel her presence there that day!
(Anna is missing, she had to run to the bathroom)

Here are the kids doing the 90 yard dash!  They ran their
little hearts out!

This next picture is my favorite and the theme for my dad's treatment,
This is my niece, Isabel, running with all her might.  She was dead last but crossed
that finish line with a smile on her face!  Just love it! 

I know many of you are wondering how dad is doing... as good as can be expected.  Dad can get pretty tired and just needs lots of rest.  He will start his third round of chemotherapy on Friday... so that means he will visit the Siteman Center on Tuesday and Thursday this week to prepare for chemo on Friday.  Say a prayer that his numbers get high enough to start chemo Friday.  Also, dad is scheduled for another scan on Friday as well.  Please pray extra hard that the cancer is shrinking and that his treatment is working!  We really appreciate all of your support and prayers!  Dad will NEVER GIVE UP!  He's going to beat this thing!
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it.

1 Corinthians 10:26

Sunday, October 2, 2011

29 Weeks

I am now in my 29th week of pregnancy with our sweet baby boy!  Sorry this post is late, but I didn't get to it on Friday and yesterday was Paige's day.  Our sweet little man is growing so much and I just love feeling him moving around inside of me, although, at times he does get a bit aggressive.  I hope this is indication of how he will be on the basketball court and soccer field;)  I went to the doctor this past week and Landon's heartbeat was good and strong.  He is right on track for growth and so we continue to be so blessed and thankful for this little boy.  Just ten more weeks!  That baby boy can't get to my arms fast enough! 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 29 weeks - LAST week in the 20s! CRAZY!
Size of baby: 15.2 inches and 2.14 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Running out of options with non-maternity clothes so YES almost all maternity now!
Movement: There is some serious movement going on and I love it!  He does have his rest times during the day and mommy appreciates that too!
 Sleep: It's quite the routine to get in to bed and get comfy. 
Symptoms: I've been feeling really good lately.  Still tired at the end of the school day, so I just come home and rest in the evenings.
Cravings: I am just hungry ALL the time!!
Best moment this week:   I've been washing his clothes and getting them put away!  His nursery is just about finished!  Can't wait to bring him home!
Sorry no picture this week.  However, I hope to post later tonight pictures from the Race to Cure Lymphoma.  My whole family participated in that this weekend along with many members of my dad's school, St. Mary's High School!  More to come later....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy 9 Months Sweet Paige

Today is the 9 month birthday of the sweetest, most beautiful angel we know!  Happy 9 months baby girl!  I hope your dancing and having a wonderful day in heaven.   Keep making mommy and daddy so proud!  We love you sweetheart!

Our Angel!