Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Lesson on Omphaloceles

I'm realizing that while I could probably win the National Spelling Bee should the last word given be "omphalocele", not everyone has spent the last 26 weeks researching this strange word like we have. I came across this website from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that does a great job of explaining the defect and the road after. There are a series of seven short videos and I thought I'd share for those of you interested.


Nugget's omphalocele has been classified as large to giant, containing her entire liver and a majority of her intestines. Keep in mind, each case is treated differently so the surgery explained in the videos might not be the exact course of action taken. We will know our plan once she's here next week and can be assessed by the doctors.

Lastly, I'd like to welcome two new babies into the world. Victor Eduardo Francis was born on Tuesday, July 27 to our friends Geisel, Henrique and big sister Camila. Welcome Victor Eduardo! I'd also like to welcome Elias Matthew Clarke, a fellow "O baby", born yesterday and set to have his surgery to repair the omphalocele today at 1:30pm. Welcome Elias and good luck with surgery!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Questions, questions, questions

Thirty-eight weeks down, eight days to go! Can you believe it? The future holds so many questions right now…how will the delivery go, when will Nugget be ready for surgery, will she be at risk of infection, will any other complications arise, how long will she be in the hospital, what does the next year hold???

But with so much uncertainty, there are exciting questions too. The one we keep getting recently is “What is her name?” After much thought and deliberation, we decided Cletus-the-Fetus Nugget Meabon might not do. Jared and I have gone back and forth, back and forth, back and forth on names. We had our boy name picked out for quite some time but a girl name was always up in the air. We’ve had about six options since we found out Nugget was a she, as well as the occasional name that’s slipped in every once in awhile. But we’ve finally come to a strong conclusion on this debate. First off, we needed a name that was strong - a name for a fighter. We suspect this little girl will be a firecracker and will probably give her mom and dad a hard time later in life. But for now, we need her to give life the biggest right punch she can and fight her way through these first few years. We wanted a name that was a little unique, something that will be different from the other little girls in her class, but not something so out there that people will have a hard time pronouncing it. Lastly, if you know Jared and me, it needs to be something that can be turned into about a million nicknames. Our friends laugh at us because its rare occasion that we call each other “Jared” and “Brooke”. Most often, it’s something like Lover, T, Knucks, Beats or any other random name that probably makes sense to no one else but the two of us. So we needed a name that could have multiple variations. We went through our list of the final top three and pictured the girl of each name at ages 5, 13 and late 20’s to early 30’s. We talked all about her personality, what she’ll be like, what kind of job she might have, what people say about her….when we put it this way, it was a no-brainer. And man, we think our little girl is one cool chick! What, you ask, is this proposed name??? Well, we’ll let you know in eight short days.

Another exciting question is what will she look like? Will she have her mom’s straight, blonde hair or her daddy’s pretty brown curls? Will she be freckled like mom or olive skinned like dad? Will she be tall or short? Will she be like her mom and be so fat as a baby that she’s can’t walk? Will she have the swiftness and endurance of a runner like her mom or will she have great hand-eye coordination of a tennis player, golfer or basketballer like her dad? Oh, the possibilities! Here’s a few pictures of us growing up – what do you think?

Jared as a newborn

Brooke as a newborn



Jared - 1st Birthday

Brooke - 1st Birthday





As far as answered questions, we do know that she had another good report from the doctors yesterday. She got a score of 10 out of 10 on fetal movements, amniotic fluid and non-stress tests. We will go back for our final appointments next Monday and will have a full report on her growth at that time.

Should all go as planned, we will arrive at Methodist Hospital at 5am on Wednesday, August 4 for our scheduled c-section at 7:30am. We will have the OB team for me and a full neonatal team on hand for Nuggs. I’ll get a quick look at her and then she’ll be taken immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they will work to stabilize her. Jared will follow her straight to the NICU and has been instructed to be on full camera duty. He should be able to stay with her for the majority of the day and continue to come back for frequent checks. I’ll be in recovery and will hopefully be up for a wheelchair visit later that evening. By Thursday, I should be up and walking so will be able to make frequent visits to the NICU. The pediatric surgeons and neonatologists will meet on Wednesday and Thursday so we hope to have a plan of action by the end of next week. They will have to assess her situation in person before any determination of the next step is made. The NICU has pretty strict rules about visitors, allowing only 2 parent passes and 4 grandparent passes. Of these passes, only 2 visitors are allowed at a time. Jared and I will spend the night in the hospital until Sunday when I’ll be discharged. From there, we’ll be able to visit the NICU around the clock with the exception from 6:15am – 8am and 6:15pm – 8pm when the nurses have shift changes. Another uncertainty is what our schedules will look like once we are released from the hospital. We hope to fall into some kind of normal routine but I suspect most of my days will be spent in the NICU. Jared will need to get back to work but does have the flexibility of working from a laptop if necessary at times. I keep joking that this will be my new job. Some moms become stay at home moms, some become soccer moms, some become stage moms – I will be NICU mom. I wonder if I can get business cards printed???

One good piece of advice that our neonatologist gave us was to make sure to take time for ourselves outside of the NICU, both as individuals and as a couple. I’m sure this will be hard at first but I think it’s so important to help keep our sanity. I’m hoping I can get back to running soon. It’s been part of my routine that I’ve missed so much. So I ask you, friends and family, to serve as a reminder to us to make time for ourselves a priority.

So with all of these questions, I continue to pray for peace of mind and to not let the questions get the best of us. We need to trust in God’s plan and know that there is a road mapped out specifically for the Meabon family. We don’t have a GPS, we don’t have a map, and heck, we don’t even have a compass - we don’t know what the final destination will be but must trust that it will be well worth it in the end, regardless of the potholes we encounter along the way. It reminds me of our trip to Costa Rica. Jared and I decided to rent a cart to drive from Papagayo Peninsula to Arenal. The roads were treacherous and we thought there’s no way we weren’t lost. A two hour trip on paper ended up being a five hour trip in the car. There were strange animals standing in the middle of the road and, twice, the road stopped altogether and we had to off-road to get back on path. But low and behold, we came around a corner, the view opened up and we saw the most magnificent view of Lake Arenal, blue waters surrounded by rainforest mountains. It was well worth the trip. I know there is a beautiful view in our future and I can’t wait to see what it is.

I’d like to wish a very happy birthday today to Sutton Elaine Kelly, born to Amanda (Knocke) and Patrick Kelly this morning! Congratulations Amanda and Patrick. Baby Sutton and Amanda are doing great.

I’d also like to ask for your continued prayers for Baby Lincoln who will have surgery later this week to repair a diaphragmatic hernia and possibly his omphalocele. His parents Elisabeth and Tendai have had a rollercoaster of the last two weeks and I ask that you keep them lifted up through this difficult time.

Much love to you all as the countdown continues,


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Waiting Game

Two weeks from tomorrow – so close, yet so far away. As Jared said today, each day we wake up, we’re one day closer to August 4. Seems like a bit of a “no duh” statement but that’s just how it feels. For awhile there, it seemed like the days were flying by but the last few days are feeling long and a little without purpose. I don’t know if its lack of sleep at night, reaching that uncomfortable point in pregnancy, getting use to not working or just general anxiety but I’m starting to feel pretty listless. The house is done, the errands are run, we’re as prepared as we’re going to be for our baby girl and I’m not too enthralled by Oprah, Ellen and Dr. Phil these days. The word "marinate" keeps coming to mind. I know there will be a day soon enough when I’ll long for these easy days of no responsibilities, days of rest and relaxation, but Ms. Type A doesn’t take too well to waiting it out. Fourteen days…

We were so happy to have my friend, Jenifer, in town this weekend to help pass the time. Our friends in San Antonio are amazing but I’ve missed my Atlanta friends. It was so good to have such a dear friend here for a visit. We walked each morning, lounged at the pool, ran errands but really just enjoyed catching up. I cherish my friendships, especially those where we can pick up right where we left off and I was so happy to have Jeni as one of our first visitors from the Dirty South.

We had our weekly appointments yesterday and the best news is that as of this week, I’M FULL TERM! What a landmark – 37 weeks pregnant! We are still hoping that we make it to August 4 for the C-Section date since the longer she cooks, the better. However, should Nugget come between now and then, we’re in the safe zone of not having to worry about complications outside of those caused from the omphalocele. The other great news from our appointments is that there is no new news. All is steady and stable and our little girl continues to grow.

I’d like to give a very warm, “Welcome to the world!” to Lincoln Lynch. Lincoln’s mom and I have become acquainted through each other’s blogs on our omphalocele babies. Lincoln came out a strong 8 lbs 5 oz and is a beautiful baby boy. He sounds like a fighter and is setting a good example for Nugget to follow along! Keep up the good work Lincoln!

So here I’ll continue to marinate and wait, as ready as we’re going to be. Tick, tock, tick, tock….

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday of Surprises

Saturday was a great day and will surely stick out in my mind as a great Nuggster pregnancy memory. Here’s the email I received from Jared on Friday:

Please don't ask questions and just do the following.
Pack an overnight bag to include a bathing suit, dinner gear and brunch gear and whatever else you see fit to pack for an overnighter.
Be showered and ready by 8:49am Saturday.

Hmm, okay. As a reminder, we found out the sex of our child, Jared and I open our Christmas presents on December 23, I am a planner….in other words, I am not good with surprises. Jared laughed to see me wiggle and squirm to try to decode what was going on.

Saturday morning roles around and there I was, dressed and ready by 8:49am. To make things even more maddening, Jared was taking his precious time not getting dressed and instead, looking like he was about to go to the gym. What was going on??? And then off went our personal alarm system (Rooney) indicating that someone was at the door. Low and behold, there were my friends Krisana, Kathryn and Courtney with a gift in hand! The girls here in SA had put together a monogrammed book bag filled with books for me to take to and from the hospital to read to Nuggs. What a great gift! The girls then treated me to brunch and pedicures for a little relaxation before the madness begins. I’m a lucky girl to have such thoughtful friends here in SA. Thank you for making it a fun morning!

When I got home, the car was packed and off Jared and I went. After driving and finally heading out on I-35, Jared told me the plan. We were headed to the Four Seasons in Austin for a little getaway. Whoo hoo! With the move and craziness of the last few months, we never got the chance to take a “babymoon” so this was our little mini-getaway. We relaxed, sat by the pool, took a nap and then headed out for a steak dinner. The next morning, I had a spa appointment followed by breakfast and then back to San Antonio. Ahhh, I could do that on a regular basis! I think my husband did a pretty good job with his surprise Saturday plans, don’t you?

We had our Monday morning appointments yesterday, first with Dr. Higby, followed by Dr. Cox. Nugget had her measurements taken and she’s growing so that’s good news. I am currently at 36 weeks in my pregnancy. She’s measuring at 35 weeks everywhere except her abdomen which is only measuring 30 weeks and in the 9th percentile (down from the 13th percentile at the last measurement). Her weight is showing about 4 lbs 12 oz. We were sad to hear that abdominally, she’s still so small but Dr. Higby said this is to be expected and her percentile will probably continue to decrease. All went well with Dr. Cox. I asked when he’d start measuring me for dilating. Since I’m a scheduled C-Section and they don’t want to do anything to cause me to go into early labor, I won’t be measured. So it’ll be a “hang on and wait” and hope this baby doesn’t decide she needs to come out any earlier than August 4.

It’s hard to believe that August 4 is only 3 short weeks away. The reality seemed to hit us both like a bus yesterday and we both left Dr. Higby’s office in tears. I can remember my friend, Carey, telling me when she got to the end of her pregnancy that part of her wished she could just keep Aiden in her belly since it seemed so safe in there. At the time, that seemed like such a weird thing to say. I now fully understand what she meant when she said this. If I could just keep this little Nugget tucked inside me, I know she’ll be safe, without the risk of infection and not have to deal with the long, rocky road ahead. I feel like the situation is in my control when I can feel her every movement and know she’s safe and warm in there. Lesson: Brooke, you are not in control! I have to keep reminding myself that God has put this precious little Nugget in our lives for a purpose. I can plan all I want but His plan is so much greater than mine. This is a daily battle for me and, lately, I keep letting the “why me, why us, why our baby?” doubts and questions creep in my mind. I’m thinking about tattooing, “GOD IS IN CONTROL” on Jared’s forehead so I have a constant reminder. That should do the trick, right?

Thank you for your continued love and support. I am constantly amazed by the people in our lives and the love this baby girl already has waiting for her when she gets here.

All my best,


Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! I hope you all had a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. It’s hard to believe we’re almost half way through with summer and even harder to believe that Nugget’s due date is one month away from yesterday!

The countdown is on and the celebration of “independence” got me thinking. Jared and I are in the last few weeks of our independence as a family of two. In one month, we’ll no longer have the independence we currently have. We are so excited about the arrival of the Nugget but it’s also a little overwhelming to think that our lives will be completely different - our time, our priorities, our peace of mind! Current member of the parenting club keep telling me that no matter what we do, it’ll be totally different from what we anticipate so we celebrated our last “independent" 4th of July as a couple and are getting ready for a lifetime of parenting. We had a fairly low key weekend but enjoyed all of the rain we got from the aftermath of the hurricane.

We had a great time at Lake LBJ with the Boswells last weekend. The weather was perfect and I love being on the lake during the summers. You can see some of the pictures from the weekend and everyone got in some good belly rubs to feel the Nugget shifting around. We are blessed to be part of such an amazing family.


Brooke and Brent

Jared, Sam, Will and Bobby

Jared on the rope swing

Dylan caught a catfish

Lynn and Steve

Evelyn with great-grandbaby #8

Lily talking to the Nugget

Elena feeling her cousin move

Jared putting sunscreen on his daughter

As for baby updates, we met with our perinatologist this morning for a quick check on our little girl. All is stable and there aren’t any changes with the status of her heart so that’s all good news. We’ll have measurement checks next week but we’re still looking to be on track for Wednesday, August 4. She’s now become the queen of hiccups. This little girl has started getting the hiccups 3 times a day! I’m not sure if it’s the spicy food I eat but they’re almost becoming as regular as her sleeping patterns. She's also a mover and a shaker. You can see the belly shifting as she shimmies from side to side.

As for mom and dad updates, my back is much better but in its place, I’ve developed TMJ. I called Jared after a visit to the doctor and his response was, “so you’re telling me my wife has lock jaw???” Well, not exactly but I think with all we’ve had going on recently, I’ve started clenching my jaw at night…so that’s fun. I also discovered that Nugget is not a fan of Sudafed. I came down with a cold last week and am allowed to take Sudafed but quickly discovered, I’d prefer let this cold take its course. Hello kickboxing! The medicine had this poor child WIRED! I’ve had such a painless pregnancy from a physical standpoint that I guess its only fair I have a few road bumps as we near the end. I'm still relatively comfortable and walking most mornings. Jared’s trying to get as much work wrapped up in the next few weeks since August will be a little hectic. I will say he’s becoming the king of yard work though, especially since our neighborhood has a “Yard of the Month” competition. Give the guy a prize to shoot for and the competitive streak comes out!

I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to Mary Hodges Wamberg who was born on Friday morning at 8:33am. Andrew and Angeline are our friends in Atlanta and Angeline and I were due the same week but Mary Hodges decided to make a little bit of an early appearance. Welcome to the world Mary Hodges! I’d also like to ask for your prayers for Field Johnson who went in for his first heart surgery this morning at 7:30am. This is the first of three surgeries to begin repairing his heart. He is having a band placed around his pulmonary artery so help control the blood flow and we hope he’ll be back home on Wednesday.

Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers.

All my best,