A Brady bunch family's journey in life after the positive…

Ella Marie September 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 7:51 pm

Ella Marie Malek was born on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 via scheduled cesarean section at 8:44 am. She weighed albs and 13 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches long. I’ll write a more detailed post once I get situated at home!



38 weeks and more bed rest September 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 12:13 am

So in my first week of bed rest I lost a pound, read three entire novels, turned my brain to mush with day time television and witnessed something I had never seen before – Mitch did laundry. Not only did he wash and dry it. He put it ALL away too. Took my breath away! But now the cat’s out of the bag…he won’t be getting off so easily from now on!

While I was really dreading being laid up all day and all night…it went by really really quick! Before I knew it..we were back in Dr. Wilson’s office on Thursday morning and I was enjoying my first day out of bed in a week. My blood pressure was of course high. And I had started having contractions that were coming every 15 minutes or so. So I got strapped to the Non Stress Test machine and we actually got one contraction on the paper. Cool stuff. The nurse even said, Wow…good contraction! I felt so proud! Baby girl seemed to enjoy the test too…her heartbeat was nice and strong and even rose to a loud, galloping 180 beats per minute. She was really excited about something! Dr. Wilson came in and was reluctant to tell me that she wanted another week of bed rest and to move my scheduled delivery date up to September 8. This thrilled us both! I asked if we could run to target to pick up a few last minute things and she hesitated, but agreed as long as we made it a quick stop. Woo hoo! We left the dr office with huge smiles plastered on our faces (think the jello pudding smile!) knowing that we wouldn’t have to make another appointment for next week…we were just to go straight to the hospital. Dr. Wilson told us the scheduling nurse would be calling us with the 411 on the new delivery day.
Back at home and back in bed, the girls had just gotten home from school (did I mention they hate riding the in air conditioned yellow dog home every day. I love it…reminds me of me and the boys riding it every day. It’s probably the same bus!) when my cell phone rang. Victoria Women’s Clinic calling. Yay! I got my pen and paper ready to jot down times and places for me to be and diet restrictions. Bianca, the scheduling nurse, totally blew my socks off when she informed me that the only day that would work with Dr. Wilson’s, Dr. McDowell’s an the OR’s schedule was TUESDAY! Of course I squealed a little because the excitement was bubbling over.
So here I lie, 3 full days away from meeting my newest beautiful daughter!
Oh yeah, I lost another pound, the belly button is definitely out, I don’t crave much of anything except water, and I am seriously wishing this weekend would fly by!


37 weeks and Bed Rest August 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 1:58 am

Well this has been quite the interesting week for us at the Malek household! I had my weekly check up with Dr. Wilson on Wednesday afternoon. After the blood pressure scare from the 36 week appointment, I made sure Mitch was with me so we could quiz the doc on what to expect and when to expect it. Well much to my disappointment…my blood pressure was high upon arrival. Not outrageously high, but 142/88.  Remember, normal for me was around 120/75 throughout my entire pregnancy…and even a small jump can signal oncoming problems. PIH – Pregnancy Induced Hypertension – is diagnosed with two readings of 140/90 no more than 7 days apart.  So, after waiting an hour in the second waiting room for Dr. Wilson (don’t even get me started on how many different waiting rooms we go through and how long we spend in each one) we got into a room to see Dr. Wilson and she had the nurse re-take my blood pressure – only to discover it had gone up even more… 155/92.  Dr. Wilson kept her cool and told us to leave her office and go straight to the hospital for a 24 hour observation period. I started crying. I’m a sap…what can I say. All I could think of is my baby girl was going to be born before her time and I was worried sick about NICU and respitory distress and I kept picturing this tiny baby with tubes galore. She reassured me that baby girl is fine…her heart beat is strong and at 37 weeks, she is considered fully developed. I calmed down and we checked out and headed over to L&D – again. The got me checked in and my bp was pretty okay…once I got laid down and in bed.  After we got a room and got settled….we started discussing names…and everyone would be so proud! We have narrowed it down to two names….and we are going to wait till we see her to decide. I started ticking off the things I didn’t have yet (my hospital bag packed for one) and Mitch was dutifully taking notes on his iPhone so he could make an urgent run to Target for fun stuff like huge maxi pads, breast pads and over night clothes for him. We really thought we were not coming home without a baby. My bp held steady any where from 130/80 – 138/88. Which, according to our awesome nurse Denise, was still pretty high for being on complete bed rest. They took blood and that came back good. I did a 24 hour urine collection which, thankfully, turned up negative for protein and Dr. Wilson said for me to go home and be on complete bed rest and come back to her office Sept 1 to see where we stand by then. So that’s the plan….today was my first day at home in bed. I get bathroom priviledges and 15 minutes for a shower every day. Mitch catered to my every need…and mom cleaned my house and lots of friends and family called and texted to check on me. So today wasn’t so bad…but next week I might be pulling my hair out from boredom.

Anyway….weight gain was actually down 2 pounds. So I’m +38 pounds as of 37 weeks.

Stretch marks have really popped up in the past two weeks…it’s very very ugly. But it’s totally okay…I’ll wear them with pride!

My belly button has finally popped out! Yahoo!!! But now no one will see it because I don’t get out of the house anymore!

Well, tonight it’s late and I’m pretty tired actually….I’ll be back soon with an update on our game plan..and hopefully a baby!!!!!


36 Weeks already?! August 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 10:02 pm

I know I skipped last week and I almost missed this week! Sorry!!! I’m not at my usual computer, so I don’t have my little saved format so I will be winging it for this post. I had my 36 week doctor appointment yesterday and got some disturbing news. I’d been battling a pretty yucky headache for three days at this point combined with the floaters I’ve been having in my vision and some abdominal pain…Dr. Wilson put me on alert for some other symptoms that all point to PIH  or Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. Which can lead to fun things such as pre-eclampsia. Long story short…this is bad. Bad for me and really bad for baby x. I promptly went to Target, bought a home blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on my pressure in between appointments.  Later that night…my bp was 155/95 so Mitch and I headed into Labor and Delivery to get checked out.  After a while, we were discharged and thankfully, without the baby! At 36 weeks, she is almost fully baked…but 37 weeks is full lung maturity and I’d just as soon she stayed inside until then so we don’t have any problems at delivery! I have another dr. appt next week and Dr. Wilson said we would re-evaluate my delivery date at that time. I have a feeling…I will be re-evaluating every week based on these symptoms.

Weight gain: Sitting pretty at +40lbs total. Wow…sure did come on quick! I know it’s a lot to gain and a lot to loose….but I’m not worried about it.  I’d gain 80lbs if it guaranteed a healthy babe.

Symptoms: Besides the headache, abdominal pain and floaters….more of the mundane pregnancy symptoms. Mush brain is getting worse, difficulty moving, round ligament pain, huffing and puffing after just a trip to the bathroom, leg cramps, fatigue and exhaustion, insomnia that always seems to hit around 4 am, a deep desire to have EVERYTHING clean…but no energy to actually clean it.

Cravings: Still not craving much. I was introduced to a new treat for lunch….Rolling Joe’s Tacos. LOL! For 9 years I have worked at the same location and never once have I indulged in their lunch special. When I started training my maternity leave replacement, she enlightened me on just how much I was missing. Wow…now I have to limit myself to one a week or I’ll be hitting the big 5-0 mark on the weight gain in my remaining weeks!

Milestones: Oh wow…I had my baby shower and it was wonderful! I had my best friend and my SIL take pictures, but I haven’t gotten any of them downloaded or printed yet….so I will have to make a special post for them later. I had a great turn out and it was a whole lot of fun to see everyone and get a chance to catch up and visit.  Daddy and I got the baby’s closet cleaned out and organized and we assembled the bouncer. Up next is the swing and installation of the car seat. After the L&D scare, we both have realized it could happen at any moment and we really need to be prepared! So the bag is packed and now I’m just waiting on Daddy to get home to help with the rest. We still lack a rug and a lamp for baby girl’s room….but I suppose we can find stuff after she is born if it comes down to it.

Weekly wisdom: Follow your gut instinct. I am very much the type of person to suffer in silence when it comes to medical issues. I would rather paint a smile on my face for the doctor and pretend that everything is fine just so I don’t look like a complainer or a whiner. But this week when she asked me how I was feeling….I felt compelled to tell her about the headache. And I’m super glad that I did. Of course, now I have to worry about it…but if I had not told her I would be suffering blindly and probably google diagnosing…and we all know how dangerous that is!

In other super great news….I am an Aunt for the very first time! My brother BJ and his wife Kali welcomed Lyla Grace into our family on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm. She is beautiful and perfect in every way! She tipped the scales at 8lbs and 6oz and measured 19.5 inches in length…so she’s no small fry! I took the girls over Wednesday afternoon and we spent a solid two hours holding her and just gazing at her perfection. It moved me to tears several times to watch the love grow on my brothers face as he beemed at his perfect daughter. And it filled my heart with joy to watch my daughters fawn over their new baby cousin and ask a million questions about babies in anticipation of bringing our own home.


34 weeks August 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 4:26 pm

Total Weight Gain:  Got the official number from the doctor yesterday. She said I was doing wonderfully (lies, it’s all lies)! I have gained 35 pounds to the day…which keeps me perfectly in line for my 40 pound weight gain like I had with the other two kiddos. 5 more weeks to be pregnant…5 more pounds to probably gain. Sitting in the waiting room yesterday was just torture. There were all these skinny girls and they were all conversing amongst themselves about how they were due within days and some weeks. Blah! They were WAY smaller than my big ole tummy and they were already knocking on 40 weeks.  

Movement:  Well despite my thinking that she had moved up last week…she’s just super long. Dr. Wilson estimates that baby girl is right at 18 inches long. That’s a lot of baby in there! It’s no surprise that she is invading my ribs, lungs, bladder and cervix all at the same time. She has gotten even stronger this past week…I didn’t think it was possible. She can kick plates, forks, remotes, cell phones and even bars of soap off my belly with no problem. But the other day, she kicked while I was sleeping and it woke Mitch up!  That’s impressive because Mitch can sleep through a freight train at our window.   

Cravings:  Everything this week! Still loving the fruit pizzas and yesterday, taco bell. It was yesterday after my doctors appointment, around 4pm and I just had to have a burrito and cinnamon twists and a pepsi. Calories be damned…and I even ate dinner at 8:30 with Mitch. (See how I’ve gained 35 lbs already?!)

Symptoms:  Swelling, frequent urination, constipation, heart burn, acid reflux, gall bladder pain, rib pain, muscle cramps, exhaustion, back pain, restless legs, crazy baby dreams, baby brain to the extreme!  More of the same I suppose.

Belly Button:  In.  Still…it’s kind of starting to distort..but I still wouldn’t call it an outie.

Preparations:  Still no name. Much to the disappointment of my mother, brother, and just about every random stranger who asks me on the street.  Baby shower is this weekend so I’m hoping to stock up on some really good baby stuff…but I know the inevitable trip to Babies R Us is approaching to pick up all the last minute things that we forgot we absolutely have to have. I’m not looking forward to a two hour car trip and trekking through the store with my swollen feet and disgusting hands.  

Milestones: 34 weeks is the point where most everything on the babe is developed. From here on out..we just all gain weight. Yay! If she were to be born right now, she would most likely be just fine.    

Weekly Wisdom: Don’t let your kids grow up too fast. My soon to be 6th grader is desperate for makeup. She’s even taking to begging and pleading with me using the “I’m going to get bullied because I don’t wear makeup like everyone else” story.  These are just my personal beliefs on this blog and I am by no means an expert in parenting. I fully believe it’s a learning process that really doesn’t ever end. But I do know, from experience, how quickly childhood passes. And I remember wanting to be grown up before my time. But I look back with fondness at those years when my mom didn’t allow me to follow the “in” crowd…because while I may have felt “left behind” as far as makeup and shaving and dating were concerned….I got to be a carefree kid for just a little bit longer. What I wouldn’t give for a few months of worry free fun now a days!


33 weeks and introducing the Honeydew! July 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 8:22 pm

Gosh this past week flew by! I feel like I just updated this blog and here it is…time to bring pregnancy reality to all of you again!

Total Weight Gain:  Not weighing anymore. All I know, I officially can’t stand wearing pants anymore of any kind because once 9am passes, my legs start swelling and pants are too restricting. So I’m living in maxi dresses (at work) and Mitch’s athletic shorts and t-shirts (at home.)

Movement:  She seems to have moved up a bit this week. Taking a deep breath is painful if I’m sitting in a certain position. But, when I try to push her foot/leg/backside down out of my lung space or rib space, I get met with some pretty strong resistance and a good 15 minutes of hard kicks and punches while she tries to settle back into her comfortable spot.  

Cravings:  Well in light of the impending Tropical Storm Don headed our way…I figured I’d better get to the grocery store yesterday after work and stock up on some essentials. In the store, in no more than a nano second of seeing the strawberries…I had to have them. But not just strawberries…I wanted to get graham crackers, strawberry cream cheese and make myself some fruit pizzas. And since last night…I have demolished an entire pack of graham crackers (2 packs to a regular box) and a 1 lb container of strawberries! Good news is, they won’t spoil if we lose power with the storm!

Symptoms:  Swelling, frequent urination, constipation, heart burn, acid reflux, gall bladder pain, rib pain, muscle cramps, exhaustion, back pain, restless legs, crazy baby dreams, baby brain to the extreme!  

Belly Button:  In.  

Preparations:  We chose a pediatrician last week. Dr. Resendez it is. I hope we are happy with her, it seems that everyone we know uses her and they all love her. Contrary to popular belief, we still don’t have a name…and I’m starting to be okay with that. At first it bothered me immensely, but now, I’m kind of liking the idea of naming her when we see her. And if any of my dreams are destined to come true…she’s really a boy and we won’t need girl names anyway!

Milestones: 33 weeks. Wow. That’s 231 days of being “with child”. And that only leaves 45 days left to be with child (at least with the child in my body). Ahhhh…45 glorious more days.  I’m pretty over this whole pregnancy thing. I’m just tired of feeling so cumbersome and huge and pregnant. I know every (sane) woman gets to this point in pregnancy and I’m pretty happy I made it all this way before I started feeling really sick of it.   

Weekly Wisdom: Always keep candles and batteries on hand when you live on the South Texas Coast. Because when a tropical storm threatens your area and you haul your pregnant butt up off the couch to go find some at the local Dollar store, grocery store or Wally World; all the weather fanatics have already snapped them all up and you are left with only scented candles that make your house smell like Bath and Body Works in a roid rage and batteries that fit NONE of the 50 flashlights you have in your house.


32 weeks and the last week of the orange pumpkin squash! July 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 9monthsofjoy @ 2:16 pm

Total Weight Gain: Another 3 pounds up at my last doctors appointment. I was told my weight was great…but it definitely doesn’t feel so great on my poor back, legs and feet.  

Movement:  The movement has started to slow down. Dr. Wilson said she’s topping 4lbs now and it’s a tight fit! I still feel her moving throughout the day and mostly at night…but it’s not the crazy gymnastics she had been doing…it’s more deliberate and powerful movements.

Cravings:  I’m so sick of food. I’m sick of knowing I have to eat…even when nothing sounds good and I don’t feel hungry.   

Symptoms:  Still peeing all the live long day, heart burn, acid reflux, preggo brain, exhaustion, insomnia, waddling, swelling to unbelievable proportions in the evenings, constipation, back pain, feet pain…blah blah blah. At 8 months pregnant, everything hurts.

Belly Button:  Okay all this time, I’m waiting for the naval to protrude. Here, at 32 weeks pregnant, it still won’t pop. I’m feeling pretty robbed of the cute popped belly button!

Preparations:  While this doesn’t really have much to do directly with the baby, it has everything to do with how life will proceed after she arrives. I’ve started really getting on the older girls case’s about being more responsible. I have assigned dishwasher duty to Bailey. She’s 11 now (on this coming Monday) and I believe she can load/unload the dishwasher every day. I’m nervous to see how it turns out, but I gave her first lesson in proper positioning and stacking yesterday. Hannah is 9 and she is now in charge of their bathroom. Not hard core cleaning (cause I’m a fanatic) but organization issues and towel issues. I will never understand why children can’t hang a towel on a towel rack after using it. What is it about the floor that just screams “drop me here!” My kids are generally neat kids – thank goodness living with me and Mitch! But the little things…leaving lids off toothpaste, towels on the floor, hair accessories strung all over the bathroom counters, clothes on the floor…UGH! I literally can’t bend over anymore and I figure it’s as good of a time as any to start delegating these responsibilities to the offenders!

Milestones: 32 Weeks! 51 days and counting. Babycenter.com says our baby girl now has actual hair…or peach fuzz. Mitch was a bald baby. I was a bald baby. 2 out of 3 of our existing children were bald babies. I would be willing to bet…this girl is sporting some serious peach fuzz.  

Weekly Wisdom: I’m a day late in posting this update. I’m not sleeping at all anymore. My kids are addicted to Monopoly (where they apparently love to make me a pauper) and it’s all I can do to get home, make dinner, play for 45 minutes and then crash. I don’t have any wisdom this week.