The Rush Baby
March 2002 was supposed to be the month that Michelle and Andy "start trying" to have a baby. Well, it didn't take us long because on March 18, after purchasing a pregnancy test at the local CVS, we found out our answer - Michelle is pregnant!
So Andy, being the web geek that he is, puts together this web site to give people the scoop on the whole process.
April 14, 2003 - View a slideshow that I made of Aidan from some recent pictures. You'll need the flash plug-in. Go to the flash download page to get it.
January 22, 2003 - Aidan gets his first shots. Yes, it hurt us more than it hurt him, but it hurt him pretty good. He has just about doubled in weight and is lifting his head while on his stomach.
January 1, 2003 - Aidan wakes up at 11:30pm on 12/31/02 for a feeding. We watch the ball drop to ring in the new year!
December 28, 2002 - Aidan's first trip to a restaurant with his aunt Cathy and cousin Maggie. The place is called Fuddruckers and he sleeps through dinner.
December 22, 2002 - He is beginning to smile now.
December 3, 2002 - Another visit for Aidan with the doctor. Lots of sick babies are at the doctor's after the Thanskgiving holiday, so they put us in a separate waiting area. Aidan is now 8 lbs. 3 oz. and gaining weight very nicely, thank you .
November 25, 2002 - Michelle's Mom and Dad come down to look at more land around Charlottesville, VA. They'll be back for Turkey Day.
November 22, 2002 - Aidan's first doctor visit. He seems to like car rides. He doesn't like being poked and prodded though. Anyway he did very well and got a good report. He gained back almost all his weight since his birth. Mommy and Daddy asked a bunch of questions.
November 21, 2002 - OK, all those parents who said you won't get any sleep any more, you know the ones I said "yeah right" to - you were right. Strategy - it's all about strategy. Towards the end of the night we get some sleep.
November 20, 2002 - After spending a couple days in the hospital learning about the basics of our new baby, it's time to bring Aidan home and try it on our own. We had the luxury of having Aidan sleeping in the nursery for the last two nights. We left the hospital in the evening. Daddy will need practice with the car seat.
November 18, 2002 - Aidan Wesley Rush is born at 4:58 a.m. He receives great scores from the doctors, and lots of tears from Mom and Dad. He was 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 and 1/2 inches.
November 13, 2002 - Michelle's latest doctor visit and she decides against any stimulation to start contractions. We're going to take it as it comes. No real change from last week. Things are progressing, but slowly. The baby is still moving and growing.
November 7, 2002 - Michelle is at 2cm, which seems like a big deal based on the pictures we saw in Lamaze class. This is the beginning of labor! However, as we find out, this stage can last several weeks. Everybody has their opinions about when things will start moving. We talked with the doctor about starting things moving next Wednesday.
November 6, 2002 - Mom and Dad are starting to get anxious. Tomorrow is a weekly doctor visit. The baby is in position but there was no change from the previous visit. We'll see if there's anything new tomorrow.
October 31, 2002 - Halloween! Michelle has two days left of school and then she'll be able to relax. The baby is head down and ready. Mom and Dad would like to feel a little more ready. Today is also Dad's burial in Jamesville, N.Y. He would have approved to have everyone be in a cemetery on Halloween.
October 23, 2002 - The calling hours yesterday and the funeral today were a wonderful celebration of my Dad's life. So many people, with so many kind words, I am proud to have my father remembered so fondly. Everyone is happy to hear about our news of a new baby coming in a few weeks.
October 20, 2002 - Michelle and I travel up to Syracuse for the calling hours and funeral Tuesday and Wednesday. Michelle is amazing because is in the final days of working at the school and the final weeks of her pregnancy she decides to make the trip with me.
October 19, 2002 - My Dad's battle with his heart problems ended today around 3:00 p.m. He struggled long and hard and accepted all he had to do. He even made it to 50 years of marriage with my Mom. We will miss him very much.
October 18, 2002 - Not so good news from my sister. Dad has taken a bad turn. He is on a respirator and it's not looking good.
October 15, 2002 - Michelle's parents come back through town after looking for property in the Charlottesville area. A couple of places look good.
October 14, 2002 - Another sniper shooting in Falls Church. I'm writing too much about this, but everybody is going nuts.
October 12-13 - Michelle's parents come to visit, despite the lunatic that is still out there. We went to Graves Mountain to get out of town and enjoy some funnel cakes.
October 11, 2002 - It's another Friday visit to Fredericksburg by the sniper. Michelle's school goes into lock down. Somebody catch this guy already. My dad is back in the hospital with a blood infection. He wasn't home long after the rehabilitation at Iroquois.
October 4, 2002 - OK, this sniper person is getting a little too close to home.
September 28, 2002 - The fourth Lamaze class - more breathing, more scary videos, we're ready.
September 21, 2002 - The third Lamaze class we do not attend because Michelle is ill.
September 14, 2002 - The second Lamaze class and Daddy is able to attend. Lots of good information and some scary birthing videos. I sense Michelle having second thoughts . . . Naah!
September 7, 2002 - Andy surprises previously mentioned grandparents by attending the party celebrating 50 years of marriage. I disobeyed my father once again. It was a wonderful party and good to see folks I haven't seen in while.
Meanwhile, back in Fredericksburg, Michelle attends the first Lamaze class at the Mary Washington Hospital. Our good neighbors are attending the same class, so Michelle will have plenty of support while Daddy misses this first class.
September 6, 2002 - Today Donald and Marion Rush, grandfather and grandmother to the baby featured in this web site, celebrate 50 years of marriage!
August 12-16, 2002 - Mommy, Daddy and Scooter go on vacation to the Outer Banks N.C.
August 3, 2002 - Michelle has her baby shower in Jamesport. Surprise! People from all over come to spoil the future little Rush.
July 20-21, 2002 - Michelle and I drive up to Carlisle PA to meet my parents. Dad wasn't feeling well and was looking pretty thin. It sounded like he needed to change his medicine. We had a nice meal at Bob Evans though. It was great to see them and they were really seeing Michelle start to show.
July 8, 2002 - This was the doctor visit that Michelle wished she'd had back in June. The doctor said we have a "champion baby" and took some nice pictures. Things are now on track.
June 18, 2002 - Michelle's mother booked a flight out of BWI airport. I was so grateful that she had helped out for a few days that I would have driven her all the way back to Long Island. Though the trip to the airport was quite heavy with traffic, we joked that it was taking about that long just to get to Baltimore. Our next door neighbors stayed with Michelle while we gone, though Michelle was doing well getting around the house by now. Also, it's the one week anniversary of the surgery - OK we'll stop that now.
June 14, 2002 - Today was the one week anniversary of talking with Dr. Cohen about the surgery. Michelle had an interesting night's sleep. The Percoset had caused much confusion and it was difficult to get her bearings when she had to get up to go to the bathroom. I helped reassure her that she was fine. In one kind of funny exchange, she asked me if the medicine was compartmentalized. I guess she wondered if the medicine worked on different parts of the body differently. This stuff made her think funny.
June 13, 2002 - We returned early in the morning, relatively well rested. We found Michelle absolutely ready to get the heck out of the hospital. She didn't have a particularly good night as nurses were leaving her too much on her own. She also had one nurse that did mistake Michelle's heartbeat for the baby's and said "the baby's heartbeat is awfully low." The baby was fine and we went through the seemingly endless stages to getting released from the hospital after a major surgery. We finally left Thursday afternoon with Michelle switching to Percoset for pain relief. She was not quite herself on this med and it made the motion of the car not too easy to deal with. She was quite proud that she didn't get sick on the way home. We dealt with some torrential downpours of rain just to make the experience complete. Now we were finally home.
The doctor said a full six weeks of recovery is what is recommended before she could do much of anything, so we set about making each day an anniversary of something.
June 12, 2002 - We made it through the night OK and Michelle's Dad brought Mrs. Almasy back to the hospital before leaving for Long Island. From here on out it was steady progressions of removing machines and devices, as well as modifying her pain relief methods. She had a little control that she could give herself a "dose" of pain medicine when she felt uncomfortable. That seemed to work OK and she could never give herself too much. Today was the day that she would get up to use the facilities by herself, and consequently experience some real pain for the first time. However she was recovering very well and she was on schedule to leave the hospital on the afternoon of the 13th. For this evening she would be on her own. Michelle encouraged us (Michelle's Mom and I) to go home and get real sleep. We couldn't come up with much to argue with there. We did get stuck in a 45 minute traffic jam turning what was only supposed to be an hour's drive into an almost two hour inconvenience.
June 11, 2002 - Michelle was quite tired from thinking about what was going to happen during this procedure so she slept surprisingly well. We had to be at MCV before 7:00am so we were up at 4:45am. We made the trip in good time, and got Michelle checked in a little after 7:00. Michelle and I were guided to a very large room where she was prepped for surgery. This room also would serve as her recovery room.
We must have seen a dozen or more doctors, nurses, technicians, residents, and med students. There was even, my personal favorite, the "pain team". Each one explained what they were there for and what was going to happen. They all instilled a lot of confidence, especially the anesthesiology team, and Dr. Cohen.
Michelle went into surgery a little after 9:00 and about two hours later they wheeled her back into the large recovery room. During the surgery we got lots of updates that she was doing fine, and she was awake for mostly the whole operation. Between the spinal block and the epidural, she was feeling good. Dr. Cohen said to Michelle that it probably feels like about four martinis. Just prior to wheeling her back in, Dr. Cohen showed Michelle's parents and I a digital photo of the cyst. It was at this point in the surgery that it had ruptured as they delicately removed it.
It was not much more time before Michelle was recovering, feeling a little groggy and asking if everything was OK. Later in the day she was moved to a room in the neonatal section of MCV hospital. Michelle liked the sound of crying babies, as it seemed to soothe her. I asked her if she would feel the same way in five months.
Michelle's Mom and Dad returned to our house in Fredericksburg, and I stayed with Michelle overnight in the hospital. We had good care, but the visits every hour, along with the beeping machines, kept us from getting consistent sleep. I was using a reclining chair with wooden (!) arms, so I had to stuff lots of pillows (I think I counted five) around me to be even somewhat comfortable.
June 10, 2002 - Michelle's parents came down to be with Michelle during her surgery, which added great comfort to us both.
June 7, 2002 - I drove Michelle and myself down to Richmond, which is about an hour's drive. Michelle was at this point more resolved about doing this thing and Dr. Cohen gave us more confidence that everything was going to be OK. Dr. Cohen was a Tennessee doctor with a dry sense of humor. He spelled things out and said it was likely that Michelle's right ovary would be removed along with the cyst. He scheduled surgery for Tuesday the 11th. So we got the information about where to go, signed consent forms, and began the thankfully short wait for Tuesday to arrive.
June 5, 2002 - We met with Dr. Adkins and she laid out the game plan. She said that Michelle should have surgery as soon as possible because the cyst needed to come out, and it is the safest time for the baby between 15-20 weeks. Dr. Adkins also was not comfortable performing the surgery. She could do it, but she knew that there was someone who could perform the surgery more quickly and had more experience. An appointment was made with Dr. Stephen Cohen at the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) in Richmond.
June 3, 2002 - Today was supposed to be the visit that confirmed that the cyst that was found back on March 29 was gone. Well, not only was it not gone, but it also had NOT shrunk in size as was previously thought. The image on this ultrasound machine was higher quality than that of her regular doctor, so they showed us more details of this cyst and suggested that is was a "dermoid" cyst. They recommended that it come out and the best window of time for a pregnant woman was right now. We made a quick trip upstairs to her regular doctor to set up a consultation appointment. We would talk to her about what was next. Michelle was REALLY disappointed with this doctor's visit.
Anyway here are some pictures from the ultrasound:
May 31, 2002 - Another checkup for the Mother-to-be. This visit seemed to be centered on Michelle's weight gain - as in "she's eating everything in site." Exercise and eating healthy is what the doctor emphasizes.
It's always reassuring to hear the baby's heartbeat and the old Doppler gizmo gave us a reading of 150 beats/minute, down from the previous 160bpm. We'll be back to the hospital on Monday for the ultrasound.
May 10, 2002 - Another sonogram "event". We love getting these early pictures of the baby. Mostly the doctors are wondering if a cyst that Michelle developed has decreased in size. Well the cyst got smaller and our baby got bigger. We got to see legs kicking and arms flailing. Also the heart is bigger and you can see stuff (that would be blood) pumping through it.
Michelle gets one more sonogram visit on June 3rd. This is to see that the cyst is still shrinking. By the way, we don't want to find out the sex until the baby is born. They tell us we won't see "anything" until 20 weeks, so we're safe with this sonogram. Everyone seems to think it's a boy though, except for Michelle's brother, Ryan, who insists that it is a girl, says it will be 7 lbs. 6 oz., and will be one week late. Ryan also claims to not be from this world, though he seems rather normal. We'll see how his prediction holds up.
April 26, 2002 - Michelle's next appointment is a basic "check on the future Mommy" visit. Michelle has got lots of questions about "feelings" that she has had. The doctor informs us that it is normal stuff and puts us at ease. Michelle gained about 7 lbs. in 4 weeks. Michelle likes to eat. Michelle needs to exercise or the doctor will put her on a diet!
For our first visit, the doctor used the little baby Doppler heart beat finder thingy and we didn't hear anything. However this time, we got to hear the heartbeat. You just don't know what it is like until you experience this stuff. A beating heart (at about 160 beats/minute) inside a future Mom. Cool!
April 2, 2002 - The Vet lets us take Missy home and she seems fine.
April 1, 2002 - Missy has her spirit back. She wants nothing to do with the Vet anymore. She wants out and is feeling much better.
March 30, 2002 - Visited Missy at the Vet. Still is not feeling well.
March 29, 2002 - Wow! What a day. This was the day of Michelle's first doctor visit after "the test". However, before the 10:10 am appointment, our cat Missy decided that she was going to become ill. It was similar to the episode that she had two years ago where we almost lost her. Michelle called the vet and they said to bring her by after the doctor's appointment. We went to the OB/GYN and waited in the waiting room, and then we were called and waited in a second waiting room. We asked a bunch of questions, they took some of Michelle's blood, which we now know is not a good idea unless she is lying down.
The sonogram was next, and that was amazing. By measuring the little speck that was our baby, they determined that he/she was 6 weeks and 4 days along. That puts the due date at November 18, 2002 (editors note: he was right on time). We got to see this little light on the sonogram that flickered at a rapid rate - our baby's heart beat. That was our first proud parent moment. There were other nervous moments when the technician said "hmmm, not sure about this." The doctor later in the afternoon reassured us that there was nothing to worry about. Missy on the other hand, was still not out of the woods. She would have to stay at the vet over the weekend.