Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Too good to last

We're back in the hospital.

Since we went home on Monday, A has had some difficulty w/ his stools. Lots of blood. We had called emergency on Monday night and Erin talked to the surgery resident who wasn't concerned.

We then had a fantastic day yesterday. it was the best day of my life, I think. We went to the pediatrician, who wasn't concerned about the blood in his stools (we brought it with us) since he was back to yellow breast milk poop. We ran a couple of errands, and just worked to get into the swing of things back at home. In the middle of the night, though, the red/brown returned. We tried not to panic/wait it out as it had returned to yellow the day before. This morning, though, A wasn't eating well, so the surgeon's office saw us (after E called them THREE times and badgered them into an appointment.) The nurse decided, after looking at A, that she wanted the surgeon to take a look at him. Dr. L wasn't concerned about the blood, but said that A "just didn't look well" and that since there is such a "small margin of error", he wanted us back in the hospital.

E and I are taking turns rocking A. We are waiting for tests to come back. A was definitely dehydrated and we are waiting to see if:
  • it is some sort of infection (requiring a 7-10 day course of antibiotics, probably)
  • he has mal-absorption issues related to his surgery (could require a range of treatments)
  • or to see if it was just dehydration (E and I were just talking and we have no idea what this would mean for us).

So, here we are again. Tired, feeling a bit defeated. We are, at least, glad to back in the same NICU where we started (there was a chance we'd have to go to a different one.) We are also relieved that G's daycare snuck her in for Friday as well as her usual Thursday visit. That gives us until Saturday to figure out how to arrange our lives. E is going to finagle work as best as she can.

No parents should have to go through this. Neither should any new little life to this world. A is still our little fighter. He is not a sickly child overall, we just have to get this under control.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday - Please let this be near the end

The last couple of days have been uneventful compared to our introduction to the NICU. They thought we might be able to head home on Friday. Our spirits were so high, and we were making the plans to head on out of here. Thursday night, though, we had a good notion that life wasn't going to go as we had hoped as A's weight had dipped HUGE. Friday night, we were disappointed with another low weight - though, the loss had lessened.

So, last night, we were very nervous to see A on the scale. We were ecstatic when we saw he had GAINED, nearly an ounce!! We did not have any expectations this morning, but all of a sudden - and don't get too excited here-- the doctor started saying things like "discharge" connected with the time frame of "this morning". She started to move on it immediately, and we were in jubilant shock. Everything was ready to go, and she began to do her last thing: the discharge exam. She pulled back the bandage to look at his sutures, and one of them was open and there was a bit of fluid draining... So, here we still are.

The good news, though, is that as long as the status of the suture doesn't change (i.e. does not pull more skin open, does not become inflamed and/or red, and he doesn't develop a fever), we are basically scheduled to go home tomorrow morning. (That, and he has to continue to gain weight.) I am finishing paperwork now for insurance, but other than that, it looks like we are on our way out - FINALLY.

Our NICU experience has been one that I never need to repeat. Unfortunately, we will have another hospital stay ahead of us in a couple of months when they put A's intestines back together again. Still, it will be planned and he will be healthy for that one... and we're going to be more than ready to get rid of his ostomy at that point.

On a good note, the folks here are really fantastic. Everyone is set up in a private room, so we've been able to spend the nights here. We have privacy all day to spend time together getting to know one another as a family - of course, we are more than anxious to do that on the outside of an intensive care unit, but we are lucky that we had the care that we did while here.

Maybe at some point in the future, we will blog more heartily about our feelings and experiences here. I've never endured so much fear and confusion. For now, though, it's time to go. I have to rock A. Please keep us in your thoughts for A to continue his healing and weight gain. He is a strong little guy, and we are so proud of him for making such great strides in just one week. (Thank God it wasn't any longer.) Thank you, again, for all of your thoughts and comments. We will never be able to truly express how much strength you all gave A's mommies while we've been here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nope *Updated*

Not going home today. A is losing weight, so we're guaranteed another night's stay. "Disappointed" doesn't really cover it. Of course, we need A to be healthy, and losing weight does not for a healthy baby make.

Continued thoughts are more than appreciated. Thank you to everyone for your continued support. We have felt you all over the last week. Thank you.

*Update*. We won't be going home until mid next week at the earliest.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NICU - Thursday

A meets Grandma for the first time.

A taking a baby nap.
All good news to report today. They discontinued A's antibiotics and we will likely see the last of the IVs removed this evening. We worked on nursing today (a lot more work to do yet!), and the docs think we will be going home tomorrow or Saturday. Yeah! It's almost time for A's second homecoming.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The newest news

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers and comments.

Today we are doing exceptionally well. (So far, no sign of tears returning either... fingers crossed!) E and I stayed last night and felt like parents for the first time since we brought him home. At our request, the nurse woke us every few hours to feed him (and pump.) We took turns quieting him when he awoke upset. We are sleep deprived today, but this time it's for the right reasons, and it feels so good.

Not only did we have a good night, but we got the go ahead to increase A's feeding amounts. If he can keep all of them down (no throwing up!!), and we can keep increasing the amounts we are going to be looking at going home sometime this weekend. If any sign of trouble develops w/ feeds, we have to start over again... in the meantime, he's off his pain meds and they are decreasing his IV nutrition so that he will want more and more of the good stuff.

We are holding A constantly now. I am working on bring up my milk production, and we are going to learn how to work the ostomy bag because we're likely going home in a few days!!

Thank you, everyone. We've needed you so much. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Preliminary negative!

A had a tough night last night. He stopped breathing. They had to give him oxygen and a dose of anti-narcotic. His lungs had stopped due to the pain medication. After the anti-narcotic he snapped right back. It was the scariest thing I've even seen in my life....never again.

On a better note, the preliminary test for CF has come back negative! They will test for more rare strands but for now, we are convinced, no CF in our house!

He has also eaten for the first time in days. He was alert and looking for more afterwards.

Thank you for your support, he sure is getting those prayers!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back in our Arms

Today we had our first chance to hold our son since more than 24 hours ago when he went to surgery. This afternoon, they took out the breathing tube, took him off of the warmer, and finally allowed us to hold him. We can see his little face again!

Our little guy is so strong. Not only did he get off the ventilator in about a day, but he also is already using his bag, which means that we will probably be able to start feeding him tomorrow.

We are still waiting on the CF test results, and we have a way to go before we're all better, but you can imagine our relief at the fast progress. He is a strong and healthy boy. He doesn't deserve this, but he continues to have good vitals, and he moves quickly to each milestone. His mommies are just relieved to be able to hold him. Next, we are excited to feed him.

Thank you so much for your continuous thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your words. Your comments have helped us more than we can express to you. We will continue to keep the updates going. We hope to report only good progress here. Thank you again for everything. We needed you all, more than you can ever really know.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pray for us: Update

A is out of surgery and he is stable. They had to remove a part of twisted bowel that had perforated and was causing his major problems.

We are still waiting on the test results to see how this was caused, but the surgeon believes that it was just a fluke thing, rather than a sign of Cystic Fibrosis. We aren't out of the woods on this one yet, as the test has to come back, but before surgery we were told the likelihood of CF was greater than 50%. It felt like our world was unraveling.

His little body is lying there limp, but we now know that he is fixed. He's going to be able to poop with the help of his bag (ostomy?). They are estimating that he may be able to eat by tomorrow, and that we will be able to go home in about two weeks. In 6-8 weeks, we will have to come back and have some more procedures to finish putting his intestines back together.

Right now, A is on a breathing tube and lots of pain medication. We can't hold him right now, but will be able to do so tomorrow. My mom and all of my sisters are still on their way. E's dad is coming back with some supplies. We're not out of the woods, and we are still anxious to hear the definitive "NO" on the CF, but we are doing better than we since we arrived last night around 11pm.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Pray for us

Please pray for us. We rushed A to the ER last night. We have since been admitted to the NICU. He has some severe bowel problems. They are taking him to emergency surgery. We will likely be here for days, if not weeks. No one yet knows what the problem is.

E and I are not doing well. E's dad is here and is coming to the hospital. My sister is on her way from MI. Please pray for our baby boy. Please pray for us that we can give him what he needs. Please pray for miracles.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm holding my son

We're home. All three of us.

Quick rundown of the events:
  • Wednesday 315 -Water breaks
  • Wednesday 7PM - Midwife Mary confirms broken water
  • Wednesday 730 - we got the go ahead to go home for the evening
  • Wednesday evening - E packs the suitcase, washes bassinette gear. Midwife visits at 11pm for antibiotics (hadn't yet heard back about my Group B Strep Status)
  • We went to sleep around midnight.
  • A few contractions woke me.
  • Thursday 3am - next birth center nurse visited us for antibiotics (every four hours!)
  • Thursday 645am - we were at teh birth center, ready to stay
  • Thursday 8am - executed legal documents (lawyer and our friends I&M met us there!)
  • Thursday 830am - began my induction protocol
  • Thusday 9am - threw up my protocol
  • Thursday 1030 - contractions actually began
  • Thursday 430pm- acupuncture brought on terrible back labor
  • Thursday 6pm- extreme frustration resulted in a "check" where it was determined that I was 100% effaced and 5-6 cm
  • Thursday 10pm- 7-8 cm dialted, frustration set back in
  • Friday 1am - began pushing (no checks)
  • Friday 1:18am - A was born
  • Friday 1pm - we arrived home

E was fantastic. A is beautiful. More detailed account to come later. In the meantime, we're working on getting the hang of breast feeding, and settling in. I'm sore, but well. Baby isn't a big fan of eating yet, but he's gorgeous. Oh, his stats:

  • Gestation 37 weeks, 2 days (water broke at 37 weeks)
  • Born 1:18am, Friday April 18th
  • 6lbs, 14oz
  • 19.5" long
  • reddish blonde hair

The few pics I got to load are all messed up at the top, but there we are! Blogger is giving me lots of problems uploadng pics, so this is all I can do for now. Sorry, but more to come!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just in Time

Thanks to everyone for your exceedingly timely advice on what to pack for the trip to the Birth Center. As it was, Erin was posting that message just as my water was breaking. We hit 37 weeks just in time!

After a big meeting this afternoon, one that had caused me a great deal of stress this week, I hit the bathroom. A few gushes later, I tried to call E a few times. No dice. So, I called the midwife who told me she was pretty sure my water was broken. I finally called E and had them page her.

We went to the center where they confirmed that my bag of waters had broken (by that time, even I wasn't confused about was going on.) Baby's heartbeat is "perfect", and he passed the non-stress test with flying colors.

We are home now. My strep test hasn't yet come back yet, which means they treat me like I have Strep B, so the midwives are visiting every 4 hours to bring by some more antibiotic drip. We are hoping to start spontaneous labor soon, but will - regardless- be heading back to the birth center in the morning where they will begin inducement. Well, they won't actually begin inducement until after our lawyer and our witnesses show up to finish executing our legal documents.

So, I just ate some spicy green curry, E is doing a bit of laundry and (re)packing the suitcase. (We packed it in a hurry earlier today, but thought we'd repack since we have a chance.) Then, she's going to walk the dog. E's dad is arriving sometime tomorrow. After the m/w comes around 11, I'll be hitting the sweet dreams (as best as I can) until the 3am visit.

I'm a lot more calm now. Both of us are kind of freaking out - not ready at home or work, but calming down and letting it set in. Our son is coming. He's not going to be a May baby. He's coming, and it feels like we aren't ready. It's up to him though. OMG. We're going to be parents by the weekend. OMG. Wish us luck and a healthy baby. Sorry that was so scattered.

Buckle down

It is time for us to buckle down and work on getting the final list together for Tot's arrival. At work that means handing things off for maternity leave (both of us, but me only 2 weeks and S 12 weeks). We have decided that most things that aren't done already outside of work are just "would be nice" things to get done but nothing is mandatory. My work shower is Friday and then Saturday we will go shopping for the final list of things we need. I think we are in really good shape.

How about a shout out to the blogworld about what is the one thing you wanted, needed, or were really glad to have packed in your suitcase for the birth? Those of you that haven't made the trip to the birth yet, what is the one thing in your "I think I'm going to want" category? Thanks for the help!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Donut anyone....

Isn’t it interesting when people use food terms to describe body parts. The midwife yesterday said that the cervix is about the size of a hostess mini donut. Great! Tell the lady with baby sugars that her girly parts are like a donut that will eventually be like a pancake during labor. My only question is, is it more like the chocolate covered ones or the powdered sugar?

Monday, April 14, 2008


We had an appointment this morning. Heartbeat is 136, my blood pressure is good... yada... yada...

I have noticed a huge spike in my anxiety over the last week. My thoughts include:

  • I am worried the baby is getting smaller b/c I don't feel like I look any bigger (lost another pound this week.)

  • I have frequent flashes of worry throughout the day that something is wrong with him. My anxiety is calmed once I feel him move, which usually takes only a moment or two, certainly never than a minute or two... and that will keep me going for a while until 3o minutes later when I begin to worry again...

Today's midwife assured me that I'm measuring fine (35 weeks, which doesn't help my worries about him shrinking, but she says that as he settles into the pelvis, we might not see much more growth from our end...). She also suggested that I'm more anxiety-ridden of late because he's becoming more real. How'd she get into my head??! :-)

I think she's right... I'm not willing to dismiss my worries as ridiculous - as E says, we can indulge them each and every time - however, my other increasingly obsessive thoughts are those of Life As I Once Knew It (LAIOKI.) I'm constantly daydreaming about going back to LAIOKI. From daily types of activities to less frequent things. The other day, I actually thought about laying on my stomach, as in, at that moment I nearly laid down on the bed face down... I think I'm just beginning to feel the end. Obviously, life will never be as I/we once knew it. It's too late for that. This is what we wanted. This is what we've been working towards for three years, but I am having a hard time digesting the fact that we're here. We're almost there. We're having a baby and we're going to be parents. I can't believe it, and although I'm excited, I have no idea how to handle it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What was I going to say again?

At some point in the wee hours of this morning, I was awakenedy by one of my usual urges to visit the powder room. When I returned to bed, sleep refused to come. So, I lied there thinking. I ran through my usual thoughts: work (aaagghhhckk!! I have to get x, y, AND z done!), house work (we can check a,b, and c off this weekend if we put our minds to it!), and then I waited for Tot to kick me.

While running through my nightly neuroses, I also had the best idea for a post. I mean, I came up with the best subject and even plotted not only the subject matter but the intracacies of the format. I was so engrossed in the idea that I had to wait again for Tot to kick because I missed it the first time (I like to really enjoy my middle of the night bonding.)

So, I sat down today to write this post figuring I'd remember it if I put my mind to it: Nope. It's not there. My brain is empty this Friday afternoon. I guess it's time for the weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ped Visit

Yesterday, E and I met with our first of two pediatricians. We went armed with a list of questions, and overall were happy with his answers. There were a few weird moments, but overall I think we could be happy with him as our child's medical care giver.

Weird moments:
  • Asked if E was my sister (hmmm, because most folks ask their sister to co-lactate?) He recovered nicely though, and treated us as a couple after learning the true nature of our relationship.
  • Gave us his opinion on vaccinations (he's very pro, and is happy to spread them out to make us as comfortable as possible) and part of his rationale was so that E and I wouldn't be inconvenienced by Tot's illness - you know, so that we don't have to take off work if/when he gets chicken pox. Since E and I didn't decide to have a baby based on convenience, we were both taken aback by that thought. On the flip side, we know that for some people missing a week of work because a child is sick absolutely must be a consideration. Still, strange.

Things we liked:

  • This guy is very pro-breast feeding. We asked how he dealt with problems and he proceeded to explain all of the resources he pulls on to help women get through the potential difficulties. He also complimented the midwives on their focus on and ability to facilitate breast feeding. He did not mention "formula" once. (As in, if you keep trying and it doesn't work, there are good formulas out there too.) We felt confident that we would be supported in breast feeding our son.
  • On that note, he was absolutely fascinated by E's attempt at co-lactation and said, mostly to himself, that he was going to do some reading on that. We saw this as supportive and as a desire to be informed. He did not dismiss it or act like it was really strange etc...
  • He is not particularly gung ho about antibiotics. This was important to us because knowing that we will be new parents and a bit uptight about anything that is wrong with him, we need to know that our care provider won't try to hand us the opiates of antibiotics, which really do nothing for viruses anyways. He said that he uses them mainly for ear infections - I'm assuming those tend to be bacterial.
  • Once he figured out that E and I are both moms, he treated us as such. The original assumption aside, it was clear that he would see us both as Tot's parents.
  • Overall, he seemed up on his research, and open to our opinions and style. He gave us the impression that he would be both supportive and informative. We don't think we agree with him on everything, but that he's also open to whatever it is that we want to do. This point is the most important to us as we know that no one will ever be just like us (which is probably a good thing!)

One more ped visit next week and we'll make our decision!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Getting closer

The m/w appointment was relatively uneventful last night. I have lost some weight, again for the second appointment in a row. They told us it is normal w/ baby sugars to lose weight and confirmed that it is, indeed, ME losing weight, not Tot. Good enough by me - I figure it's a bonus jump on the after-birth diet, well-deserved after months of pricking myself and denying my cravings for ice cream.

After the appointment, E and I walked our attention-starved dog. When we got home, I had a chance to chat with my mom on the phone. We connected well, and I learned that she's going to take a day off when the baby comes so she can stay for a weekend and a day. A highly pleasant surprise, in my happy opinion. We then spent the rest of the evening reviewing documents (estate-planning) from the lawyer (me) and watching the last basketball game of M.arch (April!!) Mad.ness (E). Do we know how to have a good time or what?

As each day passes, I am finding myself imagining life after Tot's birth more and more. I imagine resuming old activities like morning runs with the dog (as if that would happen right away.) I imagine holding him and introducing him as my/our son. Somehow I can imagine what he looks like, as long as I don't try to imagine his face... I know that doesn't make any sense, but... I've even gone so far as to imagine him and another sibling running around our back yard.

At the baby shower on Saturday, someone asked us if seeing babies made us more excited or more nervous. It's not that I'm not nervous. I think that there will be more sleepless nights than I will feel I can handle. Inconsolable crying is always a stressful thing, but I'm so hopeful for our future. I'm looking forward to weathering those and other storms because I know we can do it. I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know our son - enjoying him for who he is, and helping him become the best person he can be. I'm excited to hear him call for me and E for the first time, to see his first smile, and hear his first joke, to see him ride a bike for the first time. I can't imagine much further because it's too exciting. It's too much. He's going to be here in about 5 weeks (considering the first pregnancy tends to go late).

We hit 36 weeks tomorrow. OMG. Is this really happening?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Last patch

The last patch of our over 100 inches of snow has left our yard! I have slight sunburn (not that hard for me to get). The house was cleaned with the window open. We grilled and ate almost every meal on the deck. Yup, spring is here. We had a fun and busy weekend.

On Friday I did the spring thaw dog poop pick up while S sat on the deck enjoying the weather. An Easter Egg arrived from my dad so we decided to go out to dinner. Our friend S joined us and the evening was nice and relaxing.
On Saturday, we slept in and then went directly outside! G ran around, chewed sticks, played ball, and loved her Mom and Mutti being in the backyard with her. We ate breakfast on the deck! S went grocery shopping and I cleaned the house. Then it was grilled chicken sausages for lunch and a walk with G. Our walks now consist of S wearing a backpack chair to the park and then sitting while G and I play Frisbee! It works for everyone!

Next we were off to a wonderful shower for our friends T and J, thrown by I and M, to celebrate T, J and little M’s union!

After that we were off for another walk to the park with G, grilled dinner, and then our friends M and S came over. They are due on the 20th!

Yesterday, included church, H*me Dep*t, working on refinishing our china cabinet, sewing a bed skirt, working on some legal documents, laundry, and a walk with G.
Phew….no wonder I’m tired! At least I didn’t have to shovel!

Friday, April 4, 2008

What are we doing here?

We have had the worst winter in my recent memory (recent being a reliable 15 years- since learning to drive, in the least.) Today it is approaching 60 degrees, the sun is out and it smells like spring.

Why am I inside typing away at a computer? Work is sincerely overrated.

Bright spot: Tomorrow it is supposed to be even nicer!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How do you feel?

I am now asked routinely how I "feel". Strangely, I get the sense that folks are looking for me to list off everything that's wrong with me. How am I supposed to answer this? By pointing out that I can no longer stand for an entire shower in the morning? By talking about how I walk the dog - taking a chair with us to the park so that I can sit for 15 minutes after walking for 10? By mentioning that I cannot sleep at night, nor can I wake in the morning?

Hearing myself complain throughout the day will just make the complaints all the more real, right? ... and I have more than a month to go. I can't be miserable yet. I have so much work to do at work, and we have so much to finish at home - mind over matter is what I say.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't complain to E. She gets to hear every ache and pain, possibly multiple times a day. She is also, of course, incredibly sweet. She willingly ties my shoes so that I don't have to bend down (walking shoes must be worn for walks or I will last only moments. Walking shoes are not slip-ons.) She is happy to rub my aching back...

So, how do I feel? I feel like I'm 8 months pregnant. I'm happy that I've not gained too much weight (17 lbs total as of last appt). I'm happy that my wife understands my daily bath-after-work needs. I also feel like I'll be happy to "get my body back", so that it's mine again. (Yes, I know it will never be the same. That's fine.) I'll be glad to stop counting my carbs incessantly. It will be nice to have a bladder larger than a dime. I've been ready to drink gallons of black iced tea since I gave it up last fall. I'm ready to be done with appointment after appointment, and I feel like my back might break in half if I don't sit down.

I also know that our son isn't ready to come out yet. From what I've read, his digestive system and lungs aren't really ready for the world yet. He has to gain a bit more weight before he's ready too. Since he is the ultimate goal, and the one that I'm busy taking care of, I feel like I'm not yet ready for him to come. I feel like he won't be ready for at least a month, and so I have to stay in a mental place that allows me to cope with the discomfort and inconveniences of being pregnant because he's worth it, and so am I.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's a Baby Boom

My cousin had her baby BOY yesterday at 12:27pm. 20", 7lb and 7oz, so smaller than E's family babies of late!

Pictures of D when we get them.