Saturday, March 28, 2009

Busy busy busy..

Sorry fo rthe lack of updates since we have been home with Charlie. I am still trying to get used to the schedule and only sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time..not my forte! I love my sleep, so only sleeping for short stints is hard for me! But I'm sure I'll manage! :)

Charlie is doing great! He came home having to eat a minumum of 43ml per feeding every 2-3 hours. He is now up to eating 45-50ml (more often its 50) per feeding. I am still working on keeping up with the milk production to manage these feedings. We haven't had to use formula yet, but we are 'just getting by' on the pumpings. He is such a good baby and doesn't really cry unless he is hungry..and even then it's more like wimpers!

Here are some pics too. Nothing to exciting as mostly we eat and sleep!
When Charlie gets hungry, his hand start going and he tends to scratch his face...we put mitts on him, but this is how they ended up! (no I did NOT touch them!)
And here is one of his stretches? He is always stretching when we let him out of the swaddling!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Look Ma...


And I get to come home!!

Saying Goodbye to the wonderful nurses that took care of me! Kelly admitted Charlie and discharged him..Denise helped me see that Charlie really needed to stay in the NICU a few more days...

Here I am in my own bed...Home Sweet Home!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 7 March 22

Today is a good day!! Charlie has taken his entire bottle since the 6am feeding!!!!! Only 3-4 more feedings till the tube can come out and then maybe a day to be sure he keeps on track!

I went up for our usual 9am feeding and then for the 3pm. I stayed through the 6pm feeding, snuggling him on my chest skin to skin. Daddy came up for the 6pm feeding, but was two minutes too late! Charlie had already sucked his bottle down. We will be staying home the rest of the night. I still have swollen feet and Charlie needs to rest.

Here is a pic of us snuggling kangaroo style. He is actually inside my shirt and then we have a blanket over us. He slept so hard that I had imprints of his tiny hands on my skin! Too cute! Looking forward to doing more of this tomorrow...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Day 6

Today was not a good eating day...only one full feeding without using the tube :( And it's not likely that he will take his midnight feeding either as he was still awake when we left at 11.

But here are some more pics!

Days 5 & 6

Well, he got a feeding tube put in on Thursday night. However they disn't have to use it until we came for the 9am feeding :(. The rest of his feedings went really well and the tube was only used once more during the day. I have been trying to stagger my times up there for feedings so as to also get some rest myself ass well as get some pumping time in. But yesterday I needed to spend some more quality time with my son. Stacie took me up there for the 3pm feeding and I stayed through the 6pm feeding..both of which he ate the entire bottle. I loved just sitting there snuggling with him.

Overnight he did ok, except for the midnight feeding. According to the nurse he had absolutely no interest in feeding and so she pumped nearly the entire feeding. W and I both found this odd as he has always sucked down atleast half of his bootle at each feeding... Most of the remaining feedings went well and he took a whole bottle for me at 9am. Aunt Stacie came again and this time she got to hold him for a minute! (momma hogs her time since we try to let him sleep as much as possible!)

The 3pm feeding didn't go as well..he only ate half before being pumped. oh well. I would much rather see him get the food so he can get stronger and eat better soon. He has to go a full 24hrs with out having to use the tube before he can even consider going home. So each time we use it, we are figuring another two days.

Charlie finally maintained his weight Thursday night and GAINED 1oz lasst night!! Yay we are finally on the right track! His feedings are now up to 44ml minimum.

The lactation consultant came by while we were there today..she made some great suggestions for increasing my milk supply and also for bonding with him. We are going to do some 'kangaroo' snuggling tonight. This is where we snuggle skin to skin with him on my chest. He needs his momma smells! This should also trigger my body into saying 'there is a baby to feed: make more milk'. Lets hope it works because right now I am not producing enough to keep up with his feedings.

I am still rather swollen from surgery and the fluids that were pumped into me. But feeling pretty good. I purchased a post-partum support belt yesterday and it is doing wonders for me! I have considerable less pain and can move better wearing it.

It's my time to rest before pumping and heading back up to the hospital..I'll try to post some pics tomorrow if I find some time. Now that I have some freedom I might go to W's nephew's hockey games...So far I have missed all of them! At some point I also need to go see my nephews...They are anxious to meet their new cousin!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Days 3&4

I was able to go home yesterday..after the standard 3 days following a c-section...oh and the 33 days prior that I was in the high risk unit! Ahhh it's soo good to be home, except that Charlie is not with me.

Prior to my discharge, I was actually able to 'persuade' the doctor that we would be more than capable of taking care of his needs at home. And we started the process of discharging Charlie with me pending a few stipulations. One of those was his being able to consistently eat and gain weight. The release was given right before his 12pm feeding and that was going to be very telling for me as to how we would do at home. We got started a little bit early since he was his diaper changed, did the assessment and we were given a bottle. Charlie would not eat. He went back to sleep in the middle of it. I felt so much pressure to prove to the Drs that he could do it that I broke down. The nurse helped get through the feeding and I went back to my room to let Charlie rest and to get rest myself. W got there and we discussed what we should do. The ultimate decision was mine and I made the hardest decision of my life: Leaving my baby in the hospital. I told the case manager, nurse and Dr: We didn't spend seven weeks doing 'what was best' for the baby to stop now.

W and I went home after the 3pm feeding (which went just ok) and I rested until about 8pm. We headed back up to the hospital to do his 9pm feeding and tuck him in 'for the night'. The nurse would take care of his midnight, 3am and 6am feedings. The 9pm feeding went very well for us..he ate 30ml and it wasn't too much of a struggle. (30 is the minimum he had to take).

We made it back up for the 9am feeding and that went just ok. He ate really well for the nurse all through the night and that seems to be his routine..not eating well for us. We took W's cousins up to visit for the 3pm feeding and learned that he took 40ml at his noon feeding! And he now has to have atleast 40 each feeding. We struggled through the feeding at 3 but got everything in. When we returned for the 9pm feeding, Nurse C told us he ate the entire 40ml in 20 minutes at 6! Very impressive for the little guy and gave us great hope...but then he barely took 35 for us. So it looks like he is going to get a feeding tube. Mostly it will be there for support. They will try to feed him with a bottle but if he doesn't eat it well, instead of struggling they will push the rest through the tube.

We are getting there...he just needs a little help. If he can get 'force fed' then maybe he will get the strength he needs to start eating regularly. I am finally able to give him breast milk as well so we are starting to replace the formula. Unfortunately I can't keep up with all of his feedings yet so we are still using formula when there isn't any milk available.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 2-Tues Mar 17

Ok I'm calling it day two since he was born in the afternoon, and I didn't really see him until Monday.
Today didn't start so well for me...woke up with pain. As if someone cut my stomach open...oh yeah, they did. I got pain meds and I was all good.
I spent most of my day with Charlie in the NICU. He is stil doing fabulous. No oxygen, no apnea machine, no IVs. He is holding his own temperature and blood sugars. He was a little jaundiced, but nothing big. He has a slight yellow tinge to his face. I was able to give him his bottle every feeding from 9am on. He is doing so good that NICU wanted to release him to the Newborn nursery (my room), but they wouldn't take him. The newborn nursery likes babies to be atleaset 35wks gestational age. We aren't there yet...BUT this is very promising for him to come home with me tomorrow!!!

Here are some pics to enjoy!

Dwarfed by Daddy's hand!

Proud papa!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Birth Day Story

Where should I start?!?! Dr M was on call this weekend and came to see me late Saturday morning. I tried to convince her to check me but she all but laughed at me! If nothing was going on, then there was no need to check and 'stir things up'! I also joked with her about walking around to get things going..more laughing! I was able to talk her into lowering the dosage of my Pro-cardia, from 20mg to 10mg due to a racing heart and just uneasy feeling after about an hour.

So Sunday morning when I woke up feeling wet, and it was confirmed that my water was indeed ruptured, I thought for sure she was going to think I did something! But no I was good, following Drs orders and had spent the day in the last 32 days...

Back to my membranes (waters) being broken...I woke up feeling damp, more like a leaking than that 'gush' people talk about. And a bit crampy. I told my nurse when she came in to do vitals and she was able to do tests to confirm that it was indeed my water. Within 10 minutes, I was moved to L&D. Of course it's early and I can't get ahold of W! Fortunately my sister showed up quickly (she was supposed to be our photographer!)

After about two hours had passed I still wasn't contractiong regularly or strong enough so pitocin was started. I wasn't feeling any pain, but I knew it was coming (tried to convince myself it wasn't). The nurse was increasing the dosage every 20 minutes. By 12:30/1pm, I was in considerable amount of 'discomfort' or pain if you are my sister :). Dr M came in about this time to insert an intrauterine contraction monitor since the external monitor was not showing her what she wanted to see. This caused me a GREAT amount of serious pain. Before she started she asked about my desire for an epidural. I told her only if I hadn't progressed as then it would be turning into a long labor, not the short quick one we were all expecting! I hadn't progessed one iota. So here comes the epidural. Anesthesiology was there in about 5 minutes and had it in in about 20. Fast! and it worked fast. I was numb! Dr M continues again with the intrauterine monitor and also begins to insert a heart rate monitor on the baby...and this is where it goes crazy!

Very quickly, the nurse and Dr M are asking me to go to my side..then the other side..then back again. I hear Dr M say something about not to worry the baby's heart rate just dropped. Instantly (I swear I don't know where they came from) more and more people are in the room. And then I hear Dr M say 'I'm going to change'...and off I was whisked to the OR. Again I don't know how they did but there were about a hundred (ok maybe not that many) people already in there waiting to get this going. Dr Anesthesiologist is instantly pumping more meds through my epidural and 5 mintes later (this is joking) the baby was out. Turns out Charlie had his cord wrapped TWICE around his neck and when he started dropping into the birt canal, it put enough pressure ont he cord to put himin distress. W was in the process of getting on scrubs, but they were too fast for him..he missed the birth of his first born son :(.

Everything happend very quickly and it is still all a blur to me. Even though I only had an epidural, I feel like I was in a fog as to everything that was happening, especially the parts leading up to the OR. In the OR I was slightly freaking out and trying to keep it together at the same time...

Not sure exactly how long I was in the OR...they had to wait for an xray to be sure I was cleared out and that seemed to take for-ever! I know I was in recovery for a little while where I was able to see W again. Still numb from the chest down. I was in my Mother/baby unit room by 6:30..with a slight detour to see Charlie.

He is doing AWESOME!! They carried him out of the OR just IV, no oxygen and W got to hold him for a minute. He is still in NICU, but he is in a regular bassinet. Still no IV or breathing help. He is eating on his own and maintaining everything he needs to without assistance. We are hoping to have him in M/B tomorrow!! The Dr wanted atleast one more day to watch for apnea episodes. He hadn't had any yet, but bc of being a preemie, he wanted to continue to make sure.

My recovery is going great so far...tomorrow however may be a different story! I havn't had an real pain so far, but am starting to get sore. I was on the good stuff untli 11:45 this morning. I have been up an down all day back and forth to NICU. I did have a lot of vomiting last night but that subsided around 1 am. I am doing everything they need me to do to progress through recovery.

I will try to post pictures this weekend when I am home and maybe have more time. Right now, I am trying to pump for the baby, go see the baby, entertain a few guests..and basically do it all!! I for sure go home on Wednesday...we are hoping Charles comes home then too!

He's Here!!


Charles Nicholas made a grand entrance via emergency c-section Sunday March 15th. He is 5lb 2 oz, 18 in long and Beautiful!!

He is currently in the NICU, but is doing so great that he may come to my room in the morning!

I'll write more details when I have had some sleep and feeling a tad better...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Milestone Day!!

No baby yet...

We made it to 34 weeks!! After I was re-admitted on Feb 11th with a shortened cervix, the Drs. did not expect me to make it this far, now they are hoping for one more week. Seriously.

So you are probably wondering what about all the commotion from Tuesday... Dr. H didn't want to check me unless somehting else happened (more contractions, water breaking, etc). But I was able to convince her during rounds yesterday to check me today. Also we had contractions last night. Keeping in mind the Dr will break my water at 7-8cm, and combined with more contractions, I was really really hoping (and selfishly) that I would have magically progressed. NOPE. I am now just a solid 5cm dilated- still 5 more to go. And since they won't doing anything to speed things up, here I sit, waiting. Again. (or still..)
And after this exam, we did not have the same reaction as Tuesday either. I cramped for a little while and have since returned to having nothing going on. Right after the exam, my nurse suggested not having breakfast incas I got moved to Labor & Delivery...I laughed. I refuse to sit here all day not eating 'just in case'. W was already on his way with McD's anyway (he tried to make it for the exam but dr came early today) way was I not going to eat that...yumm!

As for the 34wk milestone, at this point all the baby is doing is putting on weight. In a normal pregnancy, he would also be further developing his lungs, but we got steroids so he should be ok in that regard! :) The last thing we were waiting for at 34wks was the sucking reflex (to eat). So although I am selfishly wanting the baby to come so that I can get up, I know that he will be healthy, small, but healthy, when he does decide to make his appearance!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Still waiting..

36 of the '48 hours' have passed and still no baby. And wouldn't you know, that after everything from yesterday, I didn't have a single contraction today. This baby is such a tease!

W has to go pick up his brother from the airport on Friday...Murphy's law says my water will break then and he will miss the birth. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this doesn't happen.

The Scoop..

Yesterday was quite the eventful day..we thought we might have had a baby! Bu he stayed in..thankfully! We need just a couple more days...

So it all started at 7:30 am when Dr. H did her rounds...wait, maybe I should back up a day: Monday, was not much fun either. I couldn't sleep AT ALL on Sunday night and so was very sleepy on Monday. I took a nap after lunch (W was out taking care of other things and also not feeling well) and woke up contractions yet, just uncomfortable and enough pain to just be noticeable. Since there weren't any contractions on the monitor, I didn't mention it to the nurse. I also hadn't seen the Dr. yet that day and was waiting to mention it to her when she came. No visit on Monday.. For the late evening monitoring, 4-5 mild contractions showed up, but the nurse wasn't too concerned. They get concerned after 4 in one hour (one of the 5 was questionable). I was given my meds and went to bed with an ambien.

Now back to yesterday! I mention all of the above to Dr. H. Given that my 'symptoms' were all kind of new for me, she decided to do a manual exam (I'll try to spare gory details). I had progressed to 4-5cm and 100% effaced. The problem with manual exams this late in pregnancy, and especially for those like me that are trying to go early, is that it can actually trigger labor. So after the exam and after checking to be sure he is still head down (he is), I started contracting. At this point it wasn't painful. My pro-cardia was due at 10 and I hadn't settled down within a half hour, so the nurse decided to check me again (no changes except that my membranes were now bulging). This triggered lots of other labor issues...and I started to get very painful 'cramping'. I say cramping because at this point the monitor wasn't picking up really wasn't picking up any activity. But I can tell you that something was happening because I was in pain. For those that know I want to try to go wasn't enough to warrant any pain meds, just very uncomfortable.

By late afternoon, the pain subsided and I was able to relax..and guess what happens? The monitor starts picking up contractions!! They were still very mild though and very infrequent, so the nurses were not too concerned at this point. Those too, eventually subsided. By 8pm I was taken off all the monitors. Everything came to a dead stop! So far we have been uneventful since late yesterday evening. I am still feeling crampy, but that (according to my nurse) may be due to how far progressed I am...

The Dr has already stopped by this morning for rounds. She will not check me again (see above for why!) unless something else happens (water breaking, contractions, complaints of pressure) and if we get to 7-8cm, she will break the water and let labor happen. At this point we are not taking outside measures to progress (pitocin) or to stop (mag-sulfate) labor... they are letting my body do whatever it is going to do!

So for now, we are back to the 'normal' routine..sitting here doing nothing, NST once a day and contraction monitoring 3x a day. I will not be able to go home until the baby is here (remember my previous post about not going home if I dilate further!?), although Dr is till expecting him to be here soon. We just want a couple more days, to get to 34wks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


4-5 Cm, 100% expected in the next 48 hours.

I will not be going home pregnant...even if he waits til next week to come.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Milestone Day!!

Yep it's Friday..another week and another milestone! 33 Weeks! And only one more week til I go home for...oh who knows, a couple days? Even though I will be on 'bedrest' still when I go home, it's soooo much easier to just do things yourself than to have someone wait on you. I will try really really hard to let W or whoever is around to get me what I need, but lets face it, I will be just slightly more active at home.

The OB practice I go to has three Drs and I have gotten to know each one pretty well since I see one of them EVERY day! They are for the most part on the same page as to my care and keeping my baby in, but each has their own feeling about when it would be ok to deliver...of course all of them want to wait as long as possible. Dr. M is wanting me to hit atleast 34, fortunately that is only one more week. Dr. H says they will try to stop labor between 34 and 36 weeks, but probably won't try too hard. And Dr. J still feels that I will not make it to 36 weeks. Part of wonders if all this 'commotion' is necessary...I haven't been contracting and as far as we know nothing else has changed, but we haven't had a physical exam since Feb 20.

I also learned for certain where I will deliver..if it's before 36 weeks, I will come back to Rockford Memorial, for the high risk NICU. But if I make it to 36 wks, I can go to St Anthony (where I was originally going to deliver at). They have a NICU but it is basic where near the level of RMH.

*Dr. H happened to stop by while I was typing this...and there is a slight change to my going home status: If I have dilated any further than what I am currently at (2-3) or if there are any further changes between now and next Friday, I have to stay :( So let's hope for no changes!! Also, we will get another ultrasound next week to check his growth...although I can tell you I don't need an ultrasound to tell you that he is most definitely growing!!!!

Nothing else to report...which I like, but makes for boring posts. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Picture update!!

Here I am at 32 weeks and 4 days...look how puffy my face is! It could be just baby weight and sitting around doing nothing or ...

No Stretch marks yet!

It could be this:

Along with plenty of Beef-a-Roo, McD's, other cookies, pretty much whatever I want to eat W will get for me!

Day 21..

Yep, you read that right, I have been here for 21 DAYS!!! It has been long and quick at the same time. Weird. So tomorrow starts our fourth week as in-patient. This coming Sunday will mark 6 weeks on bedrest. Again, weird.

I am what you could call a go-getter. Most of the time. I think I needed this rest. Really needed it. But am also really sad that it took my baby to be at risk for me to finally sit down and relax. It is very draining to always be after something... a degree, a promotion, a race with a PR, staying healthy, getting in that next workout. Obviously most of this stuff has been put on hold, even prior to bedrest, but somethings were still in process.

It's also an incredible amount of stress, and compunded with the current economy, to know that I will be the sole bread-winner for our family. I wouldn't have it any other way as I am extremely happy to know that someone I love and trust will be taking care of our child, but that just means I have to work that much harder at my job to be promoted, make money (more would be nice) and not get fired! (Currently my employer has been UNBELIEVABLY understanding through the current 'crisis'-I have it good right now).

W has also been awesome through all of this! (I can't not mention him! Love him!) He has really picked up on doing the things I won't be able to do to get ready for the baby and has been here for me EVERY day! He does laundry too...amazing! (Yes he has kind of been picking out my clothes for me, things don't always match or fit or may not be what I usually wear...but I can't complain!) He just keeps telling me to 'keep that baby in!' I'm trying, I'm trying... ;)

Well I have about 10 more days in-patient..unless something happens. When I get home it will be more bed rest until 36 weeks. After that I get to go back to life 'as usual', but most likely will still be working from home. Of course, I say all this as if we are going to go to full term...