Friday, December 28, 2012

Breastfeeding is not for the faint-hearted


Its funny how some things in life sound so much easier in theory than in reality.

Its very easy to do especially before you become a mother.

I was the worlds best mother before I actually became one. My kid never watched tv. Time out worked like a charm. I never lost my cool. I made elegant dinners from scratch every night--and they ate it all. And I could just plop my baby on my boob to eat and that was that. Because my kid never was going to drink an ounce of formula in their life.

The reality is because I have a newborn, my 3 1/2 year old watches a lot of tv and somedays she wears her pjs all day long. And sometimes I say screw it lets just get you a "ham" (hamburger) from Wendy's. I know...plain..no lettuce...no matoes. And breastfeeding didnt work out for her. We used a formula that was $60 for a 14oz can.

Fast forward to today.

Today as I was chained to Haven I hear a scream coming from the living room. I yelled back to Jayda to come to my room so I could comfort her. She said: "I can't! I'm stuck!" So I come out boobies still floping everywhere to this...

Sometimes you cant help but laugh, but other days you just want to cry.

One night after I had put Jayda to bed and I felt finally at peace I was downstairs feeding Haven and I hear a distant bloody murder scream. Its Jayda. I quickly unlatched leaving a very pissed off Haven to make sure Jayda was not being hacked into a million pieces by some creepo. When I got upstairs she simply said, "But mommy you forgot to give me knuckles!" Kick me in the gonads right now. Seriously?

Haven got her immunizations the day after Christmas and was on an eating strike til last night. Flashbacks of Jayda suddenly going on a feeding strike (thats lasted 3 1/2 years mind you) as a baby came rushing back. Please no, not like her. She hates food, remember you're different?!

Then this morning the beast came back. She hasn't left my boob so today was one of those days that I didnt move from the couch. Some days you just want to lay down and just have your boobs.to.yourself. You just want to not be the source of nutrition and eat something yourself.

Before I had Haven I thought man if I could just breastfeed it would be easier.

Oh, how naive I was. It's laughable really.

Now dont get me wrong. I'm so glad I'm breastfeeding. Most days I love it. I love the closeness and I sure as hell love not having to spend a fortune on formula. I also love that my 3 year old has brought the nasties home 4 different times and my baby hasnt had it once.

But somedays I just want to cry. I just want to give up. I just wonder if its worth the hard work. Then I remind myself how much work I've already put into it. How much I wanted this and I know if I were to give it up in a moment of frustration I would regret it forever.

No one told me that breastfeeding is so much more then just "plopping" them on. I hate that word. Its so lazy and breastfeeding is anything but lazy. At least I havent gotten to that point yet.

Its not knowing whether they are getting enough. Having your supply drop after a day of lazy eating and then having her scream because theres no milk the next day when she decides shes starving again and feeling completely helpless.

Its running to the store across town in my pjs on a Sunday morning to get Fenugreek almost in tears because my milk is drying up even after eating buttloads of oatmeal, water and gatorade and power pumping the crap out of the girls.

Then you take the Fenugreek and smell like your pounding down the pancakes by the dozens. Maple syrup scent. Always wanted the maple syrup scent. Hey, at least its not potatoes.

Its having to pump after every feeding to make sure your supply doesn't drop again and sometimes you wonder if its worth feeding the imaginary twin or not.

Then ironiclly the next day its being drenched in milk when your baby roots around, latches and then lets go the moment the let down gets too strong. Then gets pissed because milk isnt pouring down her gullet. Just stay latched on and this wouldnt happen. Am I right or am I right?

Its feeling glued to the couch during growth spurts. You finally think your baby has filled the brink in the milk department and is completely zonked on your boob. You peel them off, lay them in bed only to watch their eyes shoot wide ass open. A few seconds later they start rooting around as if they never ate a drop of food in their life.

But then there are days when you are proud of the fact that your body is smart enough to feed your baby. Its amazing really if you think about it. That your baby needs you and no one else. That when you hear their cry for food you feel honored to be the one to fulfill that need. And that your baby feels comforted being with mommy touching skin to skin.

Its the feeling that your giving your baby the yummiest food available. And its moments where they are completely zonked out and milk is just running out the side of their mouth that they suddenly shoot you the biggest smile. That is when you know its all worth it.

I'm so glad I've stuck it out but man some days when shes screaming, not wanting to latch but seemingly starving--but still wetting diapers and growing great--that you think man why dont I just get that damn bottle out and call it a day. And some days I do. Some days I just pump a bottle and say now off little baby. I think some feedings you need to do that--at least I do.

Thats the reality of breastfeeding in the first couple months. Its nothing flashy (no pun intended) like I imagined. Its nothing easy like I imagined but its worth the hard work. And its worth seeing my baby thrive when last time I didnt.

And people who breastfeed multiples. Well they deserve a damn medal.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

This Year for Christmas...


This year Christmas was amazing. I remember last year it was so different. We were on our 3rd round of clomid and at that point I didnt think it was going to work, and I was right. I had gotten my hsg that month and a couple days later Chase was in the ER with a major anxiety attack. Then come to find out that ER trip plus the multiple drs vistis he had werent covered by insurance over a technicality. Because he had refilled his anxiety meds a few days before the cut off of the 60 day period to count as a pre-exisiting condition we had to pay everything out of pocket. Upwards to $3,000 that we didnt have. It was just a crappy time and I'm so glad its behind us.

This year it was a complete turn around. I had a brand spanking new chilax baby, Jader bug opening her presents, and a very anxiety free hubby. And just to throw in some extra holiday blessings that $3,000+ bill that we fought a year for was thrown out by our hospital. All we had to cover was $100. Talk about a 360 in every way possible.

This year Chase wasn't a little grinch. He hates Christmas for some reason but this year he went all out. It looks like Christmas threw up all over our house. He is turning around about Christmas now that we have our girlies and Jayda is old enough to understand Christmas.

There was nothing more heartwarming then watching Jayda open gifts all day. Every gift no matter how small she would just beam with excitment and say, "Oh thank you, thank you. I always wanted that!" Or when she hit a prized gift she would cover her mouth with her hands and say, "Oh MY gosh. Oh my gosh!" That little smile never gets old.

This year she kept asking for barbies and a barbie house. She was very specific that she wanted a black barbie. Why I have no idea, but I'm proud my little bug is so culturally diverse. haha

I couldn't help but just bask in this years festivities. We didn't do much but it was great to just chill and be with family. We woke up bright and early (like always) to watch Jayda open presents then we headed over to the inlaws house to open presents there with his whole family. It was a blast and his parents always spoil us. Honestly I could've cared less whether I got any presents at all I was just so happy to be holding my little baby in my arms and watch my jayda bug opening her presents. That was priceless to me and something I was missing last year. It was like that empty hole that was finally filled.

We then went home and hung out there for a bit. Later we went back to the inlaws for dinner and to listen to the nativity story. We were originally planning on going to my parents house but my mom was in urgent care with a lung infection and a nasty cold so we chose to bypass Christmas with them this year. Jayda's gotten 4 things since Havens birth and I'm so over Jayda being sick. So we'll do Christmas when she gets better. Thank heavens for breastfeeding...Haven has been immuned all 4 times!

The day after Christmas we went to Havens 2 month appt which was a mistake since there were kids all over the place puking their eyeballs out. The kid in the next room sounded like she was dying. I was just praying that the dr would come in our room before hers because I just imagined those little germies all over his hands.

She was 8lbs 1oz and a little over 20inches. Shes getting so big! She's been acting a little funny since she got her immunizations though and doesnt want to eat much and has been sleeping like crazy. Hopefully its just a phase because she is usually a piglet. Either that or a growth spurt with how much she is sleeping.

She also has reflux just like her sister (although not nearly to that degree) but since she isnt having any issues growing we decided to hold off medicating her. Its more of a nuisance to us because we have to position her up a lot. She doesnt puke at all (spits up some) and seems to be more of a comfort eater than a refuser so thats good at least. Chase usually takes the 1am feeding to help me sleep since I cant just plop her in bed with me.

We had a blast though for the holidays and feel blessed beyond measure. My heart and prayers go out to the families of those Connecticut victims that had to spend Christmas mourning their little precious ones. I just cannot imagine how bad that hurts and my mind thought of those sweet precious faces a million times on Christmas day.

I also forgot to post my "Still Standing" articles from the past two months. I mentioned awhile ago that I started writing for a fertility and baby loss magazine called, "Still Standing". I feel completely honored to write for them and its been quite theraputic to write about my experiences. Here they are.

http://stillstandingmag.com/2012/11/what-infertility-during-pregnancy-means-to-me/ (I wrote this one a few days before Haven was born. Talk about coincidence. Oh how niave I was. I thought I'd already won the preemie battle. http://stillstandingmag.com/2012/12/dealing-with-ignorance/

Friday, December 21, 2012

NICU grad clinic and update on the Fam


So its been awhile since I last updated...its been crazy...ok not really I'm just super lazy. I went to my post-partum appt (on my due date imagine that)and I iuded it up woot woot. It was nice to get that taken care of but it was kinda bitter sweet walking out of there.

I've been going there for mutliple blood draws, drs appts, ultrasounds for over 2 years now so its a bit strange to think I'm done. I finally have my end result that we waited so long for and that I dont have to worry about getting a baby here anymore! Its a little bitter because I dont know if I'll ever be back to get pregnant or to follow my pregnancy since were not entirely sure we'll ever do it again. I've just been trying to soak up every moment with Haven because I'm just not sure if she'll be my last. My heart tells me shes not (not saying we'll get pregnant again but through adoption)but who knows.

After my appt I felt super pumped to start getting my pre-prego bod back and thought about going for a run since ummmm March? Then Jayda decided to come down with a fever and start puking AGAIN. So now that makes 4 times since Halloween. Yipee. So at least another week or so to stay on the fat side. I'm secretly happy Jayda doesn't have preschool til the beginning of January. That way we can get a little bit of a break from being sick.

The amazing part is that Haven has yet to get sick! I have been super hypervigilant about hand washing and even wore a mask last time Jayda was sick so that I wouldnt get sick and pass it on to Haven (we had her in my room away from Jayda the whole time...yeah that was a pain in the butt). It was kinda crazy but hey she didnt get sick!

Today we took Haven to the NICU grad clinic and she did GREAT! We saw Dr. Ridout which was awesome since he was one of the main Neos on when Jayda was in the NICU but was gone the whole time that Haven was in the NICU because he was off doing some military thing. I was kinda bummed we missed him but also not really since he didnt come back til December and I was glad to be outta there by then.

She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 20inches long! 11 days ago she was 6lbs 10oz so she is rocking it on my breastmilk! The dietician was giddy with excitement. Yesterday was her due date (what a freaking joke right?)so that is great! She was on teh 50th percentile on the preemie chart and 3rd percentile for her actual age (1.5 months). I can't believe we are on a growth chart considering Jayda has never been on one (preemie or regular).

Last week we noticed that Haven's ears are not completely normal. One looks normal and the other had an extra ridge in it (kinda hard to explain). Its not extremely noticeable but when we did I was kinda worried that maybe it was associated with some syndrome of something. Dr. Ridout said it was completely normal and I was just crazy. It's just the way her ears were made and that it didnt mean that there should be any concern. He of course was cracking jokes about it. Classic Ridout.

He also said that she had dry skin (he used some weird medical term and I had to (like always) say what the hell does that mean Ridout? Elementary terms here for the idiot in the room that didnt go to medical school. Thank you.) AKA dandrif (that wasnt so hard). So we have to buy some weird tar stuff at the store and put it on her but that eventually she'll outgrow it or she'll just be the weird girl with tons of gross dandrif.

And get this...he said they dont need to follow up with her at all! I remember asking KerryAnn (the LC and OT in the NICU) when we needed to follow up with her and she said that she doesnt follow up on 33 weekers because they do just as well as full term babies! Imagine that!

So we are FREEEEE!!!!

Otherwise we've been doing great. Haven is a dream child. She rarely cries (total 360 from Jayda) and eats like crazy. I cant believe what a difference having a dream child makes on having PPD. It really does take a strain on your relationship when your baby just wants to cry all day and all night long. Add on not sleeping to the mix and it makes you want to pull your fingernails off one by one.

When I was prego Haven rarely had big movements. She was pretty chill in there which at times freaked me out, but a part of me also hoped that meant she was going to be chill on the outside too and luckily that has been the case! She pretty much just grunts all night long. Shes my little Beavis and the Butthead grunter but hey its better than crying. Except today at the NICU grad clinic she was SCREAMING because she could sense there were evil NICU people around (ok not really but she was pissed they stripped her down to her birthday suit). Ridout said she sounded like a 6 month old crying and not a newborn she had such a strong cry.

Its funny how our kids have taken sides. Jayda is a COMPLETE daddy's girl and Haven is a complete mommy's girl (hey I got the milk she has no other choice). Jayda has been acting out a bit trying to get my attention but luckily hasnt been mean to Haven, in fact she adores her!

Shes growing and developing so fast it seems. The other day out of no where (at least to me) she counted to 25 unassisted! I was like seriously? Where did this girl learn this?! Shes such a sassy little thing too. I just cant believe how much she talks like a little adult. The other day after Chase had taken her to her ped Dr. Cain she came running home saying, "Mommy, mommy I went and saw Dr. Cain and he picked me up and I was so so so tall (hes like a giant) and I got a sticker!" Its so weird that she can say and knows the name of the dr that helped deliver her. Has it really been that long?! So crazy how time flies!

This was Jayda at preschool. She is the smallest on the end and her thanksgiving hat was so huge but instead of putting it back up over her eyes she just stood there blind as her whole class sang songs to the parents. It was hilarious. Funny little girl!

I don't know whos more exicted for christmas too...me or Jayda. I cant wait for her to see all the stuff we got her (mostly from garage sales...but she has no idea). Shes been asking for barbies and a barbie house for christmas so we got a bunch and a big nice barbie house for $25 plus a bunch of other crap she doesnt need! I love garage saling!

Overall, thats our life as of now!

Monday, December 17, 2012

When Is the Time?


So this is SO not what my blog is about and I try to stay away from politics but I couldn't help myself on this one.

I keep hearing over and over again,"Now is not the time to talk about gun control. Now is the time to remember the victims."

To an extent I agree. We should remember the victims, but I guess the question I have is WHEN is the time to talk about it? How many more of these horrific massacres do we have to have to wait to have this discussion? How many more victims have to be lost for us to do something about this?

It's gotten to an all time low. Little kids? Something Anything needs to happen. Needs to change.

I mean has our society come to a breaking point where I can't even go to Walmart in fear that some whack job is going to pull out an assault riffle and obliterate my entire family in 2 minutes?

That I have to second guess whether to send my kids to public school in fear that when they walk out that door it will be the last time I see them?

I don't think this debate has everything to do with guns. Evil is going to occur whether you have guns or not.

In my last semester of college for my senior project I wrote a psychobiography on Ted Bundy. I thouroughly researched psychopathy and the diathesis stress model which is a model that describes an individual's genetic vulnerability to a psychological disorder (like psychopathy) but doesn't come completely "online" until triggered by a life stressor.

My end conclusion was that we don't know for sure how or when psychopathy develops or why a small majority are violent and why a vast majority of them are not. All we know is that psychopaths don't change and they dont have the ability to feel empathy. Empathy is the emotion that drives us to not take advantage or hurt other people.

I keep hearing in the media. "Why?"

I don't think thats the proper question. We don't know why. I spent two semesters researching "why" psychopaths commit violent crimes and as it stands now not enough research has shown an answer.

And if thats not scary enough, because we don't know "why" we also dont have treatment. There is no treatment for psychopathy. The "treatment" is incarceration AFTER a crime has been commited.

It's estimated that 1 in 100 people in the general population are psychopaths. If you look at those that are incarcerated its 25 out of 100. Beyond that 75% of inmates could be classified as antisocial personality disorder.

This is a much bigger problem then just "guns".

So how do you stop the Timothy Mcveys? The Adam Lanzas? The Dylan Klebolds?

It's sure not by talking to them. You cannot talk sense into psychopaths just like we dont talk sense into terrorists. We are at war everyday and need to be prepared.

We protect ourselves and our families. That is the answer.

Psychopaths chose their victims carefully. They find the most vunerable targets. And last friday one chose 6 and 7 year olds. Scared, wide eyed beautiful little kids.

What could have stopped this from happening?

Not security...they had implemented a new security system.

Not strict gun laws...Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws which is why last Tuesday when Adam Lanza tried to purchase a gun he couldn't. That didn't stop him.

Is it treatment of mental illness? We don't have treatment for psychopaths. And I find it hard to believe this guy wasn't a psychopath. And even if he had some other mental disorder the treatment offered still is not up to par.

I know it sounds like a counterproductive answer but I think the answer is in fact MORE guns.

What's one of the first things these ass hat shooters do when they hear the police coming? They shoot themselves in the head because they're cowards. They are no longer in control and they hate the fact that they soon will become the target.

We take the vunerability out of these victims. If citizens are allowed to carry a gun to protect themselves then these cowards wouldn't have to wait til the police arrived to be stopped.

It took 10 minutes for Adam Lanza to kill 20 children and 6 adults. 10 minutes. By the time police arrived on scene he was dead.

What would have last Friday looked like if a teacher had a gun? If there was an armed security guard at the least? I think a lot more people would have walked out that day.

Look at the shooting in Tucson. Jared Loughner killed 6 people but would have killed more (and most likely himself) but was stopped by civilians BEFORE the police arrived, saving many lives.

Again we saw this at the shooting in SLC at Trolley Square. Luckily there was an off duty police officer that intervened and saved many lives, but most victims are not that lucky.

I firmly believe in the 2nd amendment right to own a gun, but one thing I dont know if I agree with is the ability for citizens to carry assault type weapons. These weapons cause devestation in a matter of minutes and pose a serious threat to our society. 10 minutes to kill 26 people. Shot 3 to 11 times each.

"But its a hobby and its my right."

Nancy Lanza thought the same and her son got a hold of it and used it for evil. And I'm not saying it full proof. That some people won't obtain it, but I'm going to have a hard time believing that the average joe needs weaponry of that sort to protect themselves. And I don't personally see a need for it.

All I know is that as soon as I possibly can I am going to get my liscense to carry a gun and carry it wherever possible. And I know I'm not the only one. The rate of gun sales has doubled in the last couple of years.

And after Friday we wonder why.

I refuse to be another victim. I refuse to be stuck somewhere and not be able to protect myself or my children. And I refuse to be scared to walk out my door. Yes, its sad our society has come to this but what else is there to do?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Adjusting


Having two kids is a lot easier in theory. One thing I do have working in my favor is the length of age between them since I can explain to Jayda why I can't always pay attention to her. I seriously dont know how people have their kids closer in age and survive. Theres a couple two doors down from us that have been married 4 years and she is pregnant with their 4th kid. Her oldest is about the same age as Jayda. Insane. Everytime I see her I wave or say hello and she just stares ahead as if she doesnt hear me. I guess when you have that many kids under 4 you need to go to a completely different land.

For an example, last night I was trying to get the poly-vi-sol (iron supplement of death) into Haven without her puking it up. I was bouncing and doing pony tricks for her while walking into the living room. On the couch Jayda was watching tv completely naked and she was playing with her vagina. She had apparantly gone to the bathroom and decided to make a pit stop onto the couch before she re-dressed. But right then as my baby was gagging and my other kid was sitting with her hands all over her vagina I had a moment where I thought, This is really my life right now.

True story: Right after my 32 week appointment I came home to Jayda screaming in pain that her vagina hurt. She wouldn't pee all day long and when I looked at it she just screamed. So I decided to take her to the doctor since I figured maybe she had a UTI or something.

We get to the doctors and she refused to pee in the little hat. So we had to take it home and I made her pee in it. She cried the entire time that she didnt want to. She finally peed in it and I was able to get the sample. So we headed off to the lab to drop it off.

I swear between me and Jayda that lab has seen more of our bodily fluids then I care to admit. Keep in mind at this point I was 32 weeks pregnant, still had the deformed face, swollen like a water buffalo and I was panting and sweating like a 500lb man. I just wanted to NOT go to the lab anymore and just lay down. On the way home from the lab Jayda said, "Thanks mommy, I feel ALLL better now. My vagina doesn't hurt anymore."

You have got to be shitting me.

The only thing I can think of is that she was just repeating what I was saying to Chase all the time. I would always say, "My VAGINA hurts!" or "My poor VAGINA bones!" And after seeing Haven's head after she was born I can now see why.

No, but really I have yet to fully understand just how difficult it is going to be because I haven't really been by myself for the entire day. Chase has so graciously worked mainly from home in the day which has helped a lot. At night he has to go to his second job but Jayda's in bed by 7:30-8 so its not that big of a deal. Plus theres been a lot of tv and finger painting action in this house. Chase is the man. I'm so lucky to have such a great hubby that helps so much because I know thats that not always the norm. i.e. football hunt dad

Jayda's coping great. She hasnt gotten jealous and always has to go check on baby Haven sleeping. Haven is a great baby. She rarely cries, just grunts when she wants something. She has been waking up every couple of hours at night which is exhausting but once she eats shes pretty much back to sleep. She does like to be held and lay in bed with me but thats not that big of a deal which is suprising since I'm not a cuddly type of person. Sometimes I just look at her and start to tear up because I love her so much. So that probably helps some.

Today I felt guilty that I hadn't paid much attention to her and so I decided to color with Jayda. I was kinda proud of my picture. They look like "partners" if ya know what I mean.

I took Haven to her first ped appt on Monday since its protocol to get them in soon after they have been released from the NICU just to make sure they are eating and gaining weight. We go to Dr. Cain who was actually my OB when I was pregnant with Jayda. He is a family physician but does OB stuff too. He was awesome and came and checked up on Haven several times in the NICU. One day as I was pumping and had the girls out I hear a knock on the door but I didnt bother to cover up since everyone in the world it seemed had seen them so I didnt even think about it. You know when the housekeeper comes in and mops around you and doesnt say a word really everyone could care less about your boobies. He comes walking in and quickly walks back out around the curtain embarassed. Don't know why since he looks at vaginas all day long. Figured a little boob pumpage wouldnt really affect him.

Same when we were getting discharged and Dr. Carrol (the neo) walks into the room as I was breastfeeding. The NNP whispers in my ear to cover my boob up and I felt embarassed that I wasnt embarassed. I figured he was there during my delivery and saw my wide open vagina with a head sticking out of it a little nip wasnt gonna be the end of the world...but again guess not.

Anyways at the drs, they weighed her and she was 5lbs 9oz and was 19 in long. The night before she was discharged she was 5lbs 2oz so not too shabby especially since its mostly from my breastmilk and the goal is an ounce a day. The dietician said that soon we wouldnt have to fortify her bottles with neosure anymore since my breastmilk seems to be doing the job. The doc was impressed. He said Haven would probably be beating Jayda up really soon but then retracted when he said but Jayda will probably still be able to out run her. Aint that the truth.

It was amazing to have such a boring appt! He wants me to bring her in for another weight check in a couple weeks just to make sure everything is going ok but that everything looked great so far. I forgot to ask about the synagist shots which I was told she will qualify for since she was preemie. They are supposed to help babies with compromised immune systems..mostly preemies and babies with heart defects fight RSV better if they get it. Jayda got them and still got RSV but she did extremely well. The NICU told me that she couldnt get her first shot til December 1st because thats when RSV season officially starts and most insurance companies wont even cover it until then.

Overall, were doing great and I couldn't be happier!

Friday, November 23, 2012

NICU chapter closed.


Three weeks over 3 months...I'll take it! AND on Thanksgiving. What a day!

I guess like they say once that light goes off it really just goes off! It was a bit nerve wracking to take the feeding tube out and just let her go because she was still pretty sleepy sometimes and still would only bf 6 minutes or so for a couple feeds but then the next feed would bf for like 15 minutes so it would all even out.

So we took the tube out Tuesday, roomed in on wednesday, and came home Thursday morning.

And she has done fantastic! The feed before we went home she literally bf for like 20-25 minutes! Little miss piggy! Then she did it again last night! I just love her so much and I'm SO grateful I have a baby that likes to eat.

On our way down the elevator to the car my nurse Shiela told me she had never discharged a baby on thanksgiving and she was tearing up. It was so sweet. Then after we loaded her in the car and I drove away I just started bawling. I had only cried because of being sad a couple times our whole NICU stay (once I came home without her and another time when I dropped Jayda off and she told me she wanted to be with me) and I finally just broke down.

It just felt like a load off of me. For the last 2 years we've had to worry about getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and then getting her out of the NICU. Finally I didnt have to and that felt so good. I finally have my two girls together. I dont have to go to countless drs appts, get blood draws, or cry tears of sadness that I still didnt have my baby or worrying she wouldnt get home safe.

She's so perfect. Jayda is in love with her. She was singing rock-a-bye-baby to an ACTUAL baby yesterday and she was obsessed with her little hands. Its definetely going to be a transition having 2 kids (it really aint no joke!) but I'm so glad I feel so complete.

In my last blog post I talked about how we didnt want to come home on Thanksgiving but Dr. Carrol the neonatologist said she was ready so there was no reason for her to stay another day. He offered to discharge her after our thanksgiving dinner but I said who am I kidding I wouldnt even go anyways because I had to come bf her every 3 hours plus I just wanted my baby home with me. So I stayed home and cuddled her in bed all day and Chase took Jayda to my mother in laws house and just brought home so leftovers for me. It really was the best thanksgiving I've ever had though. Thats what its all about.

Plus I guess the reason I didnt want to go home was because I was just nervous she would do the same thing Jayda did and stop eating once we got home so I wanted to make sure she was good and ready to come home. Dr. Carrol just said I wasnt used to boring babies that came home at 36 weeks. But the big difference between her and Jayda is that Jayda had bad oral aversion. She had a tube sucking crap out of her tummy for 2 months and had GI and reflux issues that I'm sure hurt her tummy. Haven never had those issues (in fact rarely spits up at all...knock on wood) and loves to eat. She actually lets me know when she is hungry (mostly...shes still sleepy sometimes but it all evens out throughout the day).

She came home at 36 weeks gestation exactly...weighing 5lbs 2oz and 18 1/2 in (she grew back after shrinking a half inch from her cone head. She breastfeeds during the day and takes bottles at night. Mainly because I have to pump still (the LC said until she is about 6-7lbs and can fully empty me and to keep my supply up) and bottles are easier for her at night when shes really sleepy. Once I dont have to pump anymore and shes stronger especially at night then we'll mainly be breastfeeding. So right now I feel like I'm feeding twins... the babes and that damn pump. But its so worth it. I wanted to breastfeed so bad and I'm glad I've stuck with it.

Overall, just in pure bliss and man that feels good! I'm so grateful for our NICU. They really rolled out the red carpet for me and just treated me so awesome. I'm also so grateful for awesome family and friends that helped us so much. We really couldnt have done it without them.

For now were so just so grateful to be normal. And I cant believe we have two kids AND a baby for Christmas this year. What a great year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The end is near...


So life has been crazy. I guess thats what happens when you have 2 kids in 2 locations. Luckily Chase has been able to work from home during the day and so it allows me to go to the hospital to breastfeed a lot easier than if he wasnt home and I was shuttling her around. Plus its more predicatable for Jayda and I really think she needs that. The other day she said as I was leaving for the 5th time to the hospital in the day she said, "Mommy I miss you." Broke my little heart. Were almost done bug.

Literally I go feed her at 7,10,1,4,& 7. Then at night I let the nurses give her a bottle. I aint stupid! I'll take the sleep while I can get it because I know soon we wont be getting any!

So today in rounds the NNP told me to set up an appointment on Monday for the pediatrician since she thinks we should be home by the end of the week. Lets hope we dont have to cancel! They asked me if we wanted to go home on thanksgiving and I said I didnt want to because I didnt really want her around a ton of people. One of them is bound to be sick so why risk it? So they said if she keeps it up we could room in on thursday and go home on friday. Sounds great to me! Hopefully little miss keeps eating!

She did so well yesterday! She took 3 full feeds and 2 half feeds from me. Then last night she took all her bottles except one she ate everything but 10mls. But this morning she pooped out at the 7am feeding and only did a few minutes from me. At the 10am feeding she ate a full feed again. Hopefully she doesnt poop out again. We shall see! She still needs some of her feeds through the tube but we're so close!

According to our NICU 10 minutes is a full feed, which she rarely does. She usually will go a full good 5 minutes and then shes done. Then I give her a little break and then she does another few minutes. The thing is my milk supply is so great we think she gets plenty during those 7-8 minutes. So we've let her go and her diapers are fantastic and her weight gain is great (shes almost 5lbs now!). So I think she is just a fast nurser. In fact a lot of times my let down is so great that she just chokes on it because she cant keep up with it. By the end of the day I smell like spoiled milk haha. Yummy.

We also decided that the feeds she is just done at 5 minutes and needs a break I just pump my hind milk, fortify it and then top her off with about an ounce in a bottle. One feed today she sucked it right down....then the next she did the 5 min and didnt want the bottle. Little stinker was wide awake too. She just didnt want it.

Oh so we had a roommate from HELL. Ok the mom was ok but the dad...holy crap he was a douche. First off, he had just come back from a hunt...his wife had just had her baby (at 34 weeks) and she has 2 kids (5 and 3). Plus she lives 45 min away from the NICU. And the guy goes on a TRIP? Oh HELLLLL no. That would never happen over in this household. Crazy crap.

So then they come wearing football jerseys...guess that should have given it away. So they pull the curtain so she could breastfeed and all of a sudden I hear this really loud rock music. I just looked over at the curtain like ARE YOU FOR REAL right now?!? Then I realize he is watching FOOTBALL and its LOUD! Youre not home dude...you are in the newborn INTENSIVE care unit.

So I go tell my nurse and she decides shes going to say something after I left. Well I guess once I left the football fans asked if they could get their own room because THEY felt claustraphobic. So perfect. So they found them another room, but apparantly the charge nurse was really bothered by how loud the noise was. Well today they got another roommate. hahahaha Sweet revenge. I love that they gave the roommate to them and not to me. They must just love me or at least thats what I figured.... :)

On another note...

Emotionally I've been coping extremely well. Being in the NICU has really brought back a lot of memories of Jaydas NICU stay and so its hard not to compare Jayda and Haven even though they are miles away in every way possible. With Jayda it was 2 steps forward one step back but with Haven its more just like a bunch of itty bitty steps forward. I think there are so many reasons I'm coping so well.

1. She was 7 weeks later and it showed! She didnt look like a red wrinkled old man (although we loved our little old man).

2. The birth. It was amazing. Scary but amazing. It was everything I wanted. Obviously a little earlier than expected, but it was the birth I dreamt about. The birth I wanted SO bad but didnt think would ever happen. I got to hold her right away. Bond with her. I felt like I was involved in her birth and not a bystander. I felt proud of myself for what I had accomplished. I think that makes all the difference in the degree of PTSD that a NICU mom goes through since a lot of times the birth is so traumatic its hard not to let go of that.

3. Obviously I'm a NICU vet so I not only have the built in relationships with the staff but I also know the lingo. I know the drill and know the setbacks. I also know how freaking good I have it. I walk past the rooms of the teeny tiny babies and just breathe a sigh of relief that we didnt have to walk that path again. I dont have to sit and once again be a bystander and just watch from the outside of a plastic box waiting and wondering if I'll ever have a normal baby. I'm involved and can feed my baby. I can pick her up whenever instead of needing a nurse to hand her to me. Its all around just so so different.

4. This time I dont have to watch torturous procedures done on my baby. No central lines, no IVs (well we did for a few days), no gosh awful eye exams, no watching my baby be drowned by the built in fluid from the high flow, and no crazy medications and tpn and lipids. I feel like a mother instead of a nurse.

Sure it sucks. Its an inconvienience. Its hard leaving my baby but I look around and count my blessings. There is always a worse story and you know what I have a healthy baby out of this and so many women A. Dont get to concieve a baby at all B. Dont take home their baby at all C. Have a baby with serious issues. In fact when I see pregnant women now I dont feel left out. I dont really feel that sting of jealousy I did after I had Jayda. Maybe it'll come but for now I dont. I guess I got to empathize (for a little while) with how miserable you really are. So I got to see that side...although I still would love to be pregnant and not sleeping at night because of being uncomfortable over being in the NICU, but you get what you get and you dont throw a fit. :)

The one thing I am having a hard time is not knowing what the future holds for our family. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think about getting pregnant again but saying I'm done just doesnt feel right. I'm trying not to think about it but its hard to feel out of control. I feel like I dont have any choices and I hate that I cant plan my family like normal people do. But you betta believe I am IUDing it up at my 6 week apt!

One thing I do know is I work my assssss off to get these babes here. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears (literally). Over 100 days in the NICU. But man, they are so worth it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Update on the home front


Haven is doing great. She's taking more of her feeds even though you can tell its such hard work for her. Poor little thing. Yesterday morning she took half a feed from me, skipped a feed and slept, then the next two feeds she ate a WHOLE feed! She shocked me! Today she has taken 2 whole feeds in a row, but I can tell its exhausting her so I almost want to let her sleep. :( I know shes getting plenty though because shes pooping and peeing like crazy and I'm pumping right after and on the side that she is nursing theres always way less.

We had a little scare where we thought that she was sick. She had been coughing and sneezing and her nurse pulled a big huge green booger out of her nose. Plus I've been sick with bronchiolitis. I've been masking up but you can only prevent so much by masking up and washing hands. And I've been fighting this for like 2 weeks so the thought of her getting it just makes me sick to my stomach. But the neonatologist came in and did a detailed assessment on her and said she looked just fine. Good thing I'm feeling better but I'm still masking up til I feel 100% better.

Today they've also sent us BACK down to NICU 1 because they just couldnt keep the upstairs open. Our NICU has really rolled out the red carpet for me and literally were keeping NICU 2 open just for me. But now they have discharged so many babies downstairs its a little ridiculous to have 2 NICUs open. Plus their budget doesn't allow it.

It was funny because they were very nervous to tell me so they kept it quiet all morning. I get into the elevator and this dad of twins that was going home asked me if I heard they were sending us all back downstairs. Keep in mind I wanted to pop this guy square in the mouth last night when he was oddling over his twins saying, "THATS RIGHT YOURE JUST POUNDING THIS DOWN. THATS WHY YOURE GOING HOME BECAUSE YOURE A BIG STRONG HEALTHY BOY THAT TAKES ALL HIS FOOD. YOU DONT NEED TO BE HERE ANYMORE." I was like seriously get this dude outta here. WE GET IT YOURE GOING HOME. CONGRADAFREAKINLATIONS. Then this morning he was like, "Oh I feel so guilty that I'm going home before you guys. I feel like we should stay because youre still here." Get lost bucko. You have ZERO class. I mean theres this girl in the corner who is 2 months past her due date. Her kid is so huge that he's over watching baby einsteins and chilling in a swing. Seriously wanna rub it in her face because you spent A WHOLE FLIPPING week in the NICU? Adios amigo. Don't let the door hit your butt on the way out. I let him know that he didn't have to feel bad for us. 3 weeks in the NICU is a sinch compared to the 3 months we spent with Jayda. I hope he felt like an ass.

Ok vent over.

So I call Amy and ask her if the rumor was true and she was like uhhhh I didnt want to tell you but yes. They were planning to come later and break it to you. haha It was hysterical. They were planning an intervention as if I was gonna break down. Honestly I knew it was coming sooner or later because I knew they had only 6 babies downstairs so it was a little ridiculous that they were keeping it open. I'm fine. We're going home soon anyways and I'd rather just stay in one spot instead of worrying about it and going back and forth all the time. Plus it will be nice to have our own room so I dont have to hear people like ass twin dad. And FYI we got our pick of what room we wanted (they knew room 6 was OUT of the question) haha. I love our NICU.

I'm getting excited at the thought of going home but on the other hand I don't want to rush her. I want to make sure she is good and ready to go home. I want to make sure she is eating good, gaining good, and not being over stimulated. I feel like I rushed Jayda out the door and all that led to was being home with a baby that didnt want to eat and having no means to feed her. That is like hell on earth and at that point you are begging for the NG tube back. We're so not going that route again. And I feel like if we were to do just bottles she'd get it faster and we'd go home faster but I'm gonna breastfeed damn it if its the last thing I do. I'll stay longer if I have to. We're gonna figure it out. She's using the nipple shield because its easier for her to latch on but hey I still think its good.

KerryAnn (the LC) said that we will probably have to go home on some bottles just to get her extra calories for her to gain weight but that I would probably want to introduce some bottles so I'm not on a leash for a year anyways. She said that I'm close to getting breastfeeding established and then we can introduce some bottles. She didnt lose anything from yesterday but she didnt gain either (shes up to 4lbs 10oz) so they are bumping her calories to 24 (my breastmilk plus human fortifier) to even it out. But KerryAnn didnt seem to worried about it since its very normal at first. I get anxiety though because this is exactly what happened with Jayda and I dont want to give up on BF this time.

Life is totally crazy of course but we are falling into a routine. Its so hard to fit pumping 8 times a day (yeah freaking right), plus breastfeeding, plus Jayda. My days fly by! Luckily we live 2 minutes away from the hospital. What a lifesaver! I swear by the time I BF her, pump, wash and clean everything its like 1 1/2 hrs til the next feed.

We took Jayda to see her again today and she loved it. She was singing rock-a-bye-baby to her and was patting her and smiling at her. She said I love you so much baby Haven. It was so nice to have my girlies together even for just 5 minutes. And I think Jayda needed that.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meeting Big Sis, Boobie Popsicles, and Some Answers


Jayda finally was able to meet Haven this last Thursday. I was glad she was finally feeling better and could see where mommy was going so much. I think she was beginning to wonder if baby Haven was really in existance.

Of course the minute Jayda walked in she was an instant celebrity among the nurses that took care of her. We walked past the hell hole we call room 6 and I was in instant relief that my former 26 weeker was running past that room instead of laying there looking like Benjamin Button.

Side note-we had been transfered back down to NICU 1 because they closed the step down since there was not enough babies in NICU 1...we have since gone BACK up to the step down since there were 5 admits in one night and I'm told they are keeping it open mainly because being down in NICU 1 haunts my dreams.

Chase and I were having a conversation about how even though the NICU is so different (it has since been remodeled and repainted) the sounds and smells bring us right back to those long hard days where we didn't know A. if Jayda was going to live B. If she was going to have long term problems. Just being down there puts you in such a bad mood. Granted I LOVE the people and its so nice to have great relationships with so many of the nurses, Neos, NNPs, RTs, etc. And its nice I even know what all those acronyms stand for. :)

We walked in the coveted side rooms where all the boring preemies are and Jayda was SO stoked to see Haven. She just stood there at first while Chase held her and just smiled. Then she said, "That's my baby sister Haven? She's sooo cute." She has since started calling Haven "brother" because she said she looked like a boy. She sat on Chase's lap and kissed Haven's head. I thought she was leaning in to her lips and I about had a heart attack. I about broke down though as we were leaving when she said, "I want to bring baby Haven home with us." So do I bug. So do I.

Then the social worker Rose had a little stuffed animal for her that she absolutely loved. KerryAnn the lactation specialist took her around the NICU and looked at all the pictures of the babies on the doors and gave her a big sister sticker. Then one of Jayda's old nurses Susan took her in to see a mom of 29 week twins to show her what her 1 1/2 lbers could be someday. That made me happy.

Haven has been doing pretty good. Were just waiting for the light bulb to finally go off. I'll see it flicker on every now and then but it has yet to fully come on. Mostly she will lick me like a little boobie popsicle. She LOVES the taste of my breastmilk and wishes it was on tap whenever she wanted it. If i put the binki in her mouth she hates the taste. I see my nipple becoming her little binki in the future. Even when she is completely done with latching on if I move her higher up on my breast just to snuggle she starts rooting around again until I put her back so she can lick the drops coming out like a little faucet. Lazy butt.

Today she was pretty tuckered out but around the 4:00 cares she was ready to go. That seems to be her magical time. She breastfed for maybe 2 minutes and then zonked out. Then at 7 we gave her a bath and after her bath she was rooting around all over the place. She did SO good. She went for at least 3 minutes and I know she got some. The nurse pulled tons of air out of her NG tube but she did have some fresh breastmilk in there. Slowly but surely.

On another note. My OB came and chatted with me this morning. He wasn't the dr that delivered me unfortunately because he wasn't the dr on that week but I know him much better than the dr that delivered me. He also explains things a lot better than the other dr. The NICU staff said he's been trying to get a hold of me to talk to me about everything but I'm in and out a lot. I think it was sweet of him to make the effort to come find me. That means a lot.

He pretty much said that I'll always have a preemie. Its probably that the way my body manufactures the water bag isn't strong enough to hold the baby to term so its likely that my water will break prematurely every time.

The question is how early. Obviously the p17 shots were a big reason that I made it further and IF we get pregnant again I'd definetely be getting those again. I asked him if it would be dumb to ever get pregnant again and he said no as long as I knew I'd probably always have NICU babies. If I was ok with that then that was a decision we had to make.

I talked to Chase today and were just not sure were willing to do that again. If you were to tell me I'd have a 33-34 weeker I'd probably do it again (whether that sounds selfish or not) but if you were to tell me I'd have another micro I'd say HELL-TO-THE-NO! Not because we don't love our little Jayda bug but because I think we'd have to admit ourselves to the psych ward to go through something that traumatic again.

So we're not sure whether were willing to play the lotto again. We obviously aren't thinking about our next baby yet when we don't even have our current baby home yet but its nice to kind of know what my options are for the future. And a part of me feels like my back is up against a wall. I mean its not like we concieved Haven in a flash and we don't want Haven and the next one far apart in age. We know we want one more baby and then we're done we just dont know yet if that will be through my jacked up uterus or through adoption.

We were close to the adoption process this last year. We were going to do the 3 iuis and then move on to adoption but then we got pregnant. So a part of us thinks well maybe this is Heavenly Father saying lets close up shop and move on. Either way we'll make our decision when Haven is a year old.

And you know what. I feel at peace (at this time) if I never did get pregnant again. I got to the 3rd trimester. I was miserably big-ish and a deformed face to top things off. I got my all natural VBAC. I got to hold my baby right after delivery. I'm going to be able to breastfeed. Those are all things that I wanted and I'll get even if it never happens again.

And I'm being honest when a part of getting pregnant again was to prove that I could do it. And now I know its not going to happen and all I'll be next pregnancy is a nervous wreck. This time I really thought I was going all the way and so my stress levels were pretty stable. I was more worried about a stillborn than a preemie. Next time I'm going to feel like a ticking time bomb and I'm not sure whether I'm willing to put myself through that.

We'll have to see but its nice to finally close that chapter and not wonder if its going to happen again. Thats not the question. Its are we willing to buy that lotto ticket one last time? And right now we're not sure. So maybe its time for my uterus and I to lay our weapons down and call it a truce.

For now, I'm perfectly content with my two girlies. I feel incredibly blessed. We worked hard to get her here and I just can't wait til we're all together. She's absolutely perfect except for the eating part. Come on light bulb, turn on!!! I want to snuggle both my babies in bed and just take a nap. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Update on Haven


So I'm finally able to sit down and update about little miss Priss. She is doing GREAT! It seems like everyday we are making progress and I'm just waiting for the two steps back as they say.

As of last night she is officially in the step down nursery which is reserved for the most stable babes that are just there to eat and grow. It is SO quiet and there aren't tons of moniters and beeping noises. To be quite honest walking into the NICU with that smell and the noises brought me back to a very dark place so its nice to be out of there (even though I LOVE the people). I loved walking past Jayda's old RT (respitory therapist) and telling him I LOVED that we didnt need him. :)

Bad news is I think I have a cold so I have to mask up and I'm terrified that I'm going to get her sick. But I have to teach her how to breastfeed so I have no choice. I'm "attempting" to breastfeed her once a shift. I say attempt because she doesn't do much. She'll latch on and suck for a few seconds but doesnt get anything substancial. Just kinda licks around.

The good news is she shows interest. She roots around and make sucking sounds. Its funny because she'll open her mouth as if she is trying to swallow fluid as if she was still inside of me. Really its just a waiting game until she learns how to eat. And she'll get it. There is a definate difference in my 26 weeker and her FOR SURE. We got this!

The nice thing is that I'm a NICU vet so I know to not get too excited. The first time we attempted she breastfed for about a total of maybe 2 min and had a latch score of a 4. So crazy good for the first attempt. Later that night she didnt really latch on at all. Just kind of zonked out. So I knew going into it to not expect something everytime because then you just set yourself up for disappointment. She'll get it and I know that.

Having a micropreemie and a later preemie is one of the same in one regard. Its a waiting game. The only thing is the micro part is a waiting game filled with terror. A later preemie its a waiting game filled with patience.

All I know is we ARE breastfeeding this one and she is going to know how to eat good before we go home!

Haven is so different from her sister. She is such a chill baby. She loves food. Once her feed is up she gets antsy and then he minute the food hits her belly she is zonked out. She has been spitting up a little after her feeds though so they might just give it to her slower. Btw she is up to 38mls which is FULL feeds at FIVE days old!!! Crazy! Its through the tube of course but she is loving it and tolerating it good. She's getting my milk completely now and is gaining awesome. We are now up to 4lbs 1oz after she lost her birth weight. Last night she had gained 40grams from the day before just from my breastmilk (with a little protein boost of course!).

She does look a little yellow so she might need to go under the bili lights for another day but thats not a big deal.

Jayda is getting better but we're going to probably wait til saturday to make sure her cold is completely gone. She is so excited to meet her baby sister. She's been carrying around a baby and calling it Haven and feeding her with one of my breastmilk containers and putting her in her baby swing we have set up for her. She started rocking it and sicking rock-a-bye-baby and my heart melted. When I was pumping the other day she said she wanted some of my yummy milk and I said, "OHHHH ok so NOW you want it. You didnt want it when you were a baby. Snooze ya lose sista!"

Its so hectic right now shuttling Jayda around and I feel guilty. We did a little craft and painting yesterday and I felt so tired but had to power through it. She loved spending some time with me but man I am just exhausted. Its only going to get worse when she starts breastfeeding more. Luckiyl we have tons of help but man...its hard juggling everything! Lord help us!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

*Video of Haven's birth and Apgar Test


Well, can't say I'm on open book. Here is the video of my last set of contractions when Haven was born and then put on my chest. Its shot from my shoulder so its not "that" graphic but if you have a weak stomach then you better skip this one and just watch Haven's apgar score test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWSz3u9UlwU&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ_qnzWjia8&feature=youtu.be

And some more pics...

This is Diane and Correy. They were the main ones that helped me before I went into the birthing room. Diane kept me calm and breathing through my contractions and poor Correy is a nursing student doing his rounds on L&D and I was his first birth he saw (besides his own wife) but he helped keep my mind off the contractions by chatting. He was also the one that helped Chase give me a blessing. This was right after NICU checked her out and put her back on my chest.
This is Haven after they got her settled into her new little home. She's getting tube fed right now until I start breastfeeding which we're hoping will be in the next week or so. She definetely shows signs of wanting food. When her feed is due she gets fussy and goes to town on her binki. Then the minute the food hits her stomach she zonks out. So thats always a great sign! My milk is in now so she is going to be getting my mommy milk instead of mainly donor milk.
Haven is doing great. Its pretty much just a waiting game at this point, but she shows progress everyday. She has done everything textbook for 33 weekers at this point and the NICU vet in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop since I'm not used to such a boring preemie.

She's still in an incubator (she could be in an isollete but thats the bed they had at the time) and is getting closer to on open crib...were hoping in the next week when she starts gaining back her birth weight.

Jayda still hasn't met her yet since she is still coughing but I think its for the best for now since I'm sure its scary to see her in the incubator anyways. Shes so excited to see her and has been carrying a baby doll around and pretending its Haven. It kinda breaks my heart a little bit.

Her bili was a little high so they started her on phototherapy today. She HATED that they stole her bean bag privellages and put glasses on her eyes. So the nurse put her on her tummy and she immediately zonked out.

She's up to 27mls of milk (over half of what will be considered full feeds) and tolerating it well. Pooping a lot! Totally not used to that since we didnt see poop with Jayda for about 2 months since she had the blockage.

Me=tired. Its so much harder to do this having a germy 3 year old and a hubby that works 2 jobs and having to pump 8 times a day but luckily we have tons of help. Hopefully these next few weeks go by quick because I nearly broke down when I came home without her. That feeling sucks so bad! I miss that cute little girl when I leave but shes so perfect. We just cant wait til we are all together.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Little Miss Haven Mae Is HERE!!


When you make plans...God laughs...or so I've learned. Apparantly so did Haven.

As I sit here in my post partum room, I'm filled with so much joy but a tug of saddness since my baby isn't by my side but oh how different it is this time around. So who could complain?

It all happened so fast. So so fast. ************************************************************************************* WARNING NOT FOR MEN (or men with weak stomaches) OR VIRGIN EYES

Halloween night we were going to take Jayda trick or treating but she was throwing her guts up so we just called it an early night (she has RSV...talk about bad timing!. Apparantly that was a blessing in disguise or who knows I would have had her Halloween night.

I remember telling Chase later that night that I felt so nauseous and maybe had what Jayda had, but went to bed and didn't think much of it.

2.am. I wake up to a little gush and I realize I had a little bit of wetness on my underwear, but silly me thinks I just peed myself. I'm further along so I thought the weight of the baby caused it. Durrrrr. Didn't have any more gushes so I went back to sleep.

Throughout the night I felt what I thought was gas pains, but not unbearable pain. I've had pains like this my whole pregnancy and every time it was just constipation issues so didn't think much of it.

6a.m. The gas pains get worse and then I realized the pain is coming and going. Not good. I tried to go to the bathroom to see if that helped and it didn't.

6:45 a.m.- Chase is upstairs with Jayda who is busy getting up early hacking up a storm. He comes downstairs and I tell him I think I'm in labor and we need to go. By this time it was pretty obvious I was in labor since I was contracting every couple minutes and could barely walk or talk through them.

Get to L&D and get set up right away since they saw how much pain I was in. Its about 7a.m. by this time. I'm in so much pain I want to scream...and I did. Yes, I was one of "those".

Chase took Jayda home and called my MIL to come stay with her. I think that was the quickest I'd ever seen Karen get anywhere because he was back in no time.

They did an amniosure to see if my water broke (negative...later told it was a false negative since Dr. Ott told me I was definetely already ruptured. And they checked to see if I was dialated and I was at a 2 (which btw was the MOST PAINFUL THING EVER since I had a posterior cervix and the nurse was practically digging into my cervix). Got my steriod shot, and my nefidepine (double dose). I had Chase and one of the nurses Corey (who Chase knew and grew up with) give me a quick priesthood blessing which made me feel better (emotionally not physically). Then we sent Chase to get my p17 shot at home since I was due for it that day (later ended up in my purse unused...didnt need it at that point.)

Dr. Ott rolls in and says looks like baby is coming, if not today then in the next couple of days. We'll try to get those steriods in and just wait it out, but by the amount of pain you are in..looks like shes going to be here today.

Jaws drop. Eff no. I'm still not far along enough. Damn uterus.

Contractions continue. I said to the nurses (who btw were just angels... and were by my side about the entire time helping keeping me calm and watching her closely since with every contraction she was deceling badly. At one point we slowly lost her heartbeat. I started flipping out and yelled, "GET HER BACK! GET HER BACK!" After the contraction ended she came back up, but I think I still shat a little in my pants.

I then said get me some freaking nubang and put me on a CLOUD...figuring if I was in less pain I would calm down and so would she, but my nurse who was named Diane (and who btw I could tell was an "all natural" type of L&D nurse) said I couldnt yet because she was in distress and if she was born it would be worse for her. They had the meds in their hands but decided to check me first since I said I felt like I needed to go to the restroom. They said if I hadnt progressed much then she would give me the meds. Not so. I was a 9!

By that time tons of nurses swarmed in. Go get Dr. Ott. She's a 9! They wheel me out and instead of taking me to the OR to get my c-section that I was advised OVER and OVER again by the drs that I needed because of my high risk of uterine rupture they instead take me to a birthing room.

Both Chase and I are freaking out. NO NO NO she needs a c-section. What are you doing?

Nurse: Oh no she's not. We wouldnt even have time to set her up. She's having this baby NOW! Me: No pain meds? My uterus is going to rupture! Ott: Well we're gonna have this baby. Let me suit up and we'll start pushing! Me: What about my c-section? Ott: We don't have time. And your risk of uterine rupture is about 25%. Me:(in my head) ohhhhhh ok such GOOD chances. Silly me! (but at that point I was in so much pain I just wanted it over!) I pushed for about 20 minutes. She came so fast I didn't have time to stretch. With every contraction her head would start to come and then suck back in. She was still in distress so Ott said I hate to do this but I need to cut you because we need to get her out right away.

At that point it was just a relief. I could feel him cutting me but honestly was like a pin prick compared to the pain I was feeling. They kept saying, "There's her head, next contraction!" LIARS! I kept saying I just cannot do this and they kept saying YES you can. I thought my head was going to explode all over the wall!

I was not mentally prepared for all this. A. To have the baby at all B. To have her vaginally C. To have her med free

So of course I was screaming and cursing. But once she was out the pain was gone! And the most amazing thing happened. They put her right on my chest and she was screaming! They took her away to get checked out after I said hello and NICU said she was doing great (which I knew the names of everyone in the room from NICU haha)! She weighed 4lbs 4oz and was 18 1/2 inches but had major cone head so probably wasn't that tall.

They handed her back to me wrapped up in her blanket and she looked absolutely perfect. A totally different experience than last time. She was so alert, just staring wide eyes at me.

Even though she was 7 weeks early Chase and I got to hold her for about 30 minutes before they took her off to NICU. She hasnt needed any breathing assistance and will be in the NICU probably for a few weeks before she can come home because she needs to learn how to eat and grow a bit more.

Chase was so happy. You could tell her was on the verge of an anxiety attack the whole time but after he had the normal daddy experience and was filled with joy as well...he even teared up a bit. I'm so glad he got his normal daddy birth experience as well.

She is so precious and I love her! She's already sucking great on her binki and we're hoping by next week we can start non-nutrative feeding (pump before and let her try to breastfeed.) Right now she is getting whatever I can pump and donor milk until my milk comes in.

Sure full term was ideal but such is life. It was the birth I never thought I'd get. I was completely content. I felt normal for once and although I'm going home without her I know I'll take her home. I'm not going home wondering if they are going to call me in teh middle of the night to tell me she had another episode and they had to bag her for 15 minutes before they got her again. So now that I've been on the flip side I can tell you with a certainty that haing a micro is a WHOLE lot different than having a later preemie. Without a doubt. Sure it still sucks (who wants their baby in the NICU) but I'll take a feeder/grower over a micro any day of the week.

Jayda is sick so she can't meet her just yet but she is SO excited and cant wait to meet baby Haven. She asked me if Haven was out of my belly and she could come to the "hospitable" to come see her. My mom and Chases mom are sick so they have to stay away but her health is way more important than whether they can meet her. I feel bad that they dont get the normal grandparent moment but even if she was term and they were sick they wouldn't get to come either so unfortunately it was just tis the season to be sick. Hopefully I dont get sick. What a bummer that would be!

I have a video of my birth that I'll post when I can. Chase got a little woosey so he took it from my shoulder so you cant see much except for when she comes out but its still so awesome and I'm glad he got it filmed. I just keep watching it over and over and cry everytime with part joy at what a beautiful moment it was and half so proud that I made it through alive (both of us).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lots of updates and some exciting news!!


I'm so exhausted.

If I see another drs office I think I might vomit.

This weekend we went up north for Jayda's endocronologist appt to check to see why she isnt growing very well. They had us get an x-ray of her hand to tell her bone age. This pretty much tells whether she is small because she is immature or small because she is just small. Turns out that her bone age is a tinge off but overall right on track for her age. So even though her height is the height of a 2 year old (34inches) and her weight is the weight for an 18 month old (23.6lbs) she is not malnourished or immature in any way. Thats obviously a huge relief. They still want to put her on growth hormones to speed up her height but have to have it approved through insurance. In order to approve it through insurance we have to prove she was IUGR (intrauterine growth restricted) as a baby. Who in the heck knows why but thats just what the dr said.

To top it off she caught bronchiolitis from her cousins (not their fault we really had to go to that appt and they were the only people we could stay with) and we think she may have a UTI (just waiting for labs). Long story short, it was a long weekend.

Then today I had my 32 week appt. I know 32 weeks!!!! I had my last cervical ultrasound check and it was still long but had shortened a bit (3.0) but he said at this point it can start to naturally shorten anyways which is why he doesn't check it again unless I show signs of preterm labor. Also, we saw a FULL head of hair on ultrasound today! She's gonna have A LOT of hair because it was long and full! Crazy how you can see it!

We also talked about how early we are going to do my c-section. Prior to our conversation my understanding was that he was going to take me at 37 or 38 weeks because of my incision on my uterus but apparantly he said he's not going to do it until 39 weeks unless I a. go into labor myself or b. have issues. He said he's not counting on 39 weeks though which is why he's not going to schedule it for now. He doesn't think I'll make it.

I'd love to make it that far but also hope I come at 37 or 38 weeks naturally because I just get anxious things could go wrong at the last minute. Then he said, well your chances of stillbirth in this pregnancy is so low..less than 1%. I then said, "Didn't you just get done telling me that you've seen 3 of your patients get bells palsy? If something wierd is going to happen, its going to happen to me." Couldn't argue with that. So if I do make it past 36 or 37 I'll be going in twice weekly to monitor the baby really just to calm my anxieties which he said is completely normal to have for people like me that have had trauma in other pregnancies.

I have been having a bit of blood pressure issues. Today it was 143/97 but there is no protein in my urine so no pre-e. Just high blood pressure. He said that the steriods I took could contribute to that too (also why I've gained so much weight recently and have swelled up like crazy). And it could just be normal 3rd trimester high blood pressure as my body puts more pressure trying to support the baby. So they will moniter me every week from here on out just to make sure there is no pre-e. So overall, we're just trucking along.

Also my bells is slowly going away. I still have tons of tearing in my eye but I have more closure and my mouth and tongue has improved. I still do not look normal by any means but there is a definite improvement which is a good sign that things will fully recover.

*******In other exciting news...recently I was contacted by a girl who is a group owner on a ttc message board saying that the editor of the online infertility/baby loss magazine called Still Standing wants me to be a monthly contributor! So starting in November my articles will go live the last tuesday of every month. I was kinda shocked that anyone like that reads my blog...especially since I feel like my story compared to others writing for the magazine is kinda dwarfed. So to say I feel a little out of my league as far as how much I'll contribute is an understatment.

Overall, though I'm excited to write about my experiences. I feel like just because I'm pregnant and about to give birth doesn't mean I don't still suffer through my journey of having a micropreemie and infertility. Those scars go deep and they don't heal overnight or by seeing those two lines blaring at me. In fact, it makes me feel more vulnerable. I guess I won't feel completely safe until I have her in my arms. Even then a whole new set of worrying comes into play. Oh the joys of parenting. The worrying may lessen over time but never goes completely away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day From Hell- Bells Palsy


This is what I look like. And not usually. Trust me I've been asked just today if I'm ok. Man people like to stare and have zero shame. I guess I don't blame them though. I probably would too. But I'm rude like that.

So starting Sunday night I started to have really watery eyes but nothing terrible. Just thought I was tired.

Next day (monday) I wake up and my eyes were acting crazy. When I was driving Jayda to preschool I felt like something was off. It felt like when you've been inside all day and you step into the sun and your eyes arent used to the light. Except it wasnt going away. It kinda freaked me out.

When it got progressively worse throughout the day I also noticed that my tongue was completely numb.

I started to swell really bad as well so I was worried about pre-e. I checked my BP and it was 138/92 so a tad high. I called my OB nurse and she talked to the dr and wanted me to go into L&D just to be safe.

So off we went.

No pre-e. Thank gosh. Urine=no protein. Blood=good. Couldn't figure it out. They called in the OB hospitalist and it was this very blunt tiny asian lady. I thought she was such a hoot. She looked at me with this wierd look and asked me to smile. She cocked her head and looked at me like I was a freak. She asked me if I looked like that usually. I felt like she thought she was stepping on a line because who knows if this freak usually looks like this. I hadnt looked in a mirror so I was kind of confused. She kept saying, "i'll get you a mirror. Let me go get a mirror."

She left and I decided to go to the bathroom. I smiled in the mirror and just busted up laughing. It was bad.

She came back in and I immediately said, "Holy shit, I just looked at my face and NO that is not normal." She just laughed and said I mean I didnt know...but it looks like you may have Bells Palsy.

Baby looked great. Bells Palsy doesnt effect the pregnancy thankfully. But then there was nothing they could do since its not OB related anymore. They wanted me to go to instacare to get looked at to get treated.

Went to instacare and they didn't want to touch me with a 10 ft pole. So they sent me to the ER.

Go to ER tell them my symptoms...one of which was facial paralysis. I've never been taken back so fast. Coo with me. They thought I was maybe having a stroke since thats a symptom of a stroke.

Got seen right away. Diagnosed me wiht Bells not stoke. Sent me home and said to come back if anything else was numb besides my face.

5am Right arm was tingling. Hands very swollen and weak. Freaking out I was having a stroke. Went back to ER.

Get evaluated. Still think its just Bells. Order MRI just in case. Had to wait 2 1/2 hours for it to become available. Have bloody discharge. Baby looked good though. MRI came back normal. Sent me packing finally at 10am.

OB appt at 1. Baby doing great. Now 3 lbs 5oz (40th percentile), and cervix long (3.45). Given the OK to take steriods and antivirals to help treat. Asked to come back Friday to follow up.

Neurologist appt at 3. Confirmed again just bells. Cant tell me why I'm so swollen and hands weak and arm tingling. Send me over to the lab just to run additional tests to rule out other possible diagnoses.

Run to pharamacy to get meds.

Needless to say I'm exhausted. I look like a pirate. All I'm missing is the eye patch. I also am so swollen I look like a water buffalo. I can't close my right eye so I have to manually do it. Tonight I'll have to tape it shut. I have no control over the whole right side of my face. Watching me suck out of a straw is comical. At least to me. I have continuous runny nose or bloody nose just on the one right nostril. And I can't look in the mirror without either laughing or crying hysterically. Ok no crying just laughing. Maybe I'm in denial?

I guess through all of this. I'll take a jacked up face over pre-e and delivering early. I'm not sure if thats just pure desperation or motherly love.

So for another day I'm pregnant and thats all I care about.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Unrealistic Expectations


Pregnancy after infertility can be confusing sometimes. When I was trying to get pregnant I was a part of an online community of women who were actively trying to get pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I felt an overwelming amount of guilt especially because some of those women have been there for YEARS and havent even seen a positive test ever or whos disappeared after a few days.

There's nothing more awkward then saying, "Opps nevermind thanks for the kind words about my upcoming IUI but we got pregnant on our own. :/"

Luckily there is a graduates board for the women who have gotten pregnant and we are able to share our concerns and feelings about this guilt. For the most part I've found that its an overwelming amount of infertiles gone fertile that set unrealistic expectations about how they should feel.

I liken infertility to watching a party from the outside looking in. There are all kinds of people at the party. Ones that don't want to be there. Ones that want EVERYONE to know they are there. Ones that have been there one too many times.

All the while you look on in jealousy. Perhaps a little bitter. And not even bitter at the people at the party, but bitter at yourself. And maybe a little bitter that some people at the party are quick to forget about you. Bitter that they dont even care. They just party on and just look on at you with pity and sometimes its easier for them just to turn their back on you because its easier to shut out things that make them feel uncomfortable. Then they even have the GALL to complain about the noise level, the lighting, the food, the drinks and tell you that you aren't missing out.

Then the day comes. You are thrust into the party. You stick one foot in with excitment and anticipation. You've dreamed about entering this door for so long. Afraid that at any given moment the universe will see you there and throw you out. You feel awkward being there. It's like being at a party you weren't invited to. You feel incredibly grateful to be there but you don't feel like the normal guest. You don't belong let alone even think about complaining about the party.

Sometimes the events we have in our mind just dont turn out the way we expected. When you get in there you realize wow that music is pretty loud. The food, eh, not my favorite, but who am I to complain? I wanted this. For. so. long. And the other guests want to keep reminding you about that.

Personally, I can't relate much to the complaints. I like the noise level. I like the food. I love the lighting. Its better than being outside looking in. But then again, last time I was at the party I was thrown out early and all I wanted to do was go back to the party and complain about trivial things instead of being at that nightmare afterparty.

Although this is my personal feeling, its not necessarily the norm. As a whole this sets unrealistic expectations for infertile fertiles. Opens the door to PPD. Opens the door to more heartache that they don't deserve.

Then the guests that shunned you and forgot about you are suddenly your friends again. There to support you which makes you feel even worse. You just want to say, "Where were you during my struggle and why do you expect to be here now that I'm successful?" You don't want to party with them because at the heart of it you know they wont be there for you if you get thrown out again. You put up an artifical front. Smile and wave but you know you can never fully trust those people again.

It's easy to say party on girl! You are finally here. But you cant help but look out and see your friends standing out in the rain.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Prepartum Blues.


I can't believe I am almost out of the 20's and into the 30's! I cannot believe that in possibly less than 2 months I'll have my baby in my arms...FINALLY! And that I'll be able to have a baby without wires and tubes. A baby who knows how to suck, swallow, and breathe. A baby who actually comes home with me!

Hopefully.

But...lately I've felt a sense of anxiety and dread. Don't get me wrong...I'm so excited to have Haven here. If I could snap my fingers to 2 months away I would in a second. I'm just terrified that I'm going to go from one kid to two and not going to be able to handle it.I'm terrified that I won't love this baby as much as Jayda or that I'll be so exhausted that I won't want to spend time with Jayda. I'm terrified I'm going to have to do a lot of it alone since Chase will be working 2 jobs until Janurary or Feburary. I'm terrified that I'm going to have another colicky refluxy baby that never sleeps. I'm terrified that I'll have PPD again.

Trust me, I'm glad this is all I'm worried about but I've grown increasingly anxious as the weeks go by and things become more real. Luckily this time I know what to look for if I do experience any PPD symptoms. With Jayda I just thought I was a terrible mother. I didn't realize I had suffered from PPD until I took one of my psychology classes and came to the realization that I had all of those symptoms. Granted I think I had a bit of PTSD as well since my experience wasn't the norm or something that should make you happy. The problem was I didnt experience those symptoms until 3 months after Jaydas birth and when she came home. But then again PTSD doesn't usually present itself until 3 months after a traumatic event. So makes sense.

Sometimes I imagine what my birth experience will be like this time around. Is it going to be everything I wanted and wished it to be? How long will it be until I see her and get to hold her? Will it be an emergency or something that I'll look forward to with excitement? I've learned from experience not to get your hopes up or to exepect rainbows and butterflies because then you set yourself up for heartache.

I've also been more jumpy and anxious in general. Lately I've had thoughts of horrible things happening. Like me falling down the stairs on my belly and hurting Haven. Jayda getting abducted out of her room at night. Chase dying in a car accident on his way to work. Some serial killer whos victim type is young pregnant women coming to kill me. Sounds crazy right. I don't know if its a pregnant thing because I'm usually not this jumpy but its starting to freak me out. Perhaps its a little bit of prepartum blues?

I've recently changed my diet. For the most part I've eaten really crappy this pregnancy (whoops) and as a result have gained like 35lbs already! Yikes! Its just been hard because I've stayed down as much as possible just to take it easy and not overdo anything. As a result I've been a lazy fat arse! haha So this week when I went shopping I got all the healthy stuff I used to eat.

I've also been eating more veggies and fruits. I'm limiting my carb and salt intake and tried getting out more especially now that my contractions have stopped. I've also gone back to what I was doing before I got pregnant. Big breakfast, snack, medium lunch, snack, (limit starches after 2), small dinner, small nightime snack. I feel like I have a lot more energy just in the last couple of days of doing this. Hopefully this will help my pregnancy blues since I've felt tired this whole pregnancy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

28 weeks 5 day Appointment


Had another ultrasound and drs appt today. It was pretty routine thankfully and unfortunately kinda a boring ultrasound because of Havens position. She was pretty squished onto my right side so it was hard to see her. She LOVES to just curl in a ball and pretty much hang out in my right hip and rib. Her legs were up by her head and her head was smashed into my cervix. Running out of room! Yay!

At first the tech couldn't see my cervix at all. That kinda freaked me out when she's like uhhh I cant see your cervix. Ekk. but she said it was because at this point the baby's skull is becoming more calcified and so its more shadowy and hides it. Plus she was smashed down in there pretty good. So she said that she had to go in via vaginal ultrasound to check. She asked the dr if he wanted her to do it and he said, "More than I want anything in the world. Of course." Luckily it was still measuring great at 3.46 which my dr said probably gives me another good 2 weeks of not worrying about going into preterm labor. We'll do 2 more cervix checks and then wont check it anymore since after 32 weeks cervix measurements dont really tell you anything as you can naturally start to shorten or efface around that time anyways.

My contractions are much better and I'm not having to take the contraction meds as much anymore. Mostly if I need to get out and do errands. He said it was a great thing that I only take it when I need them because after awhile the effect wears off so when you really need them they wont do anything.

My dr was stoked with how everything looked. He walked into the room and stuck the ultrasound pics on the wall and said I just want to hang this on the wall not only because you make cute babies but because everything else looks so beautiful! He also asked me how I felt actually being in the 3rd trimester finally! And honestly, I feel great but I also feel like a FTM again because I dont know what to expect. Everything is so new to me! Its so crazy to think I have an almost 3lb baby in my stomach! It took us FOREVER to get Jayda to 3lbs!

There was one thing that concerned me. Me more so than the dr but still worried me none the less. My blood pressure was a little high around 138/60 (I think that was the bottom number but honestly was more focused on teh 138 part. The nurses seemed more concerned with it then the dr but he said in the 3rd trimester it can be normal for your blood pressure to rise a little. We'll obviously keep watching it but he doesn't think it will be an issue (lets freaking hope!).

Oh and he's giving me antibotics for my sinus infection that I've had for about 3 weeks now. I seriously cannot sleep at night because I'm so miserable with a stuffy nose, post nasal drip, and a sore throat. Thank goodness! Hopefully that gets rid of it.

Otherwise, it was an incredibly boring appt and I like it that way!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jayda naps and Update on Chase

So as I said in another post about Jayda was that our little bug was done with naps. And for the most part that is true. No matter how tired she is she will not sleep in her own bed away from everyone. Even if she falls asleep in the car the minute we put her in her bed she just starts bawling that she doesnt want to sleep in her bed. So we've just let her fall asleep wherever and that seems to help a lot. These are just a few snapshots of her naps throughout the house.
This pic was when I was about 18 weeks. I'm much bigger now... (I'll be getting my maternities soon so I'll keep you updated on the bump). Jayda will fall asleep SO easily if I tickle her back and this is when she fell asleep on my legs.
She loves Seasame Street and will fall asleep to it a lot. She refuses a pillow but falls asleep against the couch with her little green blanket. Anything to get her to sleep!
One time I found her in my bed fast asleep. She had been playing on my memory foam with her beach tools acting as if she was at the beach and fell asleep instead. I love my little bug!

Oh and update on Chase. I feel all I do is talk about me or Jayda but Chase is such a hard worker and has helped me so much! So he's still working at Red Robing as a bartender/server at nights. But he is officially now selling insurance with Farmers! He works there in the day time and then Red Robin at night. Luckily with Farmers he can pretty much come and go as he pleases. Its just up to him to make his quota of selling 40 pieces of insurance and 4 pieces of life insurance in 3 months.

Right now he is working at both because he cant get on salary until he meets his quota but he does get commission. But comission defintely is not solid by any means so we need to be sure that we get enough to cover all of our bills. So he is busy working hard! The earliest we will be getting on salary is January because they wont put anyone on salary in November or December because its their slowest months. I think its kinda a stupid rule especially if he meets his quota but thats the rules. Whatever. It should be interesting when I have the baby and he's working 2 jobs! We're so proud of him though. And poor Jayda misses her dad. He'll come and go throughout the day and she'll be like where are you going daddy? And he'll say I'm going to work. She'll say so frustrated AGAIN?!