Thursday, November 29, 2012


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 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.

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 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. 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).