Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!


Whew!  After all the tests they ran on my little 5lb baby, it turns out that he was just dehydrated.  Good that it's nothing serious, but horrible because he had to get so much done to him when all he needed was a heat lamp and a bottle...

I feel bad now that I was so against bottles.  Truth is, I still am.  The drs. kept saying he needed formula to supplement the breast milk, as it has more calories and that's what he needs right now.  But I think that's a lot of crap.  Breast milk is made specifically for him, isn't it?  I get that he needs to eat more often, but it can still be my milk.  I am not paying for formula when my body is overflowing with free milk made just for babies...Anyway, we are now going to do breast feeding and then top it off with a bottle of expressed milk, to make sure he's getting enough.  As long as it's my milk I'm okay with it.  Still hate pumping but I'll do it so I don't have to go through another night at the ER!!

Otis was doing really well last night when I went to visit, hopefully he'll be able to come home Saturday after his antibiotics are done.  And this time I will make sure he gets his feedings and gets enough!!  Poor kid just doesn't realize how small he is, and we keep forgetting how early he was. 

So here's to a better 2011!!  Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The NICU. Again.

Well, life is not easy with our little man.  I will forgive him, though.  Yesterday we went to our doctor's appointment and found that his temperature was dangerously low.  And he had only gained an ounce, not the five ounces they had hoped for.  And he was really lethargic and wouldn't feed much during the day.  So, back to the hospital we went.  It was really hard this time because it was so unexpected!! 

Otis got another IV put in, his blood sugar was low so they gave him some sugar water and more antibiotics.  He had to get spinal fluid drawn, which was the hardest thing to watch, I'm not sure why I did.  I wanted to hold him so bad!!  And I had to just sit there and listen to him cry.  It sucked.  He got a bunch of blood drawn, a chest xray, a urine sample.  Poor kid had every nook and cranny checked!

He got moved up to the NICU again, and I swear to god, it was a thousand times harder to leave him this time than it was after he was born.  I was just sobbing, not wanting to leave him, but it was midnight and there wasn't anything I could do for him.  And I was hormonal and exhausted and every time the doctors said something I burst into tears.  The nurse was awesome and hugged me and told me it was okay to cry, to let it out, but know he was being taken care of. 

I had to leave Otis there, all tiny and full of wires again.  Brendan called this morning and he's doing fine, he ate through the night and I think his IV is out again.  Hopefully we'll get some test results back today and figure out what is going on.  I'm crossing fingers it's nothing major, just a little bump in the road.  I miss my little man, he's already such a part of our family.  He needs to get better and come home!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to Work

Today is Brendan's first day back to work all day.  It has been awesome!  I am loving that I feel back to normal, I have energy again, Ingrid's been in a great mood, we've gotten lots done.  Ahhh, after a month of craziness we are back to life.

We took down Christmas stuff today and cleaned up toys.  They seem to multiply overnight.  I thought I'd made room for the new toys but I guess not.  Today I did.  The play room is now clean and tidy, the living room has 60% less toys spilling out, and my sewing machine is back upstairs ready to roll. 

I took some pictures of little man sporting his new duds from Grandma and Grandpa.  They got him a frog ensemble, complete with a ridiculous frog hat.  He looks so cute in it!

Otis has been doing amazingly well with nursing.  It makes me so happy that I don't have to worry about bottles and other feeding paraphernalia.  So easy just to lift the shirt and let him have some milk!  We were told  we had to wake him up to feed him every three hours so he'd grow, but that was getting so old...He is so hard to wake up, it would take nearly an hour to get him awake, then he'd feed for three seconds and pass out again.  So yesterday I just let him sleep as long as he wanted and after a five hour stretch he was up and alert and nursed on each side for 20 minutes.  We have a doctor appointment again tomorrow to check his weight, so we'll see how he's doing.  I'm going to follow my mama instinct and say he's getting what he needs. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Best Christmas Ever.

It seriously was a great Christmas this year!  Brendan's parents came over from Wisconsin and it was the perfect day of relaxing, eating food, and watching A Christmas Story.  They came from their hotel this morning and we opened presents, then they all went swimming at the hotel pool while Otis and I hung out cleaning and nursing and sleeping.  Once they were back we ate a huge meal and then hung out playing with Ingrid's new toys and asking each other Trivial Pursuit questions. 

Ingrid got two drums this year!  One an old school Fisher Price, and one a real true bongo set from Grandma and Grandpa.  It was so cute, we had gotten Brendan's dad some homemade guitar picks so he was playing the guitar.  Ingrid got her drums and sat down right next to him, and Bob and Kathy sang songs while they played.  We are so going to be the Partridge Family.

And Otis was a little sweetie all day long.  I had to try to wake him up, which is SO HARD!!  He just will not wake up no matter what you try.  But once he did wake up, the little genius finally figured out how to latch on properly so I don't even need the nipple shield anymore!  I am just amazed how this whole nursing thing is all coming together.  I was so worried I wouldn't be able to do it, especially since he's a preemie, but he's just gotten the hang of it so quickly.  And when he's not nursing, he's sucking his thumb...something I'm not sure I like.  Ingrid never ever sucked her thumb, but Otis does it all the time, it's kind of cute.  But you can't take a thumb away like you can a pacifier.  That's a long way away, though, no need to worry myself now, right?

Overall it was just a great day.  Tomorrow Brendan is taking Ingrid to swim again, then they are all going to the Henry Ford Museum, which means Mama and Otis get a big chunk of the day to ourselves!!  I envision a nap and working on Otis' cross stitch birth announcement.  Good times.  Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, too!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to My Life

Today has been amazing.  Brendan had to go into get some stuff done at work and it didn't freak me out at all!  Ingrid and I ate breakfast, I got in a shower, Otis is now nursing thanks to the help of my new best friend, the nipple shield.  Things have gotten a lot more relaxed around here.  Phew!

Ingrid and I wrapped presents for Daddy and Otis, we folded laundry, listened to Christmas music, and ate snacks.  I put Otis in the sling for the first time, but before that Ingrid wanted to see if she still fit.  She does, but man, after holding her chunky monkey butt in it for five minutes, Otis seemed even more tiny!  He just snuggled right in and fell asleep as we went about our business. 

And speaking of tiny:  one of my favorite newborn pictures of Ingrid was her in the bouncy seat.  Looking back at the seat now, it's amazing she ever fit into it, you know?  So I had to take one of Otis, too.  He's such a papoose in his swaddle blanket, a baby burrito barely taking up any space in his seat at all!!

Someday we'll look back at this and sigh and say remember when he was that small?? 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We're All Home!

Otis was released from the NICU on Monday afternoon!  That little guy did so well he was only in there for four days!  It was quite the shock to get that call that we could come get him and take him home.  Of course we still didn't have the car seat installed, so I had to struggle with that before I could even leave to go pick up Brendan from work.  No fun.  Our next car is definitely going to have the LATCH system, this using seat belts is for the birds...

Once home, it was a little stressful.  Getting into that routine of feeding, diaper changes, dealing with Ingrid, sleeping, changing lots of dirty clothes, pumping's hard!  I went to pick up some groceries and my hormones hit and I just started crying in the middle of the store.  I felt so overwhelmed and my mom wanted to go home--who could blame her?  Her whole month has been crazy because of us.  But she saw me crying as I brought in the groceries and decided to stay.  Bless her, I needed my mommy another day or two!

Yesterday was much better.  I have the hang of pumping and feeding now, and Otis is a sleeper.  Thank god!  He sleeps in four hour stretches at night so we really only have to wake up once.  It's great.  Ingrid loves her brother, I think the hardest part for her was me being away for so long.  Now that she sees I'm here to stay she's been way better.

Otis is doing well.  He had his doctor appointment yesterday and is only one ounce away from his birth weight.  He's a little on the cold side, though, so last night we did skin to skin.  It was SO comfortable!  We sat on the couch with blankets on us and he cuddled right up to me and warmed up.  I can't get over how much I love him already :) 

Today my mom is going home and Brendan is getting his hair cut, so it's the first time I'll have both my kids by myself!!  I can do it.  Right?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Pictures of the Bub

This weekend we've gotten to spend a lot of time at the NICU with Otis.  He is doing so well, his IV is out, he doesn't have any infection, he's eating and growing.  They're checking his biliruben levels again tonight so we'll find out tomorrow if he needs phototherapy for jaundice, but other than that he's doing really well.  The doctors were pleasantly surprised, as most boys 34 weeks don't do as well.  I guess it's a hard thing to learn how to suck/swallow/breathe.  Not our guy!  He even latched on a couple times and my milk has started to trickle in so he may have even gotten something.  Hooray for that.

This morning Ingrid came with us and got to hold her brother for the first time.  She was so funny, oohing and aahing but grabbing his hands and poking her fingers in his eyes.  Good thing babies are tough.  He didn't even really open his eyes.

Later on Brendan and I went back to spend some time without a squirmy two year old.  We spent hours just looking at him and marveling over how tiny he is, how perfect he is, how he's already here, and how excited we are to take him home!  Here is my all time fave picture of Mr. Crosseyes:

And here's a picture of his fuzzy face.  He has this blond hair all over, which is so strange since Ingrid was all dark hair and both Brendan and I have brown hair.  Genes are funny.

Today he was quite alert and actually had his eyes open for awhile.  He just amazes me every time we go see him.  I know people say that another child just fits right into your life, but I didn't get how that could be.  I was really worried about how I would feel about another kid besides Ingrid but man, that love came right away.  I feel so happy we decided to have another one!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Welcome, Otis!

He's here!! 

He was born Thursday December 16, 2010 at 5:48pm.  He was 33 weeks 4 days and weighs in at 4lbs 14 oz, 17 inches long.  Those are his stats, here's my story.

Wednesday I woke up having contractions.  They went on and off all day long, and when I woke up Thursday they were back.  When they checked me on Wednesday I was 2cm, when they checked on Thursday morning I was 4cm.  So...I was making progress but nothing was regular so they decided to give me a little pitocin to get things moving, much like what happened with Ingrid.  I started Pitocin at 8:30am and then my contractions...stopped.  They didn't really pick up again until after eleven.  I handled them pretty well with breathing, but because I was strapped down to the bed with all kinds of monitors I couldn't get comfortable.  I kinda hate the clinical setting of a high risk labor and delivery floor.

Then things really picked up and it started to HURT, so I opted to get an epidural.  Ahhh, bliss.  The relief from all that pain is really great, and I wish I could be all excited to not take drugs and stuff, but I'm not.  I liked both my epidurals!  Things got kind of crazy, Otis' heartbeat was irregular, they thought he probably had his cord around his neck (which he did) so they made me lie on my side.  I ended up with an IV of pitocin, my epidural, a blood pressure cuff on constantly, the pulse/ox thing on my finger, and monitors on my belly.  I jokingly said ahh, what else could I possibly have on me?  Then I found out--an internal monitor on Otis' scalp, a tube into the uterus to pump fluid since it was so low and they thought maybe the cord was being compressed, a catheter, and finally, an oxygen mask.  Oh my god, it was the most clinical hospital birth, the most opposite of what I had thought of having this time around! 

But everything went well and after a few hours I was feeling pressure, they checked me, I was 10cm, and I got rolled back to the OR.  Again, totally clinical!!  I had four male doctors down there (it's a teaching hospital so I always had four or five doctors in different phases of their schooling...) and two pregnant nurses by my side, and some doctors from the NICU, and finally Brendan.  He said he counted 12 people in the room.  So here I am sitting spread eagle in the stirrups having a baby and people kept coming in and out of the OR, the door to the hallway was open, it was definitely not a place for a modest person!  With three contractions I pushed that little guy out.

He did great right away.  No problems with breathing, he pinked up right away, and he was almost five pounds.  I got to have some skin to skin contact before they whisked him away to the NICU, which was more than I thought I'd get, so I was happy.

Once Otis was gone off to the NICU to warm up and get cozy, my fun started.  My placenta refused to come down so they had to manually remove it.  IT HURT.  People pushing down on my uterus, with hands up to my uterus trying to grab it.  Oh my god, and did I mention that because I had to lay on my side for Otis' heartbeat my epidural stopped working on one side?  And of course that's the side the placenta was on so I felt every single freakin' thing.  I'm more sore from that than I am from actually giving birth...Finally they got it to come out, and I got to go back to my room and relax and be totally amazed that I had just given birth to a little boy that I hadn't planned on meeting for six more weeks!

He is doing great.  Breathing's good, he gets his bloodwork tomorrow and will probably have to be under the blue lights for jaundice.  He has latched on and I got to give him my colostrum I'd pumped, but now there's nothing there.  I pump and pump and nothing.  Two drops maybe.  They tell me it's normal but it's hard to see empty bottles after pumping...Once he gains some weight and learns how to eat properly he can come home.  Until then, we visit in the NICU and spend as much time with him as we can. 

Ingrid got to meet him today:

She was excited to go see him, and then five seconds after we were in there, she wanted to leave.  We'll see how well she does over the next few days!  I'm home now so we'll be back and forth to the hospital but I won't have to sleep in an uncomfortable hospital bed anymore, yay!!  And pretty soon we'll be all together as a family and the real fun will begin :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Time.

Yesterday I started having contractions and was dilated to 2cm.  However, the contractions kept coming and going so they decided to put me on a little pitocin to make things a little more regular.  I'm at 4cm now and just started the pit.  So wish us luck today!!  Otis will be here soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Asking for Help

I'm almost there!  It's been over two weeks and the doctors are all set to induce me on Sunday, a mere five days away!  My stay in the hospital is almost done!

This week has been a bit crazy to figure out.  My mom, bless her heart, has watched Ingrid for the first two weeks but she needed a break.  So she went home and we called friends to see who could watch Ingrid during the day while Brendan works.  She went to her little buddy Ben's yesterday and today, and I felt bad about it the whole day yesterday!  It's hard for me to ask for help and then accept it.  And like I've said before, we never leave Ingrid with anyone but my mom, so I was nervous about how she'd be for a full day away from mom and dad.

She was fine, or so I hear.  She napped and played and was exhausted when she got home and went straight to bed.  Tomorrow and Thursday she's going with two other friends for the day.  All of these women are mothers that I trust, I've known them for two years now.  So why is it so hard for me, why do I think Ingrid's going to have a hard time??

I used to be a nanny, for god's sake, I know kids just get used to their surroundings, they manage to make it even if it's different.  Sure, they might miss mom or dad throughout the day but only fleetingly, then they forget about it and go play with toys that are new to them.  And Ingrid's a pretty strong little kid, I'm sure she's fine.  So why is my mind going to the worst case scenario of her looking all forlorn and wondering where her old life went to?

Maybe because that's what I'm feeling...where did my old life go?  Where I'd get up and make coffee and we'd play and do laundry and sew?  Instead of temp checks and blood pressure cuffs and listening to baby on the monitor and having doctors come in to ask if I'm having any troubles...I am feeling like a forlorn kid with her blankie wondering where her husband and daughter are.  I miss my life.

But the end is nigh.  Otis will be here before you know it, and I'll get to go home and then I'll be missing the naps and food delivered to me.  So I'll stop whining now.  And just be thankful for great friends that are helping me out when they certainly don't have to!!  Thanks guys!

Friday, December 10, 2010

32 Weeks, 5 Days

Yes, folks, I have made it to almost 33 weeks!!  And I'm still here in the hospital.  I have been reading, eating, sleeping, and watching TV.  Brendan usually visits for lunch and my mom has been bringing Ingrid over in the afternoon, so I'm feeling good.  I have made approximately 509 felt garlands (give or take 500) and my blanket is covered in tiny felt scraps and crumbs from when Ingrid comes to visit.

Otis is doing so well, his heart rate is where it's supposed to be, he moves a lot, and the little stinker is showing a personality--every single time they put the monitor on he kicks it off.  My 5:30 am non-stress tests are so fun because he refuses to be caught on the monitor so it's a constant struggle to get him to stay in one place long enough for them to get a good look at his heart tones.  I am so excited to meet him!!

Last night on one of the hospital TV channels they had a very outdated but informative video of what it's like in the NICU.  They showed a teeny baby that had to have been super early and only 2lbs or so.  It made me thankful that I am past that really scary stage and the doctors feel Otis will be big and strong enough to make the transition from womb to real life without a lot of problems.  I sure hope so! 

The plan as of now is that a week from Sunday, when I'm 34 weeks, I will be induced.  Which means we'll have a December 19/20 baby instead of a January 30 baby.  Little guy wanted to make sure he was here for Christmas and that we got our tax break this year instead of next!  Thanks, Otis. 

I am a bit worried about Ingrid's reaction to everything.  She seems fine but yesterday when she was visiting she had a little episode.  She stomped on my feet, I told her it hurt, asked her to apologize.  She did, then went directly to my mom and stomped on her feet, looking at me the whole time like "what're you gonna do about it, mom??"  I  tried to talk to her and make her sit on the chair and she just wouldn't listen and kept giving me these sly little looks of hers.  Totally acting out, letting me know she is NOT happy with how things are going right now and how disrupted her life has been.  It breaks my heart knowing she's going through something no one can control, but luckily she's young and won't remember this in a few months.  We'll get through it!

So that's that.  Another week in the hospital and then hopefully I can break out of here to be home for Christmas. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Me, Controlling??

Okay, so yeah, I'm a bit of a control freak.  I fully admit to it.  Since getting married, I've gotten a lot better, since I can see that when dealing with other people there are things you just can't control.  And being a mom of a toddler, whew!  I can't control this little person with her own mind, that's for sure.  But what I could control, I did. 

And now, after being in the hospital for over a week, with two more weeks on the horizon, I have had to give up even more control.  I still have my etsy shop open because it's the holidays, my busiest time.  I've had Brendan bring everything over so I can package it up and then have him send it out.  He brought the wrong business cards and didn't remember the return address labels.  He brought the bigger envelopes instead of the smaller ones.  And I had to deal with it.  No control.  He's doing me a favor, I need to shut my mouth!

Brendan's parents were here this weekend and one night Brendan came to the hospital and had them watch Ingrid.  At first the plan was to put her to bed and then come over, but he came early and said he'd left Grandma in charge of bath and bedtime.  I was shocked!  No one but my mom or Brendan or I have ever put her to bed I don't think!  At first I was all nervous like do you really think they can do it??  But alas, Ingrid can be bathed and put in her pjs by someone other than me...She fell right asleep and what do you know, she's still alive to tell the tale.

It just got me thinking how I never ever think to leave Ingrid with anyone but my mom.  I always think she'll have too hard of a time and things won't be done just the right way, and it scares me.  But then when I have no control and see things going just fine, it makes me stop and think and, frankly, breathe a sigh of relief.  If we want to get a babysitter, we could.  She'll be fine.  She's a resilient little kid, and she loves us but doesn't necessarily need us 24/7.  Stupid as it sounds, that has been a real eye opener. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keeping Busy

Day five.  Things are good.  Not much new.  I'm bored.  I'm feeling lucky nothing major is going on and Otis is staying in.  I'm trying to get the doctors to let me go home to do bedrest.  I've heard different things but maybe they'll let me since I'm stable and have a couple weeks to go.  That would be awesome, as my shower this morning was about 2 seconds long since I couldn't get any hot water AT ALL.  Blah.

But...I'm keeping busy making felt garlands in my bed.  I had two reorders, people that liked them so much they needed another!  And since I have time on my hands I tried a star shaped garland, it turned out so cute.  Brendan said you cut those all out by hand?  And sewed them by hand?  How do you have the patience??  Isn't it funny how we each have our own things we love to do--I found it very calming and relaxing to do that last night as I watched TV.

I've also got some books, I'm reading Friday Night Knitting Club right now and it's keeping my attention.  Any other books that are light and not depressing or hard to read would be nice.  I only have a VCR in my room so I have to send Brendan to the library to see if he can find the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on VHS.  Hello, Colin Firth, you can take up some of my time :)

That's about it.  We're hanging in there and keeping Otis growing and hoping to make it to 34 weeks.  The midwife told me today if we do make it to 34 wks we may be able to have a midwife deliver and not have to switch to the doctors.  Yay!  That would be great.