Friday, May 24, 2013

NICU baby

Having a baby in the NICU is hard. I can only come up for certain times of the day because I have another baby at home. She has been here for one whole week and it sounds like such a long time!

It is really hard to leave her here, but it is also hard to not be playing with my son at the same time. I know that when I am with the one, the other is being taken care of very well....... but, still it is hard. 

The other problem is that when I am with one, either one, I feel like I am only half mommy. Nurses take wonderful care of Charlotte, but I am still learning to be comfortable with her. She is absolutely tiny, and seems so frail. Then, on top of all that, she has cords and wires coming off of every part of her body; her nose, foot, chest, and at one point... her belly button!

With Hunter, I still can't pick him up, and I can only get down on the floor with him so many times because he usually wants to get up and play somewhere else by the time I get settled. After a while, my incision is burning really badly, and after that I can barely walk!

I'm not trying to complain, because I am sure that many c-section moms who have healed much more quickly and were back to their active lifestyles shortly after their surgery. 

I'm also trying to look at the positives. One is that my body can get some much needed rest at night while she is in the hospital. Since Hunter sleeps through the night, I can go to bed as early as 8:00 and be up at 7:00 with him. Of course, I have to pump in the middle of the night, but it is easier than being up 5-6 times at night like a typical newborn!

It is also giving me some time alone with Hunter again before she comes home. I am hoping that I will start feeling exponentially better every day, and hopefully be able to take him to the Splash Pad in our neighborhood before Charlotte comes home!

The other great thing is that it is showing me, even more than when I was on bed rest, and even more than what we had our first 'bad' ultrasound with Charlotte way back in January..... what amazing friends and family that I have. So many people have offered to drive me to the hospital or to pick me up after a long day at the hospital, or even to watch Hunter for a while. I am so beyond blessed to have such wonderful coworkers and friends!

Keep praying for Charlotte, pray for her to grow, and pray for her to be able to stay awake for her full feedings so that when we do get to take her home, she can in turn stay awake for those feedings as well!

Here are some pictures from our week:

Feeding Tube :(
 First outfit!
 Time to eat!
 Daddy and daughter time!
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Charlotte's Birth Story (Fast and Furious!)

While Charlotte's birthday morning happened to be the scariest time I can remember, I still don't want this to turn into a typical, "Never get induced, they end up in C-section" kind of stories. I was induced with Hunter, and his labor was one of the best, most easy going experiences of my life! AND- look at my sleeping beauty! Isn't she gorgeous?!

Tim and I got to the hospital around 5:45 in the morning, and were immediately given a room. We filled out some paperwork, and got dressed. Last time around, I was really scared of the IV and demanded asked for a numbing shot (which only anesthesiologists do, apparently), so we got a late start. This time, I figured I would buck up and just get it. It hurt. Crap. But- at least we got to get started on the pitocin earlier, around 7:30. The doctor came in at about 8:30, checked me (I was now a 3), and broke my water. The hour before she came was filled with increasingly painful contractions, but Charlotte was handling each one just fine.

They asked if I wanted my epidural when they broke my water, and I said, "Sure!", I was totally not trying to prove anything by laboring, then screaming around for hours just to ask for one later. What's the point? 

The anesthesiologist came in at about 9:30 and started the epidural (right as my parents walked in, just to be shoo'ed back out), and the whole process only took about 15 minutes. I got all laid down and was just waiting for it to disperse and take it's wonderful effect. They checked me, and I was 100% effaced and dilated a 5, so I was making decent progress. After about 5 minutes, I got super hot, and started sweating all over. I also felt nauseous, but I am known to do that when I get really hungry so I waited a few minutes to say anything. When I finally did, they gave me a bag to throw up in, just in case. Then, it turned scary.

I told them that only my right leg was numb, so they turned me over to my left side. I thought this was to help the medicine disperse, but it was really because Charlotte's heart rate had dropped down really low. My blood pressure had dropped really low as well, which could have been from the epidural, or the fact that my placenta had broken off the wall of my uterus. 

All of a sudden three nurses rush in. One puts on an oxygen mask and says "Don't touch it", one starts putting tight socks on my legs, and one wants to give me a shot. I thought the shot was for my tummy ache, and since there were so many people doing things all at once, I asked if we could wait until they were done. She said quickly that it was to calm down my uterus, so I asked, "Don't we want it to be.... not calm?" Nope. Shot given. The whole time, Tim and I are exchanging scared out of our minds looks, but he did a good job of trying to calm me down. 

Then one nurse says, "Baby is not handling this well, we're going to prep you for a C section just in case, but we are calling your doctor to see if that's what she wants to do".

Prepping me just in case? Yeah right! There were a least 4 nurses in there, all moving at rocket speed, tearing open sanitized packages and throwing them all over the floor, shaving me down, throwing hair nets over Tim, myself, and themselves, more tight knee socks, and finally unplugging me so they could wash my belly and run down the hallway. I whizzed by my parents with tears streaming down my face, still not 100% sure of what was going on. Of course, all they saw was nurses rushing in, and 10 minutes later, their crying daughter being rushed down the hallway. Scary crap.

We get in the OR, and Tim is in the hallway trying to get dressed. He is with my parents, getting amped up, little did he know, by the time he got in there, Charlotte would already be born.

When I got in the OR, my doctor had just gotten there, and it is so odd to see so many doctors and nurses in there, all focused on you and while you can sense the urgency in their actions they keep their voices calm. It helps, but only a little! They strapped me down, arms outstretched and with monitors everywhere. Suddenly, my IV hand (that had remained useless since the IV started) didn't hurt so much as it was getting yanked and stretched and more monitors were attached to it. I kept asking if my husband was there, and my doctor said, "Don't worry, we're working on it!", but I could feel them prepping my belly. I kept looking around at all of the eyes in the room, hoping to find his. 

I could feel cutting. I screamed and said, "I can feel it!! On my left side! It hurts, please stop!" It was the most odd, scary, and disgusting feeling I have ever had. I was also lifting my knees, and was one step away from yanking down the curtain, so my eyes could at least see exactly what my body was feeling. I think the anesthesiologist knew I was yanking at the curtain, too, because he said, "let's try one more dose, it will calm you down".  

I'm pretty sure it just knocked me out. I woke up to my husband, saying that Charlotte was here, screaming, and beautiful. He got in the room after she was born, but well before I was cleaned up. He stood in between Charlotte and I, bloody towels getting thrown around his feet. He got to take a look at the placenta, which was described as NOT good. Grayish and falling apart. It had started to separate from the uterus. Crappy placenta= IUGR. Poor girl was fighting every day of her womb life to get nutrition.

Did I mention that they wheeled me in and I saw the clock say 10:09? .... She was born at 10:12. Three minutes from my entry into the room, to her entry into the world. I only got to see her for about 15 seconds, but I was so out of it. I remember trying to rub her hair, her fuzzy brown hair, but Tim remembers me poking her face. Who remembers correctly? I guess we'll never know, but since Tim wasn't all doped up, you can choose his side if you want to, haha!

They whisked her off to the NICU, and me to recovery, where my parents were waiting anxiously.

No pictures of the labor because it all happened so fast! More to come later! 
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Shabby Chic Charlotte

Her nursery is finally finished!! It took a while to get started, and then hit a full on stop when we didn't know what was going to happen during those weeks in January and February. 

With Hunter's room, I wanted things matchy-matchy, but in this room I tended to just buy stuff as I liked it and threw it all in there, just hoping that when it came time to pull it together that it would work!

I think it looks wonderful, I love it, and I feel pure happiness when I am in there!

Looking in from the door:
 Changing Table/dresser and book shelf. The outfit hanging will hopefully be changed
everyday so that daddy doesn't have to worry about getting the little panties/bloomers AND matching headband when he gets her ready in the mornings!
Yes, I have two of the (almost) same bags... I LOVE my diaper bags! I bought the smaller one when Hunter was about 9 months old, and I realized that I only needed a couple of diapers, wipes, a bottle, a tube a Desitin, tylenol, and a spare outfit. I was so tired of lugging around a huge bag, and having to leave my beloved purse in the car! I told multiple people that if they made it bigger, that it would be perfect for when Charlotte came along. The next day..... I walk into an outlet, and there she is. In all of her nautical glory! 

The glider will go where the car seat is right now:

 All of the necessary 'headband' makings!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Hunter Monthly: 11 (and a half) Months!

This post is beyond late, and now I can't remember which skills and personality traits were before or after the 11 month mark, so I will roll it all into one! His 12 month update will mostly be about his party anyway, so this works :)

Hunter is just so... cool. Seriously, Tim and I both feel that our son is cooler than Brad Pitt. We may be biased, but I'm not sure!

He is so smart! I am so stunned every day that passes and he shows us something new that he has learned or picked up on!

We already knew that he was walking and practically running, but now he is pretty much running with authority. It is better than a fast walk, and it looks less 'out of control'! He has a new thing that he likes to do which is stomp. Not like, "Hey Hunter, stomp your feet!", its more like he is trying to smash things into the carpet or cement or wherever. One day, there were some pretty bIg ants in the driveway at my parents' house, and we kind of showed Isabella and Hunter how to 'smash' them. Isabella really didn't want any part of it (such a girl!), but Hunter really took to it, haha! He will sometimes throw a puff on the floor and smash it. Not my fave thing to see for the carpet, but over a few days you could really see how his 'aim' was getting better! Also, luckily he doesn't do it too hard, and it ends up stuck to his foot!

Hunter does the cutest thing when he wants something. He will pick up your hand and walk you to what he wants! It is beyond cute! One time, he was sitting on the couch eating a pouch with Tim, and when he was done eating, he picked up Tim's hand and put the pouch in it! He mostly walks us to the pantry to get the broom, the fridge to get a squirt of whipped cream, the freezer for blueberries, the door to go outside, his bedroom to get in his little man chair, or the bathroom to get a toy from the tub.

He is also talking so well! At least, in my opinion he is! He babbles constantly, but there are so many words that have meaning now as well. He can say:

  • Baby- He knows that my belly and the word baby have some sort of correlation, but really I think he thinks it means my belly button. He insists on m shirt being up (and will pull it up), and jamming his tiny finger in my belly button.
  • Agua- He doesn't say water (dang it), but knows how to say agua really well! he loves to drink ice water like mommy!
  • Ball- he loves his big yellow ball (you know those that they keep in a 'cage' at Target?) He is very good at throwing and kicking them as well!
  • Blueberry- Loves them frozen, and they turned into his only food that he would eat while suffering through the worst days of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Sounds more like "Boo-be-be", but he points to the freezer, lol!
  • Hunter- he can say his name!!
  • Mama and Dada- but he also babbles these randomly, so they don't always have meaning, dang it!!
  • Thank you- He is very good at saying Thank You when you hand him something, it sounds more like "Ta-ta"
  • Please- This is a pretty new word, and it sounds like "Pee". We try to make him say please when he asks for something, but if he is already getting upset about it, he will just yell at you.
  • Bubble- he loves bubbles, but he also says it when he hears the opening song of Bubble Guppies
  • Up!- He will let you know when he wants to be held or lifted to reach something! Or after he drags you somewhere, if it is up high he will take you and then say, "Up!".
  • Uh-oh!- this is my favorite! If he drops things, whether on purpose or accident, he will say (quite loudly), "Uh-Oh!!!"

What is more amazing to us, is how he responds to phrases that we say that he completely understands. Here is what he understands at this point:
  • Open/close the door- he loves doors, but will follow your directions when you ask him to do it
  • Bring me the ball
  • Where are your shoes?- He will look for and bring you both shoes
  • Where is your foot?- Without hesitation, his right foot will get lifted straight up
  • Share- if you hold open your mouth, he will try to feed you, but if Sophie is around, he will chase her around with puffs to feed her
  • Want a bite?- If we are eating dinner, he will come over and get a bite from our forks
  • Bubble Guppies?- He will go to the TV
  • Wanna dance?- Hunter will bounce up and down
  • "It's time for Lunch!"- This is a quick song they sing from Bubble Guppies in every episode, but he will come over to the tv and dance. If the TV isn't on, and we just say it, he will still bounce up and down!
  • Outside- He will go to one of the doors, then he whines if doesn't actually get to go outside.
  • Give a hug/kiss- he loves to give hugs, but kisses he gives more sparingly. He love, loves to hug his stuffed animals and Isabella. 
  • Uh-oh.... it's the tickle monster!!- He gets this big grin, and then tries to run away, but giggles so hard when the 'tickle monster' actually gets him!
The boy LOVES to be outside! He loves to dig, get into water, run in the grass, collect leaves, and drag around one of daddy's old fishing poles. He actually loves all long pole type of things (brooms, swiffers, shovels, fishing poles, etc.). That, and cords. He found a monitor that we bought up in Montana (just a sound monitor), and drags it around the house like its his job. I can definitely see a toy that drags around behind in his future! He is very drawn to any cord and hose that he sees.
Hunter is a huge fan of eating when he is hungry. What I mean is he will try pretty much any food when he is hungry, but if he isn't hungry, he just wants to play! The other day we ate at my parents' house when family came down, and he tried all sorts of fruits, fajitas, chicken salad, shrimp, you name it. One day, I gave him his puffs container in the care, and this is what I opened the car door to:
I say this every month, but he is a total joy, and we love every second of being his parents! Like I said, he is a cool cat, and we feel privileged to be his parents.

Here are some random pictures from his 11th month:

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