Sunday, June 23, 2013

Charlotte Monthly: 1 Month

Starting off late out of the gate, but momma's busy in this house! 

Charlotte is already one month old! It is hard to believe, mostly due to the fact that little sister was in the NICU for almost 3 weeks. She is still acting very 'newborn', with her days consisting of mostly sleeping, eating, and pottying. 

I am having a hard time with the whole 'real age' vs. 'adjusted age' thing. I don't even know if I need to take her adjusted age into account since she wasn't all that early, but since she WAS born three full weeks early AND she was born the size of a 31 weeker, I feel like it needs to be taken into consideration! 

Her first three weeks in the NICU were spent growing since she really didn't have any other health problems. In that sense, she was born doing what a true 37 week baby would be able to do. Well, truthfully she also couldn't keep up her own body heat but if you had basically no body fat then you wouldn't be able to either! I will actually cherish the time that I spent in the NICU with her, I made relationships with the nurses and her neonatologist, and learned so much about premature babies. To help her body temp, they kept her in the incubator, and each day would lower the temp a little bit. They would see how she was doing by taking her temperature before every feeding (every three hours). If she was too hot, then they needed to lower it some more. Eventually, she was in an incubator that was the same temperature as the room, and soon enough, she was in an open crib!  

She was known as a 'feeder and grower' meaning that she only needed to bring up her weight. Her only obstacle with food was having the energy to eat every meal. It was kind of a viscous cycle, because she didn't have the energy to eat and would not be able to finish her meals, she wouldn't gain weight, and then wouldn't be able to keep up her body temp. Everything played on each other. The plan was to start her feeds 12 hours after birth with whatever I could manage to pump, but when they wheeled me in to see her the first time and she took right to the breast, they decided to start her early. Her first day of feeding was 4 mL, and the very first feeding was unsuccessful (she ate 1 mL and threw up 10 mL of blood and other fluids that were in her belly during her stay in MY belly). After that she was able to eat the amount that they wanted her to eat, and they would increase her feed amount by 3-5 mL per feed each day. She was able to keep up until they got to 22 mL. She was only able to eat about 10-15 before she would fall asleep and at that point, they had to put in the Ng (feeding) tube. It was frustrating, but it was necessary in order for her to put on the weight. 

After 17 days, she was eating all of her bottles by mouth, and she was able to get the tube removed! When I called that morning and talked to the nurse, she told me they had a surprise, and I knew exactly what it was! I was so happy to come in and see her beautiful face with no tubes attached! She stayed a couple extra days so that she could gain a little more weight and prove that she wouldn't lose her steam and need her Ng tube again. 

Finally they said we could take her home and we were in shock! It seemed like it was just a new part of our lives.... to come up to the NICU and listen to the monitors beep and have bottles brought to you by nurses all day. 

Being in the NICU really messed up her day/night understanding, and she was up ALL NIGHT LONG. Just hangin' out. I mean crying. Unless she was being held. She did not want to sleep! 

We have since gotten adjusted, but she is only a little bit better with sleeping at night. She still wants to be wide awake and fussing for a solid 3 hour period in the middle of the night. It may be from 9- midnight, it may be from 1-4, you never know, and its never fun. 

She is in newborn sized clothing, but they are huge on her! I think she will be in them for at least another month, but at least her preemie clothing is too small for her, so we are making progress! She is also in newborn sized diapers right now, and I don't see a move to size 1 for at least a few more weeks.

At the hospital she left eating 38 mL each feeding and when we got home, she immediately started wanting more each bottle. She started wanting a bout 45-50 mL, and ended the month at about 60 mL (2 oz), per feeding. 

Big brother is adjusting, but it is hard for him to understand why we can't drop everything and go outside each time he asks. He is also really needing to work on being gentle! He has always done everything rough, and 'playing' with her is no exception! That being said, he does like to rock her rock n' play and try to feed her bottles or give her a paci. 

Here are some more pictures from our month:

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Newborn Photo Sneak Peek

I wasn't sure when we would do CHarlotte's newborn photos because right when she came home we were not supposed to 'mess' with her too much. This would be 'messing' with her a ton! We were supposed to just let her sleep so that she could gain weight. I also wanted her to get a little more meat on her bones! The only problem with waiting was that she was getting older and older and newborn photos turn out best when they are younger so that they just sleep through everything!

Charlotte ended up being about 5 weeks when we took the pictures, and she was a total champ! Take a look at our sneak peek:

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Heavy Heart

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this, a real life event that has been on my mind and in my heart ever since I heard the news two nights ago. It is not my story to tell, so I won't get into any details, not that I know many, not that I want to know many (it is too hard), but I feel like this could be a wake up call to someone. My cousin's baby died during a nap from SIDS. He was asleep on his belly, and did not wake up.

SIDS is real. It happens, and it is terrible.  

I have been in a foggy daze ever since I heard the news, and cannot imagine.... I just cannot imagine how my cousin, his wife, and my aunt and uncle are feeling.

Sweet Ethan Wyatt, your whole family loves you. 

Hug your babies tight as often as you can, and pray for families who can't hug their babies with their arms but only their hearts. 

Pray for them to have more peaceful moments than not, pray for comfort for their hurting hearts. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Dear sweet baby Jesus, is Charlotte seriously home? And why in the world do I miss the NICU? 

Actually, I can tell you why I kinda miss the NICU... you see, when you are there, the nurses make your bottles and warm them, and will even change your baby's diaper if for some reason you don't want to. And, oh yeah, at night, they take amazing care of your baby even while you are peacefully sleeping 8 straight hours in your lovely king sized bed. 

Well, as happy as I am to have her home, SO happy by the way.... we had a superbly rough night last night. Each night nurse I talked to on the phone told me that Charlotte loooooved to be awake at night. Like, no matter when I called. While I thought it was strange, it didn't quite resonate how it would affect me when I took her home. 

She was up. ALL. Night. Long. Like, ALLLLLL night long. She would eat, then squirm and grunt and groan and cry and want her pacifier. The same pacifier that she can't quite keep in her mouth by herself. And then she would settle for about 10-15 minutes, and then the cycle would repeat. Holy Moly. I am so exhausted today I can't even think straight!

All that being said, I LOVE having her home. She is HOME!! She is eating, and sleeping well during the day, and hopefully tonight will be better, but we feel so blessed that our little miracle baby is home with us! In our arms without cords and wires at last! 

We have been through so many scary and iffy times since January, and she is HERE. She is healthy. I think that when both your neonatologist AND pediatrician call her a miracle baby, you realize what a fighter you have on your hands. 

Sweet Charlotte, I can't wait to spend all summer with you and your brother!

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hunter is ONE!

My baby is ONE!! While, I wasn't with him much on his real birthday.... you know, being in the hospital and such, we were able to celebrate his birthday a little early. I figured that this would be the one and only party where I get to solely pick his theme. I can already imagine what his theme may be for next time around (Bubble Guppies, anyone?), so for this party, mommy chose SOCK MONKEYS!!

I had a big grand party in my head from the beginning, but when things went crazy with the pregnancy the party kept getting more and more downscaled. In the end it turned out perfect, and Hunter and all of his friends had a blast!

Here are some pictures from his big day, there aren't many, because I was too busy enjoying it with him!

Here are the kids playing at the water table..... while Hunter wanted to dig in the dirt!

Some of our decor, I can't believe I didn't take pictures of it all!



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