Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well... this was supposed to be my morning to sleep in. Toby didn't get the memo.

Today, Danish Viking Pagan Granny has the boys in the afternoon... so me and my little homies will be chillin until then... maybe we'll meet the MOG for lunch... or maybe we'll drive around in our fancy van. (as I write this, Toby is laying back down. Could it BE? We shall see)
Haven't called for a Brynn update yet. Last night there was really nothing for the nurse to report, so she just told me how cute she was looking...

I'm not unhappy. But I'm displaced. Life has gone on and I don't feel settled anywhere I go, you know? I guess I just have to re-acclimate myself somehow.

Soon, I'll have 3 kids at home in diapers. One who is learning to walk, one who has to be held, and one who has to have their hand held. THEN, I will have little time for introspection. I know it's going to be crazy and exhausting. But I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A rough draft of Grandma's shirt design

A little more weight gain... she's up to 2 lbs 10 oz today.
And today, she is sporting a hospital gown, of sorts, sewn by volunteers, and a maroon hair bow. Grandma is sewing some shirts that will be the envy of all the preemies... ribbons and lace and whatnot. I don't know if she'll be a girly-girl in the long run, but she has no choice right now. MUAHAHAHAHA
Weird to think I could still be pregnant. And not even as far along as I got with Toby. It boggles the mind.

I have been riding around in style... Richy went out of town and I took the opportunity to be a contentious woman (joking) and drive it. By the time he got back in town, I was good at it. So I am now the van driver. WOOHOOO!! But, that means I have to go get insurance on it today. Bleh. I hate leaving the hospital.

Monday, February 26, 2007

No real news... it's weird, but good to have a baby that doesn't have many changes. Basically, we're looking at 4 weeks or so of working on gaining weight, and eventually learning to nurse. Another tiny weight gain today, wahoo!
And her hair ribbon collection is getting impressive.

My MOG is back... although he came home in the middle of the night and left early this morning. At least I'll get to see him tonight.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Still at home this morning... VKG (or Danish Pagan, if you prefer) will be here around 10 and I shall fly to the NICU.

This is hard. No matter where I am, I'm not really there. I have children here, and there, and in heaven. I'll settle for 3 in one place, you know?

I haven't called for an update... I like to be surprised when good things happen.

Feeling a little contemplative this morning... need a good cry. There's this ache in my chest and I just want it to be right again.

Richy took the laptop to Fresno, and mine is at the doctor until I feel like driving to 1960 to pick her up. (translation:never)
So somebody else can update in the comments later today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sorry for no post today... I have been driving around in a car... a very surreal experience after laying down for 3 months...
I went to Kohl's to make a return for the MOG, and the library... or li-bary if you prefer. Then back to the NICU to see my girl.
She lost a tiny amount of weight today, but her breathing is good and they have increased the amount she is being fed. If she tolerates this amount, they will stop her IV fluids... all steps on the road to breastfeeding, growing and going home!

In other news, no news. Which as they say, is good news. So there you go.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just went back and read the archive for September 21st, 2005... truly hilarious.

Well... everybody is crashed out around here. They are normally awake at the crack of dawn, so here I sit, wide awake and alone. But hey! who's complaining? I am being vewwy vewwy quiet.
Toby took one drink of his breastmilk bottle and gave me a big smile... he seems to really like it and to be feeling better. It makes me so happy... I didn't want to wean him. Sorry to anyone who is tripped out by nursing talk. This is my life...

Yesterday around 11 they took off Brynn's cannula. They told me they will put it back if she has 6 apneas. Ha! She only had one and the nurse said it was her fault, how she was positioned. So that didn't even count. So, my 1 week old 2 and a half pound baby is breathing completely on her own. The nursing staff is starting to call her an overachiever... =)
What will be funny is if she just keeps sailing right through everything... she is too little to take home. So she will just have to hang out up there and grow. (More breastfeeding talk). Babies don't develop the suck reflex in the womb until 32-33 weeks. So they don't typically let them try to nurse until then, which is a week or 2 away. We'll see if she speeds that up too. It wouldn't surprise me.

Oh I am crazy about my wrinkly little bug eyed girl baby. I can't wait to get her home and into our lives.

Of course, the princess has to have a hair bow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

some Kangaroo care

Happy 1-weekday, Brynn!
Today I will have my boys until after lunch, then up to the NICU. I got to sleep in till nearly 7:55... thanks, Toby.
Yesterday I held Brynn for 3 hours.. she was having some apnea, and her oxygen saturation was a little low, but then she picked it up and did fine. When it was time to put her back, we were shocked to see she had been UNPLUGGED from her oxygen all that time! So she did that good, not only having no O2 support, but also breathing around the cannula in her nose! It was good to see that she does still need the support, but is doing more than I knew on her own!

Toby's been having problems with his formula digestion, so we're going to start giving him breastmilk today... I make way too much for Brynn to use. I'm curious to see what he'll think of this milk in his bottle... it's only been 4 months since I weaned him.

Brynn gained a little weight. She is now 2 lbs 8 oz... and she is eating 9 cc's of milk every 3 hours... so a little less than 3 ounces a day. I might go to Toys R Us today and buy some doll socks and hats... cute cute.

Monday, February 19, 2007

First, my Brynn update... then random blathering...
She's still on the nasal cannula, but they have taken down the pressure she is receiving through it... she is on 1 liter now... so that is a great step! She's just getting room air through it, no extra oxygen.
I have been holding her for several hours every day... they put her on me and we zip her up inside my jacket or shirt, and she loves it... it's called kangaroo care. It's amazing how much being held actually helps these babies physically.
They've also doubled the amount of breastmilk she's getting every 3 hours... right now everything is tube fed, but hopefully in 2 weeks or so we'll be able to start to practice nursing. No weight gain today, she lost 12 grams, which is like a third of an ounce, so not a big deal. She is kicking back in her isolette right now, eyes open, one foot extended over the top of the little snuggly blanket nest they've made her. She looks very comfy, despite all the wires and the IV in her head. So I'm going to wait a while before I get her out.

In other news, we bought a minivan!! Oh yeah... and it is gorgeous. It is technically for me, but I might have to wrestle the keys from the MOG's cold dead hands... It's a 2006 Toyota Sienna, and we got a great deal on it because it was a demo.

I was going to pontificate on my emotional and spiritual condition... but I don't really feel like doing that anymore. Seems less urgent now than 3 o clock this morning...

So there you go.

and now, some pix
The requested face shot... we are so glad she has the mask off now and we can see her! Oh, and we call the scalp IV a "party hat"

holding Mommy's "hand". This one is a good view of how small she is.

The other guys... goobers

Friday, February 16, 2007

I noticed I started multiple posts with the word "well". Unacceptable. The writing is going to have to get better around here or I will lose all my subscribers.

Anyhoo. I'm up at the hospital, and Brynn is continuing to do well. We're starting to deal with some apnea and bradycardia, which is pretty much standard and expected. They are actually giving her caffeine to help with that. My question... should I do my part and drink some Coke? Because I miss Coke.
She is also still losing weight. The thing is, these things are basically a given for a baby this small. The fact that she is already doing so much breathing on her own is unexpected, and a real blessing. She should start gaining it back in a couple of days. She's doing well with the little bit of breastmilk they're giving her, and in a few days they'll up the amount.

Crazy that this is my life. Once I just settle back into the routine of the NICU, it's not difficult. I remember it well.

I've been thinking about my heart. Today I was driving, and singing... and I just started to feel like maybe my heart can heal. It seemed so impossible all these months that I could ever be myself again. But I am feeling hopeful today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Well, yesterday was a very good day. I stayed up at the hospital all day, and it was just very calm. She's very stable... I'm used to sitting there with alarms blaring, but she isn't really setting them off. /
Around 9 yesterday, they took out her vent and started a nasal CPAP. I haven't called this morning, but as of last night she was doing perfect on it, breathing on her own with just little puffs of room air helping her out.
Richy took me to dinner for V-day, and it was amazing just being able to be up and walking... my life happens so fast, sometimes. But my heart was at the hospital, so we headed back pretty quickly.
The night nurses were great. One of them was in training, and it's always a little disconcerting to hear someone saying, now you pull the baby's blood from here... no, not like that...
But we asked when she would be stable enough to get her hair washed, and they said they would probably do it overnight. and then the nurse said have you gotten to hold her today??? And of course, I was like, uh... no. Because they told me it would be another week. And then the nurse said, "Well, we'll let you hold her tonight." Oh, man... I love good surprises. So I held her for 30 minutes or so, and then she got too comfy and started having a little apnea... so she got put back in her bed. But it was beautiful.

Today, Leah will be with me at the hospital, but first, a little shopping... Not much, though. I can only handle so much time away. I have dialup access at the NICU now, we'll see if I can get it to work today.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Well, surprise! I'm not sure how much of a "birth story" anybody is looking for around here... the usual details are involved... contractions and such. I will say this... there was so much peace during my delivery. We were joking around with the medical staff throughout the whole thing, and I never felt stressed or fearful... which was grace and a miracle because I definitely could have.
My heart has been through it... when the grace lifted for a brief period yesterday, I grieved deeply that, once again, my body did not my protect my baby. And now she's out here and it's bright and uncomfortable and she is SO little. But man, I fought to get this far. Harder than I ever have. And she's gonna be all right.

She was 2 lbs 12 oz, 16 in long. Her hair is really dark, but they haven't been able to wash it yet so I don't really know what it looks like. She is on a ventilator, but she is trying to breathe around it and they are gradually weaning the amount of breaths the machine is giving her. As long as she is on the vent, we can't hold her. That's really hard. But I will be up there waiting, and hopefully it will just be a few days until she can breathe on her own.

Maybe you are thinking how relieved you are that we will no longer be discussing my cervix in the public forum here. Me too. But now, we will talk about pumping... because I will be pumping breastmilk for her every three hours until she is able to rey ro nurse- which, I have no idea when that might be. Do you think God is teaching me patience? I wish he would quit. Just kidding, mostly.

I don't have a dial-up plan, so I don't know if I'll get internet access at the hospital. I will be working on it. In the meantime, I'll be checking at night and in the morning.

Thanks, my friends. Your prayers have brought us this far.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

updates tomorrow... so tired. brynn is born!

Monday, February 12, 2007

So here we are, 29 w 3 d. Excellent. I am just going to lay here until I go into labor...
This weekend, Saturday night to be specific... things was happenin around here... contractions and pressure and a little panic on my part... we were waiting to call the doctor until I had some kind of count. Like how many cx an hour and such. And Richy was praying and we decided to stay home.

Once I go up there I'm probably staying. So I'm going to try to just not move until my appointment Wednesday. And I'll be 30 weeks Friday and that's much better than 29.

In other news, I've started some new embroidery on Brynn's quilt and it looks rotten. I may pull it all out and start over. Also, every night around 5 I start weeping profusely over every little thing... there seems to be a pattern developing. By 6-ish, I feel much better. But I mention this because the quilt hate generally begins in the bad hour.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Friday, February 9, 2007

More of the same today... I had a pretty contraction-y hour yesterday afternoon and was getting a little fearful. But things calmed down and I had a great night. Until Toby woke up wheezing and gasping and hacking.
Daddy used the nebulizer, and after a few rounds of wrestle-the-baby-and-MAKE-him breathe in the albuterol, Toby was feeling much better. Wired, in fact. He's crashed out downstairs now. Or wait, is he yapping? That may have been a short nap.

I slept as late as possible today in my new policy of sleeping as much as possible to make time go faster. I'll let you know how it goes.
29 weeks today! Richy told me every day Brynn spends in the womb is one less day in the NICU. That is really encouraging to me. So here I go, one day at a time.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I was getting pretty antsy last night... and thinking what a wus I am... that I had only been up here since Wednesday night. But, actually, it was Monday! So that is pretty tough.
We set up (I was supervising) my snack bar last night. I now have a mini fridge with fruit and Ensures... and trail mix and beef jerky and such. It is causing some concern in the Munchkin camp, as it is set behind a barricade and not accessible to them. Not good. My orders are (from the spouse) to drink 3 Ensures a day... to fatten up meself and me wee 'un. Plus this med gives me no appetite, so getting those calories will be good. The only problem is that they sound kinda gross to me right now. BUT I will cowboy up and guzzle them. Because I am that tough.

Didn't work on my quilt yesterday, but I shall today. Me and Mama may also try to figure a way to wash my hair. I currently have it in the most severe of librarian-stereotype buns to keep its greasiness far from me.

So that's the update. Oh, and the medicine is helping. I am still contracting, but it seems to be less frequent. Emotionally I think I am settling in. So there you go.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

So yesterday, I got the news that I failed my fetal fibronectin test. You can follow the link for the medical info, basically it is a warning that I could go into labor in the next 2 weeks. With Toby, Dr Reed had told me I would be hospitalized if this happened... but this time I had said I would like to stay out of the hospital as long as possible. So now, after 3 months of strict bedrest, I am officially on strict bedrest....
I got pretty bummed out. It's not a sure thing or anything, but I've never failed one of those before and that is scary. So I am continuing to lay down. I only get up for the bathroom, even skipping showers for now. And so we wait, and we pray.

In other news, the monogram I was embroidering is finished. And I am pretty proud of it.

Today, if my arms don't get too tired, I may start piecing the quilt top together. My mom has taken 2 weeks off work, starting this afternoon, so the boys will love having her here all week... they are starting to show the strain of all the upheaval.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

So. For anyone who missed the goings-on yesterday... it was that part of the show where we realize my cervix is open and if I'm not careful, the baby will fall out.
Well, not exactly. But contractions are the enemy. I have gone on a new drug, Procardia... it's actually a heart drug but it is supoosed to help relax the uterine muscles and help prevent preterm delivery. I have to take it every 6 hours, even overnight. So far, it seems to be helping. I know I've had less contractions. I also got Ambien and slept soundly for the first time in weeks.
If I was doing this for money, it wouldn't be worth it. But for a baby.... small price.

Even so, though. Definitely bringing up the issue of future pregnancies/no future pregnancies. We feel strongly about the way God has directed us this far... just seems like future pregnancies would be too difficult to manage with the army we are amassing.
Anyhoo. Richy took the day off today to regroup and make upstairs self-sustaining... and to pray.

See, the whole thing is pretty much out of our hands. We're doing the medicine... taking Baby Steps... really.. we're doing the work! But do we have a week, or a month, or 2 months?? Nobody knows, except God and maybe Dionne Warwick.

You may be wondering how I am emotionally. Well, I am going into isolation, a little. Typically after these reports I need a day or two to process my " new normal" and can't or won't really try to explain that to anyone. It's hard to define this time. I have to figure it out myself. I feel disappointed that there is a struggle. Excited that we are already this far. Wondering and dreading a little making it weeks more. A little paranoid about every contraction or twinge... But really, there's so much peace.

So today, I will work on my quilt. I'm embroidering her initials on one square. I was taking my time so I would have lots of projects to keep me busy for 8 weeks. I'm sewing a little faster now. =)

Thanks for the prayers. You guys are a lifeline.

Monday, February 5, 2007

So, this is the new Blogger. Looks about the same. The only thing I can figure you might have to do differently is... if you have a gmail account, it will sign you in under that. You will have to specify if you want to use your Blogger ID.

I have an appointment this afternoon. I'll update in le comments.

28 weeks... 7 months. Not too shabby, eh?

the bad news: I am dilated between 1-2. This puts my risk of delivery much higher soon.

the good news: Dr Reed is putting me on a new drug that may help... and the baby is already healthy and big enough to be born. BUT making it another month or two is not unrealistic, according to Dr Reed.

So I will be moving upstairs permanently... only coming down to go to my appointments, which will be weekly now. Anybody have a mini-fridge you aren't using?

Friday, February 2, 2007

Well... Kai is sick today, so the boys are home with me. I feel bad for Bubba... but I am glad to have my munchkins back.

No real blogging today. We broke Richy's power supply so there is no laptop. And I can't sit up to type on the G5 for more than a minute.
So party on, dudes. Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I will be switching my blog to the new Blogger next week... I have waited until it seemed like maybe they worked out the bugs. Hopefully it isn't a pain. But it says it is more reliable, which sounds good to me.

Man. The boys are at Georgia's again today. The major plus of that is - I basically did not get up yesterday. And I had very few contractions... the minus is I miss my boys so much. It's just a season... 8 weeks and we will be together all the time again... although I will be Shamu.

The plan today... work on my quilt squares... watch my American Idol tape later... lay very still. Ah, and some Rush Limbaugh.
Das ischt der plan.
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