Monday, March 31, 2008

A.M. update

I called down to the NICU a little after 8 this morning to get an update. Her nurse said she was doing wonderful. She was on room air on the nasal cannula (so just some air flow through it, no oxygen). She did have a couple heart rate drops through the night and one this morning, but that's nothing new. They did start her on feedings yesterday, 3cc's every 3 hours (there's 33cc's in an ounce) and she's tolerating them well so far : ). Her nurse did say she's had some "leftovers" sometimes, but nothing to be alarmed about. Other than that, nothing else to report : ). I will probably update again later. If I don't, don't panic ; ).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Random Stuff (and pics)

Today I went down to the NICU with my mother-in-law and Doug's middle brother and his wife. Brooke is still doing the same (good thing). She was on 21% O2 when we were there. Awesome : ). She was sleeping most of the time, but she moves around a lot. I didn't bother her too much, but I did get some pics.

All stretched out, she looks SO long!


There's my hand for size comparison. With nothing to compare her to, it's hard to tell how small she really is (but much bigger than Zachary and Ryan were)!


Her little hands are SO cute.

I finally caught a yawn on camera!

Eyes half open.

The doctor came over while we were there to see if we had any questions. He said she's doing really well and there's nothing that concerns them at this point. I REALLY hope it stays that way, but I know she's bound to have some hurdles. I'll prepare myself for that and if it never happens then I'll just consider her and us extremely lucky!

Someone asked how Ryan has been doing with all of this. Very well!! While I was in the hospital he was shuffled around between my parents and my Aunt Kathy, mostly. Towards the end of my stay, he was also with Doug's oldest brother and family and my in-laws. He didn't seem to mind it at all and actually today he was asking to go "bye-bye". LOL. He was brought to the hospital a few times to see me, but he was too worried about the elevator and vending machines to pay too much attention to me ; ). Thursday, Ryan saw Brooke for the first time. He was SO excited. He was really, really fascinated by her and when I put my hand in the isolette to touch her, he wanted his hand in there, too. So I helped him gently touch her head and then I put his finger in her hand and she squeezed it. He just stood there looking at her in awe. It was soo sweet :*). The pictures are on my mother-in-law's camera, so I'll have to get them from her and post them. Ryan understands he can't touch my belly or sit on my lap, but that doesn't stop him from asking to get up about 10 times a day, lol. I feel bad because I can't just pick him up and cuddle with him. I can't wait until I'm fully healed. He's doing pretty well with it, though. He also knows that Brooke is with the "baby doctor" and in her bed and she'll come home when she's bigger. I have a feeling he's going to be very interested in her and we're going to have to watch him like a hawk so he's not trying to pick her up or anything like that.

I'm feeling pretty good, physically....a little better each day. I did notice today there is a little bit of yellow drainage from my incision and I called about it and they told me to keep any eye on it. Right now there are no other alarming signs/symptoms, so I really hope it's nothing. I recovered with no problems from my last 2 sections and I'm hoping I can be that lucky a 3rd time. Emotionally, I have my ups and downs. Most of the time I feel pretty normal. Every now and then I get a real deep sadness/depression that comes over me. I think it's just from reliving the past 2 NICU's hard not to. Feelings just come back. I'm pumping breast milk for Brooke because it's the absolute best thing I can do for her right now. I HATE pumping. The first 2 days were really bad. While the pump was going, it just made me feel like jumping off a bridge...I would get *that depressed. Last night and today haven't been as bad. The first 2 minutes or so are the worst and then it pretty much levels off. It also helps that I'm finally getting almost 2 oz. each time (vs. just drops). I'm hoping to be able to eventually breastfeed her. I pumped for Zachary and Ryan (10 weeks with him), but this will be my first time nursing.

Well, I guess that's about all for now! : ) I still need to get her birth story typed out!

P.S. I'm going to leave my little Widget ticker thing up over there on the side. Even though she's not in my belly anymore, that still shows her gestation (and they'll still go by that for her age). We did find out that 35 weeks gestation is the earliest she can go home and that's IF she's doing everything she's "supposed" to be doing by then!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What you've all been waiting for...


These ones here were taken the night she was born. She was about 2 1/2 hours old. Sorry, they're not the best quality.




And these were taken yesterday afternoon. I think she's changed a lot already!
I still LOVE her profile : ).

Being shy.

She finally moved her hand.

Here I am with her. Definitely NOT the best pic of me, lol.

And here is her bed space. Her isolette is so cool. They're called Giraffes. They adjust up and down with pedals and the whole top goes up and then you can lower the sides to make the bed completely open. They also adjust their temperature according to baby's temperature (she wears a little probe), so that the bed stays just right.

We went over to the NICU to see her today before I went home. She was on 23% oxygen, so still doing very well. It was time to do her little assessment, so the nurse let me hold her arm still while her B.P. was taken and then she asked if I wanted to change her diaper! I was surprised I was "allowed" already. Of course I jumped on that. And of course I made her cry. LOL. She didn't cry for long, though. Then the nurse had me scoop her up and move her up in her little "nest" because she had slid down. It was awesome :*). Her nurse said she's actually really tolerant because a lot of the babies cry every time you bother them. Brooke does cry, but not a lot. She's so cute. I'm so in love with her already :*).

I'm going home

Today I'll be discharged from the hospital, which is bittersweet. On the one hand, I get to go home and see Ryan and spend some much needed time with him since I've hardly seen him the past 10 days or so. On the other hand, it means "leaving" Brooke, but at least we don't live far from the hospital and at least she's stable. Now it will get interesting splitting time between the hospital and Ryan, plus getting everything done at home that needs done. It's about 8:45am and I'm just waiting for the doctor to get here to discharge me. Of course we'll be going to visit Brooke before we leave. Once I get home I'll be able to post some pics! And eventually a birth story. Stay tuned ; ).

I called the NICU this morning and Brooke was still doing the same, on 26% oxygen (she's been bouncing between about 25 and 28%). I guess her blood gases were a little off this morning and the nurse practitioner was looking at them when I called, so they may need to make some changes with the oxygen or put her on CPAP. I'll know more later! She's been having some A's (apnea ~ forgetting to breathe) and B's (bradycardia ~ heartrate drops), so they put her on caffeine to help. A's and B's are totally normal for her gestation and they said they would be surprised if she *weren't having them. Sometimes she recovers on her own and sometimes she needs stimulated. She's also on a bili blanket to help with jaundice (also totally normal for a preemie). So overall, she's behaving just how she should be for an almost 28 weeker : ).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quick Update

I'm really tired, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet : ). For those that don't know, Brooke Elizabeth was born yesterday (3/26) at 27 weeks 4 days after a week long fight with preterm labor. We *almost made it to 28 weeks. She was born at 9:52pm and was 2lb. 10oz. and 15in. A GREAT size for not even 28 weeks. Right now she's only on nasal cannula at 28% (room air is 21%). She's been breathing fast on and off, though, and may end up on CPAP (one step up from nasal cannula), but it's wonderful she hasn't needed the ventilator and hopefully she won't. She's also on the bili blanket for jaundice (common preemie thing). She's also had a few apnea spells and if those keep up, they'll give her some caffeine to help.

I'm doing pretty well recovering from my c-section. I'm really sore, but every time I get up and move around it gets a little easier. I should be discharged on Saturday and I can't wait (other than the fact it means "leaving" Brooke).

So that's the update for now. Probably once I get home, I'll post a full birth story! And some pics!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Prayers Needed

Last night I noticed a bit of pink mucous on the T.P. when I wiped. Then this morning I had more of it. I figured it could be from the UTI, but decided to call the doctor to be sure. He wanted me to come in since I have the cerclage. Good thing I did. It turns out my cervix is thinning and that's what the discharge is from. He said it's normal for the cervix to start thinning out further in the pregnancy, but obviously in my case it could mean labor is coming. Not necessarily soon, though. But after the incident Friday and possibly/probably losing at least part of my mucous plug coupled with this has me pretty concerned. I'm now on bedrest and he also prescribed me a medication (procardia) to keep the uterus relaxed. My wonderful mom is coming to help out as much as possible while Doug is at work :*). I'm really trying not to freak out too badly, but it's hard. I'm very, very nervous, though. Praying I can make it at least to the 29th when I hit 28 weeks. But at least we've made it 3 weeks further already. I'll keep you posted....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

26 weeks!

We made it! There for awhile yesterday afternoon I was starting to wonder.

Definitely feeling bigger!

I haven't had a contraction since right before we left the hospital last night around 8:00. I also have not had ANY discharge at all since first getting to L&D and giving a urine sample. :::knock on wood::: So both of these things have caused my stress/worry level to go way down! I reallllllly hope we don't have any more scares like that because that was bad enough! LOL. Right now I'm feeling pretty confident that Brooke isn't coming any time in the immediate future. Now I really can't wait to hit that 28 mark! That is the BARE minimum I would like to deliver at, but we're REALLY hoping for at least another 4-6 weeks. Hopefully we'll make it : ).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Trip to L&D...

Oh my, what an afternoon/evening. I went to the bathroom this afternoon around 2:15 and had a huge, thick, nasty glob of mucous. I immediately called the doctor's office and told them I thought I lost my plug and they told me to come in to L&D to be monitored. (I've had lots of mucous-y discharge this pregnancy, but this was NOTHING like that. I still shudder thinking about it.) I got Ryan ready and Doug's dad came and got him. Doug was about ready to leave work anyway, but I called and gave him a heads up. I got to L&D and I gave a urine sample and they hooked me up to the monitors. Brooke's heartrate was the 150s mainly. I was having some contractions here and there. My doctor was out of town, but one of the other doctors in the practice (same one I saw with my m/c) came to see me. He did an exam and the cerclage was still there. I asked him about my mucous plug and never really did get a clear answer on whether or not I *had lost it, but he did say that losing it does not necessarily mean labor is coming. He also said it was normal to have more mucous in the days following an exam (which I just had on Wednesday...but I still think this was different and I actually haven't been having much discharge the past couple days). In the meantime, my urine results came back and it turns out I have a UTI so they got me some antibiotics for that. My contractions were VERY irregular and you could definitely see that there were more when my bladder would start to fill up. So for the next couple days I'm supposed to stay off my feet except to go to the bathroom and drink lots and pee lots (well, those last 2 things will be ongoing, lol). It's been almost an hour and a half since my last contraction, so that's good. I'm still a bit freaked out about the possible mucous plug (although I've been told by a few people they can grow back), but the doctor and nurse didn't seem concerned, so I'll try not to worry about it. I'm obviously supposed to go in if I start having regular contractions or bleeding or anything like that. So for now, all seems to be well : ). Thank God!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Almost 26 weeks...

I had my appointment this afternoon...just a regular checkup, no ultrasound. First I saw the midwife (love her!). She's actually the one that did my exam. She took a peek at my cervix and saw the discharge (that I'm *still having since Friday). She swabbed some out to culture, just in case. She saw and also felt the cerclage and said that my cervix didn't feel thin or dilated. YAY! I questioned her about the discharge. She said most pregnant women do have an increase in discharge and that with mine being brown it probably indicates old blood and that it could just be from the cerclage. Even though I know it apparently isn't anything bad, I still hate it. It's so annoying! But if that's the worst thing I have to deal with this pregnancy I'll consider myself lucky : ). The midwife also measured my belly (which I have never had done before) and checked Brooke's heart rate (I forgot to ask what it was). The doctor came in briefly. I told him about the discharge and he just questioned me on if I've had any bleeding or foul odor and I told him no for both. I asked him if he was concerned with my cervical length and he said I should be good as long as my cervix isn't opening. I do get another cervical length ultrasound in 2 weeks, though. All in all it was a pretty uneventful (and fast) appointment : ). Before my next appointment I have to get my glucose testing done. Should be interesting to experience that for the first time!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

25 week update

Here are the pics of the ever growing baby belly (taken yesterday)!



Things seem to still be going well. I had a teeny, tiny bit of that brown spotting/discharge Friday morning and yesterday morning...none yet today. I didn't even freak out about it this time ; ). LOL. Overall I'm feeling really good, just a little tired because it's getting harder to stay comfy while sleeping. I usually wake up because whatever side/hip/leg I'm laying on starts to get sore and then I realize I have to pee....or maybe I wake up because I have to pee and then realize I'm sore....who knows? LOL. I get up and pee and flip over and then about 2-2.5 hours later I do it all again. I feel Brooke move so often now and some of her movements are so strong. According to some websites she should be around 2lbs. and 13-14in. now! I can't imagine what she'll feel like with another pound or more on her, but I hope I get to find out! Only 3 weeks to go until I'll feel a lot better about delivering her and only 7 more weeks until I'll feel a TON better about it. And only 12 weeks left until I'll "have" to deliver her, if she's not here already. It's still a little hard for me to imagine making it to 37 weeks, BUT I do feel confident about at *least 28 weeks : ).

Ryan's coming home outfit was a Peter Rabbit velour-like white footed romper (bunny feet) with blue bunnies on it and a light blue long sleeve onesie. I started thinking it would be cute to have Brooke come home in a Peter Rabbit outfit, too....but I don't feel like searching high and low for one. Then I found this at Walmart the other night. It's not Peter Rabbit, but it's adorable, and it should work unless it's extremely hot out that day.



I got preemie size because the general consensus seems to be that most full term babies fit in preemie right off the bat (unless they're HUGE) and Brooke will be at least 3 weeks early, so probably/hopefully only 6-7lbs. This is something she'll only wear one time and I want it to fit well : ). I'll probably get a little pink headband to go with it if it will fit her little head.

I thought I would be more nervous than I am about delivering pre-28 weeks early, but I don't really feel like that's going to happen AND I also feel, at this point, that every day/week further I make it is a small victory : ). I am SO thankful to now be 25 weeks (1 day) pregnant!!

P.S. My next doctor's appointment is Wednesday at 1:15pm!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Belly Pics

It took me forever to get these up! These were taken on Saturday, the day I turned 24 weeks!



And just to I am at 20 weeks!