Sunday, September 30, 2007

Due Date

Back in January when the first test showed up positive this day was just a dream.

Today I woke up to reality... and have been doing so for the last month. It's a wonderful reality even with the challenges this little guy has thrown our way.

He's working on his head control. He smiles (at least it certainly seems like he smiles) and he's beautiful and I'm still in awe that D and I produced this little miracle.

I'll try to post more pics soon... Know that I'm reading... not commenting, but reading and surviving.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One Day and a Few Hours

Then D will be off for three days...

I've missed my husband. Even though he comes home - gives Squeaky and myself a kiss then promptly takes Squeaky from me to have some "daddy time." It's just not the same as having him home with me.

Granted I felt that way before the Squeaker came into our lives, but now I miss him more... for a lot of reasons - not including that he can wrangle the six mongrels and take care of them while I handle the Squeaker but because he makes this whole parenting thing easier.

My mom and D's parents keep calling to check on us... meaning Squeaky and me... D's dad has offered to come help. D and I have talked about that and truthfully FIL would be more work rather than less and would not make things easier. He means well, but we're doing okay. It's weird having this many people wanting to make sure that we're okay...

Breastfeeding is hit or miss... he still falls asleep at the wheel. My n*pples still are sore but we're still trying. Probably at least every other feed. Half the time he's still asleep or not receptive to the boob and there's only so much rejection a girl can take.

I dreamed that things in the breastfeeding department would be easier. Heck my sister did it, my friends did it... why can't I do it? I had similar feelings about the c-section and water breaking... my sister had the regular plain jane old delivery where they had to break her water and then they had a baby. Why did things have to become so complicated for us? Hadn't we gone through enough crap already to get to this point.

So I'm done whining now... I'll be back to normal shortly. In other news - a good friend is going to have her baby girl tomorrow by c-section. I can't wait to meet her and see her parents become parents.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On My Own...

Warning - prepare to listen to the ravings of a crazy lady :)

That crazy lady is me...

Squeaky and I are on our own tonight. This is the first time I've been left to care for my son since he was born. I'm the only adult in this house and I am responsible for Squeaky and for the six dogs.

I know it is a luxury that I somehow managed to have D here for two weeks and my mom and D's parents here the first week we were home. Either way I'm on my own now and tonight I realized how much I rely on D. With breastfeeding still a sore subject (I'm still pumping and feeding, but the whole latching thing is hit or miss and with his weight gain we still have to supplement him with a bottle of breast milk)that means feeding takes forever. I know I'm whining here. However my time is limited by feeding him and then pumping for 15-20 minutes so that I keep my supply up. When D was home he'd do the feeding of Squeaky so I could pump. I have no idea how it will work during the day tomorrow when D is trying to sleep - should be interesting.

Squeaky has finally started waking up for feeds, but again this is a hit or miss thing so that means I still have to set my alarm clock to go off if I lay down at all because if he misses a feed then that's calories he's not getting and (yes, I'm an anal retentive nurse who is fearful of having the diagnosis failure to thrive) well my nursing skills say - he has to eat every 3 hours at a minimum. Sometimes he eats all that I prepare other times the last 10 cc is always a struggle... he falls asleep at the wheel... or he's so sleepy at feeding times that it's a joke of us stripping him naked, cool cloth etc. I know some people think this is a great thing - sleepy baby = good. It's not. I feel awful and so does D when we have to resort to this. However we'd really like to get off the fortifier and if this is what we have to do then so be it.

Tonight Squeaky nursed and nursed and nursed, but was still a starving marvin... I know how much I produce and pumped that amount so it means Squeaky sucks at sucking still. It may feel like a hoover, but apparently the boy isn't doing it properly. We go back to the lactation consultant on Thursday - he had improved from the last time he was at the breast, but still is significantly below par and falls asleep at the boob.

I love this little guy and know that I can handle taking care of him and the dogs... it just is a bit overwhelming at first. Squeaky cries because he's hungry the dogs bark because Squeaky is crying and while Squeaky will always come first it's nice when the dogs don't bark and the baby doesn't cry at the same time. I spent a good 15 minutes with both of those things occurring and two dogs following me as I tried to warm up the breast milk for Squeaky... Lola and Ernie were a bit frantic that I wasn't taking care of Squeaky fast enough...

So stay tuned... we'll see how the rest of the night goes. I've managed to survive about 8 hours on my own and no dogs were lost and Squeaky is currently sleeping in my lap. Hopefully the next few hours will go by smoothly and I survive the next 3 nights while D works.

Monday, September 17, 2007

3 Years

September 18, 2004 I married D.

I would do it again in a heartbeat... he's been a rock through all the shit we've been dealt and he is a wonderful father. I am amazed and just in awe at the love and care that he shows Squeaky... I am truly blessed to have a wonderful husband... and our little early anniversary present Squeaky.

* I'm writing this about an hour early, but it's for a good reason. D is currently attempting to feed Squeaky. Squeaky is now stripped down to his diaper in the hopes he'll actually eat what he's supposed to and in this moment I am more in love with my husband than I was five minutes ago. Granted he could have refrained from saying that Squeaky was acting as stubborn as his mother, but he's forgiven for the love that he shows me and our son.

So this year's anniversary is so very different than last year... and we have the very best anniversary present a couple could ask for... a beautiful, obstinate, sleepy son.

And right now... life is beautiful as I listen to my husband laugh at Squeaky's noises and the dogs are quiet.

My hope for this year of marriage may it be better than last and our love continue to grow...

I love you and I always will...

Two Weeks and Change...

Right now my son is sitting in my lap.

You read that right... my son.

If someone would have told me back in January that things would actually work out I would have looked at them with a jaded eye and said "don't patronize me." My cynicism regarding pregnancies and the possibility of them actually working out was kept pretty close to myself... D and I didn't even flinch with a positive pregnancy test... we were used to those. As the stakes were raised - it was in the uterus... it had a heartbeat... we had bleeding... it still had a heartbeat with appropriate growth... etc etc. Things still seemed like a work of fiction. This wasn't happening to us... it was just a figment of our imagination. Something bad would happen to jeopardize this something wonderful in our lives.

That didn't stop us from bonding with Squeaky while he was inside... it just made us very pessimistic when talking about the future. I spent most of the first trimester in disbelief... same goes for the second trimester. By the time the third rolled around I had to face facts that this was a possibility - yet I worried that something would go wrong. I prayed nightly and daily that we would have our son. D did as well. I had nightmares - of my water breaking and a foot coming out. How odd since at the time we didn't know Squeaky was breech. Fortunately that nightmare did not become a reality - though when I realized my water broke that did cross my mind. Thank goodness Squeaky's ass was firmly implanted on my cervix or a foot could have occurred.

On the drive home after my water broke at work all I did was try to call D and pray... pray that if he was coming that day that he would be okay... that he wouldn't end up in the NICU... that he wasn't in any distress... that he would just be okay. I didn't let on my worry to D until we were finally at the hospital and the doctors mentioned the NICU team that would be there. Then D began to worry. Even knowing the possibility was slim that he would need to go to NICU and my doctor was of course overly reassuring knowing that it was a part of the "routine for preterm labors and c-sections" added a level of anxiety that I truly didn't need at the time.

Now two weeks and change later I can say yes all that anxiety was worth it. Squeaky may not nurse worth a damn (maybe for 5 minutes if that) so we pump (yes he's a lazy white boy who would rather sleep than eat). We've been to the lactatioin consultant two times since we came home (4 times while we were in the hospital) and a third time on this coming Wednesday. We're still on fortifier for his feedings... he's as of Friday the 14th 6 lbs 4 oz and 19 inches long. So we haven't given up hope of actually breastfeeding rather than pumping, but it's been a challenge and a struggle that's for sure.

The dogs are in love with him... and we still love the dogs. D will go back to work on Sunday... and I'm slightly terrified, but also know that with all we've been through we can get through this as well and make it work.

Ultimately I am happy... and my son now needs to eat. So I must pump...

Friday, September 07, 2007

1 week...

What a week it has been....

We came home on Monday - oddly enough Labor Day in the US. Feeding issues abounded of course. We were still trying the every 3 hour thing. Which seemed to be working.

Tuesday came and our first doctor's appointment. Squeaky weighed in at 5 lbs 8 oz. Down another ounce from discharge weight... so we were told to increase his feedings to every 2-2.5 hours. Yes - you read that right - 2-2.5 hours. This includes pumping - trying to get him to latch on and well you now are getting an idea of how things have been going. We also had his bilirubin checked and it came back at 13.4 so we became the proud renters of a bili blanket.

Wednesday was spent saying goodbye to my in laws... wishing D was not going to work - his fmla would start on Friday - guilt... oh the guilt. D thought he could go back to work then Squeaky decided to add the bili blanket and the 2 hour feedings and D got to see his wife (me) go I am not going to be doing this alone with the help of my mom. D agreed and told the chief that he had to be there for me and Squeaky.

Thursday came with me taking Squeaky to the ped's office for yet another blood draw aka heel poke and I asked for another weight check. He was still 5 lbs 8 oz. Talk about frustration. Lab results came back at 13.1 for the bili and we earned yet another night with the blanket and a recheck in the afternoon. Fortifier aka protein powder as D calls it to be added to his breastmilk that I pump.

Friday - 1 week old today. I can hardly believe that this whirl wind has been my personal story... today's blood test showed that the blanket is working - 10.3 for the bili and his weight at the lactation consultant was up 5 lbs 10 oz (I believe this scale a heck of a lot more than the ped's office as it's digital.) My nipples are on a rest from breastfeeding so I will be pumping until at the earliest Tuesday. Squeaky was making mincemeat of them. The bili blanket is on until at least Monday.

My dial-up is acting up so I will try to post a picture soon... in the meantime... we're here - we're alive... and we're so very in love with the pip squeak... aka Squeaky.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Birth Story

I decided that I probably should try and write things out to describe what exactly happened before mothers amnesia commences. SO... below is how things went.

I worked on Thursday night into Friday morning. It was normal - nothiing unusual had happened. I was feeling relatively "okay" in terms of fatigue. I had had to go to the bathroom a few times during the night but no big deal. Then at about 4 a.m. I went to go to the bathroom and thought that I had had some leakage of urine. Again no bg deal. By 5 a.m. that leakage was pink and I was a bit nervous. So I calmly asked my fellow coworkers if they by chance knew how to tell if someone's water had broken. Everyone immediately looked at my nether region as if to see a big giant wet puddle - which was not there. They then went into panic mode which for a bunch of ICU nurses is kind of comical if you think about it.

Eventually we tried to get labor and delivery to send us some special test strip to figure out if it truly was amniotic fluid or if I had just had a sudden loss of bladder control. They wouldn't go for that so I ended up speaking with the on call physician - who advised us to come in and be checked. At that point I was still doing pretty good. An occasional contraction, but again - was it really a contraction or my over reactive imagination? I finished up what I was doing, gave report on my patient and then tried to call D. D was at home sleeping... SOUNDLY... I left a message and headed home to pick him up and then drive to the hospital.

I chose to not deliver at the hospital at which I work... if I had been checked there they would have delivered me there since we now know my water had actually broken. So it was a good thing I did make the choices I made. However it also meant I got to the hospital about 2 hours after the fact.

I eventually got a hold of D and he thought I was kidding. We hadn't had a bag packed yet as that was going to be done this weekend so he scrambled to get that done while I drove home. By the time I got home I was sure it was indeed my water that had broken and I was having contractions about every 10 minutes apart. We eventually got on the road to the hospital - still calm once we found the camera. Apologized to the dogs and attempted to get a hold of my mom to hopefully be able to take care of the puppies.

Enroute to the hospital the contractions were getting a bit more forceful and closer together - we were at 5-8 minutes apart when we hit the doors of the hospital. My coworkers relieved that I had D and I was no longer driving myself anywhere. I was thankful to have D as well as driving would have been a challenge for me at that point.

We checked in - answered multiple questions got the "you poor dear" look multiple times when discussing what number pregnancy this was for me and eventually they checked and I was 2 cm dilated. Samuel was indeed still breech and trying to make his presence known.

My doctor showed up and said "guess we don't need to even have that conversation about the version anymore since that is no longer an option." 10:00 a.m. was the slated time for me to get to the OR. It was 8:30 when they had checked me the first time and at 9:15 when they checked again I was already 4 cm dilated so 10 a.m. could not come soon enough.

It seemed like forever before they drew blood, started the IV etc, and at the time I could only focus on little things. I became a person who watched the clock. 10 a.m. was the promised land time. Eventually the anesthesiologist got in there and we were able to finally head to the OR. At that time I was having contractions every 1-2 minutes and they were definitely hurting. It was all back labor so the only positions that felt comfortable did not allow anyone to watch Samuel on the monitor. They gave up on that and we were able to get my spinal in and about 30 minutes later Samuel was born.

His apgars were 8 and 9 so excellent. He had the neonatal nurse practitioner present at his birth due to his early arrival. When in recovery we found out that his blood sugar was low and his temperature was low so we spent quite a bit of time in recovery and then Friday and Saturday he had his blood sugar checked every 3 hours prior to meals. Poor guys little heels have definitely taken a beating.

We're still having breastfeeding issues, but things are better than they were. A large part of the problem is that he is undercooked. He's going to take longer to figure this out than a term baby. We just have to be patient and things will all settle in.

We're very in love with the little man and are so happy that he's now here. Even if his arrival was not how I planned - I'm just happy he's here. He's healthy and he's doing fine. So are D and myself.

The dogs are fine - though we apparently need to produce a "how to take care of your grand dogs" video for our parents. 2 grandmothers and a grandfather and they are calling frequently to make sure of how they're supposed to do things. We should be out of the hospital tomorrow and life as we know it will definitely change. We're both looking forward to our own bed though. That's for certain.