Saturday, December 24, 2011

Did someone order a miracle?

Because ours arrived today!

Mr M. and I are currently in a NICU "rooming in" room with Ethan, preparing to take him home tomorrow! That's right, on Christmas day!

Apparently yesterday the whole "eating is FUN" thing finally clicked for him and he has been eating like a champ ever since! Today I finally had the opportunity to try to nurse him as well and he has a great latch! My milk supply is still low so I'm supplementing with pumped milk and formula, but it is an amazing feeling to nurse my son.

Tonight we stay in the NICU with him as a kind of trial run. We do everything ourselves but the nurses are nearby if we have an issue. Tomorrow morning he gets circumsized (poor guy) and then we take him home!

I am so grateful to be taking our son home, regardless of the day. I am so ready to be done with the running back and forth across town to the hospital every few hours and just be HOME and stay there. I can't wait to watch his great-grandmother hold him for the first time. I can't wait to take a family photo with EVERYone in it.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Never give up. Keep hoping and praying and believing. Because sometimes, miracles happen. I'm looking at one right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still Here/There

Well, I'm still here. And Ethan is still there. There being the NICU. Chances are very slim that he will be home with us for Christmas. Yesterday I bought a tiny blue stocking with an embroidered letter "E" on it and hung it in between mine and Mr. M.'s. I feel like our sweet boy needs to be represented but I am almost regretting the purchase because every time I see it it makes me sad.

The jaundice is finally gone after days of roller coasting up and down. The IV is gone, a MAJOR blessing since they had it stuck in the middle of his forehead and it was awful to look at. He is digesting all of his feedings and producing poopy diapers like a champ.

Now if only he would take his damn bottle. I fought for them to let us try doing every other feeding as a bottle feeding and won, but he won't consistently take the whole bottle. Once he gets every other feeding down they switch to every feeding by bottle (he still has a feeding tube in) and have to watch him for a couple of days.

Let's face it. My baby will not be home in my arms on Christmas, and it is really, really sad.

As for me - I'm exhausted, depressed and SO sick of my daily schedule of home, hospital, repeat, with some errands thrown in. I've had a terrible stress headache for five days straight. I'm sad. And frustrated. And struggling (obviously) to be positive. No one outside of me and M had held our son since he was born (hospital rules) and it hurts my heart.

But I still thank God every night for the blessing that is our sweet boy. I can't believe that we are lucky enough to be his parents.

Here's hoping for a Christmas miracle...

Friday, December 16, 2011


Ethan's X-ray looked better this morning and his labs were good, so they are going to start feeding him again tonight at 5:30. They will start with very small amounts (10 mls or so) and see how it goes. I've probably pumped around 25 mls total so far, so hopefully his first feeding can be breast milk.

His jaundice level went up a point, so he is still baking under his big blue light, but they aren't high enough that the doctor is worried. Jaundice levels peak and then begin to fall naturally so we are hoping and praying that they begin to fall soon.

Sitting in the NICU right now waiting for lactation to come talk to me. Hopefully they can help me increase my supply for this sweet boy.

And here is a photo for you:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NICU Update

Your thoughts and prayers are still needed as our little one continues his struggles in the NICU. He seems to have gotten worse instead of better.

He started out having trouble eating, a common problem in early babies. Eventually they started alternating bottle feedings with tube feedings, and Mr. M. and I were able to give the bottle feedings if they were at the right time.

Then he started having trouble digesting - after a feeding too much of the formula was remaining in his stomach. They tried switching to a soy formula in case it was a lactose intolerancy, but the results remained the same. He was also diagnosed with jaundice and put under a little blue light.

They ran an X-ray to check for bowel obstruction and did lab work to check for an infection, the results of which were all fine.

Last night they called and said they were stopping all feedings in order to give his little body a rest and a chance to re-boot. His jaundice level had also gone up so they switched him to a bigger light. They started an IV to give him fluids and glucose while his belly was resting.

They will re do the X-ray and labs in the morning, and if everything still looks okay they will slowly start to try feedings with him again. Please, please, please say a prayer that his results are good and so he can try eating again.

Right now we only get to hold him twice a day because he can't be out from under his light for an extended period. Today his nurse let me do some skin to skin time, and I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best 45 minutes of my life.

I am hanging on to my sanity by a thread but trying my best to stay positive. Today is day 4 since I gave birth and my milk is just now slowly starting to come in. It has been an agonizing wait because I know my milk can help him so much at this point in time but there was nothing more I could do to make it arrive sooner.

He is the sweetest, cuddliest baby with a full head of sandy brown hair. Having a baby but leaving him at the hospital has made this whole process so surreal - I look back on my labor like it was a dream sequence or something.

Mr. M. and I are fortunate to have the support of so many wonderful family members and friends to help us through this very difficult time. I pray every day that I might be able to bring my baby home by Christmas.

Fight on, little one. Your mommy loves you so much.

Monday, December 12, 2011

He's here!

Ethan was born last night at 10:40 pm. 6 lb, 10 oz.

He is currently in the NICU since he arrived at 35w4d but appears to be doing well. I got to hold him and give him his first bottle.

More about his CRAZY birth story later, but for now we need your prayers for a healthy baby.

We're so in love...

Photos to come.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sleepless night...

Would it surprise you if I said that I didn't get a lot of sleep last night? Because I didn't. Like, none. For realsies. I lay in bed tossing and turning and getting up every so often to pee or knock over a water glass (thanks to Mr. M. for cleaning up after me). At 4:30 I finally climbed out of bed, poured a bowl of cereal and started making lists. I guess the act of writing things down put my mind at ease, because at 6:30 I climbed back into bed and managed to snatch a few fitful hours of rest.

Mr. M. and I spent most of yesterday in shock, as did a lot of our family members AND my bosses (their reactions were pretty funny). He wouldn't leave my side at all during the holiday party, which I still managed to enjoy despite some pretty uncomfortable cramps (result of my cervix check) and spotting.

Today my grandmother came to town. She's literally my favorite person in the world. I was raised by my grandparents after a car accident killed my father and left my mother permanently mentally and physically disabled when I was 6 months old, so she is my "person." There is no other person I have ever met that has the grace, strength and wonderful spirit that she does.

Today was originally going to be a Christmas shopping trip but it turned into a baby shopping trip. After lunch with my good friend L, we hit the small BRU located inside the TRU in our town. She had made me promise to ride in my mom's lightweight wheelchair, so I did. I felt totally ridiculous but know that I need to take it as easy as possible. From there we went to T.arget, where I had my own electronic wheelchair with a basket. Again, feeling ridiculous but knowing it was worth it. She ran me by the salon to get my eyebrows waxed (gotta be groomed for birth photos!) then to a fabric store to pick out some fabric for the bassinet she is re-purposing for us. It was hers when she was a little girl.

If you're interested, the things we picked up today included: bottles, pacifiers, diapers, diaper pail refills, no-scratch mittens, burp cloths, cloth diapers (to use a burp cloths), mattress protectors and other smaller items that I can't remember. We even picked up a couple of Christmas outfits in newborn since, unbelievably, it looks like Baby J will be joining us before Christmas!

I was pretty exhausted after the day so came home and crashed. Mr. M. has been very sweetly waiting on me hand and foot and even cooked (!) dinner for us. I'm still spotting a lot, but I called L&D (I LOVE their triage nurses - they are always willing to take questions by phone) with some (TMI) questions and everything is well.

Tomorrow Mr. M. and I have to go to the big BRU about 30 miles away to complete our registry and get our completion coupon. He has also reserved a new iPhone for me so we'll be picking that up as well. Again I'll be walking slowly, sitting often and taking it as easy as possible.

No contractions yet, which is good, but I am very aware that I could literally go into labor at any time, and when I go it is going to be FAST.

Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm at WHAT????!

35 weeks 1 day and four. Mother-effing. Centimeters. Dilated.

Holy. Shit.

*Edit: Also. 90. Effing. Percent. Effaced.

She went to check my cervix and I groaned in pain and she said, "Oh my gosh, you're a four centimeters!" I was totally shocked and had no idea if this was a good thing or a bad thing! Both the Dr and the nurse were congratulating me and saying it was a good thing because it means when I go into labor it will go super fast. They said it's really rare for a first-time mom to be so progressed.

For some perspective - I was planning on holding out on my epidural until I reached 4 centimeters once I went into labor, and I'm ALREADY there.

Dr. A said I could stay at four for a couple of weeks or so, but if I go in next week and I'm at a five they will send me to the hospital. !!!!!! Guess Mr. M. is going to that appointment with me just in case!

I explained about the pain in my ladyparts and she said it is because baby has dropped so far. So at least that explains it.

The doctor said I would have bloody show, too, and man did I. I had to stop at a pharmacy and get some pads because I only had little liners in my purse. They told me I would bleed/spot for a couple of days. I have also had really bad cramps ever since the check which I know is normal but OUCH! I have barely taken any meds this whole pregnancy and I downed two T.ylenol as soon as I could. While I was at the pharmacy I got my (preservative-free) flu shot because I hadn't done THAT yet either.


Mr. M. and I are both, understandably, shocked. Bless his little heart as I tried to explain everything to him. We now have a LOT to get done before baby makes his entrance.

My grandma is coming up tomorrow for what was supposed to be a Christmas shopping trip but will now be a baby shopping trip. Then on Sunday both mom and grandma are coming up to help me around the house with things like laundry and organizing the baby's room. My friend L is coming over on Sunday as well to help me make some freezer meals to have on hand.

I would really like my little guy to bake a little bit longer, at least until 37 weeks. I know the chances of complications are lessening with every passing day, but it would sure make me feel better.

Holy crap, I could have a baby by Christmas!!!

Please send some thoughts, prayers, love and light or whatever our way for a)Baby to bake a little longer and b)Mr. M. and I to be able to prepare for him without totally stressing out. Much appreciated!

I will post if EEEEK!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

35/35 today!

Something is wrong with me. For the past three days I have had a CRAZY amount of energy. I guess this is "true" nesting because I feel like realistically I should be shuffling around like a zombie. It has been nice as I have had a super busy week. Maybe the energy will carry me through the rest of the craziness of the week.

I am so excited to have reached the 35/35 mark today! If you're unfamiliar with the term, it means that I am 35 weeks pregnant and have exactly 35 days until my due date. WOW that is soon! So much left to do. I might need to post a to-do list on here to keep myself accountable. I love reading other peoples' to-do lists, menu plans, grocery lists etc. (I am apparently some form of super nerd) so maybe you'll enjoy reading mine.

Busy busy day at work today planning for tomorrow night's holiday party. I'm on the party planning committee and we have 250 people coming when we originally planned for 170 or so. Yikes! Has been pretty interesting. So not much time as I have to rush home a few minutes early and then throw together an appetizer for my Junior League Christmas party. But here you go:

How Far Along? 35 weeks

Maternity Clothes? All maternity all the time! The pairs of jeans I bought early on are (wince) getting a bit tight, so I stick to knits, cords and lightweight pants most days. Lots of soft T-shirts with sweaters to layer over them.

Weight Gain? Um. Yeah. A lot. We'll see how next tomorrow's appointment goes and then MAYBE I'll tell you how much. Perhaps. We'll see.

Stretch Marks? So far so good! Still search suspiciously for them every day but none have appeared...yet. My belly button, which was a deep innie, is starting to look awfully funny but I don't think it's going to "pop."

Sleep? Lots of restless nights right now.

Best Moment of the Week: Reaching 35/35!

Weirdest Comment: SO many people have been asking if I'm having a Christmas baby and SO many people have been exclaiming things like, "He's growing!" and "You're so BIG!" Fun times.

Movement? Of course! Baby is head down so I get lots of movement up under my ribs (not painful yet, just weird feeling) and little punches down in my abdomen. When I lay on my side he usually goes nuts. I have begun to have a few more painful jabs every so often. He also gets the hiccups a LOT. My OB nurse told me that what they want at this point is ten movements in ten hours, since the baby spends so much of his time sleeping at this point.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Being comfortable at my desk. I just can't get there - feet up, feet down, leaning back, sitting forward - all get uncomfy after about ten minutes. I miss being able to get up and down easily. I miss having the freedom to do and eat whatever I want without worrying about anything else.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. Aching shoulders and back. Lack of mobility, hormonal craziness and insomnia. Constipation. Swollen fingers (rings came off today, I think permanently)and ankles. I am really only comfortable when I am sitting up very straight (perched on the edge of my office chair right now) or laying down on my side.

Milestones: 35/35!

Emotions: Very nervous and excited to meet our little guy! Overwhelmed by all that I have to get done!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh. My. Ladyparts.

I don't know WHAT is going on down there, but as of yesterday the ladyparts are SO sore and ouchy. I don't know if this is the infamous "round ligament pain" or what, but I do know that it hurts! Not so much when I'm sitting, but definitely when I get up after sitting for a while. I have to walk like a granny for a minute.

It's both embarassing and hilarious at the same time.

Last night I told Mr. M. "I'm just so sore today." And he asked "Where?" And I told him where and his face went kind of comically blank and then he said, "Oh, well I guess I can't really help you with that." SO funny. He has been very good about giving back rubs when I ask. If only it was easier to get him to give foot massages!

So anyway, just sharing. Probably an overshare. But still. OUCH.