Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big Girl

It's official.  As of yesterday at noon, Bayden is the oldest baby in the nicu.  All the babies who were there when she was born have left for home.  One lil fella maybe went to some other kind of long-term care facility, but he still got to leave the nicu.  Not an accomplishment we are super excited about, but maybe she's just making sure her first friends are all doing well before going home herself.  What a good friend!  Hope she doesn't get attached to the new babies or we'll never her get her out.

She has gained over 2 pounds since her birth weight.  She's a good little eater even though she has some big feeds and then small ones later.  I think she's just ready to eat on her own schedule instead of following what the nurses have planned.  We do breast feeding twice a day and I'm hoping today they say we can bump it up to 3 times a day.  She is a noisy eater - grunting, loud breaths, sighs, and all kinds of noises when breastfeeding or bottle.  It's a little harder so keep eating when mom keeps giggling at her funny sounds.

She is acting so much older now too.  She is awake more, looking around, moving her head to follow voices and sounds (I think, this could be a fluke).  She also stretches and moves her arms and legs more too.  I'm hoping she is awake more because she is getting older and not just because she is hopped up on the high dose of caffeine she is on to help with her breathing.  I keep telling her she needs to keep breathing because she is going to start getting really bored in the nicu the older she gets.

The doctor has decided that she needs to go 1 week without having a breathing episode needing oxygen before going home.  We have made it 4 days so far!  Please say a prayer that she can keep it going and come home at the end of the week.

Now the real reason family still looks at my blog, pictures.

1 month old - May 18th

cuddling with grandma last week

So big!  Look at her red hair in pics!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's Worse?

Little B is still in the nicu and lately when it's a hard day, I find myself thinking "is this worse than being infertile, before I was pregnant, before we had her?"  I've decided it's just a different kind of hard, it's all been hard.

Before it was me being poked with needles, getting shots, having tests run, and blood drawn.  Now, poor little B is being poked and having all kinds of different tests done.  I would do anything to be the one going through what she's getting put through.  She's tough, but it's hard to see her go through things that look so uncomfortable for her.  Especially, as she's getting older and crying more.

All our infertility tests came back with no real understanding of why we couldn't get pregnant.  Possibly egg quality, but we never had a real answer.  Now, it's the same thing with B.  She holds her breath and stops breathing, and no one knows why.  They have checked anything and everything - possible infection, mri of her brain, ct of her brain, ultrasound of her heart, lungs, and vessels in her chest, 2 swallowing studies.  Everything so far has come back completely normal and no answers for why she does this.  Not having an answer or solution is so hard.

I've shed just as many tears seeing her go through things as I did during 5 years of struggling to get pregnant.  I've always thought what a miracle it was for people to just get pregnant without any help from doctors, meds, and treatments.  Now, as I walk on the labor and delivery floor and in the nicu everyday and see babies born and then going home, I think what a miracle it is for a baby just to be born healthy and know how to breath and eat right away and go home.

I had to grieve that I wouldn't be using my eggs to have a baby.  Now, I'm grieving that my baby isn't coming home like I planned.  She'll be coming with a monitor, later than we planned, probably not in a car-seat, probably not able to leave the house much.  I feel more than blessed that she is here, but it's just not how I thought our first months with her would be.      Some of the first things I've dreamed about doing with her, we won't be able to do for awhile.

I made it through 5 years struggling to get pregnant with support from my husband, family, and friends.  So far, I've made it through 5 weeks with my baby in the nicu.  It's all been hard, but we're making it and it in the end it will work out.  And infertility is worse, because now I have a baby to rock and she'll be home with us soon.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Everything Happens for a Reason

I've had a lot of people say this to me over the years as we struggled to start a family.  I hated it and usually felt a need to slap them.  It's not helpful and never made me feel better, probably worse.  Please, don't say this to an infertile!  Now, I know there was a reason for the struggles we had and the loss we experienced, we were supposed to be B's parents.

Since her early arrival, I've been thinking about possible reasons for this.  Here is what I've come up with.

It was a safety issue.  During the week before she was born, I was in 2 small car accidents involving me backing into things.  One car into a mailbox and our other car into my father-in-law's pickup.  Maybe she felt like she would be safer in the nicu than riding around town with me any longer.  Or maybe she wanted to get my husband's mind away from my little driving mistakes; get me out of trouble.

My best friend happened to be visiting from another state the day she was born.  It was a last minute trip that brought her here.  So B got to meet her the night she was born.  This friend also just happened to be in the city of our embryo transfer on that day too.  It was meant to be.

I am the older sister so I should be the one to go through things the first time and tell my sister all about childbirth, breast feeding, the nicu, etc.  We've joked about how I paved the way for her now, kind of like in high school!  Of course now my sister has held those babies in for so long, she won't need all of my nicu information. not sure I'm the best example of how to handle being a nicu parent anyway.  Also,  I've maybe scared her out of breast feeding with my pumping demonstrations!

We weren't totally ready for her at home so maybe she did this so we would get our butts in gear.  It worked B, we are ready!  Except fora  few things, but I'll do that today.

This has given our dog a little time to check out her room and smell some of her things.  Maybe he will be more prepared.  Poor Benson, he's been our only baby for almost 6 years.

I think the real reason is that B thought we had waited long enough.  We've been planning and trying for a baby for over 5 years.  B just couldn't wait any longer to make us parents and wanted us to have more weeks of her in our arms.

We found out yesterday that when B comes home, she will need to be on a monitor to alert us if her heart rate drops, goes too high, or if she doesn't take breaths often enough.  This is so scary and now I'm asking what the reason is for this.  Haven't things been hard enough for us already?  I want her home, but of course it's not how I planned to bring her home.  I'll let you know when I figure out the "reason" for this.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Today was my first mother's day.  Usually not the happiest of days for me as an infertile.  I've held back tears in church on mother's day for 5 years.  I've had to leave the room to not cry in front of people as they took a picture of "just the mom's."  I've always tried to keep my mind on my mom and the all the other mom's I love, but it was still hard to not be sad. While it wasn't how I had imagined my first mother's day; I thought I would be pregnant still, not visiting the nicu, it was a fabulous day.  

I actually got to celebrate for 2 days.  Flowers were delivered yesterday morning from Gavin with a beautiful note and there was a celebration for the nicu mommies last night.  They had cake and presents for all the moms including a picture frame with her picture, a manicure lotion set (very appropriate for all those 3 minute hand washing sessions we have to do before holding our babies), and a candle.  I also won a cute teddy bear and another lotion.  The best gift of course was holding and rocking my baby today.   Her present to me was that she ate over 70 ml twice today.  This is a big deal and part of graduation criteria in the nicu.  If her breathing keeps improving, I think she will be home soon.  Of course they haven't given us a time line yet.  

Bayden & I on my first mother's day

My mom with Bayden.  Happy Mother's Day mom!  

Friday, May 10, 2013


Today was a big day.  After 7 weeks on hospital bed rest with twins, my sister was set free to go home until the babies come.  She made it to 36 weeks so far.  I know it wasn't an easy 7 weeks for her, in a hospital, in a town over an hour from home.  I do have to say that I enjoyed having her here.  We haven't lived in the same town for probably 5 years.  The past 7 weeks, I've gotten to see her almost every day and while we've always been close, this brought us closer.  We shared our pregnancy on a different level with this experience that's for sure.  I can't think of a single thing we haven't talked about, there were a lot of laughs, and some tears (all by me actually which doesn't really make sense; maybe I am a crybaby).  While I wish the last 7 weeks would have been different for her pregancy, it's our journey and I am thankful for the time we had together.  Lots of memories to tell the kiddos some day.

Bayden was so excited to meet her auntie!  After her bath last night, I brought in a special sleeper that said "auntie's girl" for her to be wearing today.  This little outfit was a hit with all the nurses (thanks auntie Anna!).  Bayden got to snuggle with Auntie Megan and met Uncle Matt when she was taking her bottle.  Thanks for coming to meet Bayden, I know how badly you wanted to get home!  

Snuggle time with Auntie Megan
Here are a few pics with some of her other aunties.  She is such a lucky girl!

With Auntie Robin - 2 days old

Great Aunt Arla

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The First 20 Days

Dear Bayden,

You have been here for 20 days already, it seems like you arrived about 4 days ago.  It has been quite the adventure already and you are well known in the nicu for your dramatics.

Your first days on the outside were nothing but good news.  Every time we went to see you in the nicu, you had met another milestone:  you don't need the warmer, you are in clothes, you are moved to a crib, your air flow was turned down to 2, then 1, and then you don't need it at all, you tolerated your food, they increased your food, you took a bottle.  We thought at this rate you would be breaking records in the nicu for cutest baby and quickest stay for a 33 weeker.   You did need the lights for jaundice, but we know lots of babies who have needed that and you seemed to like these warm lights like mommy likes to sit on the deck and you looked you so cute in the shades.
getting some rays for jaundice

Then, it was like it suddenly hit you on day 5, "holy shit, I have to do all of this by myself; breathe, eat, digest, go potty, and keep my own temperature!  No way, I need a break."  Daddy was holding you the evening of day 5 and I came out of the pumping room (getting a 3rd very painful "massage" from the lactation nurse for the day) to your monitor blinking red and making a beeping noise that we hadn't heard before.  The nurses were very calm, but coming to get you and turning oxygen from the wall on.  They put this oxygen over your little nose on your little blue face.  The nurses were rubbing your back saying, "Bayden, take a breath."  Your little mouth refusing in a kissy face.  It was so scary to see.  The nurses said lots of babies do this and your lungs weren't done developing, you were just sleeping so hard, and took a rest from breathing.  We left that night very thankful for the nurses and thinking it was a one time thing.

Day 6 was a tough day.  You pulled your little stunt of no breathing several times in my arms, you had to have a pic line places because your 5th IV had gone bad, they stopped your feedings because your belly couldn't keep up with digesting, you needed medicine to make you poop, you started medicine to stimulate your brain to keep you breathing, they did blood work to check for infection, they did an ultrasound of your heart and lungs to send to a bigger children's hospital.  This was the first day mommy cried in the nicu.  It seemed like several steps back in one day and I was just looking at your little face rocking you and I just cried.  I was so worried about you and realizing how much developing you had left to do.  We can also blame this crying on the fact that I was up every 2 hours pumping and hadn't gotten much sleep.   My milk had arrived (at least we have that going for us).  The nurses and doctor are great, because they hug mommy and try to explain that you aren't the first baby to do this in the nicu.  Well, your my first baby and I don't like seeing you turn blue and that makes me cry.  

Since this day, you've had some more set backs with your breathing, but you are starting to get stronger and make some gains.  I have only had 1 other day of crying in the nicu, but I cried all the way across town to your auntie's hospital and a food service guy in the elevator felt bad for me and gave me a hug too.  Auntie thinks I'm a cry baby and you sound a little lazy!  We'll see how her hormones are when your cousins come, but she is kind of right. 

The tests for infection and your heart and lungs all check out fine.  You do not need heart surgery or a transplant, I asked the doctor and he thinks mommy is funny now.  I was kind of joking when I asked.  I have also asked about the price of one of those monitors to have in your room, I guess that's not an option though.  They put you back on some airflow to give you a break and also make it easier to give you a shot of oxygen when you decide to make a kissy face and stop breathing.  Almost every time after the nurses help you get your breathing going, you give a little smile or smirk and they think you're so cute, but a little naughty.  You keep the nurses on their toes that's for sure.  I feel like you might not be their favorite baby though.  You have started feeds again, smaller portions more often, and it's going much better.  They think you have severe reflux and when your food wants to come back up, you try and hold it down and in doing this, you hold your breath.  You take medicine for the reflux and your bassinet is slanted to help you keep your food down.  Last night, you had your whole feed from a bottle and they wrote that on your board because they were so proud of you, or they want to make a big deal about it so mommy will feel better because there is good news.  We hope this is the start of more progress and you will be ready to come home soon.  We love you so much Bayden!

Love Always, Mommy

2 weeks old

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Things I Missed

Don't take this post the wrong way, I am so happy that our little one has arrived and I am so in love with her.  I loved being pregnant and I know the last weeks aren't easy, but I still feel like I missed out on a few things with her early arrival.

Our teacher at childbirth class had been preparing us for going past our due date as this is likely with first babies.  I even had plans to celebrate each week 36 weeks and beyond on this worksheet she handed out in class.  

I was supposed to take pregnancy pictures this coming weekend.  I had a cute new maternity outfit picked out and a friend who was going to take the pics had some really fun ideas for us.

Missed out on stretch marks, so that's a good thing.

I got to see my tummy bounce a couple times on the outside from her moving around.  Gav was really looking forward to the time when we would be able to see a foot or something move from the outside, but she came to soon for this.

Most of all, I miss that I can't have her on the inside taking care of her breathing and eating for her still.  It is so hard for her to do these things on her own on the outside and I'd give anything to take these troubles away from her.  Now, when I miss her because I've left her with the nurses in the nicu, I still touch my belly wishing I could feel her and know she's okay.