Sunday, August 31, 2008
Reese still has a lot of challenges ahead of her, and maybe even a few backward steps (hopefully not), but she made HUGE progress today and we are very proud of her. You can't imagine the joy we felt tonight. We went to the hospital hoping that she had just maintained her numbers from this morning. We got more than we ever dreamed of.
Brittney will give a better version of this story later and post some pictures. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have been receiving. Thank you to everyone. Please keep Reese in your prayers.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
There were rumblings when we were there earlier today about letting her stabilize where she is on the vent and putting her back on C-PAP tomorrow. We're not getting our hopes up, but we are cautiously optimistic that it might happen. We would love for it to happen, but we want to be sure that it's the right thing! Please continue to keep our Baby Girl in your prayers!
The following pictures will catch you up on our Reese pictures. We don't like to over stimulate her, so we haven't been able to take many. Obviously I'm just posting good pictures, we've taken many more, but the ones below are the most current. Our goal was always to make sure that we had equal numbers of pictures for both our kids, so we have a lot to catch up to when she comes home!
Here's the view of her little isolette. We have a few things there to decorate it for her. At this point the picture of Mommy, Daddy and Wyatt was being printed (it's there now), but there's a picture of Noelle and a toy that Anna (Wyatt's favorite blonde) gave Reese.
Kisses like this one got me through some rough patches (although Wyatt constantly reminding himself "No Kick Mommy" was pretty funny too).
Smiling at Daddy
Reese grasping Brian's finger (she's on C-PAP still here)
Reese intubated and on the vent
Me seeing her on the vent for the first time
View from the top
Reese curled up with her frog (the multicolored thing on her chest). This serves two purposes. It simulates the womb environment because she weighed down and can't move as much, but because it's weighed down and can't move as much it helps keep her from pulling on the tubes. With preemies interest in the tubes isn't a problem because they're so small, but with full term babies like our girl, those tubes are likely to get yanked out...and they almost have been. The washcloth over her forehead helps block out the light to keep her stimulation to a minimum.
Me kissing Reesie on her forehead
Daddy is seriously in love with his little girl! When I was recovering and couldn't make it down he would just sit and stare at her for hours...sometimes leaving me waiting in the room to find out how she was doing! But it's the sweetest thing I've ever seen in my life. What a great husband and Daddy!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
After looking at X Rays and everything, they think that Reese's condition isn't at all due to the C Section delivery (a vaginal delivery usually "squeezes" the baby on its way out, and when the baby gets squeezed the amniotic fluid comes out of the lungs). Instead, they think its due to underdeveloped lungs, which there is no explanation for. Reese is responding well to the intubation and the Surfactin. The goal on this machine is to eventually have Reese able to breathe on her own, and we need her breathing 21% Oxygen (which is what you and I breathe in from the air around us), and staying stable while doing it (her respiratory rate, blood gas, blood pressure, pulse Ox, etc).
Today we were told that they hope to extubate her at some point over the next few days, but we want to hold off on that until we're sure she'll be okay without it, because intubating her again would be awful. She does need to be sedated while she's hooked up to all the machines. We were told that when preemies go through this they're still pretty stationary, but with Reese being full term she's strong and squirmy. She'll reach right up and yank her tubes off if she's not under sedation. After she's extubated she'll need to go back on C-PAP for a few days and then she'll start the step down process. She's still on feeding tubes and everything, so the good news is that the NICU has a really great occupational therapist who can help me with the breastfeeding process once Reese is able to eat. Her nurse has said she has a great sucking reflex, so hopefully that's a good sign. My milk came in yesterday and I'm starting to get more and more milk that we're freezing for her. In either case, the hospital also has a "Courtesy Stay" program so Brian and I can stay there for a night of two before she comes home so we can get used to her schedule and everything so we'll all be more comfortable.
At this point it's a wait and see kind of thing. We don't know when she'll be home (today they mentioned two weeks, which I don't even want to think about), and while Brian and I are having a really difficult time not having her home and watching her hooked up to everything, we know that it's for the best. My philosophy is that I clearly have a very strong little girl and I need to be strong for her. Reese really responds to what's around her, if someone is stressed out while they're with her, she can tell. If I stand next to her and break down, she'll respond to it. Her nurse even had a baby moved because he was a cryer and every time he cried her blood pressure would rise. This isn't something that will continue, but it's something that needs to be monitored while she's getting healthy. We are confident that her Doctor's and nurses know what they're doing and that they're doing what's best for her right now so that we can bring her home soon. They keep telling us that this is just a "newborn thing" that she'll get over and have no real side effects from in the future. So from this point on we're going to be making lots of visits to the hospital to see our little baby girl as many times a day as we can. Fortunately the summer is winding down for Brian so we have nothing but time and a lot of volunteers to watch our little guy so that we can spend time with his "sissy."
Family shot before we left
Meeting our Baby Girl for the first time (yes, I am still being operated on).
The Reese's Pieces that we handed out to visitors at the hospital
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So, that's all the good news. Reese was doing some grunting as soon as she was born and once she was taken to the nursery it was decided that she has some breathing problems and needed to go to the NICU. At that point they decided her breathing problems were due to either an infection (less likely) or the fact that since she was born via C Section, that she hadn't had the opportunity to squeeze all the amniotic fluid out while traveling down the birth canal. This isn't uncommon in C Section babies.
She's been in the NICU since Monday. At first they treated her with "blow by" Oxygen, where they set up a bag valve mask in her bassinet so she could breathe in more Oxygen. Then she was placed in an Oxygen hood that allowed her to breathe in pure Oxygen. That didn't work, so she was placed on C-PAP which basically means that they hooked her up to a machine that would blow air into her lungs in an attempt to let the fluids out and to let the avioli in the lungs start doing their job. She seemed to be responding to the C-PAP well, but this morning they told us that they needed to intubate her and give her Surfactin, which will hopefully rid her of this and have her breathing on her own in the next few days. The reason that they held off on this is because they didn't want to intubate if they didn't have to.
It's mostly been a waiting game for us. I'm recovering OK, and I'm still waiting to see my doctor this morning to find out if I can stay on more night or if I have to leave her today. Brian briefly held her after she was born, but I haven't been able to. I've been pumping a lot to get her some colostrum and to get my milk in. Reese is on a feeding tube so she hasn't had any milk yet. It's also a struggle for me to get down to the NICU because of the C Section so I've been down about twice a day for 45 minutes each.
The whole process has been overwhelming for all of us. It's definitely not what we were expecting and the detachment from our Baby girl has been hard, especially not being able to even hold her. We would appreciate if you kept us all in your thoughts and prayers, but especially Reese. Just pray for her to be able to breathe on her own and to be able to come off all the machines,for her to pick up eating on her own quickly (hopefully via breast) and for her to be released from the hospital and sent home early next week.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I can't post them from the computer in my room. If we go home today I might post some, but in all honesty, I'm really hoping that we don't go home yet.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
On the way home, we decided to go to a spot by the Home Depot where we recently spotted a pond with a ton of ducks. Wyatt was mesmerized by the ducks. He got out of the car and said "Whoa, ducks." Then he just stared at them. He had fun watching them for a bit before we came home. Once we were home we played for a bit and then put him to bed for the last time as our only baby. He was so sweet. He gave everyone, even his sister in my belly, a kiss and said "Night, night." It was harder than I thought it was going to be to get him all tucked in the night before he becomes a big brother. His whole world is about to change and he doesn't even know it. I'm pretty sure he'll recover though...Brian and I both did when we were babies and our siblings were born! Although, Brian did tell him about the responsibility of being a big brother to a girl...it sure sounds tough!
While we were on our way to see the ducks Brian and I quizzed Wyatt about what different animals say. He did a great job and went 4 for 5 on camera. Off camera, he got the cow right as soon as I stopped recording him. As soon as I stopped he said "Moo, moo."
Wyatt now also recognizes that no is a response to a question. Sometimes he gets it right (I think). Like, "Wyatt, do you want to go take a nap?" "Noooo." And he says it very sweetly. It almost sounds like he's questioning you back. But sometimes, I wonder. I've asked him today if he wanted a snack, if he wanted to read a book, if he wanted to play basketball....and I've gotten a no all three times....and then Wyatt wanted to do all three of those things. Brian said that he's going to teach him "yes" tonight by asking if he wants to play T Ball and when Wyatt says no he'll just put the T away. We'll have to see if that works....
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I don't know what I'll do for two weeks with no vacuuming, especially with a toddler and a black lab. Vacuuming isn't just something that someone else (even Brian) could do for me. I'm very specific. There's a pattern to my vacuuming. The lines have to be visible...where the vacuum goes up and comes back down. I'd like to thank my mother who made me vacuum every day of my life from the time I was like 10 until I moved out of the house for instilling this compulsion in me. Vacuuming was so important that it had to be done before my homework. Seriously. It's a good thing she lives so close. She's probably my best option to vacuum for me.
Anyway, I re cleaned the fridge and pantry yesterday after I got all the groceries we'll need through next week. I cleaned the bathrooms today. Almost all the laundry is done so that we'll all be packed (hopefully tonight). I dusted yesterday, but I'll probably dust again tomorrow. I used my Deceptively Delicious cookbook today to make some purees and some more meals to freeze when we come home. Tomorrow I'm going to make sure all the baby gear is put together and has batteries in it, put together the pack and play for the changing station downstairs, and Brian will hopefully hang stuff on the walls if he gets home early enough. At the same time we want to spend as much time as possible with Wyatt, so we'll see what happens. In either case I'm going to do some packing over the next hour and then take my Ambien. And hopefully get some sleep.
Friday, August 22, 2008
After the hospital, Shannon and I wanted to have one last "playdate" for the boys before the little one comes. The boys got some quality time in playing with toys and Shannon and I got to sit on our butts and occasionally intervene in toy fights.
I then went to Bed Bath & Beyond for a shower gift for a friend and Kohl's for a birthday present for my sister. As usual, Brian needs a new Yankees hat (it needs to be replaced every few months), so I went to the mall to get him one. They had a buy 1 get 1 half off sale, which usually means I would buy Brian 2, but they had toddler hats so Wyatt got his own "big boy" Yankees hat. I also got the little fella's hair cut while we were at the mall. It's still a little long, but it's been cleaned up a lot. Fortunately, my parents were headed to the mall at the same time I was, so I had an extra set of hands distracting Wyatt while the (very unfriendly) girl cut his hair.
We dropped some stuff off at the waterpark for Brian, Wyatt showed off his hitting skills to the rest of the staff and then we came home for naps. Now we have to go to my parents house for my sister's birthday. She's been at camp all week and my parents completely redecorated her room while she was gone, so she should be surprised. Now she has a fancy room to start high school with....holy crap, my baby sister is starting high school! I can't believe she's 14 years old today!
Brian just called to tell me that he's going to pick Noelle up from her special Vet appointment with the second opinion Vet. This morning he mentioned that the kidney levels and everything that we've been told are so far out of whack weren't really that bad, but Brian hasn't had any updates since then. I know he just wants to get his dog back and make sure she's healthy...I'm sure he's had a crappy day without her!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I was 3 cm dilated today and 75% effaced, so hopefully baby girl will hold off for me until Monday! If she won't...at least I'm packed and ready to go!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Brian pointing out the giraffes sitting down
This guy looked pretty cool
Staring at the elephants
Cute little meerkat
Visiting the Prairie Dogs
Kicking the water
Dragging Daddy to a new fountain
Monday, August 18, 2008
We decided that it would be fun to spend today going to the zoo and doing other things that we enjoy. This morning we woke up and did our best to get going early so we could get to the zoo before it got too hot....we were unsuccessful. Brian left his flip flops at the park so we had to go get those, and Wyatt fell asleep in the car, so Brian decided to treat me to some Doumar's. Cheeseburgers, french fries, limeade and a Ringo. Delicious!
Once we got to the zoo we realized that we didn't have a stroller! We had to take it out on Saturday when we went to Nags Head for Colin's birthday to accommodate Noelle, and we forgot to put it back in. We rented a stroller instead, and Wyatt actually enjoyed his trip in his little safari stroller. I was stopping the boys practically every time we passed a bench so that I could sit....I was burning up today! I don't think that I have any lung capacity left either, I could barely breathe. We made it through the Africa exhibit and that was about it. Of course, it took an hour and a half to walk through so we were there for awhile. Wyatt had a great time staring at the Giraffes (he calls them "Daffs") and the elephants. He had the most fun playing with Daddy in the water though. I turned my back for two second and he was SOAKED. But he was laughing and playing and pulling Brian back and forth between the water fountains.
We left the zoo and went to Babies R Us for the double stroller and the mattress. Wyatt pointed out the babies to us every time we passed one. By the time we got home Wyatt had fallen asleep again (he only slept for 45 minutes when we were on our way to the zoo). Once we were inside Brian fell asleep too and I did some chores. The boys didn't nap for long though, they went on a bike ride for awhile, which gave me more time to do chores...they just never stop!
All in all we had a really fun day playing and everything...it's just hard to believe that in one week we'll have another baby! I'm still not sure how it's all going to work! Brian will be with me in the hospital while Wyatt stays with our parents, but he still has to go back to work for a little while. I don't even want to think about the nights we won't be there to tuck Wyatt in and get him ready for bed while we're in the hospital, we're really gonna miss our little fella!
Anyway, we still have a list of things to do before she comes next Monday, and I still have to go to work this week, so it will be a pretty busy week! I have my pre-op appointment with Dr. George on Thursday so we'll find out how she's progressing. If this killer contractions are any sign, I'm like 4 cm by now :). I'll post some pictures of Wyatt at the zoo tomorrow...I'm too tired now!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The other day, I was sitting on the couch and Wyatt came and grabbed my hand and said "Bakaball." That means he wants me to play with him. We went into the playroom to play basketball...and there were no basketballs to be found. I was looking all over the place for them and then Wyatt asked for "Duice, teeeeeeeeease." (Juice please). So I walked over to the cabinet to get a sippy cup...and I found the basketballs. Apparently, Wyatt had decided he was over playing with the basketball hoop and instead wanted to start shooting for the sink.
Yesterday, Wyatt even found himself entertained for about 15 minutes watching the Team USA basketball team play Spain in the Olympics. He kept watching saying "Shoot, shoot." I just wonder where the interest in basketball is going to go from here. Brian really enjoys college basketball, but can not stand the NBA, so I guess we'll see...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The boys went off and road around the neighborhood for awhile, and Brian said Wyatt was talking to him about stuff the whole time. They've gone on another ride since these were taken, and apparently on the second ride Wyatt made Brian join him in one of his new hobbies.... beat boxing. Wyatt can't get enough of it. It's pretty funny, I'll have to get some clips of him beat boxing soon.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Anyway, the reason that my size comes up is because of something my darling husband did the other night. We were on the couch watching TV and I was laying down. I rolled over to get up off the couch and I rolled over his phone. The way my husband reacted you would have thought that Shamu just rolled over the phone though. Here's a video clip of my precious husband trying to revive his phone with some CPR.
Don't be jealous ladies. Seriously, don't be jealous :).