Saturday, November 29, 2008

Trying to keep up

We really need your prayers.... Eden is doing wonderfully and continues to make progress with no set backs. Thank God we haven't had the up and down roller coaster that I know a lot of people have had with their babies in the NICU. Thank you LORD - we need prayers for us and this transition. It was so hard the first time with Claire because there is nothing like it but with Neil sick, me having to pump every 2 hours, Claire having to understand and not act out and not having your baby home - well, it makes it that much harder. Please specifically pray for healing and protection. I started feeling bad this afternoon with more cold symptoms rather than flu. I can NOT get sick. Also specifically pray for Neil and I to not only rely on God for strength but on each other. We REALLY need this right now and Satan is having a hay day with us.

I really want to remember what is going on everyday so I've written a few notes and want to post them here. I haven't been on to post for obvious reasons but trying to keep up. Below is a short list hand that might not make sense to everyone but it's for me =) We still don't know when she will be coming home but we are hoping for mid to late next week.

11/27 - Thursday, Turkey Day

am - got to hold Eden for the first time since right after she arrived! It was WONDERFUL
(Neil still hasn't been able to do this)


pm - Grandma and I gave Eden a bath! It was technically her second one but it was our first together. Eden certainly didn't like it! We found out she's too big for preemie clothes when we tried to put on one with feet. =) She's my long baby girl.




Moved to a regular big girl bed that the newborns have in the upstairs nursery. Here is Grandma with the big girl bed.


Her bilirubin was at a 10. We want her to stay under 12

Found out she tested positive for MRSA - not as scary as it sounded! It is so common out in our community. 80% of the population are carriers for it. It is colonized which means you have it but don't have side affects. It was tested positive from her umbilical cord so I probably gave it to her myself. We have to continue to glove and gown to prevent the spread of MRSA. I will need to watch any scratches or open sores more carefully and be more aggressive if they ever appear infected. There is no way to prevent ourselves from getting it besides good hygiene so everyone wash you hands!! You probably have it too!!

11/28 - Friday

am - lowered her oxygen pressure to 3 (she started at 5 right after birth and this is out of 12)

Spoke to Dr. Kenton about MRSA and he reassured me it wasn't much to worry about. She will be tested again on Sunday. It's such a highly sensitive test that it could've been a false positive.

Spoke to lactation consultant and lost it in a lactation room - those lovely hormones have kicked in and left me feeling out of control. If you've ever had a baby I know you understand

Getting 35 mL of breast milk every 3 hours


pm - 8 p.m. feeding she moved up to 40 mL and continues to get all her milk from me without supplementation

She loves her paci when she takes it. Her suck reflex is really strong which is encouraging. Hoping this will help with the transition to a bottle when she will have to work for her food.

She puts her hand up by and even on her face when she sleeps!! Just like big sister and it's so
cute. Her fingers are super long as well as her feet. Hoping she'll still fit in her newborn shoes when she comes home


11/29 - Saturday

am- got moved to her own room!

bilirubin test came back 12.6 so she started photo therapy. She has to be under the light almost all the time till it's under 12 again. She is tested every morning. She wears the cool eye shades and it makes her sleep even more if that is even possible! I still got to touch her through the circle openings but I didn't get to hold her as much today. Only about 30 minutes

Lowered her oxygen pressure to 2 and her respiratory rate continues to look more stable (under 60)

Increased her eating amount to 49 mL - went up more than 5 because of the heat she is exposed to under the bilirubin light.

Has had a lot of good diapers with wet and poopy and I've changed many of them myself!

I began to feel worse as I was at the hospital - runny nose, sneezing, headache, body ache, etc. so I didn't go back in the evening. Gotta get up in 3 hours to pump =( It's so hard to wake up to a pump but I know it's worth it. At least "Frasier" was on at 3:30 a.m. last night!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eden's first Thanksgiving

(more pics in my last post if you haven't seen them yet!)

Eden was all swaddled up when I saw her this morning looking even more like a healthy newborn! She was being fed 15 mL every 3 hours but they bumped it up to 25 mL. Tonight she will go to 30 mL so she is getting plenty to eat!! I'm pumping and getting a lot of the first important nutrients into her sweet body. They make up the difference with formula but I will be able to give her everything she needs probably by tomorrow.

The BEST Thanksgiving gift for mommy was being able to hold her!! (I have pics but can't post from home - our stupid computer) I held her for about an hour this morning and it was pure heaven... so many things to be thankful for... We planned on having lunch with Neil's fam but didn't make it because they weren't ready for discharge and couldn't find the lady to do the birth certificate. Oh well - we're doing Thanksgiving with my fam on Sunday and hoping Neil's parents will also be able to make it.

On another note, PLEASE pray for Neil... he is now feeling sick with fever, nausea, etc. so he was unable to even see Eden today. He feels terrible not being able to share in everything (especially me getting to hold her and he can't) and I know he's having a tough time with it all. As everyone knows, he is such a hands on daddy and wants to be there for her. He needs to get healthy FAST so please pray for him.

Tonight after Claire is in bed my mom and I are going up to the NICU to give Eden and bath and spend some time with her. I'm really looking forward to that! They might even move her into a crib after that and we should be able to try a bottle with her the next few days as long as everything continues to progress this way. Things are still looking good and hoping she'll be home sometime next week.

More pics of Eden

I forgot that there were so many good pics on another camera chip!! Here are some more shots of our little turkey:

Ready to bring her into the world!! I couldn't wait to see her. I got to pull her out myself and put her on my chest right away. how cool is that?



Daddy cutting the umbilical cord - I love that all 3 of us are in this pic






My angel girl

One of the NICU nurses made this for Eden! It will be in the scrapbook




The first time I saw her after the labor delivery room. I love this pic Feeding Eden with the feeding tube Proud Grandpa - My mom hasn't seen her yet since she's been sick. Hopefully she will see her today on Tday!
I caught a few pic of her without her oxygen tube. They were switching them out and I wanted to get a good one of her precious face







Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eden Noel is here!

As most of you know, Eden Noel has arrived! She came on Tuesday, Nov 25th at 3:01 p.m. and was 35 weeks 1 day old. You'd never guess by her stats! She is a big girl for her gestation! She was 6 lbs. 10 oz. and 19.5 inches long - just as long as Claire was.

Although she doesn't look premature, her lungs are so she has been in the NICU. This has been challenging for us because we haven't gotten to hold her since minutes after her birth. We do get to sit by her side and today I got to change some yucky diapers, feed her through her feeding tube and take her temp. I'm hoping to be there for her bath tomorrow and take part in that! She is progressing well and hasn't had any scares yet. Just having to get help with her oxygen. After that is stable she will have to work on sucking and breathing at the same time so she will be able to eat without a feeding tube. Overall, we are so blessed and thankful that she is as healthy and strong as she is... what a wonderful Thanksgiving... I'm not looking forward to leaving tomorrow without her sweet face but I know it could be so much worse. Please continue to pray for her to be strong and continued progress. The last we heard was that if she didn't have any major set backs she could be here for 7-8 days. I'm not really taking much of that talk to heart because I know how things can change so quickly.

So many have asked about Claire... well, she's not doing too hot so please pray for her as well. She has had a tough few days with her not feeling well and not understanding why I don't have Eden in my tummy but she can't see her. She has seen pics and video but earlier wanted to see her. She can't visit in the NICU till Sat. but we probably won't even get to do that because of her persistent cough. They have a strict policy because of RSV season and don't want the tiny babies exposed to anything. Anyway, I feel bad for her and wish she could just understand everything.

Thanks for everyone's prayers! Here are a few first minute shots of Eden. We of course have a TON of pics already but I can only attach a few. I will be updating my blog tomorrow, posting more pics at home and posting a shutterfly link as soon as I get the pics uploaded. You won't want to miss them! She is simply beautiful and perfect! She looks a lot like Claire as a one day old but it's so hard to tell. She is a lot less puffy today and her hair looks like soft down feathers. Hope you all are doing well!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

First picture with mommy and daddy!

Proud Daddy! I love this picture - Eden's looking right at her first love!

Eden before she was hooked up to all the machines and before her bath!

Eyes open! This has been rare to catch but she was wide awake while I changed her diaper this evening. She has a tube on her nose to help her with her oxygen and the tube in her mouth is used to feed her 15 mL every 3 hours. She eats what I'm able to pump but then is supplemented with formula to make up the 15 mL. As soon as my milk comes in she should probably be able to take just breast milk unless she starts losing weight. She only went down to 6 lb.s 6 oz.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Claire's sick

We took Claire into the dr. on Thursday because we were making sure she hadn't contracted impetigo from her cousin Justin! She didn't have it and while there, Neil had Dr. Gulde check her ears, lungs and throat since she has had a cough and congestion for about 2 weeks now. Everything checked out fine.... well, Claire got a fever Sat. morning and it got up to 103 on Sunday. She was so lethargic and got sick a couple times too. With all this she really hasn't slept well (or us!) for the past 2 nights. Neil's mom and dad took her back to Dr. Gulde's office this morning. He thought she had strep b/c her throat was so red and irritated but the test came back negative. Her flu test also came back negative so he is treating her for a sinus infection. My poor baby! My mom is also sick but with something GI related - hope you feel better soon mom!

This certainly doesn't make things easier when I can't have moms and kids over to help us out in fear of getting them sick. Thank GOD Elaine and Gene, Neil's parents, are off all week and have been so generous with their time. They have been so helpful during the days with Claire- thank you so much!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Really funny!

OK - I just got done playing "school" with Claire. She was the teacher; a stuffed monkey, baby doll and mini Barbie were the students and I was the mama that they would come home to. Claire taught them the alphabet, numbers, about babies and eventually about mamas... Well, when mini Barbie asked Teacher Claire "What do mamas do?" She replied "lay on the couch" - I laughed so hard and loud!! When asked what else they do, she said "sit" and apparently they don't do anything else.... even though it was funny it did make me kind of sad to think she doesn't remember all the other good things I do for her.

Also, earlier this week when she came to wake me up she crawled in our bed, patted my tummy and said "Eden still in there?" and when I said yes she of course wondered "why?"

This girl is definitely feeling the change - every time she wakes up from her nap she asks "Someone coming to my house?" She's getting so used to having people here that it disappoints her when I tell her it's just her and me. She's going to be in shock a few weeks after Eden is born and we aren't having company all the time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

34th Week Dr.'s Appt.

Lots of blog posts - I am just catching up so read below (there are four below if you are interested)...

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and it went well. A huge thank you to Jenny, Ayden and Colby for keeping Claire occupied and my dad cleaning out our refrigerator! Also thank you to Elaine for taking me to the dr. and mom for bringing me home. As you can see, I couldn’t do all this alone! Anyway, Dr. Gallagher said I’ve progressed to a definite 2 (she always thought I still had a little room) still 75% but now my cervix is no longer posterior, the back of my cervix is open and she could feel Eden’s head – YIKES!! She said Eden is probably going to stay in this position which is good because I don’t have to worry about her being breech. She said to keep doing what I’m doing and to stop my medication Monday. As she was leaving she said "I’ll see you next week and hopefully here!" That makes me a little nervous… I was also test again for the fetal fibronectin and the protein was not detected so that means we are safe for 2 more weeks. It’s not a guarantee but it does give us a bit more peace of mind!

This past Thursday and Friday I felt like my contractions were diminishing but THEN Sat, Sun, Monday I had a ton of contractions anytime I was up. Last night I woke up because I had such a strong one and that scared me a bit! I haven’t had such an uncomfortable one before or since so please continue to pray for things to be prolonged.

Also please pray for my patience and attitude! I’ve felt so good the whole time but yesterday was a really hard day for some reason… I’m just feeling cooped up and got a little down. The thought of me being on bed rest for 3 more weeks was daunting. Today is much better but I want to always remember that the situation could be 100 X worse and to take advantage of my down time. I also need to have a huge amount of patience and understanding with Neil and Claire as I know they have had to make huge adjustments!

Chili Cook Off

Claire and Daddy Getting Ready for the Chili Cook Off

Our little Picasso (make that our little Jackson Pollock)


The Sesame Street Gang

We were the "Letters and Numbers of the Day"
For the past two weeks Claire has not wanted her picture taken...here she is sulking in her brand new favorite pajamas.

Her Imagination

Things to remember:

- Claire loves to talk to all sorts of inanimate objects and toys...she usually gets a response when Daddy's around.

- Goo Goo, Gee Gee and Gi Gi – Elmo and Angela book

- “That’s ok?”

- “That’s ok, mama…” when she’s reassuring me that what she is doing is fine even when it’s not! I wish I could record the look on her face.

- Her obsession with purses and bags

- "Whatstheirnames?" - Always wondering people's names (well, anything's names)

- Claire has learned the art of bargaining and she learned it from us! When we eat we usually have to tell her to eat 2 bites of this before she can have bread or whatever we are having. So the past few weeks she’s turned the tables on us. The other week she was asked to take 3 more bites and she said “two?” – what a smarty pants! Then at Costco the other day she asked daddy “If I eat my hotdog, I have ice cream?” It’s pretty funny!

- Her constant need to pretend something or hear a story! She recently likes to tell us (usually daddy) that she is someone or something and we are someone else. Her favorites right now are Bert and Ernie, Mama and Baby, Arthur and DW
Here is a story she made up as we went along:

Claire: sitting at the kitchen table before bed “Mama, I wanna talk”

Mama: “What do you want to talk about?”

C: “Animals?”
M: “Ok what animals?”
C: “Lions and tigers… I met a lion.”
M: “Really? Where did you meet him?”
C: “At Sea World I was walking in the forest.”
M: “What was his name?”
C: “Choo Choo!”
M: “Wow! Was he a big lion or a small lion?”
C: “Small…. He was tiny” she put her fingers together to show tiny and holds it up to her eye
M: “Did he have a little roar or a big roar?”
C: “A little roar… he was tiny.”

Isn’t that cute? I just love this age!

Ode to a wonderful husband

I’m so overwhelmed by how much Neil has graciously stepped up to everything since I’ve been on bed rest. I know this hasn’t been easy on him but I haven’t heard one complaint. He likes to tell me that every husband would be doing what he is but in my eyes, he’s gone above and beyond. He does the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, wake up early with Claire, everything for Claire when he’s here, all the projects I previously signed us up for, taking care of Rollo the crazy cat and so much more – I could go on and on!

Neil, thank you so much for being so selfless and loving us so much! You are such an example to me and I thank God for leading us to on another almost 7 years ago. I couldn’t do this with anyone else. You are my everything… I love you with all that I am!

Bed Rest Top Ten's

Why bed rest isn’t so bad…
1).We’ve been showered with such love from our friends and family
2). I feel more rested since I can remember
3). I’ve been able to do things like read and cross stitch
4). When have I ever had so much down time and when will I ever again?!
5). I can have people over and not feel bad about the house not looking perfect
6). I’ve watched a ton of Jane Austen movies that I wouldn’t have watched otherwise!
7). Claire is getting more used to not getting 100% attention from me which I’m hoping will help when Eden gets here!
8). Eden is growing stronger and healthier every minute and every day she stays in there!
9). Not having to think about what I’m making for dinner
10). “Be still and know that I am God”

Why bed rest isn’t so good…
1).My compression hose/socks – I sweat just putting them on!
2). I’m not able to finish the semester with my voice students and had to cancel my recital =(
3). Feeling helpless and having to restrain from doing too much
4). Neil and I haven’t been able to get out on a date – hopefully we’ll get one in before Eden arrives!
5). Playing with Claire - I miss going on walks and being outside with Claire since the weather is so nice now
6). Waking up at 12:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. (if not already awake) to take my medicine
7). Missing church, life group and the chili cook-off
8). Not being able to be active and being hungry isn’t a good mix =)
9). Always wondering when Eden is coming
10). Not being able to drive! I love to drive!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Maternity Photos

(my brother's photography website if you're interested!! www.underthesunphotography.net )

Saturday my wonderful brother, Michael, and his wonderful wife, Heather, came into town from Austin to see me! It was so sweet of them to make the trip for a short 4 hour visit but it was definitely worth it to me =) Mike has been doing photography as a hobby for a long time now and is trying to get his business going so he can do it part time. He took some maternity pics while they visited and I love them - Thanks Mike!!! Here are a few to preview. I'm fixing them up on photo shop so it's taking me a long time to get them all done. I will post a link to shutterfly with all of them once I get them edited and uploaded. Hope you enjoy them and don't mind seeing a prego belly!


(I still need to smooth out this background but wanted to post it anyway!)


















Monday, November 10, 2008

Doctor's Appointment

We had a Dr.'s appointment today (33 weeks) and got a good report. My dilation and effacement has not changed even though I am still having contractions. She said that I will stop taking my medication at 35 weeks but will still have to be on bed-rest until 37 weeks.

She will be doing the fetal fibronectin test at my next appointment which will let us know if we are in the clear for the following two more weeks.

Thank you for your support and prayers - as well as a big thank you for those who have brought us meals and have watched Claire in the past week. If you are ever in the neighborhood - stop by!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Home and Halloween pics

I'm really not supposed to be sitting up much at all so this will have to be quick! Neil is working on getting a wireless router so I can use his work laptop during the day - He has been WONDERFUL and taking such good care of me and especially Claire!

I got home around 5:30 or so yesterday and it is great to be here (not to mention much less expensive)! My doctor said since nothing had changed that she didn't see why I couldn't be on bed rest at home as long as I'm good!! She said I can get up to go to the bathroom and take a shower. I can't drive or really shouldn't be in the car as a passenger yet. She sent me home taking the procardia just the same to continue subsiding the contractions. I really only get them if I'm not laying down so I guess I know why she wants me to stay on my side. Let me tell you, it's tough! At the hospital I didn't need to do anything but here I could do dishes, scrapbook, laundry, pickup things, etc. and so I have to really make myself stay laying down. I have an appointment on Monday so she'll give me an update then. She wants me to make it to 35 weeks safely so I'm thinking bed rest at least until then.

I think that's really it on how things are going. Claire stayed with her Aunt Shannon today and I know she had a blast. Thank you Shannon! SO many have asked to help out and I'm working on getting plans for Claire the next 3 weeks so I probably will be taking you up on it. Here are pics from Claire's Halloween afternoon at my mom's work and some from our stay at the hospital. Claire was always wanting to help out =)

My kitty cat outside the hospital (where my mom works). She kind of got to trick or treat there which is good because she didn't get to go to the trunk or treat at church Friday night =(


What a good grandma! She gave Claire yummy pretzels in halloweeny shapes


Claire and Grandma waiting for the cafeteria to open for lunch!


Hanging out in Labor Delivery Friday night


What a sexy gown!


Claire holding Eden's heart monitor on my tummy - the sweetest nurse I had!
The only way we could get Claire to take a pic on Sunday was to do silly faces but then she warmed up and we got the sweetest picture together
I LOVE this picture - me and my angel

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Going home on bed rest!!

I'm trying to pack things up but wanted to let so many of you know that I'm going home!! I will write details later but I will be on bed rest at home which will be challenging but much less expensive! I'll be in touch tonight

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good News!

Before I start, have you all seen "The Big Bang Theory" on Monday nights? It's a sitcom that Neil and I think is hilarious and I'm watching it right now! If you haven't, check it out =) It's highly entertaining!

OK now on to the important things! Well, just the fact that Eden isn't here yet is good news but we got some good indications today that she is going to wait a bit longer which is even better news! I was given a test for Fetal Fibronectin today which is used to test for preterm labor and it came back negative! Here's something I found on the internet to help me understand it:

"The presence of fFN in symptomatic women during weeks 24 through 34 of gestation (5 1/2 to 8 1/2 months) indicates an increased risk of preterm delivery. However, the absence of fFN is a much more reliable predictor, indicating that the pregnancy is likely to continue for at least another two weeks."

Dr. Gallagher said it's not a guarantee but they feel much better sending patients home if the test is negative. I think she is considering sending me home earlier than she thought and just keeping me on bed rest at home and continuing my procardia. She of course looked at me with a skeptical eye when she asked if I'd be able to comply to bed rest at home with a toddler. I told her it wasn't worth the risk and that I'd do whatever it takes to keep this baby girl in! She said that maybe after 35 weeks I will be able to do a little more (3 more weeks from now) so it looks like that's our goal and the longer the better! She will check if I'm more dilated or effaced tomorrow and hopefully give me a better idea of when I will go home.

Once again thank you to everyone for your emails, phone calls, blog messages, offers to help - it's times like these that make you so grateful for everyone! I never want to take family or friends for granted =) You all are such a blessing!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Update

Well, I'm still here and wanted to write before bed - I'm not on an ambien tonight so hopefully this post will be better composed than my last!

I got to see my doctor, Dr. Shannon Gallagher, this morning and she let me know that I'm going to be here for at least a week. Hopefully that means no longer than Friday. My contractions are still happening about 2-4 times an hour but they are not strong at all. If I were just having the contractions I could probably go home but the effacement is the big concern. They want to continue my medication, procardia, to control the contrations and after taking me off sometime this week, they want to observe how my body will react without it.

I was moved to the antepartum unit today which means I'm not as critical and that's a good sign. I also got my IV taken out and I'm not constantly on the fetal and contraction monitors. They put me on the monitors every shift for about an hour and check Eden's heartbeat about every 4 hours. She has been a happy little girl in there with her normal kicking and dancing along with a strong heartbeat. She hasn't shown any distress which is great!! I'm only allowed to get up to use the bathroom and sit up when I'm eating so it's tough to be lying down on my side the rest of the time. I have leg compressors on to prevent blood clots and I actually like them =) It's like little calf massages! Fortunately, I was given the a-ok to take a quick shower sitting down so I felt a little more human today.

I must say I have been spoiled today! Neil brought me Chinese for dinner so I didn't have to endure hospital food again and my mom and brother brought me a decaf pumpkin spice latte - thank you so much! The highlight of my day was of course my time with Claire. Neil's parent's brought her up today - the hardest thing being here is not being with her. I miss her terribly and I swear she looked older today! She is the sweetest and showed her nurturing ways even with me. She says "Mama, I wanna take care of you" with the most empathetic look on her face. It melts my heart! She played doctor for about 20 minutes today with us pretending to put tape on us, squirt gel on us and ask us if it hurt. What a sweetheart... Thank you Gene and Elaine for bringing her up today!

Neil and I have been overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. So many have graciously offered their help and we thank you with all of our hearts. It's amazing how people can uplift you just by simply saying we love you and are praying for you! If we need help with anything I promise to take you up on it. God has been so good to us and has blessed us with such a wonderful family and friends.

I will try to be on everyday since I have plenty of time to kill. Continue praying for Eden to take her time!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Prayer request for Eden and Kathryn

Well, it's a prayer request for all of us! This is going to be a short post because I just took some ambien and it's kicking in. I had to come to the hospital on Friday around 5 pm for some vaginal bleeding. I was contracting when hooked up to a monitor and am already 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. I'm on a medication that wasn't working well but they doubled the dose and my contractions have really slowed down the past 6 hours. I'm on complete bed rest at Meth. hospital labor and delivery but hope to get moved to post partum soon. That means I'm getting even better! I will be here until at least Monday and will have a better idea after talking to my dr. tomorrow. Right now I can't even take a shower so we'll see what bed rest at home looks like.

I know there are so many wonderful prayer warriors praying for us and THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I can completely feel the spirit giving me peace and comforting us. Please continue to pray for Eden to wait on her arrival but that if she comes, she will be as strong as possible and the doctor's will be wise and lead by God's hand.

I have a lot more detail to document for myself and will do that tomorrow. I'm about to pass out!! Claire is being taken care of by the grandparents and dad is home with her tonight. She has MDO Monday and Elaine, Neil's mom, is off work on Tuesday - praise God!

Before passing out, a HUGE THANK YOU to my parents who took care of Claire last night and today for us. She was such a sweetie up at the hospital. I'll save that for my long post. Also a HUGE THANK YOU to my wonderful husband who is taking care of me and taking care of Claire. I don't know where I'd be without him and I thank God He is mine. Please also lift him up as he is try to stay positive and trust that God will take care of us.

Love you ALL!