Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random thoughts

4 Weeks 3 Days

Sorry I have not posted. I have either been too busy or just not in the mood to talk about the stuff going on here.

So I have some random ponderings:

1.  Have terrorist organizations considered using breast pumps as torture devices? They would be very effective.
2. Whenever I pump I watch futurama on netflix because it is short and mindless. Should I be concerned that if years down the road I catch an episode that I will start lactating again?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Second Ambulance Ride in 2 Weeks of Life.

2 Weeks 1 Day

Adaline and I have now ridden in an ambulance twice in our lifetimes. It took me 29 years and it took her only 2 weeks.

On Saturday night she started getting more congested than she has been and by Sunday morning she was refusing to eat. She had to work so hard to eat, that by the time her next feeding came around she was just too tired to do it all over again. My husband and I were ready to take her to get a feeding tube, but I called the pediatrician and she said that as long as we can get half of what she normally gets down, she would be OK. We were getting that much down, but she was skip feedings occasionally, so we worked with her. On Monday morning I called to get her an appointment and the earliest they had was 3:40. Around 11am she was doing this really heavy breathing. When she was in her bouncy seat the whole seat was bouncing she was breathing so hard. So, I called the pediatrician back and they said to bring her right in. Her O2 level was in the high 60s so they called and ambulance and sent her straight to the hospital.

What a difference some O2 can make! She sucked down 60ml of pumped milk (she was only taking 45 when she was healthy). They took her off of the o2 last night, but she didn't do well, so they put her back on it again this morning. They think we may be here for a few days or longer. We just need to wait for her little body to fight the virus off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birth Story

1 Week 1 Day

This blog was originally created as more of a baby book and to keep friends and family informed about the pregnancy and Adaline. I realize that I have a much wider audience than I originally anticipated and I am grateful for that, but I also want to keep this blog focused on its primary goal. This post is quite long and rambling, so I have added some warning markers for those of you who do not want to read it all to more easily navigate to the good stuff :).
I will start where I left off on the Babymoon and other long ramblings post, so you may want to read that if you are new.
Adaline and I in our new chair.

Warning: this whole section is about a chair, you may want to skip it.
On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to finish where we left off on Lazy-boy shopping. We had to pause a few times for some mild contractions I was having, but it was nothing major or close together. I had my heart set on the golden retriever chair and my husband had his heart set on anything but that chair. We went to a few more places and did not find anything I liked better, so I asked if we could go back and see the chair... maybe it was not as awesome as I remembered? It was as awesome as I remembered, however only in the reclining position. When just sitting in the chair and rocking (which I assumed I would be doing a lot of), I had to slouch so far down, it would have been very uncomfortable. So, my husbands wish came true and the golden retriever would not be going home with us. We found another chair at the store that was comfortable, fit both of us well and was in the correct price range, but it was ugly. Ordering it in a different color would have cost $100 more and taken weeks to get. Ugly is not a big deal to me. Since we have been working for the last 6 years to become debt free, we have only purchased our bed and a crib new. Everything else has been a hand me down or a gift so it is not like an ugly chair would be out of place. My husband was eyeing up the leather chairs. I asked if their prices were firm (because I do that everywhere) and the first sales guy said yes. That store knows their stuff when it comes to dealing though and then we got a second salesman who took over. He said he had a discontinued floor model that we could make an offer on. My husband said he had no idea what to offer, so the sales guy offered $550 (regularly $675). He said he would let us talk it over. I told my husband to offer $500, but be prepared to be ready to take it and not change our minds. He did and the sales man said he would accept the offer if we shook on the deal right there. We may have been able to get it for less, but I feel accomplished, so we are the proud owners of a new chair.

This one is about dinner, you may want to skip it as well :)
After we got our new chair loaded, we started talking about dinner. Nothing specific sounded good to me so I prodded my husband for ideas. He didn't seem to have anything he was craving either. Then he said that someday he would like to go to a pricey Chinese place a few towns over. I said "lets do it!" we are kid free for what might be the last time in a long time. So we did it. We made the trip to a town is praised for its good school system and kind of the it place to live that is still near the city we live in. We got there and they said there was 4 tables ahead of us. People that eat at this place are snobs.... They have a small waiting area and everyone sitting in it was young and fit and clearly saw that I was quite pregnant. Not one of the 10 of them offered me their seat. My husband who is usually pretty passive even asked me if he wanted me to ask someone to move. I loudly declined his offer saying I wanted someone to do it on their own accord. I know the family standing next to me heard me say it. When a spot opened up, that family raced over to the empty spots ahead of me... Then the hostess came over and said that their large table opened up and if a total of 8 people wanted to sit there, they could seat us all right now.  All but one other family declined and we were ALL stuck waiting longer while the table remained empty. The food was worth it though! It was very good. With my son, my "last meal" was Qdoba so ethnic food must do it for me.

OK, now we are getting closer
We asked our neighbor if they would help us unload the chair and then showed them the nursery. I tried to get some friends to go out for a drink (obviously I would not be drinking), but only one person was available, so we decided not to go. I slept in the new chair (it has an overpowering leather smell). For at least a month now I would have a contraction when my bladder was full. I had a few of them that night, but I chalked it up to the chair and moved to the couch (my bed since October since I have been sick) and slept well the rest of the night.
The next morning I was pretty uncomfortable. The doctor had told me that if I went into labor after 36 weeks, that they wouldn't stop me, so I could labor at home and come in when my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I remembered being pretty uncomfortable for a few days before my son came and I really didn't want her to come this early, so I decided I should go to work. We traded cars with my mother in law so she had the car seat and the 4 wheel drive car and I assumed that since my husband knows what a bad driver I am he would have taken his moms car and left me our other one. He didn't. So I called and chewed him out. He offered to come back from work to trade me, but I put on my big girl pants and decided to drive it. This meant I needed to get a temporary parking pass from my employer which took time to do and I got to work about an hour late. I wrote my husband an email to apologize for overreacting and told him I might have him take me to my 2pm appointment because I was not sure I should drive. About an hour later one of the students who works for me came in. I work in IT, so I am surrounded by men. I told him that I thought I may be in labor. He asked in a somewhat panicked voice what he needed to do to help. I told him not to worry because birth isn't like it is in the movies. Labor is a long process and babies don't just come like that. My contractions started be come more painful. I wrote my husband a text to come get me, but once the contraction was over I felt fine and didn't send it. 3 contractions later, I sent it. He came right away and when he came in the office I was telling my co-worker how to do something like nothing was going on. When I stood up to leave I had a really intense contraction. My back was to my poor co-worker, so I am not sure if he saw or not, but it was all I could do to not scream. I made it the 10 minute drive home without any more contractions. I went upstairs to get some more comfortable clothes, when back downstairs and while I was changing, I decided to go to the bathroom. As I was going, I heard a swoosh and swore. I REALLY didn't want to have her today. It did not sound like as much water as I would expect though and since they broke my water for me with my son, I wasn't sure if it was the real thing (or maybe I am just really good at lying to myself). Since the midwife told me that I should come in if my water broke, I decided to call her. I got her voicemail just as I was having another contraction, so I hung up. I tried to call the office, but got the menu and then had another contraction, so I hung up again. Just then the midwife returned my call and I told her I thought my water broke. While I was on the phone with her I got very light headed and I told her I was going to pass out. She told me to come into the office and I screamed for my husband and then hung up (I don't remember if I just hung up or if I said anything else to her). My husband came down and I told him I was going to die and to tell my son I loved him. I never felt to like I was going to pass out with my son, so I thought something was seriously wrong. The midwife later said that the baby probably hit my pelvic floor which dropped my blood pressure. I thought I might be feeling her in my pelvis, but I didn't want to check because I didn't have sterile gloves. I was starting to feel more stable and with the next contraction I told my husband to call an ambulance. I am not sure why I did this because I was still telling my self she was not coming today, but I think a part of me may have known that she wasn't waiting. I think I knew there was no way I could get myself in a car to go to the hospital. I was not paying attention to if my husband was actually calling 911 or not so with the next contraction and said in a deep meaningful voice "CALL AN AMBULANCE". Just then I heard him connected with the 911 operator and tell her I was in labor. He said this was my second child and I felt something wasn't right. I could hear her tell him to have me lay on my back and since I was not in a place to talk I showed him the bird. He very cordially said something along the lines of "She doesn't want to do that". They asked him if he could see a head and since I was standing up we did an awkward little dance before deciding that we were not going to find out. Since I was in the middle of changing when all of this happened I was only wearing socks and a bra. Something about labor makes me hate clothes and I remember trying to get my bra off during a contraction and my husband asking me why I was doing that. I don't remember getting it off, but I wasn't wearing it later... He tried to coax me into my sons bedroom. I was worried because it was fully carpeted and I didn't want to make a big mess. Then I remembered that we had a waterproof pad on my sons bed in the event he had an accident. I got on the bed but did NOT want to be on my back. I decided to stay on all fours. The first responders started to arrive. One of them put a glove on my hand and asked me if I could feel the head. I asked if it was sterile and felt for the head. It was RIGHT there. I didn't have time between contractions to tell him it was, so they began making plans to try and get me to the hospital. I had the urge to push with the contractions but I kept saying to myself "I don't want to do this today, I don't want to do this today". Then I said "here she comes" I thought she was out and I said "get the camera, I think it is in the living room". My husband gave me a look like "really" and he took a picture with his phone. Then they said, give another push when you are ready. I asked why and it turns out that only the baby's head was out. So, that is why my husband gave me a look when I asked him to take a picture. However, no other pictures were taken :(. You would think with 15 people looking on, one of them could have looked for the camera. I suppose they felt weird about taking pictures with me dressed like I was. She cried when she was all the way out for a bit and they gave her apgars of 9 and 10.
Next they had me pull her through my legs and lay on my back. We did our best to avoid the messy spots, but it is hard on a cushy mattress. They gave me a few minutes to deliver the placenta, but my contractions had stopped (just like with my son). They got a robe on me and put her inside of it with me. Her eyes were open and she was just taking it all in. Our house was built in the 50s, so it has some pretty tight corners and they couldn't get a stretcher in to get me so they had me sit in this chair and strapped me down. I thought I was going all the way to the ambulance, but they just took me to the porch and then put me on a stretcher. I was like "I think I could have walked that far". I asked how we were going to get her to the hospital and they said she would ride with me. I said "she doesn't need a car seat?".
When we got into the ambulance, we sat in there for a bit and they said they needed to start an IV on me. Just as he was about to poke me that driver said "are we ready" and I very quickly said "NO!".  When we got to the hospital, my midwife was waiting for me with a big smile and said "Well, you got your natural birth". I was a bit worried they would be mad at me for having her at home, but in my defense I was at work less than 40 minutes before she was born, so I think they understood that I didn't do it on purpose.
They took me into labor and delivery and the midwife began poking at my stomach and trying to get the placenta to come out. It hurt SO much. After maybe about 15 minutes of trying my OB came in and tried. I begged for drugs. With my son, they put me out to have the placenta delivered. They gave me some morphine and it was still unbearable. I begged for more. They gave me a morphine shot in my leg and it still didn't seem to do anything. I made eye contact with everyone around me asking for drugs and they just looked away without saying something. I said "is that a no?" They delivered the placenta, but were worried there might be more, so the OB stuck her hand in (yes, all the way) for a feel.  I don't remember much of what happened after that though, so I think the drugs may have something to do with that. I think I called my Dad sometime after that. Adaline was not as warm as they wanted her to be, so they had me do some skin to skin. They said her blood sugar was at the very bottom of normal and she wasn't interested in nursing, so they suggested giving her a bottle. I said I was fine with that and asked for donor milk. They said it takes a long time to warm up, so we ended up giving her some formula. She drank it like a champ (feeding issues were one thing that they were worried about, so that was nice!). I remember it seemed like we were in the labor and delivery room for awhile waiting for another room. Around 5 or 6 they wheeled me in to our room. I guess they had a baby boom that day (the kept bragging about how they had 12 c-sections, which we thought was odd) so they were out of mother baby rooms and we were put in a antinatal (high risk pregnancy) room. Shortly after we got into our room my mom, step dad, mother, father and brother in-law and son arrived.

With the exception of the placenta, I could not have asked for a better birth. I am a big supporter of home birth in the right conditions, but with legislation the way it currently is in our state, even if she didn't have the health problems that she has, I would be a bit concerned about delivering at home. I hope our medical system can work toward a safe system of coordinated care because this birth was so great. Granted it was short, but I was able to just listen to my body and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. The EMT's were great and followed my lead. They didn't make me get into a different position or make any threats. I feel like I got redemption for my sons birth and that has really helped me bond with my daughter as well.  When I think about how everything went, I think God was looking out for me on this one. Had a gone into labor just minutes earlier or tried to work through just a few more contractions, I would have given birth at work and scared my poor employee. My husband may not have been there and it wouldn't have been a home birth... and I am not sure I could look the custodians in the eye after they had to shampoo the carpets. :). Had I gone into labor just hours later, I would have been at my 2pm OB appointment and they would have seen that I was in labor and admitted me. Maybe they would have felt she needed a C-section... Most Mondays my mother-in-law is at our house with my son, but because we were on our babymoon, he was at her house. This meant that I didn't have to worry about him. I think he is a bit young to understand labor pains. ... it was all part of a perfect plan.

Lastly I have to thank my support system! My mother-in-law watched my very active son in addition to cleaning the murder scene in my sons bedroom. It took 3 washes to get the blood out of the mattress pad, but she did it. She also did many other loads of laundry so we would have sheets and clothes to bring Adaline home in. My mom and step dad went to every store in town and bought every preemie outfit available (not a great selection out there) so she actually has clothes that fit her! My Dad brought cases of snacks so I have something quick to grab and eat during feedings. Lastly I need to thank my husband who was and is a rock star! I do not think I would have reacted half as well as he did. He seemed cool as a cucumber the whole time. I think I would have been a worthless wreck in his shoes when I said "I am going to die, tell my son I love him.", then "call and ambulance". While I was in on the bed surrounded by the first responders he had his game face on and looked more up to the task than most of the rest of the peanut gallery in the room. He told me I was doing great and that she was breathing and moving. I would really expect most men to be passed out in a corner with what I put him through. While they were getting the placenta, he was right by my side and held my hand the whole time. At one point he had blood on his hand and I thought it was his blood from squeezing his hand too hard, but it was mine.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Adalines first week

1 Week
Sleeping during tummy time

So tiny!

Big Brother is SO proud

First bath

More tummy time naps

I have been working on the birth story to post, but it is taking a long time. I wanted to do a post about her first week, so I am taking a break from the birth story.
I cannot believe she has been with us for a week already.
I love being this girls mommy. It really does seem like this week flew by, but I guess you lose all concept of time when your life is planned around 3 hour intervals.
Adaline is doing SO well. We planned on spending weeks in the NICU after she was born even if she was on time, so the fact that she went home after 48 hours being one month pre-mature is SUCH a blessing. I am feeling great too. The most pain I have been in since we have been home has been from the whooping cough immunization they gave me in the hospital and I have enough energy to keep up with our breastfeed/ bottlefeed/pump schedule. This was not the case with my son (I don't remember much of his first month) and I am just so happy to be such a big part of this girls first few days.
When she is alert, she is very alert and looks around. She even likes to grab the pump tubes while I am trying to pump. However, when she asleep, she is asleep. This makes breastfeeding hard because if she is not awake, she will only take a bottle and even then it is hard to get down her sometimes. She is super stubborn, but I would expect nothing less from my children. We are trying to get her to do her 4 times a day of tummy time, but she will just sleep through most of it, but when you put her in her crib she will just lay there wide awake and looking around.
When you unswaddle her she makes the cutest little stretches and with it come squeeks and snorts. She and her daddy took a nap on the couch yesterday (while I supervised) and it was quite the choirs of snoring.
The last couple of days she has spent much more time awake and has even breastfed quite a bit, but since last night she has been pretty sleepy. Growth spurt?
We did have a bit of drama however. We somehow slipped through the cracks and did not have a carseat test like all babies under 5 pounds are supposed to have. On the way home she started to turn blue, so we pulled over, got her out of the seat, turned up the heat and waited for her color to get better. She was very alert and responsive the whole time, but it was scary for us. We put her back in her seat and did not tighten her down as much and then took the back roads the rest of the way home. The next day I called the pediatrician and told them I was concerned about getting her to her pediatrician appointment the following day and asked if there was an agency that does house calls. They said that they needed to see her and I should loosen the belt or go buy some aftermarket parts for the carseat to make her more comfortable (you will see in the birth story that we were very clearly instructed not to do this during the car seat class), so I pushed further and they gave me a phone number to call. I called the number and they gave me another number, then another number etc until I talked about 5 different people across the country. They said we could not loosen the belt (or use aftermarket parts). However there was a bed car seat for tiny babies that their hospital gives away and that ours might do the same or lend us one. So, I called our NICU to see if we could go pick this bed up. They said that they could not lend it without doing a test with her in it first. Then they said that if we brought her back in they would need to admit her and keep her for a week to evaluate her. I explained that she is doing great at any other time except when she was being choked by a car seat that didn't fit her. The lady on the phone basically said that we could not bring her in and not get the car seat or bring her in so they could keep her a week. I somewhat sarcastically asked her how the proposed I bring her in to be admitted and said she she would transfer me to the doctor. However, in addition to people skills, she is was also lacking in phone use skills because she disconnected me and I didn't bother to call her back. I did spend the rest of the day wondering if child protective services was going to come get her though. It just seems odd that I could choose between doing nothing and having her admitted for a week. I called the pediatrician office back to tell them what happened and they said that we needed to get her there......
So, we left an hour before our appointment for what should be 20 minute drive. I rode in the back with her and we did not tighten the belt enough to pass the pinch test. She did OK. I think she was getting herself worked up about being in the seat more than anything, so I just tried to talk to her and tell her she was OK. She got a good report from the pediatrician. She was back to her birth weight, however she had not pooped since we left the hospital, so I assume she was not quite back to her birth weight in reality. Her little belly was SO full that the doctor decided to do the Vaseline on a q-tip trick, it worked a little bit while we were there, but later that evening we had quite a show as we were changing her and every time I would turn around from throwing a wet wipe full of poop off of her changing table away, she would have another pile waiting. We did this about 5 times. Her cord also fell off while we were there. Our sons fell off quite quickly as well. The doctor also told us what we were expecting to hear in that she does indeed have downs syndrome. They are still waiting to see what type though.
Big brother is doing so much better adjusting than I thought he would. He keeps surprising me with the fact that he gets concepts I didn't think a 2.5 year old would understand and it makes me wonder if he is a lot smarter than I think he is, but just doesn't have the vocabulary to articulate it. To me, a big round belly turning into a baby seems like a hard concept to grasp, but he seems to understand completely. It came up to me the other day and said "Baby sister borned". He is such a good helper and will go get things for me that I need for the baby like burp clothes and such. The bad things he does are well intended, but he likes to climb on us while we are holding her and has come close to hitting or kicking her while doing so. He also tries to share his toys with her. He will put a metal truck right over her face and it makes me nervous that he will drop it on her. On Saturday he started having symptoms of a cold and it has been really hard to keep him out of her face and from coughing near her. Because of this and because I am trying to work with Adaline to get her do more breastfeeding and less bottle feeding, we sent Jamin to Grandmas for the next couple of days.
Early-On called today to schedule her evaluation. However, they don't do it until they are one month old for their adjusted age. Which means 2 months from now for her. Do any of you have any suggestions of things we can do with her at home before that? I would hate to lose 2 months of opportunity in getting her started.
Well, it is feeding time again, so I better wrap this up. This has been a fantastic week!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Life is good

5 Days

These last few days have been filled with SO much joy for me. I know the future will bring challenges, but life is good now and I want to live in the moment and enjoy it.
For those of you that don't know, we have named our daughter Adaline Hope.
We all came home after only 48 hours in the hospital. Having just down syndrome, a heart condition or being a month premature is enough to send some babies to the NICU, but she has all three and is doing great! Our pediatrician cannot get over the fact that she cannot hear a murmur.
While I am a bit uneasy about how many first responders saw me on all fours in my birthday suit, I could not have asked for a better birth. My sons birth was very traumatic. I got an infection and I don't remember much of the first month of his life. I have been able to be a part of SO much more of her first few days and I am so grateful for that. Other than being tired from only getting an hours sleep at a time I feel SO good and human. I even got to go the car seat class my husband told me about from last time. It was epic. I thought I was a drug addict being scared straight (think Chris Farley and the SNL van down by the river skit). I love that I can be such a big part of her first days.
I love my daughter so much. I don't see downs syndrome when I look at her. I see a very tiny little girl who is my daughter. She has 10 fingers and 10 toes and adorable nose and mouth, great facial expressions and a full head of redish hair (her dads wish come true). She is perfect.

Today I realized how lucky she is to be born here. Although she has only been here for 5 days, I have never once felt like someone cared for her less because of her diagnosis. I could not imagine having to pay bribe money in exchange for her humane treatment.
I know many of you who read this blog are familiar with, but for those of you that are not, would you please consider finding a child or family on there to pray for? Adaline has SO much. If you feel lead to honor her birth with a gift, would you consider a gift of money to a child or family who is working to bring a child home from a country where they are not treated with the same respect?