Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day/special visitor

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  I went up to see Meghan in the morning and Scott stayed here with Brendan and finished mowing.  I asked mom if she wanted to go, and she invited Fr. E, our Priest, who had been wanting to meet Meghan.  So, we picked him up and he came with us.  He wore his collar, which ended up being a pass into the NICU b/c they let him come in with Mom and me, instead of limiting us to only 2 :-)  I don't know if it was the collar or the holiday, but it worked.  We got some photos of him holding Meghan, so as soon as mom emails them to me I will post them.  He also gave her a blessing before he left. 

She's doing well.  Yesterday she was 4 lbs 4.9 oz, then last night she was 4 lbs 6.7 oz.  I don't think she had any apnea yesterday, and only one the day before.  She's taking on average about 8-10 cc's from most of her bottles, sometimes she is just too tired.  I talked to Mom and Scott and even one of the nurses and they all told me, as nice as possible, that I need to relax and let Meghan do her thing on her own schedule.  They're right.  I think I was just having a hormonal moment or something during the last entry.  I just want her to come home. 

Sunday, May 28, 2006


She's now 4 lbs 3 oz, eating 40 cc's and she's IN A BED!!!!!!!!  They moved her out of the isolette while we were there this afternoon.  She's in one of those little clear acrylic basket things they use in the regular nursery.  I called a little while ago and they said she's doing great in it, her temp has stayed normal and no problems.

As for bottle feeding, it seems to depend on the nurse.  Some of them are like "oh, she's only 33 weeks so we aren't even going to really try unless she's REALLY wanting to" or they only even try every other time.  I would honestly prefer them to at least TRY at each feeding, unless she's sound asleep, because the ones that do try usually have good results.  When they do try, she usually takes at least 10 cc's and she's taken her whole feeding 3 times in the last couple days.  She may only be 33 weeks, but she has so far surpassed all their other expectations wayyy ahead of schedule, so the doc is hoping she will be ready to go home in a couple weeks.  She HAS to start nippling all her feedings though, so she needs her nurses to work with her.  Maybe they will more once she's 34 weeks.  I dunno.  Part of me wants to talk to them, or at least to the doc and request them to at least try at almost every feeding, but I don't want to sound like a pushy mom.  I don't want them to think I'm rushing her and not putting her needs first, because that's not it.  I just feel that she would catch on a lot quicker if they would try more often.  She's doing very well on the bottle when she does try.  She's got the suck-swallow-breathe thing down pretty well.  And when I feed her I watch her cues, if she starts having sat drops of falling asleep I stop, I'm not going to push her too far.  I just want them to at least try, not just say "oh, she's only 33 weeks so don't bother."  I know a lot of 33 weekers don't take bottles at all, but then again a lot of 33 weekers also don't hold their own body temp without the incubator, and they still require caffeine to avoid apnea spells, some of them are still on nasal cannulas to assist breathing.  She's quite advanced for her age, and I feel that some of her nurses just group her into a generalization of what a 33 weeker should be doing, KWIM.  ::::::::::sigh:::::::::  Sorry, just needed to vent a little.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday and Saturday

Sorry I didn't get a chance to update yesterday, so now I'm doing a 2 day update.  

Friday:  Scott's birthday.  His parents went with us to see Meghan.  His mom held her for the first time (see photos) and his dad got to see her for the first time in a couple weeks.  We got to talk to her doc and he said that it might only be a couple more weeks!!  No way to really tell yet, it depends on how soon she starts eating all her feedings from a bottle and how she does when they move her out of the isolette.  But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel at least.  She was 3 lbs 15.5 oz yesterday.

Saturday: I went up with my parents for a short while.  My mom held her, my dad visited her but is a bit intimidated by her size to hold her yet (he's 6'4", a big guy, so to him she is super tiny) she is still bottle feeding at about half her feedings, usually taking 10-15 cc's.  Still a few minor A's and B's, nothing too major and totally expected for her age.  they went up to 40cc's for her feedings.  Oh, and she is 4 lbs 1.8 oz!!!!!!!  Finally over 4 lbs.  Such a big girl!!  She's doing very well.  Not sure if we are going back up tonight, or if Scott might go up by himself or what.  We shall see. 

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thursday update

She had another good gain yesterday, she's now 3 lbs 14 oz.  Only one ounce smaller than I was when I was born (full term, just tiny), and she is officially one lb heavier than she was at birth!!!!!  Yayyyy!

Scott gave her a bottle today, she took 14 cc's from it before she quit and we gavage fed the rest.  They will be moving her to a regular bed soon, one of those little clear box things they use in the nursery.  She's ready to move out of the isolette, temp wise, but not quite ready size wise.  Probably in the next couple days.  She might be over 4 lbs at her weigh in tonight, she gained over 2 oz yesterday.  She's been having a few more apnea spells so they are going to check her residual caffeine level soon and see if she needs to go back on it or not. 

We also talked to the nurse about rooming in, a friend of mine said she did that with her baby at a different hospital.  Our hospital does it too, they have a room where you spend the night in there with your baby but it is right next to the NICU and has monitors that can be monitored from the nurse's station.  Basically to make sure you're comfortable taking care of the baby and that the baby is comfortable with you.  They reccomend one or two nights just before you go home, and they said they will go over it more with us when we get closer to her discharge date.  I'm really looking forward to that date!!  I just wish we knew when it is. . . .

more photos!

My cute baby girl!  Mom went up with me last night to see her grandbaby, and we got some more great photos.


Meghan nursed for about 20 minutes until she had a little heartrate drop, so I stopped.  Then she was too tired to bottle feed, so they just put it thru the gavage tube.  I still plan to go up for one or two feedings a day, but I think I'm not going to nurse, just bottle feed.  She's not getting much milk from nursing, only a few cc's, then she's too tired to bottle feed.  Yesterday I guess she took 30 cc's from a bottle once, and 18 another time, so she does a lot better on the bottle.  The nurse said a lot of preemies go home on the bottle and mom's pump or formula feed.  I plan to keep the pump for a while and just bottle feed or nurse a little once she comes home, but if nursing makes her too sleepy for a bottle and she's not getting enough milk, I don't think it is benefiting her much.  I'll talk to the nurse about it.  The main thing is that no matter how she eats it, she's getting my milk and not formula, that will help her so much in the long run.

Brendan is going to his Grandparent's house today (Scott's parents) and Scott and I  are going up to see her then going to work on moving furnature in her room.  We need to move the dresser out of Brendan's room b/c it goes with the crib and has a changing pad spot on it, and we got him a new big bookshelf (he has drawers under his bed for clothes, doesn't need a dresser.)  He saw the shelf downstairs and loved it, he thought it was very fun to climb on so we will need to keep a close eye on him LOL.

Scott's birthday is tomorrow.  We're going out to eat with his parents, then my parents are taking us out on Saturday.  X men opens tomorrow too, we might go see it during the day.  And of course we will go visit our baby girl, maybe Scott's parents will join us.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

great nursing!

I went up for her noon feeding and she nursed for almost 30 minutes!!  She must have been hungry b/c as soon as I put her up there she latched on right away and wouldn't let go.  I tried to switch sides after about 20 minutes and she didn't want to, I had to pry her off!  She didn't nurse as well on the other side so I tried the bottle, she took about 5 cc's before getting too tired.  Her sats stayed perfect while she was nursing, started dropping when she was bottle feeding so I took that as her cue for getting too tired.  She is sooooooo cute!  She's doing well today, no A's or B;s (Apnea or Bradychardia [sp??] spells)  and she's been trying to bottle feed at every feeding.  Oh, forgot to mention last night that her weight was 3 lbs 11.4 oz!!  I'm going back up tonight with my mom and maybe my dad, he has never held her yet so if he comes up with us it will be his first time holding her.  :-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

quick midnight update

I didn't get to go up there tonight, they were closed b/c a baby was having surgery in there so they shut the whole unit down to avoid infection.  I did just get off the phone with them though, she's had a few short sat drops but all have been self resolved, no heartrate drops this evening, and she's been bottle feeding about every other feeding, she just took 14 cc's from the bottle a few minutes ago.  (her full feeding is 34 cc's).  The night nurse said she was going to nipple every other feeding to give her a little break in between, she'll gavage feed the other feedings.  We'll go back up tomorrow for her noon feeding.  She's doing good!

Tuesday update

FINALLY remembered the camera, and she made it so worth it!!!!  She was adorable today, wide awake and looking all around.  She was wearing a little tiny sleeper too and it fits, not too huge.  SOOOO cute.

She's been having some heartrate dips and sat drops.  The nurse assured me it was normal for her age and that they weren't that bad, just lasting a few seconds.  The nurse said it might be because the caffeine is all out of her system now.  They're keeping a close eye on her and will see how she does, they may end up having to put her back on the caffeine.  She's Grandma's girl after all LOL.

I tried nursing and she really wanted to, she was crying for food and was rooting around and latching on, but everytime she started to nurse her sats dropped to the low 80s so I quit.  We gave her a bottle and she did better with that, her sats stayed in the upper 80s and higher, and she took 6-8 cc's.  Then we put the rest in the feeding tube b/c she was getting hungry and taking forever to eat.

The nuse just gushed about how cute she is.  She said she tried to bottle feed her earlier but Meghan only took a few cc's, so the nurse said "So I just held her for a few and told her how cute she was"  LOL.  She also had another bath and smells pretty :-)  Such a sweetheart!  Oh, and she gained another ounce.

Monday, May 22, 2006

photos of her room

Since I haven't posted any photos of the baby lately and I keep forgetting my camera, I figured I should post SOMETHING.  Tonight to keep my mind off things we worked in Meghan's room.  Scott put the crib back together mostly, a couple parts are in Brendan's room and he's sleeping so we'll have to wait to finish it, but we were able to put all the cute bedding on.  I wanted something pink and purple, and I had preferred flowers, but Mom and Scott found this and it is SOOOOOOO adorable.  I love butterflies too.  They got this set while I was in the hospital, on the day she was born in fact.  I was freaking out b/c we weren't at all ready for her to come, even though we knew she'd be in NICU for a while.  So mom and scott went shopping for me :-)

I also finished the wall mural.  My art teacher did the fence for me, and then I stamped the flowers and butterflies.  We can't get real even coverage b/c we have these stupid textured walls, but oh well.  It still turned out cute.

Pic 1:  A close up of her bedding and one of the butterflies to hang on the wall

2. her bed, minus the side we still need to put on.

3. her mobile

4. her quilt, which I will probably turn into a wall hanging b/c it is really heavy and warm

5. close up of the fence and flowers.

6. view of the whole wall.

I'm really happy with how it turned out!

rough day for Mommy

Normally when I call the nurse says Meghan is "perfect".  Today I called and they said she was "OK."  She hasn't been taking her feedings via bottle, and she had a short heartrate drop, which is normal for her age but she hasn't had one in days.  They also found out she is anemic, so they are giving her something to help her absorb more iron.  The good news about that is that maybe her sleepiness is caused by the anemia, and maybe the meds will help that and she will wake up and eat.  The bad news is that the med is a shot she has to have 3 times a week for 2 weeks, so she will definately be there a minimum of 2 more weeks :*-(  I know she's still really little and that this is totally normal, but it really makes me sad.  I was really hoping she would start eating and they'd say "She's perfect, send her home!"  because she's been doing everything else so far ahead of schedule.  Unrealistic I know, but I can't help it.  I keep trying to remind myself that she is where she needs to be, but in my heart I just want her home so bad it hurts.   I get weepy everytime I see someone with a new baby b/c I wish it was me with my new baby.  I'm weepy right now.

That combined with lack of sleep is not making for an easy day for me.  Brendan is sick, his cold or whatever it is has gotten worse.  He's been coughing up a storm.  We gave him meds before bed and that seems to be helping, but I'm going to call the doc in the morning and see if she can give him an RX for it.  Plus Scott's alergies are killing him and he's not feeling well.  I'm terrified that one of them might be contagious and that even though I'm not sick I could carry germs to Meghan.  I didn't go to NICU tonight b/c of that.  I did go for her noon feeding, she nuzzled for about 15 minutes and nursed for about 3.  We did get to get her dressed, which was so sweet.  She's holding her temp perfectly now, so they told us to go ahead and bring some of her clothes in.  We dressed her in the nurse's choice (I LOVE the nurse she had today, this is the 3rd time she's had her, and this nurse is awesome, very friendly and funny and takes great care of her.), a little pink sleeper with green frogs all over it and a matching hat.  The feet on the sleeper are frog faces.  Of course we forgot the digital camera at home.  I took one with a disposible I keep in my purse, but of course we have several pics left on that so it won't be developed for a while.  I plan to take the camera tomorrow. Anyway, the hat fits perfectly, the sleeper is still a little big even though it is a preemie size.  Not too huge though.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day for all of us.  I hope my guys feel better!  I have to talk to her nurses too and see if it is OK for me to visit or if they want me to wait and make sure I'm not carrying some virus or something.

Sunday update

Yesterday (Sunday) she gained 2 whole ounces!!!  She's now 3 lbs 9 oz.  She's still not doing that great on feedings, I was there for her noon feeding and she nursed for about a minute and fell asleep.  I called to see how her other feedings went b/c I decided I wasn't going to come up for her 9 pm feeding if she was still sleepy, and her nurse said she hadn't taken a bottle for the rest of the day, so I stayed home to let her sleep.  I called before bed and the nurse said she had gotten her to take 10 cc's from a bottle, 1/3 of her feeding. 

I had asked the nurse yesterday "now, the feeding thing is her last major hurdle, right?" and the nurse said "yes, but they won't send her home before 36 weeks.  They just aren't mature enough at that age."  Which really bummed me out at first, that's still 4 weeks away.  However, I got thinking and remembered what her doc said when she was only a day old, he gave me an original estimate of 5-8 weeks.  5 weeks would be 34 weeks, and since she is doing Sooooooooo much better than they ever thought she would, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it is closer to that than 36 weeks.  I know I'm not supposed to be pushing her, and I promise I'm not.  When she falls asleep during nursing, I stop.  If she's showing signs of overstimulation, I put her back in  her isolette and let her rest.  But, I can't help but hope that if she can just learn to wake up for feedings, she'll come home soon.  I plan to talk to her doc about what the nurse said, see what the doc says.  I like her weekday doc a lot, she's AWESOME.  She is very into "try and see". 

Oh, they're going to be moving her out of the isolette soon, she's getting too warm in there.  They have it a little below room temp now I think, but because it is enclosed, she's just getting too toasty.  Which is good, it means she can hold her own temp with no problem.  They said we can bring clothes up for her too so she doesn't have to wear that gigantic white shirt, so I washed all her clothes last night (in dreft, and used dye free/scent free fabric softener so I don't have to worry that it will irritate her skin) and I'm going to bring up some of her preemie clothes today.  I'm going to write her name on the tags though so they don't get mixed in with other kids clothes.  Those suckers are expensive and I don't want to loose any of them!I'm hoping to get her dressed when we go there today and get some good photos of her for her birth announcements.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Super Preemie at it again!

I called this morning and they said that she was doing fine, and was up to 3 lbs 7 oz.  I got up there and looked at her and noticed she was wearing a shirt and the temp on her bed had changed--they are testing her to see if she can hold her own temp!!!  AND, when I went up there tonight, they were turning the temp on the bed wayyyyy down again b/c she was getting too warm and it was causing her heartrate to go too high, I think the temp is now set to the right temp to confirm that she can hold her own temp!!!  She looks so cute in her little t-shirt, it is a newborn size and it is GIGANTIC on her!  They had to roll the sleeves up sooooo much!  And she's getting a double chin, its adorable!  She has her brother's chubby cheeks too.  :-)

I tried to nurse her this afternoon, but she was too sleepy like she was yesterday.  Oh, did I mention that her Godmother, Debra got to hold her yesterday for the first time?  Can't remember if I did or not.  Anyway, so she was too sleepy at lunch time.  I came back up tonight with Mom and tried again, and Meghan actually NURSED FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!  Yayyyyyyyy!!!!  She latched on for a good 10 minutes.  I told the nurse, but she said she would still go ahead with her feeding.  @@.  I don't think she believed me that Meghan actually nursed.  I could tell she got some b/c I was half empty. 

She has passed ALL the major hurdles except the feeding.  If she can just stay awake for feedings and get rid of the feeding tube, I think she can come home.  I can't wait to talk to her doc.  I love her docs, they are great.  The nurses are very cautious and are hesitant to believe how well she's doing sometimes, but her doc's philosophy is "let her try, if she can't do it then we'll know" like with nursing.  I was going to pump for half the time so she didnt' get too much, but her doc said go ahead and try.  She only coughed once, and I think it was because it was right at first and she might have gotten a little too much.  I sat her up for a second and rubbed her back and she was fine.  She never dribbled any, and her sats never dropped so she has the suck-swallow-breathe thing going.  She is doing FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My son had a runny nose yesterday (he was at my inlaws all day) then woke up several times crying last night, which is usually the indication that he;s sick.  So, off to the after hours doc today to make sure it wasn't contagious, which she said it might be.  Good news is that she said he would probably only be contagious the first couple days, which is yesterday and today, and he wasn't around me yesterday.  Bad news is that I had to stay away from him all day today so that I didn't get his germs and transfer them to Meghan.  So, I hung out with my mom all day while Scott had Brendan.  I felt bad that I had to stay away, plus that meant we got NOTHING done in Meghan's room.  ::::::::sigh::::::::


Friday, May 19, 2006

update on feedings

She did great on her first 2 feedings last night, took 10 cc's (1/3 of the feeding) from the bottle before she got too tired to finish and they put the rest thru the tube.  Not so good today, she's a lot sleepier.  The doc gave me the green light to nurse, she said some babies do much better with that than the bottle, and she said I didn't even need to pump before hand so we tried.  Meghan nursed for about a minute, but then fell asleep.  The doc did get to see her during that minute though and was very encouraged.  She thinks she'll be a great nurser.  I couldn't figure out why Meghan was so tired, but then I realized, she didn't get her morning "coffee" LOL.  They took her off the caffeine!  She's definately Grandma Theresa's girl, my mom is a coffeeahaulic LOL.  So, no idea if they're going to reconsider putting her back on or what, I'll call before bed and check on her.  I'm thrilled that they gave us the go-ahead for nursing though!  yayyyy Meghan!  Oh, and she is 3 lbs 5.6 oz as of last night, gaining a little over an ounce almost every day!  I finally found out that an ounce is 30 grams. 

Thursday, May 18, 2006

pleasant surprises!

I went up tonight for her 7:30 feeding.  She did well, only nuzzled for about 10 minutes or so, but was latched on for about 7 of those minutes!  then she fell asleep and I got to just snuggle with her for about an hour.  I ended up leaving earlier than I had planned b/c I felt a migrane coming on and decided to come home and get some sleep.

Great news though, they are starting the nipple protocol TONIGHT!!  They had said next week!  woooohoooo!!  She's getting her first ever bottle at 11.  I would have loved to be there for it, but they are closed.  We're going to call afterward though and see how she did.  They aren't going to let me nurse fully yet, but they may let me pump for half the normal amount of time right before and then try nursing.  They just don't want her to get too much milk at once and choke. 

They're also taking her off caffeine now!  Another thing that was going to happen next week.  She had her last dose at 1 pm today.  And they are having to lower the temp on her bed b/c she's getting too warm, if that happens too much they will try to lower it to room temp and just dress her (right now she just wears a diaper) and see how she does at keeping her body temp up.  If she does well at the bottle feedings and no apnea/heartrate drops (she hasn't had one in 3 days) and can keep herself warm, she can come home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So maybe only another week or so, but it all depends on the feeding.  The nurse said that's usually the last thing to happen.  Some babies take a while to get it, others do great right away.  ::::::::::fingers crossed:::::::::  that Meghan is in that second group.

Feeling guilty again

Having a hard time getting up to NICU.  Right now they said to try to do 1-2 feedings a day, she eats at 10:30, 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 around the clock.  The 10:30 am one is hard to get to b/c of Brendan, I can usually make the 1:30 one, 4:30 is OK but then takes 2 hours to get home with rush hour traffic (NICU closes at 5:30 for shift change, otherwise I would stay until after traffic), 7:30 Pm I can do by myself but Scott can't come up b/c of Brendan and bedtime, and if I go up by myself I can stay until the 10:30 one but have to do it a little early b/c they close again at 10:30 for shift change stuff again.  I asked if nursing moms are allowed to stay for those but she said no b/c then everyone would want to stay.  Right now I guess it isn't as big a deal, but next week (or sooner maybe) they will start breastfeeding for real and they encourage moms to be there for as many feedings as possible.  I broke down this morning b/c I want to be there as much as possible but I just can't.  With Brendan it's hard getting him there or having to take him to the inlaws, and Scott needs to be able to still find some time to do his work.  I can go by myself, but then I feel bad that Scott doesn't get to see her.  He doesn't feel bad, he said it is more important for me to be there than him b/c of feedings, but I still feel bad.  Plus I don't want to just abandon my family and spend all my time up there and ignore Scott and Brendan, KWIM?  Sorry if I'm whining, just having a rough day.  I just wish she could come home soon!!

She's doing well though, she's 3 lbs 4 oz now!!  Still gaining well.  They all say she's such an easy baby, and she still hasn't had an apnea spell since the one several days ago.  YAYYYY!!!!!  I hope that she continues to do so well when they take her off the caffeine next week.  Maybe, just maybe, being wayyyyyy too optimistic here, she will nurse like a champ right away and they can take the feeding tube out, and she won't have any apnea spells and will demonstrate that she can stay warm and maybe she will be home in 2 weeks or less.  I know, I know, I'm being wayyyyyy optimistic here but I can't help but hope.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wednesday update

I think its Wednesday, isn't it?  I have no idea anymore.  LOL.  I'm trying to get lots of sleep, but between pumpings its hard to get enough.  I feel like I'm in a fog half the time, and no time for naps during the day between taking care of Brendan and going up to the hospital.  Oh well, hopefully it will only be another few weeks.

She's doing great, BTW.  Did another NNN session today, and she actually got latched on for about a full minute!!!  WTG Meghan!  :-)  They were calling her "Super Preemie" (the nurses were).  She's such a good baby!  They also said she never cries, she's a very content baby.  A stinky one though, they have no problem telling when its time for a new diaper LOL. 

Next week we'll start nursing/bottle feeding/  They said they take their cues from her, and when she starts getting too tired they stop the feeding and do the rest thru the gavage feeding tube.  SOmetimes she might only nurse/bottle feed for a few minutes, or she might do a whole feeding.  Then they said after she goes 24 hours without needing the gavage feeder (8 feedings) they remove the tube.  It might take several days or weeks, or it might be pretty quick, it all depends on her.  :::::::::fingers crossed::::::::: that it is quick.  She nuzzled for another 30 minutes today, kept rooting around everytime I thought she was tired and pulled away.  Such a wonderful baby!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

great session today!

Today I planned to be up at the NICU for her 10:30 am feeding and stay until after her 1:30 feeding so I could do 2 non-nutritive nuzzling sessions.  Well, I forgot that NICU was closed until 11 today, so I missed the first feeding.  She was asleep when I got in there, so the nurse said rather than wake her up, she would prefer to just wait and do it at 1.  I don't have a problem with that, Meghan needs her rest so she can grow quickly.  So, I watched her sleep for a while then went to get lunch (LOVE delaware subs, right next to the hospital.  MMmmmmm) and pump, then went back in.  she was awake when I got there, She always wakes up around feeding times.  So, the nurse helped me get her out and I started the nuzzling.  She did AWESOME!  Yesterday she only nuzzled for about 10 minutes each time, this time she did for 35 or 40 minutes!  Everytime I thought she was getting tired and pulled her away she would start rooting again.  She actually latched on 8 or 9 times too, for a few seconds each time.  The doctor came by while we were doing this, and was tickled pink!  she said we will start actually trying to nurse next week, and will probably also take her off the caffeine too.  Then it is a matter of when she gets the hang of feeding and can keep her body temp up (which they haven't tested yet, but she seems to be doing fine b/c when I hold her just wrapped in a blanket her temp goes up not down.) and no more apnea spells.  ::::::::::fingers crossed::::::::::::::  That she starts doing those things quickly.  I dont want to rush her, she needs to go at her own pace, but I want her to come home so badly!  I try not to think about it too much b/c then I get weepy, but I hate the fact that I don't get to take care of her.  I'm actually looking forward to geting up to nurse her in the middle of the night, rather than pumping.  And I KNOW Scott is looking forward to having her there so he can change her diaper rather than wash the pump LOL.  That's our arrangement, with Brendan I nursed then Scott changed him.  Since she's not home, he cleans the pump in the middle of the night LOL.  He's such a great guy!  He doesn't even complain about it anymore.  ;-)  I'm so lucky!  He also watched Brendan most of the day so I could spend time at NICU. 

Monday, May 15, 2006

more non-nutritive feeding/apnea spell

I went up to the hospital tonight by myself to do more non-nutritive feeding with Meghan.  She did even better than she did earlier, she sucked about once every 10-15 seconds and she actually latched on fully once or twice.  She only did that for about 10 minutes or less, then she got tired and fell asleep, but she still did fine.

She did scare me quite a bit though.  I was looking at her and she was all pink and pretty, sleeping, and then I looked up at the clock and was looking around at the other babies for a few seconds.  Her monitor started dinging and I looked up at it and saw her sats were in the 80's, then looked at her and she was a little bit blue.  The nurse came over and had to sit her up and rub her tummy and back to remind her to breathe.  Not sure if it was the position she was in (her chin was down maybe a bit too much) or if it was just she was too tired or what, and the nurse assured me that this was normal and that it is why she's on the caffeine, but it still freaked me out.  She snapped out of it really quick once the nurse started rubbing her back, but I really hope she doesnt' do that to me again. 

first try at nursing

Well, not quite nursing but non-nutritive feeding.  I pumped first, and she had just been fed, then they let her attempt it and see how she does.  She did much better than I thought!  She sucked for a few seconds about every 30 seconds.  I think she got a little milk one time and she coughed a little, her sats dropped a bit and I had to sit her up for a few seconds, but that's normal.  Thats why they have me pump first.  She did pretty good though, and it is good practice for next week when she gets to try nursing for real.  They want me to try to do this 2 times a day, so I'm going up there again tonight.  Getting up there that much might be a bit of a problem, but we will do our best.  Same with when I start nursing.  We may stay at his company's loft downtown more often once we start nursing, we'll see.  She also gained an ounce yesterday!  She's doing so well!!!

look alikes

While I was looking at Meghan's bath picture, I realized that it reminded me of the photos from Brendan's first bath, so I took out his baby book to compare, and the 2 kids are identical.  The only difference was that Brendan was obviously bigger.  Check it out!  The first pic is Meghan, the second is Brendan, and they are both 11 or 12 days old in these photos.  WOW.  They are going to look so much alike, which is fine for me b/c Brendan is awfully cute LOL.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's day update

Today is Mother's day, and Meghan made me a card!  The nurses took her footprints and made a little card that said "I love you mommy" :-)  It was so sweet!

She has been gaining weight, 22 grams the night before last and 10 grams last night.  She's eating 29 cc's of food still each feeding.  I got to talk to her doc today and he said she's doing great!  I told him that she's been rooting around when she eats, if we're holding her, and she sucks her hand when she's hungry. She's also always wide awake when it gets close to feeding time.  He said that was a good sign and that she can start trying to do "non nurtrient feeding" where they will have me pump just before feeding and then attempt to have her latch on.  She won't really be eating anything, but it will help get her used to it so that soon she can start trying to nurse.  She has to be able to suck-swallow-and breathe at the same time, which they said usually starts clicking in around 34 weeks.  So, tomorrow we will start trying that!!  Yayyyy!!  I hope she catches on quickly.  I miss her and want her to come home! 

Friday, May 12, 2006

First Bath!

Today when we went up there her day nurse, Kim, agreed with us that our baby was a stinky baby.  She's almost 2 weeks old and had never had a bath b/c they don't want her to get too cold.  She was starting to smell like a foot LOL.  She said she could give her a bath, but that it was almost time for them to close for shift change and she didn't want us to miss her first bath, so she suggested that we come back later and have the night nurse do it.  So we did, and the night nurse said she could do it after her weigh in, but it would be after shift change.  I asked really nicely if she could please do it while we were there so we didn't miss it and so we could take photos, and daddy could kangaroo with her afterward to warm her back up.  She agreed, so we got to do that.  IT was the first time we've ever seen her without anything attatched, no leads, no wires, they even took the feeding tube out b/c it was starting to get gunky and she said she would switch sides for her.  She gave her a sponge bath, but a really good one, even washed her lips and ears and stuff so she was all clean and smelled good.  It was soooo cute!  Meghan didn't seem to mind too much, she only wimpered a few times.  She was wide awake thru the whole thing too, it was sweet.  Afterward she snuggled with daddy.  He kept trying to move her head up but she kept snuggling in and putting it back down again.  We finally just left her like that b/c her saturation levels were staying in the 98-100 range, which is perfect.  She also kept trying to root around and nurse on him, it was funny.  It's also a really good sign that she might be ready to nipple feed soon!  We will have to wait and see.

These are pics of her first bath :-)  Isn't she cute!?!?!  I love these pics b/c you actually get to see her, and not a bunch of wires and tubes.  Such a precious miracle!  Oh, they also weighed her and she gained 22 grams!!  yayyyy!!  She's up to one whole ounce (29 cc's approx) for feedings!  :-)

Friday morning (31 weeks)

Talked to her doc this morning.  She gained 11 grams last night, that's good.  Any gain is good.  They are going up on her feedings and the doc said they may consider adding more additives to her milk for calories so she gains a little more than that, but they're going to wait and see how she does on the increased feedings first. 

She had a couple short breathing problems last night, nothing too bad, but the nurse noticed her nose was congested and cleaned it out.  That helped a lot, no more breathing problems, but they are worried it might be a sign of infection.  The doc said that for now, other than that, she looks perfect so they are going to wait and see.  If it happens again they will test her for infection in hopes of catching it early, but she said it could just be a one time thing.  No idea. 

they will start trying to nipple feed her (via bottle) in about a week, once she's 32 weeks.  The doc said some babies "get it" right away, other take a few weeks to get the hang of suck-swallow-breathe.  So we'll just have to wait and see.

I got to hold her for a long time yesterday, they said that we had to kangaroo hold her if we were going to hold her b/c they didn't want her just bundled for that long (they stay warmer skin to skin).  Scott wasn't wearing a button down so he told me to hold her that time and he'd hold her today.  She had a few desaturations while I was holding her, and we figured it out with the help of the nurse--Meghan does not like to be rocked.  Once I stopped rocking she stopped having problems!  They had moved her to a different bay, and in the other bay the rocking chair creaked horribly so I never rocked her.  Yesterday I was in a regular rocking chair and apparently the rocking is too much stimulation for her.  The nurse suggested that so we tried not rocking and it worked.  Kinda funny :-) 

Not sure when we will get up there today, Brendan is still asleep (and I think it is like 10 am or so, but he woke up at 11 and didn't get back to sleep until midnight, so he's sleeping in) and Scott has to do some work, then we have to drop Brendan off at Scott's folks house.  My bro is coming over tonight though to sit here after we put Brendan to bed so we can spend a couple hours at NICU. 

Thursday, May 11, 2006

still "perfect" :-)

Talked to her nurse this morning, and she said "She's perfect" :-D  She had no breathing problems or anything last night, no need to put the IV fluids back in, still holding her feedings well (she spit up a little bit this morning but nothing to worry about) and she gained 3 grams.  Not a lot, but much better than loosing.  They moved her to a different bay, for staffing reasons.  Glad they told me, I would have wondered where my baby went LOL. 

I told Scott what the nurse said, and he said "oh, good, she can come home now!" LOL.  I said "hon, she still isn't eating on her own" and he said "oh, I can work the feeding tube!" then I reminded him that she isn't holding her own body temp yet, and he said "that's OK, I looked on eBay and you can buy incubators.  They're like $600.  They sell them for puppies."  @@ LOL.  He's a hoot.  :-D

We're going up this morning after we drop Brendan off.  I also have an appointment with my doc, my postpartum apt. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Great news!!!!!

Went up to NICU with mom and her co-worker Deborah tonight.  Deborah went in with me, and when I was looking at Meghan I noticed something--her nasal cannula was gone!!!  The nurse said they took it out at noon, and she's been BREATHING ON HER OWN since then!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAYYYY!!!!!!!!!  No saturation drops, no heartrate drops, she's doing FABULOUS!  I could have done a cartwheel I was so happy!

AND, even more great news, they disconneced the IV fluids again!!!  Her last couple glucose tests have been great!  She has another one tonight, then again in the morning, so hopefully they stay up and tomorrow they will remove the IV completely.  They took the line off but left the IV in just in case so they wouldn't have to poke her again.

AND, even MORE good news, all day she's been digesting her whole feedings!!!  She's getting 26 cc's each time and every time they check (just before the next feeding) there's only 1 cc or less left in her tummy! 

AND, I got to hold her :-)  I didn't Kangaroo with her, they just swaddled her since we weren't going to be there for over an hour.  I like holding her that way too though, because I can see her little face.  She looked at me, and I swear she smiled.  I know she can't really smile, she doesn't have control of that yet, but even Deborah saw her make the face, even if it was an accident.  SOOOOOOO cute!  She's going to look just like her brother, I know it.  Now that I can see her whole face, no tube, she has my nose and her daddy's mouth and chin, and chubby cheeks just like her brother.  No idea what color her eyes will be, right now they are still blue.  Brendan's eyes are a sapphire blue, I hope she has those pretty eyes too.  She's georgeous.  Absolutely beautiful.  ::::::::;sniff, sniff::::::::::  I'm one happy mommy!

The only bad news I had today was my favorite contestant on American Idol, Chris, got voted off.  :-(  LOL.

quick update Wednesday am

Talked to the nurse this morning, she lost another 25 grams but I guess they aren't worried yet.  Still on the IV glucose.  Last night her feedings weren't going so well, she had a lot of residual in her tummy, but this morning she didn't have hardly any so that's good. 

We;re taking the day off, not driving down there.  Scott has some serious work to do, he's been neglecting it a bit or trying to cram it all in at night, and since Brendan is with us we thought we'd relax a bit today.  I'm going up with my mom at 7:30 tonight though, and bringing milk for her.  I checked and they said that she should have enough milk to last until I get there.

I know I shouldn't, but I feel guilty that we arent' going up there today.  Its crazy, I know.  Not that she even realizes if we don't come, plus I got to kangaroo with her for a long time yesterday.  But, still.  Oh well. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Tuesday update

OK, let me try to remember what all is going on:

First, she lost 15 grams last night.  They said they aren't worried at all though b/c she gained like 70 grams the night before, which they consider huge, so a little drop is normal.  She gets weighed again later tonight I will call and find out before we go to bed.

They removed all the IV fluids earlier but left in the IV just in case so they wouldn't have to poke her again.  Then her next glucose level came back low, so they had to start her back on some IV fluids, but only one this time and it is pretty much just sugar water from what the nurse said.  They might try to remove it tomorrow if she's doing well on her feedings.  Right now though, at least as of earlier this evening, she didnt' seem to be tolerating her feedings as well.  She's up to 26 cc's but the last couple feedings when they checked the contents of her tummy before feeding her, she still had like 9 cc's left which is a lot more than she usually had.  Plus she spit up once earlier.  The nurse said if it was the same for the next feeding or if she spit up again that she would try a pump for the feeding that feeds her more slowly, over 30 minutes rather than 5-10.  If that didn't work she said they may have to decrease the feedings :-(  If that happens, she may still be on the IV for a few days.

I got to hold her for a long time today, "kangaroo" style.  She snuggled right up to me and slept the whole time (I dozed too LOL).  Scott was watching her monitors while I held her and said that all her levels were perfect the whole time I held her, even better than they had been in the incubator.  I think she likes her mommy! 

We may take a day off tomorrow, and not go up to NICU during the day.  I am going up at night with my mom, at 7:30 pm, but since we have Brendan and Scott is wayyyy behind on work, we might not go during the day.  My only worry is I'm not sure she will  have enough milk, I need to call and find out.  I'm still only getting 30-35 cc's each time, and if she's eating 25 then she may go thru the milk I have up there before we get back.  If she does, they will use donor milk which I know is safe, but I prefer her to use mine.  I'm trying to drink more fluids and rest more (I got a nap in this evening while Scott picked Brendan up) but so far it is not working.  I'm also going to pump every 2 hours while I'm home, maybe that will help.  One nurse said that there is a med that the doc can give me to up the production, another nurse said she didn't think it was necessary but I would rather produce too much than not enough.  I can freeze the excess if need be.  I go to the doc on Thursday so I will ask him then.

Monday, May 8, 2006

We went up to see her last night, it was a nice quiet way to spend an hour.  I let Scott hold her so that he gets plenty of time with her too, and I sat next to them.  Got a couple pics of her and daddy too :-)  We were also there for her weigh-in, and she is over 3 lbs now!!  She's 3 lbs, 1.1 oz.  They said she's doing great with her feedings and they added the powder supplement and she tolerated that just fine so they are pleased with that.  The IV should come out tonight or tomorrow. 

I talked to her doc today, and she said that the nasal cannula is going to probably be in for a while yet.  She is still having a few short apnea spells, actually I don't think they even consider them real apnea b/c they don't last long enough and are self-corrected, but it is enough that they aren't willing to take out the tube just yet.  I asked her how long these breathing spells will last, and she said most babies stop them by 36 weeks.  Scott was really disapointed with that, I could tell, because he was really hoping she would be home much sooner.  But we will take it one day at a time.  Her other doc, the weekend one, said that they might start lowering the flow a little late this week and see how she tolerates that, but we'll see.  It's going to be a looooonnnngggg road, but it will be worth it in the end.

I'm getting to the point where I'm really stressed out though.  I had a real rough time after we got home last night.  I'm so worried that I'm not doing what's right for Brendan, that I'm dragging him all over the place too much and not providing enough normalcy for him, plus I know I'm not taking good enough care of myself.  My mom got on my case about it last night, in a good way, and reminded me that it has only been a week since I had major surgery and that I am sleep deprived and need to take care of myself.  I'm also worried b/c my milk supply seems to be dwindling, I'm not getting as much as I used to.  I'm still getting more than she's eating, but not much and as she eats more she's going to need more than I'm producing right now.  I'm trying to keep myself hydrated but its hard to do when I'm running all over the place and eating at fast food places that just have pop.  I need to keep an eye on my stress level and on my mood, I had a bit of post-partum depression with Brendan (did not last long, not very severe or anything) and am worried that I'm heading there again this time.  I have an appointment with my doc on Thursday, so I will talk to him about it then.

Oh, these pics are the ones from last night, one of them you can see her official weigh in and there's one of her and daddy.  :-) the one photo of her with her weight was a bit graphic, so Scott put a little cover up on her and the text says "I'm a girl"  LOL. 

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Photos FINALLY!!!

Scott says that it was not his laptop causing the problem, that it was an AOL glitch.  They loaded fine from my computer though.  hmmmmm.  ;-)  hee hee hee.

FINALLY got photos loaded!!  OK, I will go thru them 1-7 so you know what they are.  They aren't in chronological order.

1. I was holding her and the hand you see holding her hand is my mom's.  5-2-06

2. The night she was born, the hands in the photo are my mom's.  See how tiny she is?

3.  The first time my mom held her, 5-2-06. 

4.  The first time I held her little hand, the morning after she was born.  She was maybe 15 hours old at the time.  Had already been downgraded from the respirator to the c-pap.

5. Looking at Grandma, with her little eyes wide open. 

6.  Mommy and Meghan meeting for the first time.  I'm crying of course.  Again, this was when she was 15 hours old.

7. The first time I got to hold her, 5-2-06. 

Isn't she precious?  We got to see her for just a few minutes this afternoon.  My folks saw her for about 15 minutes also, no one got to hold her.  She's still having a few small apnea episodes, all self corrected, but the doc said he's leaving the nasal cannula in for a little while yet until she's doing better with that.  However, she is doing great on feedings, now up to 19 cc's each time.  WOW.  And she is keeping it all down and digesting it, she only spit up that one time.  Tomorrow they are going to be adding a powdered supplement to my milk, apparently breast milk is lacking in a few vitamins and minerals that preemies need, but if she tolerates that they might be able to remove the IV's by tomorrow evening!  They have been lowering the IV fluids today and will be checking her blood glucose and iron levels this evening. 

We are going back up tonight, they asked us if we would be able to come up and kangaroo (skin to skin) with her.  They said it is only effective if you can do it for an hour or more at a time, so my brother is going to watch Brendan (who will be asleep by then) while we go up there.  That will be nice, spending a lot of time with her without worrying about how eachother is doing with the very active 2 year old in the waiting area.  :-) 

Sat night/Sunday morning

We went to visit again last night.  While I was in there she urped up her 7:30 feeding, which was the first time she had done that ever.  The nurse said Meghan hadn't pooped in 6 hours and that could have caused it, not quite enough room in there for everything.  I held her while the nurse changed her bedding, and I helped wipe her off.  Then while I was holding her she pooed, so that was good.  I held her for a little while and her saturation (oxygen) level dropped down to 87 a few times, which worried me.  The nurse said that the doc had said 85-100 was normal for Meghan, so she wasn't worried but every time we've been there she's always been in the upper 90's.  She was looking right at me though, for a couple minutes, it was sooooo neat!  I just held her and rocked her and talked to her.  Then I left to go pump and Scott came in to hold her for a bit.  She was still having saturation drops, and the nurse said tha it looked like Meghan was just getting over tired and needed to go back in her incubator.  They put her in and Scott stayed in there for a few more minutes, and sure enough her sat level went up to the upper 90s again.  She was just probably overstimulated for the day, she had a big day.  We had visited twice and held her, they moved her to a new bed (an incubator instead of just the open bed) and they had to redo her IV.  My parents are coming up today, and I think I might ask them not to hold her if that's what the nurse reccomends.  I know they will understand.  Scott's parents were thinking about coming up too, but we're going to bring them up another day this week, maybe tomorrow, so that Meghan gets some rest, plus it's really busy downtown this weekend due to a festival and we're planning to go home this afternoon.  Staying in the loft is nice, and it is much closer, but we also want to be home.  We're planning to come up at least once a day, and once I can drive I can come up at night or whatever, or we might be able to get my mom or brother or something to watch Brendan while we go up in the evenings.  Also on the days that Brendan is with Scott's parents, we can spend the day up here.  Or if Scott has to work I can stay up here.  I am so glad he works from home and can make his schedule flexible!  Unfortunately he is going to have to go out of town next week for 2 days, as long as the doc gives me the thumbs up for driving and stuff again. 

Saturday, May 6, 2006

saturday morning update

arrgggg, this computer will not let me update the photos.  I'll try again tonight, maybe there isn't enough bandwidth or something.  I don't know anything about computers though, who knows.  Maybe Scott can help me.

Anyway, she is doing great.  Talked to her doc this morning, and he said that they upped her feeding again to 15 cc's and started lowering her IV fluids.  She's on 65% breast milk and the rest IV fluids, hoping to lower it even more.  He said maybe in a couple days she won't even need the IV.  They decided for now not to attempt a central line again, she has an IV still (in her head now, poor kid has a TERRIBLE haircut b/c they keep shaving little parts of her head for IVs) and even though they keep blowing every 12 hours or so, they have been able to put new ones in.  She is still on the nasal cannula (not sure on spelling, but at least I remembered the name finally!) and again they are hoping to remove that soon.  She had one or two very small apnea/heartrate episodes yesterday, nothing to be concerned about, but enough for them to put off removing it for a couple days.  Maybe tomorrow or Monday though.  If they remove that and the IV, the only tube she'll be connected to is the gavage feeding tube!!  Plus the monitors of course. 

The best news though was that they did the head scan yesterday, to check for bleeding on the brain (standard procedure I guess) and it was CLEAR!!  The doc said he was thrilled with that!  YAYYYYY!!!  She's acting more like a 32 weeker or so, especially the amount of food she's eating.  She's digesting it all too!!  Oh, and she's gaining weight, she's only 1 ounce  less than she was at birth!!!!!!!  She is doing fantastic.  She will be one week old tomorrow evening.  I got to hold her today for a little while, but had to go pump after about 30 minutes and had to trade off with Scott.  She was sleeping and eating when he got in so he couldn't hold her, but I'm sending him in first tonight so he can hold her.  She sleeps just like her brother too, today she was laying on her back with one arm flung over her head and her legs all sprawled out, it was sooooo cute! 

Heading back up to the hospital in a little while, and will update more later if there's a change and if I can hopefully get pics to load.

Friday, May 5, 2006

heartbeat drops/upped food again

Well, we had good news and bad news today.  The bad news is that the doc was considering removing her nasal tube but then she had a short little heartbeat drop and he decided not to.  I guess it was very quick, by the time the nurse had turned around and saw the monitor that was beeping it was already going back up, but the doc was right there at the time and saw it too.  So, it will be at least another 24 hours, if she does not have any more episodes, before they will try taking out the tube.  Once they remove that she will be breathing completely on her own. 

They still can't get a central line in.  She wasn't sure if they were going to try again tonight or not.  They've tried twice now, several times each try, and no luck.  Poor little thing!  At least during this she's asleep, they sedate her slightly so that it isn't hard on her.  Her IV in her head was going bad so they had to remove it and put it in her hand, at least they said they got that on the first try.  She said maybe tomorrow they might start lowering her IV fluids and see how her glucose level holds, if it holds OK and they can wean her off that, then we can remove the I V completely. 

She is up to 12 cc's of milk at each feeding, every 3 hours.  They said that is more than some 36 week babies, she's 30 weeks today.  There's a baby that is exactly her age that is only on like half that.  She's doing FANTASTIC on that.  They are really pleased with how much she's eating and that she's digesting it all.  Thank goodness my milk is coming in well, pretty soon she's going to be drinking it all!  Right now we're just freezing a lot of it. 

This weekend we are staying at Scott's company appartment downtown, they told us we could use it whenever it is empty which is most weekends at least.  That helps a lot because now we're only 10 minutes from the hospital instead of an hour.  We can go to see her more often and then it won't be as hard on Brendan because he won't have to sit in the car so long.

When we went to see her late this afternoon, I went in first and got to hold her.  Instead of doing kangaroo care they just swaddled her and let me hold her, like they did for my mom last night.  I liked that b/c then I could see her face really well.  She kept trying to look at me while I was talking to her, trying to find my voice, but she was still kind of sleepy from the meds and couldn't keep her eyes open.  Then I went to relieve Scott after 45 minutes or so, and we had figured that only one of us would be able to hold her but the nurse said instead of putting her back in bed, she would hold her until Scott got there.  So, I rushed out and got Scott and he came in and held her for a few minutes, until they closed for shift change.  Brendan had been acting up a bit for him, it's hard for a little guy to keep occupied so long, and it was a little challenging for me at first b/c I can't chase him.  Then he was playing with a little boy about 6 months younger then him and the little boy hugged him.  Brendan hugged back and they ended up falling over, with Brendan on top and the poor litle boy cried.  I felt SO bad!  The dad assured me it was fine, that he played with his older cousins all the time and had had worse, but still.  After that Brendan and I found one of the pumping rooms so that I could pump and he was good as gold in there, which surprised me.  I was woried b/c I need both hands to pump and I was convinced he was going to try to get into stuff but he just sat on the floor and played with the basket of toys in there.  He sat in the same spot for over 20 minutes and was good as gold!!  We picked up dinner and came up to the appartment, which he really loves.  He especially loves the balcony overlooking downtown, he's not afraid of heights at all but we are a little so we try to keep him in here LOL.  Getting him to sleep was a bit of a chore, he is in our bed and we had to sit with him until 10:30 to get him to sleep, but maybe once he gets used to it he'll go to sleep better.  They have 2 bedrooms but I know he won't sleep on his own in the other room, at least for now.  At least it is a king size so I have some room LOL. 

Photo (finally) and last night's update

This is a photo of my mom's hand next to my baby girl.  Mom printed one in 8x10 size and it is life sized.  She's soooooo tiny but adorable.   She really loves her binky too, which they said is a great sign this early.  Apparently most babies don't start sucking on them well until around 32 weeks or so.  *side note, apparently with preemies a lot of the time they refer to their gestational age, even though they're already here.  So, today, she is 30 weeks, even though she is only 5 days old.*  She's not swallowing when sucking I don't think, but she is breathing.  They have to master the suck-swallow-breathe method for eating.

Last night I called to see how the placement of the central line went, and it didn't work.  They tried 3 or 4 times, but she has her mommy's veins and they couldnt get it to take.  They were going to try again this morning.  She was fine thru the whole procedure, she was sedated slightly and they said she slept thru the whole thing thank goodness.  The concern is that if they can't get a central line in and then she loses the IV, they have to get a line in her somewhere or she may not be able to keep her glucose levels where they need to be, since right now she is getting nutrition thru the lines.

I'm going to call in a few minutes and see if they were able to get it, and see how her weigh-in went last night.  I'll update later, and mom got some great photos yesterday so I'm hoping to post those as soon as she emails them to me. 

Thursday, May 4, 2006


We have gotten many emails asking us how Brendan is coping.  Thanks so much for asking!  He is doing well, much better since Mommy is home.  Scott said Brendan was a bit of a handful while I was gone because his little world was sort of upside down, but now that I'm home things are all good again.  He was much better behaved today than he has been, and he was thrilled to see that I was still here this morning.  When he woke up he came in our room and saw me and said "Momma!  You're there!" and he cuddled with me and said "I love you!" several times.  I felt very loved :-) 

He is not allowed to visit Meghan, they don't allow anyone under 14 to visit.  Even if  they did, I wouldn't bring him in because he would terrorize the whole NICU.  He is too noisy and likes buttons too much, I could see him setting off all sorts of alarms.  He has photos of her though, and he knew that there was a baby in my tummy that was named Meghan and that she isn't in my tummy anymore, and we told him she's at the hospital because she is sick and the doctor needs to make her all better.  Not sure how much he understands or not, but he's a pretty smart little kid so I'm sure he gets some of it. 

He is a very sweet little boy, and I think he will be a GREAT big brother, as long as we can keep him from trying to play too rough with her :-D

First update

So far our baby girl, Meghan Rose Genevieve has far surpassed anyones initial expectations.  When she was born they thought she would be on the respirator for a week or more.  It came out within 12 hours, and they put her on a c-pap (forgive me if I mispell or use an incorrect term for some of the medical equipment/terms, I'm not very familiar with them) which was a smaller tube.  Then they downgraded her again within another few hours to just a nasal tube with 2 small prongs pushing air into her lungs.  It is on a slower flow, and it is only pushing room air, no extra oxygen.  They are hoping to even wean her off that within the next few days to a week.  Her lungs seem to be functioning much better than anticipated.

She has an IV in to aid in nutrition needs, but again they are hoping to slowly wean her from it as she increases her feedings.  She started on breastmilk the second day, and at first was combining my milk with donor milk (which sounds freaky, but I guess they have a milk bank similar to a blood bank here in town and it is screened and tested like blood) because I was not producing enough milk. My milk has started to come in though, and she is getting plenty now from just me.  The first day she had milk they started her with 2 cc's every 3 hours.  They moved her to 4 cc's about half a day later and then this morning they hadn't gotten the orders to move her up to more because her doc was doing a transport, but the nurse said she had been sneaking her 5 because she was digesting all of the milk.  They are feeding her thru a gavage feeder tube, a little tube inserted into her stomach thru her mouth.  They suction it out after each feeding to make sure that she is digesting everything.  This evening when I went to see her, she had been moved up to 8 cc's every 3 hours!!  Plus, they will probably be moving her to 12 cc's tomorrow!  What a little piggy!

She had a few short spells of apnea, when she forgets to breathe and her oxygen level decreases, and after 3 of them (in over 24 hours, not very close together) they started her on caffeine.  Since then, she has not had any more apnea spells, and that was almost 36 hours ago!

They have been letting us hold her a little bit, they allow Scott and I to do what they call "kangaroo care" where they put screens up so we can hold her skin to skin (they put a hospital gown backwards on me, like a robe, and when Scott holds her he just unbottons his shirt).  That is the only time I have seen her actually hold still!  She is a wiggly little girl, even managed to flop herself over the other day when they laid her on her left side, which she apparently didn't like.  They have to sedate her slighly to put IV's in because she won't hold still!  :-)  When we hold her though, she just relaxes and just snuggles right up.  This evening they even let my mom hold her, although instead of kangaroo care they just swaddled her tight and let mom hold her. 

I need to call and find out how she did this evening, they were placing a central line IV because she has lost several IV's already (takes after her mom, her veins don't like needles either).  They were going to do X-rays to make sure it was properly placed, and they had planned to do more over the next few days to monitor it.  I believe they were planning to do a scan tomorrow to make sure there is no bleeding in her brain, which they said is pretty standard procedure.  She's also a bit jaundiced, but her bili ruben (sp?) counts are going down with the light they're using, and they may take it off of her tomorrow.

In order to come home, she has to fit these criteria:

1. She must be able to eat on her own, thru a bottle or breast, and keep it down. 

2. She must not be having any apnea spells or heartbeat irregulairites.

3. She must be able to maintain her own body temp

4. She must be gaining weight.

A friend at Church has nicknamed her our little M&M, for Miraculous Meghan.  I like that nickname!  She is truly a miracle, and a wonderful blessing. 

I will update this journal as much as possible, and that way everyone will be able to see what progress she is making.  Feel free to leave a comment anytime you want.  Hugs to all!

How it all started

For the first entry, I thought I would document how it all happened. 

We found out we were pregnant the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 2005.  We had been trying for about a year and a half, and were THRILLED.  Our son had just turned 2 at the time.  Everything went pretty smooth, other than more morning sickness and fatigue than when I was pregnant with our son, until our 19 week checkup.  We went in for our sonogram hoping to find out the baby's gender (even though I was SURE it was a girl!) and instead got a scare--I was already 50% effaced and 2 cm dialated!  The doctor was very concerned about this and sent me to a perinatologist to get a second opinion.  The perinatologist (Dr. B) agreed with my OB (Dr. P) and reccomended placing a rescue cerclage, stitches in an already opening cervix, that weekend.  So, off to the hospital we went for 48 hours of intense antibiotics (to ward off any possible infection) and then the cerclage.  That went well, and we didn't have any more major problems for a while.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my 27th week, which I didn't have with my son, but was all set to manage that.  Then when I was 28 weeks and 4 days, my water broke unexpectedly.  No contractions, no warnings.  She was kicking really low (we had found out that we were expecting a girl) that evening, and it felt like she was kicking the cerclage, to the point of causing me pain.  I stood up and felt a couple small gushes, so off to the computer I went to do a small self-diagnosis before I determined whether to call the doc at 1:30 am.  I googled "preterm amniotic fluid leak" to see if that was indeed what I was experiencing, and it sounded like it was.  I stood up to go call the doc, and there was a HUGE gush.  Yep, no question about it, my water had broken. 

I called Dr. P's after hours number and they patched me right thru to him.  He said to head to the hospital immediately, so we called my FIL to come watch our son and my mom to come with me in case we had to deliver.  We knew we were having a c-section because my son had been a c-section (he got stuck b/c of his big chubby cheeks) and because she was still breech, and my mom was going into the delivery room with me.  Scott, my husband, does not handle OR's very well and the last thing we needed was for him to get sick in there.  Anyway, as soon as they arrived we left.  When we got to the hospital they hooked me up to monitors to check for contractions and to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  They also gave me the first of 2 shots of steroids (got the second one 24 hours later) to help speed up the maturation of her heart, lungs and brain.  They said 2 shots were equivalent to 2 weeks of gestation, but that we would need 48 hours to maximize that benefit.  Then I was told to stay in bed as much as possible and rest. 

I had a sonogram the next day and Dr P said that the fluid level looked good, and that it was pretty much a waiting game.  They were planning to leave the cerclage in until 32 weeks unless there were ANY signs of infection or contractions.  They had me on heavy duty antibiotics to ward off infection, and were monitoring my vitals very closely.  Things went OK for the next few days (I was admitted Wednesday night/Thursday morning) until Sunday night.  My husband and mom had just left, after meeting with a rep from the NICU to answer any and all questions we had.  Dr. B and Dr. P had said that the absolute latest we would deliver was 34 weeks, but were doubtful we would even make it that far, and so it was certain that our baby would end up in the NICU for at least a little bit of time, possibly several weeks. 

About an hour after my family had left, I was in the bathroom and noticed that her umbilical cord had come partially out and was hanging down.  I immediately pulled the emergency help cord and nurses came running.  They helped get me back into bed and hollered for a doc ASAP.  They had to try to put the cord back in to keep blood flow to the baby, which caused me considerable amounts of pain, almost similar to what natural childbirth would be like.  (Why on Earth anyone would do that without meds is beyond me!).  The doctor, one of Dr. P's associates who happened to be the on call doc for the night, came in and when he saw what was going on he said "Oh Shit!"  Let me tell you, that is NOT something a patient wants to hear from the doctor!  Then he tried to put the cord back in, and after a few seconds said "Oh my God, do you have STITCHES!?!?!" and I said "yes, a cerclage they put in at 19 weeks!" and he swore again as he tried to maneuver around it.  Apparently, I had effaced enough and my uterus had deflated enough that there just wasn't enough tissue for the cerclage to hold tight to, and enough space was left for the cord to prolapse.  They rushed me to OR, with the doc riding on the bed with me trying to keep the cord in.  While they were examining me in the room I had found a few seconds to put in a frantic call to my husband "her cord is out, they're rushing me to OR, get up here NOW" and that was all.  In the OR they had 2 anestesiologists working to get an IV in me, I have very thin deep veins that do NOT like IV's and they always have a hard time putting one in.  I was screaming in pain and begging to be put out, but they said they couldn't do a thing until they got the IV in.  Meanwhile, they were asking me quick questions to determine exactly what had happened, what was going on, and medical history.  I told them all the info I could, and that the baby's name was Meghan.  I remember begging them to save Meghan, and they said "don't worry, she'll be fine." and then they got the IV in and I was out in seconds.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up to my husband stroking my hand and hair, telling me we had a beautiful but tiny baby girl.  Apparently they were able to deliver her in under 4 minutes, which was good because they said she would not have lasted another couple minutes.  When she was delivered she was a little limp and her 1 minute apgar score was only a 3.  At 5 minutes it was 7 and at 10 minutes it was an 8, so she perked up pretty quickly. 

The following entries will all be about her progress in the NICU.  Hopefully this journal will help with all the update requests we get from friends and family.  I will be posting photos also, not sure if I will be able to right away or not (they aren't loaded on this computer) but will as soon as possible so you can all see our tiny miracle.