Temple Times

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How time flies...

Time has a funny way of creeping past you here. One minute, one day has passed. You look again, and nearly 10 are gone.

On Sunday - Mia turned 1 month old. It's hard to believe that a month ago Sunday at 5:10 I was laying on an operating table having an emergency c section. So much has happened in a month. It literally seems to have just flown right by us.

Mia has come such a long way since those first few days of life. She came out fighting and she's fighting still.

She now weighs in at 3lbs 6oz. and is now taking bottles! Yeah! We started this the other day and while her first attempt was a no go, every bottle since then has been a success. She takes them like a champ. Her Dr. has put no limit on the ounces in her bottle, curious as to just how much she'll drink. Well, today at her noon feeding I fed her and we put 55mls of breast milk in it, just to see how much she'd take. Well, she fooled us all when she drank the whole thing! (fyi - 55mls is ONE ml shy of 2 ounces!) Such a champ, as her Dr. calls her!

Starting today - she's on 3 bottles a day and the rest are her ng ( feeding tube ) feeds. Judging by how well she does with those, they'll eventually do away with the feeding tube. Woo hoo!

They also wanna try and wean her off her O2. She's on the last possible setting on the machine ( 1/32 of a liter) and they really can't figure out why she wants to hold on to it so desperately. She'll be having an echo tomorrow to make sure her valves in her heart are all closed. One could possibly still be open due to her being born so early. They don't think so - but they say it could be the reason why she destats everytime they try and turn off her oxygen.

She's still in her isolette ( or her incubator as I call it ) but even that should be changing in the next couple of days. She should slowly be making the move to being able to be dressed and bundled and then after that she should be able to be moved to a crib.

Everyday we get better and better news and everyday we are one step closer to home! This journey has been a crazy one but one we couldn't of done without every ones support and their prayers. God's definitely had His hand in all this and that's been evident from day 1.

Prayer Requests:

- Mia's bottle feeds to continue and for her feeding tube to be taken out
- Continued weight gain
- A good report from her echo
- Weaned off O2
- Mommy and Daddy to begin mentally and physically preparing to take Mia home

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Long overdue update! :)

We have had a crazy past couple of days! I apologize for my lack in blogging these past few days. The days start running together and before you realize it, 4 days have passed or more! We've had grandparents visiting and friends, etc.

Mia has been making great progress! She has moved to a smaller isolette now that she's 'gotten bigger'. She is completely off her nutrition through her veins because she got her picc line out yesterday!! She was one happy girl. She kept raising her arm up and bending it back and forth. One less thing tying her down! :)

They are trying to wean her off her oxygen as well. She is on the lowest setting, 1/32 but everytime they try to stop in she destats. Her Dr. says he's not all that concerned because she's still only 33 weeks and by all intended purposes, she'd still be swimming. He says there's plenty of time to wean her from it.

Our little girl is also eating like a CHAMP! She is now getting 30mls (1oz!) of breast milk / formula every 3 hours! We've come such a long way from the days of 6 and 7oz every 3 hours! She also now knows hen it's time to eat, the closer it gets to her time to eat, she starts getting fidgity, starts sucking her lips, sticking her tongue out, etc.

This coming week we are going to try and see how she does with nursing / taking a bottle. The past few days I've been kangarooing her, I've been laying in the middle of my chest. Normally, she lays still and sleeps but the past few times she's started to sniff really hard, stick her tongue out, smack her lips, etc. Her nurses say it's a good sign it means she can smell the breast milk and she's getting a tad frustrated she can't get to it.

Speaking of breast milk, please be in prayer about that. Now that she's eating so much, I can't meet the demand and they are having to either give her formula when I tag team and do breast milk one feeding and formula the other. I'm slightly discouraged by this but her Dr. says once we let her start nursing, my supply should go back up.

After 3 days of suppositories and a week on erythromyicin, Mia is now pooping on her own, and pooping alot! We are SO excited about this! It's funny - as a parent, what excites us now! :) Her nurse made the comment today that every diaper she'd changed on her she had pooped. Guess that's what you get when you text everyone asking them to pray for poop! :)

Mia's also gained on the scales! It fluctuates from day to day but as of last night, she weighs 3lbs 4oz! She has to be a little bit bigger before we can dress and bundle her but she's gaining weight amazingly!

Without her picc line in, she's started on vitamins today too. She'll get those through her feeding tube for now and it's a good thing because judging by the other babies in her room, those vitamins don't taste so good :)

Prayers for Mia for the upcoming week:

- continued weight gain
- to be able to be weaned off oxygen
- to do well with nursing / trying a bottle and to keep tolerating feeds
- Overall continued improvment with her health - growth
- keep on pooping!
- less apnea spells ( she seems to have 1 a day and they seem to be really early in the morning. from like 2am - 6am. she never stops breathing completely but her heart rate drops into the 30s. she does however , bring her self right out of it )

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 17-19th

It's been a busy, busy past 3 days!

Saturday - My parents, Beth, Matt, Meghann, Garrett and Dylan came up to see us and Mia! They were all very happy to see how well she's growing and progressing! We all had a nice lunch out and just enjoyed the time of talking and catching up.

Sunday - Our friends from Martinsburg, Phil and Sarah and their 2yr old daughter Amelia, came to visit us. They came to see Mia, took us to lunch and hung out with us for the day.

Mia's had a pretty good past couple of days. Yesterday - her Dr's told us she was having some issues pooping. She didn't poop at all Saturday and didn't poop at all yesterday morning. Her Dr. told us that with her being a preemie, sometimes their bowels aren't up to what they should be and they need that little push. He said sometimes they can hit a plateau but once she's over it, she should have smooth sailing. It just takes patience on our part. Her erthromycin is helping some but the other things we have started doing is giving her a suppository at her 11am feedings as well as upping her feeds.

Yesterday she pooped 3x and today she pooped at least twice by the time we left at 7pm. Tomorrow morning we're hoping to hear she pooped more! Wednesday is her last day of the suppository so please be in prayer that her bowels "kick" in so to speak and start working full time on their own.

Other then that, she is great. Tonight she was up to 10mls every 3 hours and every other feed they plan on upping it a ml. Her short term goal is 13mls and to tolerate it.

Looking at her now - it's so easy to see how much she's progressing. She's almost a month old and she's come such a long way!

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 14, 15 & 16th

I think I'm going to start stretching my posts out over a few days. On the days when there's nothing big to report, it's hard to come up with a post so it's just easier to wait every few days.

We've had a very good 3 days! We have had some visitors and we love when people make the drive up to see us ( ok, Mia :) )

Over the last few days, Mia's been doing well. She's reacting very well to the erythromyicin thankfully! She's had a lot of good bowel movements and we're thankful for that. She's also been tolerating her feeds well. Her nurse this afternoon said she's been taking her 5mls every 2hrs 'great'. Tomorrow they bump that up to 6.

Yesterday she was having a little issue with her breathing. She was working really hard to breathe. One look up her nose had the answer. She had quite a lot of buildup, or boogers, up her nose. Respiratory came in and used a sucker and cleared her nose out. After that, she seemed to be doing better. Last night she had a little trouble again so they upped her 02 levels some from 1 liter to 1.5 liters. When they came in to do rounds, they noted that she looked much more comfortable and she was breathing so much better.

We've been told that it's now time to pick a pediatrician for her as well. This was something we totally weren't prepared for because yet again, we thought we had time. Thankfully, one of the residents happens to be a doctor in Harpers Ferry, WV which is only about 20 minutes from where we live. He gave us the names of some great pediatricians in the area that specialize in preemies. Plus, he's told us he's become quite attached to Mia (umm, who hasn't? :) ) and that when he finishes his residency and goes back to Harpers Ferry, it means he can still see her.

You'd also be glad to know, her medicine is MORE then working. She had 2 big bowel movements yesterday and this afternoon when we came back, her nurse informed us that she had pooped through 2 diapers in a matter of minutes and that she was unaware someone so small could produce poop like that.

She is also almost 16inches long and she weighs in as of last night at 2lbs 13oz :)

Her Dr. told us yesterday that as long as she keeps progressing like she is - he sees no reason why she can't be discharged mid October! So keep those prayers coming!

Speaking of prayers - people have been asking if we need anything specifically and really all we're asking for is prayer. Some of the things you can be in prayer about us with are:

Mia's continued progression and over all health.

Wisdom in the decisions her Dr's make concerning her care.

For Drew and I to lean on each other and to not stress out over the little things, or the big things for that matter. To realize that through this whole ordeal, God's in complete control.

Financially we struggle, as does anyone who takes a job hiatus and live 3 hrs away to be with their child 24/7. God has provided so graciously this past month with finances. We're truly blessed and we know He'll provide for us again until we bring Mia home and I return to work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today has been a better day all around. Thanks to everyone's prayers - they were felt and very much appreciated.

Today, Mia was started on her erythromycin. They also started her feeds back up slowly. She's starting off at 2mls every 4hrs to see how well she tolerates and how her stomach looks. So please be in prayer that the medicine does what it's supposed to so she can get back to gaining on her feeds.

I walked in this morning and the nurses were all laughing at her. Apparently, every morning around 5am, she starts waking up and doing these crazy leg kicks. Sometimes they're straight out, sometimes she kicks 'em straight up in the air and leaves em there for awhile. Her nurse commented this morning she's just getting her morning calisthenics in.

I've been having trouble sleeping with getting up to pump every few hours so this morning I let myself "sleep in" till 830. I missed rounds but it's ok. We knew this morning at rounds the most they would do was give the ok to start the drug and that was actually about it.

Tonight - Daddy got to hold is girl all bundled up. She's right on the border with her weight with being held strictly kangaroo or kangaroo and bundled. Her nurse tonight let Drew hold her bundled and she did great maintaining her own temp all by herself!

We noticed today, she's starting to get her eyebrows and her eyelashes and she's stating to lose the hair all over her body. It's so funny - a baby at full term has, well, everything and someone born at 29 weeks like Mia, wasn't done fully developing yet so it's been very neat to watch certain things come into play over the last almost 3 weeks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

I apologize in advance for no pictures today. This morning it slipped our minds and tonight she was snoozing hard and nothing was waking her up. Perhaps we finally got our days and nights straightened out :)

This morning, we got up early enough to make rounds at the hospital. They start at 830 though sometimes they're not always punctual; like today. It was more around 9. I had trouble sleeping last night and then getting up every few hours to pump and then Drew had stayed up watching hulu so we were both very sleepy this morning. Nevertheless, we made it on time.

As usual - her team of doctors came strolling in - all 8 of them. She is still off her feeds but she's still getting nutrition streamed right in through her veins. They x rayed again and her Doctor said her bowels looked a lot better. Despite that though, they still want to start her on erythromycin tomorrow morning. Apparently, in a lot of preeclampsia babies, they can get stressed out because they sense their mother's sick and the first sign of stress for them is in their bowels. They can develop air in their bowels which is what Mia has. She is still pooping and quite a lot and they said that's great it means things are still going through, just a little slower. Giving her the erythromycin will help fix the air issue and keep things moving.

I am having quite a time with this whole post traumatic stress disorder some day and today was one of those days. Upon hearing that she has this bowel issue because I had preeclampsia instantly made me blame myself. If I hadn't had preeclampsia, I'd still be pregnant, we wouldn't be sitting in the NICU right now in Morgantown and she wouldn't be having this issue with her bowels. I really, really, really dislike feeling like that. Some days I'm perfectly fine, other days, I just can't take it. I held back on my tears at that moment. After they left, I kangarooed her for almost 2 hours. I just wanted to sit and snuggle with her after that. We both kind of dozed off a little during that time too.

As we walked out of the hospital, I was quiet and for anyone who knows me, well, I'm never quiet. :) Drew picked up on it pretty quickly but I kept telling him I was fine that I was just tired. We went to Arby's to grab some lunch and as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, he asked me one more time what was wrong and I just lost it. I told him it was my fault she was having bowel issues. It was my fault because of the preeclampsia. It was just all my fault.

My poor husband. I feel like he has to pick me up and dust me off and get me moving again more times then not these days. He let me cry it out, we talked and I slowly calmed down. He's great at calming me down and putting things into perspective for me. I've been better since then but I won't lie, the thought does still linger in the back of my mind. I don't normally ask for prayer for me specifically but this disorder can work a number on you so yeah, if you think about it, I would appreciate a prayer or two. It gets better everyday though, so I count that as a plus :)

In Mia news - she was weighed last night. Despite only getting the nutrition through her veins, our little champ has yet again, gained weight! :) She did weigh 2lbs 7.2oz and as of yesterday she now weighs 2lbs 9.6oz! She has almost doubled her weight which is awesome! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 9 - 11

The internet here at the Ronald McDonald House has been down for the last 2 days so I haven't been able to blog so here comes 3 days worth of blogging. I'll try to keep it short and sweet but we'll see. :)


Friday Mia's Uncle Jameson and Auntie Katie came to visit her! It was Jamesons first time seeing Mia and Katie's third. We enjoy having visitors. Jameson took Drew to a movie and Katie and I went to the mall and walked around and just talked. It's so nice to feel normal and get away as long as Mia's doing well.

Speaking of Mia - she had a good day Friday. They stopped her feeds because on Thursday evening they noticed her belly looking a little distended. It wasn't hard, just a little distended. She had an 'enormous' poop according to her nurse. We're glad we missed that one! The x ray showed her bowels still a little 'loopy' so they decided to hold off on her feeds for awhile. She had 4 poops on Friday despite holding on the feeds so that was good.

On Friday evening when we went back to visit before we turned in for the night, we found out they had moved Mia again. A tiny baby had been born and since she was the healthiest and biggest in her old room she was the candidate. She moved to a 'bigger' baby room. There's only 3 babies and she IS the smallest but the move was for the best they tell us. We like the room and it's kind of nice to see other parents visit their babies. In her old room - we were the only parents ever in the room and it was a little sad. While we don't know the other parents situations, it was hard visiting our baby and watching these other babies with no one to visit them.


On Friday evening when we went to see Mia, on our way back, someone at the Ronald McDonald House was giving everyone tickets to the game. We took them - I mean why not? We left the game at halftime so I could come back and pump. After a quick nap, we headed back over to see Mia. They had done another xray that morning of her bowels and they were still looking 'loopy' so they held off on feeds again. She was doing well last night and Daddy got to change his first poopy diaper! I helped him out some so next time he's on his own. In Mia's new room they're letting us 'do' more. It's really nice, we actually get to feel like parents. We both got to kangaroo her last night as well. That was nice. It had been a few days since we've had so many visitors, Drew's been sick, etc. It's nice to just sit and snuggle with her.

Mia's found her voice this weekend too. What was once a kittens meow cry is now almost a full fledged cry. She's exercised that the past few days and it's just been humorous to watch. Drew gets a bit ansy every time she starts to cry. He hasn't seen anything yet! :)

She also got weighed and measured last night. She's now 2lbs 8.6 oz and 15 3/4 inches long. She's almost doubled her weight and she's grown 2 inches since birth. Way to go, Mia!

This morning we slept in a little then headed over. They were admitting a new baby in Mia's room so we couldn't go back to see her till around 1130. When we went back she was snoozing away as usual. We had just missed rounds but her nurse was nice enough to fill us in. They kept her feeds on hold today as well. They want to talk to a gastro specialist about starting her on a medicine to help her bowels. They're eager to get her feeds started up again and so are we so pray that either the problem gets fixed or the medicine will help.

Auntie Jeanette came to visit today as well! She met Mia then took us for a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel. We sat and talked for a few hours and kind of lost track of time. We are back at the room now, waiting till 9 when we can go back and say goodnight to Mia.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 7th and 8, 2011

Yesterday was a busy day. We stopped by to see Mia for a few and then we were Martinsburg bound once we saw and heard she was doing fine. I had a follow up appointment with my Midwife for my c section. Why WVU couldn't just let me schedule an appointment with one of their OB's, I'm not sure but never the less, we drove the 2 1/2hrs.

My appointment went well. I lost 22lbs, 16 of that was fluid put on by the pre clampsia. My blood pressure was almost back down to what it normally is as well. My incision from my c section is healing well. I'm still in a little bit of pain but I can normally manage it with ibuprofen. I also found out the bit of depression I've been feeling is not post pardum or baby blues but post traumatic stress syndrome. It's very common in emergency c sections and early deliveries with preemies. It was pretty comforting to know I wasn't just going crazy or anything - it was completely normal what I was feeling. She also commended me for breast feeding ( well, pumping ) with a preemie. Apparently, it's very rare and not alot of Mom's of preemies do it.

After stopping by work to turn in my FMLA papers, we headed back to Morgantown. We spent some time with Mia then headed back to the Ronald McDonald House to sleep.


Today "Auntie" Michelle came to see Mia again! I've been very blessed with some of the best co workers a girl could ask for in Hagerstown and Michelle is definitely one of them. She made cookies for Mia's nurses, the people at the Ronald McDonald house and some for us. We went and had lunch at CiCis and it was just nice to get away for a few hours and talk.

This evening we went back to see Mia. They had planned on upping her feedings tonight at 11 to 8mls every 2 hours but after the 7, she started getting a little distention in her stomach. Her nurse told us she had an 'enormous' bowel movement. They did an x ray after to just see how her bowels looked and they were clean and so was her stomach. They held off on her 11pm feeding so she could just settle her stomach back down and relax a bit.

Her oxygen was also raised to 39% this evening from her normal 30%. Doing so has taken her heart rate back down to normal to the 150's and kept it from going up to the 170's. They are going to slowly lower it back down tomorrow and see how she does. So pray that when it's lowered, she does well and maintains her normal heart rate.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day! It was cold and rainy here and Mia took full advantage and slept most of her day away. What better thing to do when it rains, right?

Mia was doing well when we made it over to see her this morning. We missed rounds but her nurse assured us she was good. Her heart rate was a little high this morning so they are going to monitor that, but when we went back this evening, it had gone back down to normal. Prays that it stays where it has which is anywhere from 140 - 156. It varies for her but normally stays somewhere in that range.

Other then that - she really had a great day. Mommy got to cuddle with her girl on this rainy day because Daddy feels a bit under the weather and he doesn't wanna take the chance of her getting sick. We got him some medicine tonight but pray he starts to feel better soon. Now's not a good time to get sick.

Katie and her Mom came to visit our little lady today! Katie's Mom has been like my other Mom for so long so it was only fitting she came to see her 'grand baby'. I'm pretty sure she's in love now too. Of course - we can't blame her. Mia is pretty loveable!

They took us out to dinner and it was so nice to just sit and relax and talk and feel 'normal'? We have sort of adapted a routine here but it was nice to just get away from the hospital and visit with dear friends. So thanks Katie and Debbie - we really appreciated it!

Drew ran back to the hospital at around 9 tonight to get the bottles and stuff for pumping that I had left here from earlier. When he went back, he spoke to the night nurse some and she told us that tomorrow night is bath night and invited us to come help bathe Mia!

She also told Drew that they weighed Mia again tonight. Our little chunkster gained more weight. She's now at 2lbs 6.8oz. She hasn't left any food in her line and she's tolerating her feeds well so they are increasing her feeds from 3ml every 3 hours to 3ml every 2 hours. Means this Momma has to get more pumping in!

Tomorrow the grandparents are coming and hopefully Mia will be awake but if it's another rainy day, the chances of that look slim!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, September 4,2011

What a day! We slept in a little bit today because rounds are made later. We had all intended purposes to get up and over to the hospital earlier but, we didn't get there till around 11. We had to call hospital security to catch a ride because the tailgating in the parking lot had already begun and it was insane. MU tailgating is one thing...WVU tailgating I've learned, is quite another. On our ride over to the hospital, they were already getting calls for people being arrested for DUIs. It was literally insane.

Once inside the hospital though, it was all good. Yet again since it's the weekend, rounds are late and consist of fewer doctors. We got some good news today though. They upped Mia's feed from 2ml every 3 hours to 3ml every 3 hours. And the big news?! She weighed in at 2lbs .8oz on Tuesday evening and last night our little porker weighed in at 2lbs 5oz!! We thought she looked 'beefier' and bigger and we were right!

Today her big goal was to poop. She's had a few smears in her diaper but nothing other then that, until today. Baby girl pooped and it was alot! She also expressed her dislike of getting her diaper changed today. She was most unhappy but Momma and Daddy were pretty pleased.

She also went back under the phototherapy lights today. She was looking a bit jaundice again last night so they put her back under the lights today to straighten her bilrubin levels back out. Also - we are happy to report that she had no apnea spells yesterday either, so the caffeine is working!

Tonight - when we got back to the house, Drew and I sat in the kitchen and just talked with some of the other parents here in the house. We all had a big dinner together and just talked. What Drew and I walked away with was just how lucky and thankful we were that Mia's only real issue was that she was early. We met parents tonight who have babies in the NICU with several heart murmurs, breathing tubes, severe apnea, etc. It just literally broke your heart to it all - it broke mine. Please keep these families in your prayers as much as you keep Mia in your prayers. They have a much harder road ahead of them then we seem to.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The weekends are a bit slower at the hospital. Rounds are made later and things just seem to slow down a little bit, which is nice.

We got to talk with Mia's Dr. this afternoon and he told us things are yet again, staying the same with her for the day. She's tolerating her 2ml every 3hr feeds just fine and the caffeine is helping with her slight apnea. He said that while he didn't really have anything new to tell us, that that in itself was good. He said boring news is great because that means that right now, her only big job is to grow. Bring on the boring news then if that's the case! We'll take it!

I asked to speak with a lactation specialist this morning as well. Staying somewhere like the Ronald McDonald house, it's hard to feel confident in the milk you're producing. I was fine and really ok with what I was pumping until I went to put a bottle into the freezer and there were 2 bottles another mother had pumped full while mine was only about 20ml. This set me into a bit of a bad mood. I came back to the room and Drew took one look at me and I just broke down. How come that mom could produce so much when I was happy before getting about a little over an ounce a day when it's all said and done. I felt like I was failing. That pumping is the one thing I can do for her right now and what if I'm not able to pump enough and why aren't I filling up bottles?

The lactation specialist and the 2 friends I had texted as well with my concerns were great. They all assured me what I was producing was fine. That Mia was so little and only getting those 2ml every 3 hours that my 20 in one sitting was enough t give her 10 feedings so imagine what a little over an ounce a day will do for her. It helped to hear it from other people, especially breast feeding Moms and the lactation specialist. Drew had also told me the same thing and while I know I should listen to my husband, I just felt better asking another woman ,or women in this case. I know it's hard for him when I get so upset over something like that and he tries his hardest to help me calm down. I love him all the more for it. God definitely blessed me with an awesome husband. So thank you to Sarah and Holli who were awesome with uplifting words and helpful ideas!

Tonight was Mommy and Mia time. Daddy read from our Kindle while Mommy and Mia just rocked and snuggled. It's so nice to just hold her against me and just smell her and hold her close. She was pretty sleepy but she tried to stay awake, just didn't really happen for long. That's ok though, sleepy snuggles are best.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

This morning, Daddy got to hold his baby girl. I'm pretty sure there's nothing more precious and maybe I'm biased, but still. It was pretty darn cute to see. Mia had just had her dose of caffeine before Drew got to hold her so she was the most alert we've seen her while he was holding her. She kept looking up at him and watching him.

We got another good report today. Her plan of care stayed the same and nothing changed so that was good. We were glad to hear it. Also - thanks to her nurse this morning, we came to find out that they had been writing her weight wrong all along. When she was born, she weighed 1lb 15oz, as of last night, she now weighs 2lbs .8 oz. Apparently her other nurse had been forgetting the . in front of the ounces. Still a good weight gain in 8 days - just not 2lb 2oz like we had thought.

Speaking of her nurses, they have been amazing. They are very good about informing us on her progress while we were away and they've been awesome at letting me pump next to her isolette.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1. One week old!

Today was a big day for us! This morning we met with Mias team of doctors who are over seeing her care. It's a pretty big team - about 8 people or so. Everyone from a nutritionist down to a regular pediatric doctor. For the first 10 minutes or so, numbers and huge vocabulary terms were flying around but once that was over, her main Dr. explained everything to us. Yet again he kept reiterating how well she was doing. It never gets old hearing that!

They stopped her feeds yesterday because she was still leaving food in her line but today they started up again.

They did start her on caffeine today too. Her Dr. said that while her apnea is mild considering she brings herself right out it, the caffeine will just make it easier for her.

This morning we also got the clear to start kangaroo care!! kangaroo care is where we hold her bare chested so our boy temperature keeps her warm. We were pretty pumped about this!

The Dr. said his only big goal for her now since she's doing so great is just to put on weight and grow.

After morning rounds were done, Mias nurse began to get things ready for kangaroo care.

Can I just say there is nothing like holding your baby for the first time? I have literally ached not being able to so today was just such a joy. As soon as she laid her on my chest I just wanted to cry. She opened her eyes and looked at Drew and I and all we could do was smile.

Holding your little 30 week miracle is just such a reminder of Gods love and care. Though we didn't know Mia was coming to us so early - it was no surprise to God and he had it all orchestrated out.

Tomorrow Drew will get to hold her and I am
pretty pumped to see Daddy with his baby girl!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 31, 2011

Today we finally met one of Mia's doctors. For days - people have been asking us if we have any questions as far as Mia's care is concerned. What has plagued Drew and I is - what do we ask? We've never been in this situation before so we have no idea the questions we should be asking. Mia's nurse this morning was amazing and patiently went over everything with us, from the tiniest details of her care to the big steps being taken in the next few days. It was great to just have someone sit and explain everything and break it all down for us. It's still a lot to process but we feel better knowing things now.

Yesterday, they moved Mia to what they call a "Wee Care Quiet Zone". Mia is in a smaller NICU room, she is only one of 3 babies in there at the moment. The Quiet Zone is specifically for "micro" preemies (preemies 3lbs and under). We really enjoy her new room. The noise level is cut drastically down, everyone whispers or talks quietly, the lights are dimmed or off most of the day/evening so it doesn't over stimulate them and they are watched a little more closely.

This morning her Dr. went over a few key things with us concerning the princess. She kept emphasizing that she is doing very well and we can't ever hear that enough! I'm not sure about Drew, but for me at times, I feel like I am holding my breath for bad news - I'm not sure how I'll cope with it. There are times I want to cry from hearing good news.

Mia is doing very well breathing on her own with just the nose valve of oxygen. The saturation is low and she seems to be doing ok. She does have a few episodes where she does forget to breathe and our Dr. this morning assured us that was completely normal given her gestational age. She told us that if it continues, then in the next few days she will probably be receiving some caffeine to help her out. They don't want her to wear herself out and caffeine will help her not have to work as hard to get those breathes in.

They also mentioned to us today that she will probably/ more then likely have to have a blood transfusion. I did freak out over this a bit but yet again, her Dr. assured us this was normal for her age as well. Given she was 10 weeks early, her body doesn't produce the right amount of blood yet so a transfusion will help that out and help 'meaten' her up some.

She was still under the lights today for her bilrubin level. They weren't horribly high, just a little and they were keeping her under the lights today just as a precaution. They don't want to have to keep putting her on and off the lights if they don't have to.

They were feeding her 4ml every 6 hours and she seemed to be doing ok digesting it all until her late feeding last night. She had some gas and such with the last 4ml feeding so for the next few days she'll be getting 2ml every 6 hours and then they'll slowly try to increase it again.

Tonight she lost her umbilical line! Yeah! They called us this afternoon for verbal consent to put a picc line in her. This line remains in for awhile and it's easier for them to get blood, etc for labs. Removing that umbilical line and putting in the picc line means that within the next few days, Drew and I can start Kangaroo Care ( skin to skin contact) with her. We are SO excited about this! Just Drew and I will be able to hold her against our bare chest and let our body temperature regulate hers.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for this. It's so hard to just touch your baby when all you want to do is pick them up and hold them close to you. That's been one of the hardest parts is just not being able to hold her. Makes you literally ache.

They did an xray of her chest and heart and what they saw was good. She has a good, healthy heart with no murmurs.

Those were all the updates we got today. It was a lot to process but we feel so much better knowing things now and while we're still a bit unsure of what to ask - we know she's in the best of care and they'll tell us anything we want to know.

I know I keep saying it and I probably will never tire of saying it but Drew and I are just so incredibly thankful for ya'll. The prayers, texts, facebook messages, etc mean the world to us. We are touched that so many people care about us and Mia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 30

Today has been a good day! I spent the morning / afternoon by myself and I was a little apprehensive about that this morning. Drew drove home to take care of some stuff at the DHHR and to turn in my leave of absence paper work at my job. I wasn't ready to make the drive yet and we wanted one of us here with Mia. After he left this morning, I kind of felt scared. I hadn't been by myself in over a week and I wasn't sure if my body was up for functioning by itself without any help. It took me a little longer then normal to get up and moving but once I had my pain medication in and working, it got easier.

I hadn't pumped since last night so I was eager to get to Mia this morning, spend that time with her and then pump next to her bedside. I seem to produce more milk when I do that so I think it is a trend we are going to try to keep up with. Her nurse filled me in on her night as soon as I got there. I always hold my breath for a good report. some key note things were:

- they upped her feedings because she can hold more and go longer without food now. if i pump enough, they no longer have to give her formula mixed with breast milk. as long as i continue pumping, breast milk will be all she receives which is awesome

- she moved to a different nicu room tonight. it's smaller, she's one of 3 babies and we just felt more comfortable back there this afternoon. she's getting the best one on one care possible.

- she was under the jaundice lamp today. her nurse said her bilrubin level was just a tad high this morning so she would be under the lamp all day

- she now weighs in at 2lbs 3.8 ounces!

- she had a bath and loved it

- she is now getting a pacifier and we are told she just loves it

hopefully tomorrow morning when we go back we'll hear more good news! keep those prayers and such coming - we cherish each and every one!

The lowdown on preeclampsia and the help syndrome....

Many people have asked why Mia came to us so early. It seemed one week I was fine and the next I was struggling to just do the everyday. The answer? Preeclampsia. Or in my case, severe preeclampisa and the help syndrome. Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe. It usually comes into play around the last part of your 2nd trimester and into the beginning of the third. It has many different characteristics but mainly the big one's are:

- change in blood pressure. for example, mine before preeclampsia and help were around 110/70. the night i was admitted at wvu they were going as high as 177/110.

- swelling of the hands, feet, face. i looked like a big balloon. my rings no longer fit, i was swelling u and out of my shoes, i couldn't bend my fingers, etc.

- protein in the urine

- weight gain of more then 2lbs per week. i gained 16lbs of fluid in 2 weeks.

- pain in the upper abdominal area. we had originally thought mia had her hand or foot up under my ribs on the right side but it turns out that it was my liver enflaming and acting up due to the preeclampsia.

find out more here:http://www.preeclampsia.org/

all these factors can range from mild to severe.

by the time i was admitted in morgantown, mine were severe. i was pumped full of magnesium sulfate for 2 days by iv and that alone left me feeling horrible. i was told it would make me feel like i had the flu, but it was way worse. to move even the smallest of body parts took the breath out of me. i felt like i weighed 500lbs and that no matter how hard i tried i just couldn't move and get comfortable like i wanted. i had labs done every 2hrs, a catheter put in, put on a clear liquid diet, etc.

mia was monitored for 2 days very closely. they watched her by ultrasound 4x to determine her size, maturity, etc. i was given 2 steroid shots over the span of 48 hours that would help mature her lungs and get her ready for delivery. they wanted her to be able to breathe on her own. after the injection of the 2 shots, she was watched by ultrasound again. the ob was checking to see if she was mimicking lung movement for 30 seconds or longer. this alone would tell her if she was ready or not. mia passed with flying colors. she mimicked lung movement for more then 30 seconds a handful of times - just what they were after.

at around 4:00pm thursday evening, i had blood drawn one last time. this would tell the dr whether i could be pregnant longer or if she needed to come now. the news was what we had all dreaded to hear: my levels weren't getting better so the decision had been made for an emergency c section.

i remember hearing the words 'c section' and just losing it. this wasn't what we had planned. we had planned on natural child birth, no complications, etc and now here i was being prepped for surgery in a matter of minutes. i don't think i've ever been so scared in my life and i wasn't scared for me. for once, i remember not really caring about what would happen to me. it was mia i was worried about. i was worried she wasn't ready - that she needed all the time in the womb i could give her. my nurse was wonderful and assured me that i had given mia almost 7 months in the womb already and that now she would be doing so much better out of me. she wouldn't be getting sick due to my preeclampsia and that was worth everything.

once back in the operating room, things just seemed to be happening so fast. in no time i had been given my spinal and everything from the chest down had gone numb. they were poking me with a needle asking me if i felt anything and i didn't. that was weird. shortly after that, drew came in and they had already started cutting.

funny things happen while you're on the operating table. while you're having major surgery, you're operating team could be discussing anything from the weather to dogs. this was my team. they were just talking like it was just another day and that weirded me out. after a few big pushes of pressure, i heard one of the dr's yell 'time' and that told me that mia was out! they took her quickly and after cleaning her up a bit, drew was able to see her before they took her back to the nicu.

everything since then has just been so strange. my recovery has been slow due to the preeclampsia and the help syndrome, but everyday i feel myself feeling better then the day before.

so there you have it - there's kind of our story in mia's arrival in a nutshell and there's kind of a run down in preeclampsia. hope that answers some questions that many of you had!

Sunday, August 29th

I'm a few hours late on Sunday's blog and I even debated on writing about yesterday at all, but I'm learning the more I can talk about what we're going through - really the better off it is for Drew and I.

Yesterday was...rough. Not for Mia in the slightest - but mainly for this Mama. I suppose that while I was in the hospital, I never once really imagined how hard it would be to walk out the front door not taking Mia with us. For almost a week - she was simply just a walk ( let's be real - a wheelchair ride ) down the hall and maybe I took that for granted.

Yes, it was hard for me to be on the mother/ baby unit and hear all those precious babies all night and know I couldn't reach out and pick up mine as easily as they were doing, but still, I was coping and dealing with that. I have been in a lot of pain since my c section as well so I think I was just worried about getting that under control along with my blood pressure.

To hear the words 'discharge' after a week is like music. After about the 3rd day of being there, you sadly sort of start to adjust and get a good schedule going, almost as if it's just part of the norm of your life at the time.

Once we heard I was getting discharged, it was like our door never stayed closed. We were visited by nurses and other staff who were just so excited for us. Staying at WVU has been unlike anything Drew or I have experienced. These people have gone well above and beyond their job to make sure we are comfortable, our needs are getting met, our families are happy, etc. We had the best care from the moment I walked in the door. We had nurses who bent over backwards to help us and make sure we felt comfortable. I'm pretty sure there isn't a thank you card big enough that would even begin to cover how we feel about this place.

Upon leaving the hospital, we were just bombarded with information and paper work for various things. Since Mia was so early, she qualifies for certain levels of state assistance, etc. We were also visited by a lactation consultant, a few Dr's, etc. Once everyone left, we just felt so heavy and laid down with information. It was alot to process in such a short amount of time.

I was discharged around 3pm and we quickly drove the .8 miles up over to the Ronald McDonald House. This will be our home until Mia is ready to come home with us. We are thankful that it is so close and that we are fortunate enough to be able to stay here so we can be close to her.

After we checked in and got all of our stuff unloaded into our room here, I simply sat down and started to cry. I hadn't really slept in a week, I was exhausted and in pain and I never imagined how hard it would be to walk out of the hospital without my baby. I thought I could handle it, I thought I'd be fine considering everything else we have been through. I was wrong. I felt like I was abandoning her by leaving the hospital. I felt like I'd been short changed. I felt the whole ordeal was very unfair and I was upset.

Let me just say that my husband has been my rock this past week. He has been so amazing and supportive during this whole crazy situation that it makes me love him even more. He held me and assured me it was fine and ok to cry, that I had a right to. He then began by telling me all the positives. That even though we can't take Mia home yet we should be thankful that we have a place to stay that's literally right next door, that she is one of the best NICU's in the nation, that she is doing as well as she's doing, that we have such an amazing support team and mainly that we serve a God who knows how we feel and is hugging us so tightly right now.

We go see our little princess about 4-5 times a day for about an hour each time. The first time I saw her - oddly enough, even though she's mine, I felt like I was staring at someone else's baby.It was very odd. It was almost like we were just there visiting someone's little preemie. I was told that was normal and to give it a few days. By last night - those ideas had fled as well. As soon as I walk into the NICU - I want to know how her last few hours have been, how she's doing at the moment, eating, etc. After that, I just pull up a chair and sit there with her. I open her isolete. I put my hand on her and we just spend that time bonding and connecting. I am starting to pump while I am at her bedside as well and that is a very neat experience.

Last night at around 7 - they fed her through her IV tube. I was so excited and almost in tears because all she had last night was my milk that I had pumped out a few hours earlier. For the past few days, they have been mixing what I pump with preemie formula. Last night however, it was all my milk. I was beyond excited. There are so many benefits to breast milk, especially for preemies and the fact that she had that and nothing else made me so happy.

Her nurse talked to us last night about the possibility of her UAV tube in her stomach coming out very soon. They are talking about putting a pic line in which is normal for preemies. The line eliminates any need for the other stomach tube and the line going in would also mean we can start kangaroo care which is what they are goaling towards for us sooner rather then later. They really want Mia and I to have that skin to skin contact that's so important f or her right now. I almost jumped out of my chair last night after she told us that! I want noting more right now then to hold my little girl and Lord willing by the sounds of it - it will happen soon!

Other then that, Mia is about the same. I am told that's good. No news is good news. She had her eyes open alot yesterday and was moving her arms around alot as well. She likes to know what's going on around her. They started giving her a pacifier last night which she loves! We are also told she's a bit fiesty and has alot of fight and spunk in her. That's our girl! Keep up the fight, Mia and we'll be home before you know it!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday, August 28th

today has been a good day for miss mia! we went to see her this morning around 11:30 and she was wide awake and looking around. today she is not on her cpap machine - she is breathing normal oxygen air. according to the nurses, she has the nose tubes in simply for a little bit of saturation for her. as of today she also has also had her UA line out. that went out sometime around last night/ early this morning. i was able to pump some this morning and that was mixed in with her preemie formula and fed to her for her afternoon feeding. she is weighed nightly and as of last night she weighed in at 2 lbs 3 oz! we are anxiously awaiting going back tonight to see if she has gained any more weight. she was not on under the lights this morning either and we were able to just sit and talk to her for awhile. those moments are precious we are finding and we are treasuring them. this morning she also had her hat off and we were able to see just how much hair she has! as you can see - it's quite alot! this momma was also happy to see someone had let her sport a hair bow this morning as well!