Temple Times

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!