Monday, March 10, 2008

Update for Monday

The nurse came by to take our bili numbers and they are down from 13.4 to 11 something. :) This means she can be done this evening! We will take her to get her heel poked on Wednesday morning to get a new reading and make sure her numbers don't rebound. She also gained three ounces since yesterday - another 3 and she'll be back at birthweight! :) Which they like to see happen by 10 - 14 days. Ha! My babies rock! Well, my babies and my milk. :) Either way - I'm taking credit for that one. Breastfeeding hurts like the dickens. (I know - even with #3!)

Too Much Info Alert: Do not read if you don't want to... Or if you're a boy... Or a prudish girl...

Hopefully soon we will see an improvement on the feeding front. My blisters are all peeling and the silicone gel pads seem to be helping the healing along. Latching on still is terrible but it hasn't been fun with any of the kiddos so I guess I'm just a sensitive gal. I tell you - with all that we have gone through I can see why so many don't stick it out. If it wasn't the best thing for my babies there is no way I would voluntarily go through this! But after a week or so I know everything will be fine and then it's such a great experience! I still love it now - maybe I'm a sadist. :) But there is just such a sweet feeling when you can feed your baby and have that cool bonding time. Plus it appeals to the fru-gal in me that I'm saving myself thousands of dollars.

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging: Suitable for all ages!
Since everything is doing a bit better with baby I have noticed such a lift in spirits! I feel so happy! Rick spoke with work today about taking time off and (thanks to Steve and Meredith for letting us know about this) it looks like he'll be able to get some paid time off without dipping into his vacation hours! Yay! It was such a relief for him - the difference is his manner was immediate and he seems so much happier. I didn't realize (and I'm not sure he did either) how much that was weighing on him. Add to that the fact that we have some people from church bringing in dinner tonight and, once again, we are feeling so blessed that we have such awesome support to relieve some of the load and stress that comes with a new baby! I know we are both pretty tired but knowing that we are being so taken care of is such a boost to the morale! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone - and especially to a loving Father in Heaven who sees fit to so abundantly pour out his love and blessings on us. It is so humbling and sweet to feel the love of the service of others.

Let's see - I gave Nathan a haircut (which he has needed for over a month - it was bad) last night by standing him up on the sink and letting him watch. I also kept telling him how handsome he was and that Olivia (his and Ashlyn's friend and Shelly's daughter) would Love it! It is sad to note that a #6 actually took hair off the back of his head - it was that long! (For those who do the clippers like we do). The back is usually a #1/#2 combo, middle's a #4 and the top's a #6. He had such a nice time today - I read him a bunch of books after I took Ashlyn to school and then he played with Daddy for a bit. It's so nice to have us all home to enjoy this time together. Again - just another great blessing for which we are so thankful! Our cup runneth over - ya know?

I'm going to try and take advantage of Rick being home and get a little tidying up done - Rick's already started some of that for me. And hopefully we'll all get good naps today. Especially us bigger folk - we sure aren't getting much sleep at night. Feeding every three hours doesn't seem too bad as far as losing sleep goes until you actually try it. It takes 45 minutes or so to do both sides and change a poopy dipe. Then some quick burping, you have to fall back asleep again, you rest for maybe an hour and a half and then you immediately wake up about 20 minutes before the next feed because you can hear that your baby is starting to wake up and you need to be ready to go pretty soon - it's like your body knows it's coming and you wake up in preparation.

Thanks everyone for your calls and well wishes - it's so nice to know you all care and love our little one!

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Today in pictures

And in words...
They don't like her jaundice numbers so she gets to sit naked under lights with velcro attached to her head. I hate this. Lots of tears today. I can't stand it when my little ones are not ok.
Apparently you get jaundice when red blood cells break down and your liver can't handle it. This can happen during a traumatic labor or with a preemie (anything less than 38 weeks) or when the mom and baby have different blood types. When 2 of these occur medical mucky mucks put the baby in the highest risk category and will accept only the lowest levels of billirubin. (sp?)
I am O and the baby is A so my O blood mixed with hers during birth, giving her some of my A and B attacking antibodies. This can lead to higher levels of red blood cells dying, which in turn ups those bili numbers. So even though her levels are great even for a full term baby, or for a preemie even, they are sticking her under lights cuz they suck, cuz they consider her high risk. Thhpppppttt. :P

And here I am at 2 days old

no cameras, please

One day old...

These pics are all of the 7th - when cutie patootie was a whole day old!

I can cry, I can cry, I can cry!

(Channeling your best Peter Pan song here)

Aargh me maties!

Doing my sucking thing.

Lots of love.

I guess there are awesome people in Colorado too! ;)

Here we have 2 of our saviors this week - Meredith and Shelly! They not only took care of our kids (Nathan remarked upon leaving Meredith's - "I want to go back to her house! I don't want to leave!" with lots of tears) but also took care of us! They scheduled people to pick up Ashlyn from school and take her there each morning (thanks Jessica - Ashlyn was ecstatic and so excited to tell me that she got gum! I would put your pic up here too if I had one!) They rearranged things for me so I didn't need to worry about teaching my sunday classes and even went and brought all the things we had forgotten at home! They brought me beautiful flowers and lovely mommy presents and Meredith even knitted this beautiful hat for the baby! It is so great to have friends! Heather mentioned "trench friends" in her blog - friends who stick by you even in the trenches of life. I am proud and humbled to say I have GREAT ones. Meredith even agreed with me that all the people who are making my baby sit under these terrible bili-lights are yucky poopy heads. That's right! This little one's early arrival really threw us for a loop - we had nothing ready and no plans for this. I literally didn't need to worry for one minute - these girls took care of everything. What more could you ask for?

Pics from my birthday...

what have they done to me?

close up

can you see how much I love to suck?

so big

Um, so, yeah. I'm supposed to have three more weeks!

We've been cheated out of 3 whole weeks! We have no name picked out, I have no clothes washed and the room's not quite ready and I don't have anything that fits her! :) But we have a nice healthy baby and she is beautiful!

Here's the story - more for my benefit than yours most likely. I just don't want to forget all the details!

Ok. So I was still sick the night of the 6th. Rick was out sleeping on the couch because I'd been keeping him up all night with my coughing and he'd been exhausted at work that week.

I had been dreaming about all sorts of weird things. I remember earlier that day Rick had said that Steve and Tina were getting their paperwork in to adopt a baby and I remember that I had been dreaming about something to do with that. I can't remember exactly what. :) Anyway, through my dream I was aware that my sacrum was getting really sore. It was confusing to me (from what I remember of what I was thinking in my dream) because I couldn't think of any reason why it should start hurting in the middle of the night. I remember telling myself, it's only because I'm thinking about Steve and Tina's baby - it's not really happening. Anyway - I was thinking and talking myself out of a sore back for a while and when I finally looked at the clock it was 12 midnight.

I tried shifting position and arranging pillows but I couldn't get comfy. I started noticing that my backache was having "peaks" of intensity and thought "huh - sometimes people in labor start with a backache". I thought maybe I was having some weird prep contractions so I started timing the peaks at about 12:45. They were 4-5 minutes apart. I wasn't able to sleep and I didn't want to wake up Rick (who hadn't gone to bed very early because he had been chatting with his dad on the phone until late and was already so tired) so I hung out and timed my contractions for a while. At 2:30 they were still consistently 3-5 minutes apart and I was a little concerned. I was not due for three weeks! My baby is not coming yet! But then what else was this? I waited a few more minutes debating about what to do. Then Rick got up to go to the bathroom. As he left the bathroom (right next to our room) I called out his name and he came and stood in the doorway and asked what I needed. I felt so bad! I didn't want him to have to wake up. I didn't want to admit that I might actually, for real, be in labor, and I was worried that I might be making a big deal out of nothing. So I felt dumb and just said, "Hi." :) After a minute I told him I thought I might be having contractions (not "in labor" mind you - just "having contractions"). I said maybe we should time them. We did for a half hour or so and after I lost the mucous plug we decided we might have to go to the hospital just to check things out.

We debated about what to do with the kids and finally at 4am we called Aaron and Shelly to see if we could drop off the kids for a bit. I knew Shelly was getting up at 4:30 to go work out so I thought that if we waited until 4 maybe we wouldn't be waking them up for nothing. I got up and got ready and Rick packed up stuff for the kids and some things for us and we left and got their house at 5am.

We drove to the hospital and went to their "Labor and Delivery Triage" area to see what was up and if they were going to admit me. By the way - doesn't triage make it sound horrible? When they checked me I was 3 cm. At 6:32 (I had to stay hooked up in there for an hour under observation) I was 4.5cm dialated. They figure by 4 cm you are in labor so I was able to actually be admitted this time!

I walked up to labor and delivery, stopping 3 or 4 times for contractions. I went into a room, they hooked us (baby and me) up to monitor the heart rate for 30 minutes. Then they let me get in the tub (and the jets didn't work - no fair!) where I labored unil they came to check me at 7:57am. I was 9 cm. So they didn't let me go back in the tub. :) They waited 4 more contractions and at 8:11 I was 9.5. My water broke with next contraction while the nurse was checking me. They called for the doctor who arrived just in time for me to decide I wanted to push. I pushed a few times through one contraction and out came baby at 8:25am! So there you have the story of our latest "oneincolorado"s entry into the world.

I might just add that almost as soon as we got into L&D Rick got a migraine. So while I worked in the tub he sat in the dark covering his eyes. He came out to encourage me after I got out of the tub and pushed and he cut the cord before he went back into hiding. The nurses took all the pictures of the baby and I so some are a bit blurry. But better blurry than nothing!

He was kind of down for the count until the evening of that first day and all the nurses and the intern who was there with the OB for the delivery were so concerned about him! They were all so nice and we had great nurses and physicians during our stay.

And it was kind of funny - after my terrible OB appt. last time where I left sobbing (cuz the doc said there was no way I was delivering without an IV shunt and that I should really be more concerned about the baby than myself, that I need to be induced, that I shouldn't be delivering in a hospital since I obviously wanted my baby to die or grow up without a mother, etc) the hospital had no qualms about every request - including the IV. "Oh sure, people refuse them all the time." And they were fine with me not taking pitocin to deliver the uterus. Seriously though - why on earth would you? It takes all of 5 minutes on your own! Ridiculous!

Such a funny culture in medicine - it's all about unnecessary intervention! They were actually encouraging me to take Percoset for my cramps after the delivery. And this was after I said I was feeling hardly any pain and that my period caused me more discomfort. Holy cow people!

I had a great conversation with the last nurse we had before we left. She delivered her 4 boys naturally and we talked about how few people try it now. Same with breastfeeding. It's absolutely insane. Not even to try? I'll get off my soapbox before I ruffle too many feathers - but it was really interesting to hear her perspective.

So, an update. The baby has A blood and I have O so that puts here at a greater risk for jaundice. Her number was borderline today at the home checkup so she will be under lights until they like her numbers. This bugs me a LOT because if she were 6 days later or had O blood her numbers would be just peachy. Even now they are only close to the number where treatment is required. It's going to be incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for her so I'm a little ticked to be forced to do this to her. Hopefully her numbers will come down enought to appease them by tomorrow. I want to be done with this - I don't feel like they know what's good for my baby.

Hmmm - my milk is in and she already gaining her weight back - she's down 6 ounces from birth as of lunchtime. She started at 6 lb 10 oz, dropped to 6lb 7oz and then to 6lb 3oz before we left the hospital. They wanted me pumping to increase stimulation to make sure my milk would come in and she would be getting enough to eat. But she loves to suck and is doing great with feedings. So we'll be sticking with our plans to just go with our instincts and feed her like any other baby. She was 18.5" (I think - I wasn't watching when they measured her but that's what they said. They're all scrunched up at birth so it's hard to be accurate. We had them remeasure Ashlyn and she gained about an inch!) She is beautiful and worth the couple of owie hours we went through!

Monday, March 03, 2008

We are now into March!

Let's see... I'll try to give a quick update on the family... My sweet little (taller than me) sis is once again being laid off. Do you know anyone in Biotech? She's a Microbiology major and she does NOT like working in Quality Control for food plants and the like. She prefers sciency/medicine things. :) I'm sure that's just the descriptive she would use!

I am back in the yuckies of sickness. This week I made it to our Young Women's activity with just a stuffy nose but then I came back down with a hacking cough (I was up for THREE hours last night before I gave in and took cough syrup. Whatever the studies say - it works for me. It's wasn't instantaneous but I did finally get to sleep just before 2am.) We are going on 3 weeks now - give me break!
I'm scheduled for a doctor's appt this Friday(group B strep test - pray it's negative so I don't have to have that IV). I'll be 37 and 1/2weeks - getting closer! If you haven't been around a pregnant lady in a while - Group B hangs around sometimes in the general baby delivery area and isn't a big deal unless you're pregnant. Then it can pass to the baby during delivery and cause all sorts of yuckiness. I hope that I don't happen to have it - I'm a bit worried since my immune system seems to be broken that my body might have a greater propensity to be streppy!

Rick is now into aromatherapy. I borrowed a book for him from the library on massage for pregnant ladies and it gives TONS of info on essential oils and how to custom mix oils for everything that ails you. He made up some spray with water and Lavender oil and has been spraying it around the house religiously. I'm not sure if this is because it has antiseptic properties and he doesn't want to get sick or if it's because of its calming properties and he thinks I'm cranky. He even put some in the bath with the kiddos! He also has made up some massage oil for now and for when I'm in labor. I'm not sure if it's going to work though since I can't SMELL ANYTHING! It's driving me bonkers! Cooking and eating have lost their appeal and I'm not cooking anything tasty on purpose so I don't waste it on a day when I can't fully enjoy it.
Rick was also released and then recalled as a counselor in the Stake Young Mens Presidency which means he will still be super busy each week. He has a lot on his plate!
He also spent a good deal of the day Saturday cleaning up the garage. Nothing is organized, really, like the painting stuff isn't with the rest of the painting stuff and the gardening stuff isn't by other gardening stuff, but things are moving onto shelves and off of the floor! And it looks really great! We now have room for the little car in there if we want. And I can now walk out to my freezer without feeling like Indiana Jones stepping on the stones to spell out "JEHOVAH" in the Last Crusade movie. (Meaning I am not risking life and limb - there's a lovely wide cleared area to walk on).

Nathan is now all done being sick! I figured out last week that the "tired red eyes" he's had from being kept awake with Ashlyn's coughing at night was actually pink eye - the last vestige from his cold from a month ago. Good thing we were all staying home anyway or we might have been spreading this nastiness around. Man, this is a virus that doesn't give up easily! This morning he woke up with not a trace of pink so I think next week we'll all try and head to church! I haven't been for 4 weeks (or maybe 5?) either keeping sick kids home or being home sick myself. Since Rick has had to be at all our stake's ward conferences (7 wards) he was only able to take each kid to church during that time once each. So we are all eager to get back and be spiritually recharged.

Ashlyn still coughs occasionally throughout the day but nothing anymore at night. I'm racking my brain trying to remember how many nights we had a problem with her to see how many more I might have ahead of me. :) But then I remember the "adults get it worse than kids" comment from that news program I mentioned earlier and I wonder if it even matters. We had her 2nd parent/teacher conference this past Thursday and she's still doing fine. Her teacher says she still has problems following directions. Not that she's contrary, but she'll go ahead and start on a worksheet or assignment without looking or listening for directions because she thinks she knows what she needs to do. :) Sounds normal to me! Other than that her reading has really improved - she is absolutely amazing! I can't believe she's just 5 and a 1/2 and has the skills she does!

Baby's still alive and kicking. :)

And after all my anticipation for this past Saturday's paycheck - nothing. The paycheck isn't representative b/c of a mileage reimbursement that was included so I still don't know what taxes will be and therefore don't have the data to plug into the IRS's withholding calculator. (Which was down for maintenance anyway!). I took a look at last years tax returns and the tax tables and did my own figuring, though. They can't take that away from me! :) Looks like with the new baby we'll need to pay about $300 in federal taxes for the year (we've already overpaid by about $700 dollars) and $1155 in state taxes. Isn't that messed up? The state allows us basically no deductions. All we get to deduct from our federal taxable income are our 529 contributions. I want a state child tax credit. :)

That's about it! We are looking forward to March! Lots of good stuff - Mom turns ancient, I mean 60; Easter; St. Patrick's day; and a new Baby!
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