Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1 week

Gavin's birth day

Gavin is one week old today.  I can't wrap my head around it.  Maybe because he was rushed to Children's so quickly after birth, maybe because we didn't get the bonding time that you normally get with your newborn, or maybe because so much has happened in this week?  It's probably a combination of these things, but I don't feel like a week has gone by since he was born.

We tried nursing today and it went ok, just not as well as I wanted it to go.  He latched a few times which was great, but he didn't stay latched long.  I felt awkward trying to hold him- I didn't want to hurt his incisions, I was worried about all the cords still attached to him, and I kept looking up at the oxygen levels on his monitor.  Then the nurse told me he didn't have a wet diaper in the couple of hours after nursing so of course, I worried he didn't get enough milk.

I think everything is starting to catch up to me, physically and emotionally.  I have been in a sort of survival mode and now that Gavin is out of danger the physical stress of not resting or recovering after his birth and the emotional stresses we have been through are all coming to the surface.

I am just so thankful that these are the things I am dealing with when I know this could have been much, much worse. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gavin Dean's birth story part II

This is where Gavin's story takes a turn.

A few hours after delivery, we decided to let the nurse take Gavin to the nursery for a bath and his hearing test while we were being transferred to the postpartum wing. We were getting settled and a NICU doctor came in to our room. She started talking about Gavin having trouble breathing and needing a chest x-ray. I was thinking to myself, this lady has to have the wrong room or something, she couldn't be talking about Gavin. But she was. My sweet baby boy was having trouble breathing and thankfully, the nurse in the nursery caught it and called the NICU to come take a look at him.

The doctor explained to us that it might be pneumonia. They took him for an x-ray and when the doctor returned the news was much worse than we expected. They had discovered that Gavin had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. It was explained to us that he had a hole in his diaphragm and his intestines had gone through that hole into his chest cavity, pushing his heart and lungs to the right side of his chest. The doctor then told us that Gavin was being transferred to Children's Hospital right away and that he would need surgery. 

I was able to get my midwife to discharge me from the hospital so that we could be with Gavin at Children's.  Many of the details are blurry to me, I was running on adrenaline and had been up for over 40 hours.  I honestly don't remember a lot from the first couple of days that Gavin was there.  .  We spoke to a lot of doctors and everything was explained to us.  His condition is very serious and there are many babies who don't survive this birth defect. 

Gavin's amazing team at Children's

Gavin's main doctor at Children's told us that he needed to be stable on the ventilator for 24-48 hours before they would consider doing surgery.  Of course, our tough little guy was stable pretty quickly and was even trying to breath over the ventilator.  They decided he was strong enough for surgery on the 25th.  The surgery took about 4 hours and he was very sedated afterwards.  The surgeons said he did very well during surgery and they were able to put his intestines back in place and repair his diaphragm laparoscopically.  They also told us that his left lung was a good size which was a relief to hear!

Gavin and Daddy after surgery

Gavin had his ventilator removed on the 27th and has been doing great without it.  He can cry now, although he doesn't very often.  He still has some oxygen support that they are weaning slowly.  Today he got to have pedialite through a feeding tube and hopefully tomorrow he will get to start breastmilk from the tube, then a bottle, and then we can hopefully try nursing.  It is going to be a process for him to learn to eat since he hasn't had to swallow or suck for food since his first nursing right after he was born. 

the first time I had seen his eyes since he was born

Today I got to hold him for the first time since he was born, I can't tell you the happiness and peace I felt having him in my arms.  We are hoping that his chest tube is able to be removed tomorrow as well as his arterial line.  After that, he only has a line into his belly button that will probably be the last thing to go.  We were told that he would be staying at Children's for 3-4 weeks.

Things have been hectic and days are running together, but we are beyond grateful that Gavin made it through a very scary diagnosis and surgery.  He has shown us how strong he is and we are so proud of him.  I am also proud of Emily and how well she has adjusted to not having her mom and dad with her all the time.  Steve and I are making every effort to have dinner and put her to bed together every night and I think this has helped a lot.  Steve's parents have been watching her during the day and she is loving every minute of the extra attention.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gavin Dean's birth story part I

Our sweet little boy, Gavin Dean, was born at 6:56am on January 23.  This date already has special meaning to me, as it was my mom's birthday.  We joked for my whole pregnancy that he would be born on her birthday and sure enough, he was. 

My water broke at 11:30pm, just after I had laid down for bed on Tuesday the 22nd.  I yelled for Steve and called my midwife.  She told me to go back to bed and rest and to let her know when my contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour.  Steve and I started timing contractions and I knew I wasn't going to sit around for an hour when we had an hour drive to the hospital.  So when they contractions were getting closer and closer together after 45 minutes we left for the hospital.

We got there at a little before 2:00am, I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced.  My contractions were so strong and I wasn't getting much time to rest in between.  I tried every position imaginable and nothing was helping.  I was exhausted.  At 4:00am I asked to be checked again and I was dilated to 5.  I knew then I wasn't going to make it much longer without an epidural.  You girls who can go through childbirth naturally are seriously tough and amazing, I could not handle it!

At about 5:00am the anesthesiologist came to give me my epidural, I don't know how long it took to kick in but it felt like forever.  When it finally did kick in I laid down and relaxed.  Steve went out to the waiting room to talk to my Dad and his wife and my labor nurse started setting up the room for the birth.  She told me she would be out in a minute and to ring the call bell if I felt any pressure to push.  I swear, 5 minutes later, while she was still in the room, I said, "I think I feel something...isn't that too fast??"  My midwife got to my room at 6:00am to check me, I was fully dilated and effaced and I was ready to push!  Thank goodness for epidurals is all I can say.

I only pushed for about 20 minutes and Gavin was born.  I had him on my chest immediately and he was the sweetest thing.  He was so strong, lifting his head to look at me, just the most perfect little baby boy.  He weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 21 inches long- exactly the same stats as his big sister Emily.

We spent some time doing skin to skin and then he nursed for the first time and did great.  Steve and I were so happy and excited to meet our little boy!

** Many of you know that Gavin has been in the NICU at Children's Hospital for the past 5 days.  I want to thank all of the bloggers who have reached out to me and everyone who said a prayer for Gavin.  Steve and I appreciate it more than we can even say.  This past week has been the scariest week of my life and having your support and kind words have helped immensely. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Update- 39 weeks 3 days and no preeclampsia!

I had my weekly midwife appointment on Tuesday and had high blood pressure (137/92).  They sent me to the hospital to have a non-stress test, blood work and a urine test done.  My blood work came back normal and the baby was great, but I had some protein in my urine.  So all day yesterday I got to save all of my urine in a jug in my refrigerator for 24 hours. If it comes back positive then I will have to be induced. 

I am still hoping for this labor experience to be a natural one.  I want to go into labor myself but at this point if it's safer to get baby boy out, I will do that- no question about it.

I called the midwife center this morning and they have the results but don't do call backs until this afternoon. So here I sit waiting...

My test came back normal- no preeclampsia here!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

38 weeks

Wow, I'm 38 weeks.  Every once in awhile I get a panicked feeling and I think, "oh shit, he could come any time".  I haven't really had any signs of labor and that's ok as long as little guy doesn't plan on being late.

Mostly, I'm trying to wrap my head around how I am going to juggle a 14/15 month old and a newborn.  I know we will get into a routine (eventually) and it will all work out-  it's just that beginning, hormonal, sleepless time that I'm scared of.  I'm also not looking forward to that look I know Emily is going to give me when I'm holding her brother.  I can't help but feel a little guilty that she won't be getting all of my attention anymore, but I know she will love having a little brother when she's older.

Thankfully, we have Steve's parents across the street and they are going to be a huge help.  We took a trip to the store this past weekend to get Emily some toys  and baby proofing supplies for their house.  They have offered to take her for two mornings a week for the first couple of months to give me some breathing room.  It definitely makes me feel better knowing we have a little bit of a plan to work with!

13 days (holy crap)!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December | 14 months | Christmas | 37 weeks

I am in a constant state of catching up on this blog!  I realized yesterday while doing my yearly wrap up that I haven't written about Christmas or hardly anything we did in December- fail. 

We were busy! From going to see Santa to celebrating Emily's second Christmas, December 2012 was a great month for us.

The local library had a Gingerbread Man story time event and Emily loved it!  She sat and listened to a story about the Gingerbread man, went on a 'hunt' for the gingerbread man and got to do her first craft project.  I was worried it might be a little over her head but she did great and had so much fun (and so did I).

Emily turned 14 months on Christmas- time needs to slow down already!  She is so smart and her personality makes me laugh every single day.  She is very opinionated and feisty- this hasn't changed since the minute she was born.  She is saying a few more words and figuring out puzzles.  The things she comes up with while we are playing amazes me every day.  She has recently started experimenting with running (fast walking), walking backwards, and jumping.  She still loves her books and music and is always dancing.  I could go on and on, this is just such a fun age!

Right before Christmas we got a special surprise package from Kelly and Blakely, Emily was in HEAVEN!  There was a drum, instruments and a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal inside.  She is in love with Minnie, she seriously won't leave her anywhere.  Thank you so much K & B, we love you!

On Christmas Eve we went to church with Steve's parents.  Church always reminds me of my mom, and Christmas service with the beautiful songs and Christmas decorations is even harder.  At the end of the service everyone sang Silent Night and I was holding Emily and the gratitude I felt was overwhelming.  I started crying and couldn't hold it back.  I let the tears fall and Emily looked at me, touched my face, gave me a hug and then poked me in the eye.  Ah, my daughter, she knows how to make me smile.

We had Emily's second Christmas at our house.  Steve and I got Emily up that morning and spent some time just the three of us checking out the wrapped presents under the Christmas tree (and taking a million pictures).  Of course Emily had no idea what was going on but it was still fun to watch her check out all her gifts.  Steve's parents came over for breakfast and then we opened presents.  Emily wasn't really into the unwrapping but she really liked everything that came out of the boxes.  It was a perfect day all around.

The day after Christmas we got our first big snow of the year.  Steve and Grandpa came home from work and we took Emily out in the snow....she was not a huge fan.  We couldn't help but laugh at how cute she was in her little snow suit, adorable!!


I'm officially full term with baby boy and he can come any time now!  I've had quite a bit of hip and pelvic pain in the past few weeks and running around after/picking up a babytoddler is not getting any easier the bigger my belly gets.  Our midwife sent us for a non-stress test last week because I wasn't feeling as much movement and thankfully everything was fine.  It was reassuring to hear his little heart beating for 20 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yearly recap: 2012

New Year's always makes me a little emotional, thinking back on the year and wondering what the new year will bring.  Will it be better or worse?  Last night at dinner Steve asked if I was happy or sad to see 2012 go and it was a hard question for me to answer.  The beginning of our year started out rough with a colic-y, reflux-y, non-sleeping baby and moving to a new state 10+ hours away from my family and friends- all hard things to adjust to.  But the end of 2012 has been so great.  Emily has this amazing personality and is learning so much right in front of our eyes and I finally feel like I'm getting into a groove as a stay at home mom.  So, to answer Steve's question, half of me is wishing we could stay here at the end of 2012 forever while the other half is excited to meet our son and see what 2013 will bring (besides sleep deprivation).

I saw this yearly recap on Becoming Jolie and I thought it would be fun to do this year. 

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Became a stay at home mom.  Lived in a new state.  Got pregnant and stayed pregnant without IVF.  Saw my baby girl turn one and witnessed all the other wonderful things that came in her first year.  2012 was a crazy, busy year that taught me a lot about myself as a person, wife and mother.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't make New Year's resolutions, maybe I should start?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, a few of my blog friends- so happy for them!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
One of my best friend's brother passed away. I also had a few acquaintances that passed away but thankfully no one that I was 'close' to.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Patience, I feel like I need to work on that all the time.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The biggest dates for me are all about Emily.  All of her "firsts" will be etched in my memory, such fantastic things to witness. Rolling and eating cereal, getting her first tooth, getting her helmet, my first Mother's Day, first word (mama!), crawling, walking, and turning one!
I will also remember the day we found out we were pregnant and the day I found out we were having a boy and got to surprise Steve.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being a stay at home mom.  I never had a clue how hard it would be and I am proud that I made it through this year and did a pretty damn good job (if I do say so myself).

9. What was your biggest failure?
There were days I felt like I couldn't handle staying home, got frustrated (turned on Mickey Mouse a few too many times to get a break) and felt like a failure as a mom.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Maybe a couple of colds, but I have been pretty healthy this year (knock on wood!)

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My iPhone, that sounds so lame, but I use it for everything and I love it.

12. Where did most of your money go?
bills, groceries, bills, stuff for Emily, bills

13. What did you get really excited about?
Getting and staying pregnant, so excited.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Home by Phillip Phillips.  It reminds me of Steve and how we are working hard to make this new place our home (sappy, I know).

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? it's been an up and down year but right now at this moment I would say happier.
– thinner or fatter? holy. fatter for sure, when this baby comes out I need to get on a serious diet.
– richer or poorer? poorer, one income is hard stuff.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I'm not sure, I feel like I did so much this year.  Maybe putting myself out there more to meet new people.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


18. How did you spend Christmas?
I just realized I haven't posted about Christmas yet!  I spent Christmas with Steve, Emily and my in-laws.  It was a wonderful, low stress day with lots of memories. Perfect.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
True Blood

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Let's see.... The Kitchen House, Belong to Me and Divergent were the top three.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Mumford & Sons, Lumineers, Of Monsters & Men, Adele

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I'm not even sure I saw a film this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went to a hibachi restaurant with some friends, I turned 33.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I am pretty satisfied with this year.  But, if I could have anything I wanted, it would be for my family and Steve's family to all live in the same place.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Does it fit? Is it clean?  Put it on and go.

26. What kept you sane?
Steve, Emily, my blog friends, and family.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

I saw this quote at the exact time I needed it and it changed quite a few things in my life. "Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." Robert Brault
I also learned how to be a mom- huge.

There you have it.  Happy New Year's to you all, here's hoping we all get what we need in 2013.