Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finally Where She Belongs:)

After doing an excellent job of eating for the past day and a half and gaining over another ounce (up to 5lbs 8.7oz), Josie was allowed to come home yesterday! We are so happy to finally have her home with us, where she belongs!

When we got her home, she looked around as if thinking, "there is more in the world than the hospital!" Before bedtime, Daddy took her out on the deck and she was just in awe watching the trees moving against the sky! She also loved looking around at her new room. It's amazing thinking of all the things she has never seen before:) It's even more amazing that we get to be there as she discovers all of the wonderful things on this earth, and as she learns all there is to learn.

The only thing better than having a baby, is bringing them home:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Close to Coming Home!

Josie has been doing better and better every day! Her breathing issues have been resolved for a while now, and her bilirubin stayed low enough that she didn't have to go under the bili lights! She was moved from her isolet to an open crib a couple days ago and has been holding her temperature just fine.

The last issue was her feeding. She had still been using a feeding tube that was placed in her nose up until today. She was eating about half of her minimum feedings, then they put the rest in through the tube. I was allowed to try nursing 2 times per day, but that takes more energy in many cases than the bottle, so right now the bottle is the priority. We will work more on nursing later...I'm not too worried about it since she is really good at it! The way they explain it is that preemies don't have the stamina to do all the things they are expected to do, like breath, regulate their temp, and eat...all things they shouldn't have to do yet. So she just didn't have the energy to eat.

That all changed last night, it was as if something clicked all of a sudden! She started downing her bottles, all 50ml (just under 2 oz), in under 15 minutes. She continued to do this all day, most of the time even waking up hungry before the scheduled feeding time. So the doc put her on an "on demand" schedule and if she does well she may be home as early as tomorrow! We were so happy to hear this, it seems like she's been in the NICU forever! Her weight had gone down to 5lb 3oz, but is now up to 5lb 7oz...just 2oz away from her birth weight, so she's doing great! Please pray that she keeps right on eating and growing and that she can come home soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Josie has Arrived!!

Josie made her appearance on Saturday morning at 9:32 am! Labor started just before midnight on Friday night, the doc broke my water at 7:40 am on Saturday and she was born after about one and a half pushes (and a couple of screams) at 9:32! She weighed in at 5 lbs. 9 oz and was 18 inches long. She came out like a firecracker, kicking and screaming.

She did well initially but about 3 to 4 hours after birth she started struggling with her breathing. She was sent to the NICU. She is still there but her breathing issues have resolved. She had been receiving fluids and antibiotics in case of infection through an umbilical line. She also had an arterial line in the umbilical cord to take blood and check blood pressure. Her blood cultures came back fine though so the antibiotics have been discontinued. And now that her feedings have increased enough she doesn't need the IV fluid. So both lines are now out. She is using a feeding tube for part of her feedings because she isn't ready to eat everything on her own like they want her to yet.

So now it is basically a matter of getting her to eat enough to let her go home:) They are also keeping an eye on her bilirubin levels, which indicate the extent of jaundice she has. It has been creeping up the last couple of days so she may need to go under the bili lights.

I was discharged yesterday and it was hard to go home without her. But I'm very greatful that she is doing as well as she is. She is where she needs to be, and it won't be long and she will be right here with us.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Waiting Game

Can I just say that having a baby at zero station is NOT comfortable! Just when I'm not so nervous to get up and do a couple of things, I don't want to because it just plain hurts. I would also like to add that people who refer to the feeling as "pressure" just have it all's pain!

I called my doctor's office yesterday because of the increase in this "pressure" and because I had been having 6-8 contractions per hour for most of the day. HE TOLD ME TO STAY HOME, drink plenty of fluids, and rest! I laughed when the nurse told me this and said that was the first time I had been told to not come in when I called about contractions and pressure since I had been pregnant! I was glad I got to stay home, yet nervous that something was going on and I wouldn't find out in time! But something hit me after that phone call...they are not worried about the baby coming anymore! If she's coming, she's coming! What a realization.

So I get to wait now like any normal pregnant woman for regular, more frequent contractions to come. Although I will be taking the Procardia for a few more days to prevent labor, you never know:) It seems to be effective at times, and then other times not so much. I feel like I have been in labor for the past 3 months...the meds have just slowed it down. I'm excited but a little nervous to stop taking them, because I know what's going to happen!

Monday, May 14, 2007

1...35 Week Appointment

So the countdown to 35 weeks is over! We made it! No more IV meds to stop labor, no more hospital stays!

Today I had an ultrasound and a check up. Josie is measuring 5 pounds 8 ounces, right around the 40th percentile so that's right about where she should be! She is very low (zero station) and I have dilated to what my doc calls 2 cm and what my nurses would call 3 or 4cm. With all my time in the hospital, I learned that my doctor usually measures centimeters at about 2 less than most of the nurses in labor and delivery...for reasons that no one clearly understands:) He thinks I'm going to go quick once I do go because the baby is so low.

I am suppose to remain on the Procardia and try Terbutaline if that isn't working for the next week. After that, no more meds. I'm also suppose to stay off of my feet for one more week...that's going to be hard to do! My instructions are to head to the hospital if I feel anything different or more painful. Trouble is I didn't have painful labors with the boys until my water broke, then after that it went really quick. I hope I know when it's time to go in...preferably before my water breaks!!

Two months ago I would never have thought we would have made it to 35 weeks! I went from assuming that our baby would have to spend considerable time in the NICU, to actually having hope that she would be able to come home with us right away. During that time my fear, anxiety, depression, and despair slowly turned to hope, peace, relief, and now to complete happiness. I am so entirely grateful not only that my long ordeal is coming to an end, but that I was able to play such an important role in a miracle.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

4...3...2...Maternity Pictures!

I got out of the hospital on Friday just after noon! I was so relieved to be out of there! They had turned the mag completely off at 6:30am and I was still doing fine so I was given my freedom. My doc said I didn't need to start taking the Procardia unless I started having contractions, which I did within a few hours of being home...which was no surprise. It took a while for it to kick in but after a couple hours it did the trick.

Yesterday was the best day I've had in months! We went to the mall and Brett and I had maternity pictures taken, something I didn't think we would get the chance to do! Check them out below! We had all the kids and they had fun taking turns pushing me in a wheelchair. You would be surprise how fast people get out of your way when they see a kid pushing a pregnant woman in a wheelchair! Then we got some lunch in the mall and did a little baby shopping:)

The contractions acted up again since I was a little late taking my meds and they took a long time to settle down. But I can say that now I'm out of the woods as far as being stuck back in the hospital. My doc is keeping me on the oral meds for the next week, but if they aren't working they will let her come! It would be best if she waits one more week, but it's out of my hands...and secretly my feeling on the subject can be summed up in 3 words. Bring it on!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Yesterday he turned the mag down to 1.5 and today to 1 gram. So far so good...tomorrow it gets shut off at 6:30am sharp! If the contractions stay calm I should get out of here tomorrow at some point. If not, he may turn it back on until Monday (which is the day they have me turning 35 weeks, I have Tuesday, but I'm not arguing). Here's hoping for a weekend at home!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Guesses anyone??

So, assuming I'm off all meds by next Monday or Tuesday, when do you think Josie will be born? Leave a comment and post your vote or email me! Take a guess at her weight and length if you want, too:) Who knows, might be fun!


Seven more days to 35 weeks! Things remain stable on 2 grams of the mag. Hopefully this will continue tomorrow when he tries to wean me off of it! I'm assuming I will be at 1.5 for a day and then 1 for another day before I'm off of it, but it all depends on how the contractions do.

Last night the boys came up for a visit, and they made me more pictures for my wall. I'll try to post pictures of my wall later:) It's pretty cool. It was like a tornado in my room for a while with all the action, but settled down quickly as Brett got them packed up to go home. Jordan still wishes the doctors and nurses could just come to our house...aww...his way of saying he misses mom.

Then this morning I got a call from Brett about his adventures in getting the boys off to school. All I have to say is that, once again, I'll have to whip them back into shape when I get home! But what are you gonna do??

So Josie, 7 more days, then let's get a move on. Seriously, bring it on! I talked to the nurse this morning again and she verified that by 35 weeks most doctors will let you deliver because by this point it doesn't pay to continue fighting what your body has been trying to do. And there also might be a reason the baby needs out that they just don't know. There is so much about preterm labor that they don't understand, but 35 weeks appears to be the point that the benefits of birth outweigh the risks.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Back in for the Final Countdown!

Last Wednesday I had a dr. appointment, and not surprisingly, I was having contractions again. He sent me up to the hospital, and I've been here since. I hadn't been able to take my next dose of Terbutaline because my heart rate was too high, and my contractions starting coming every 2 minutes! After I was able to take Terb. it didn't help enough and they were still every 7-8 they hooked me back up to the Magnesium Sulfate.

I continued contracting every 10-15 minutes all day, and it got pretty painful. Later in the night the contractions got more frequent again and they had to turn the mag up from 2 grams to 3 grams. Between the contractions and the headache from the meds, I couldn't sleep. I finally dozed between 5am and 6am...not a fun night!

When I woke up at 6am I felt really funny, like I was going to pass out. My blood pressure was really low so they had to turn the mag down to 2.5 and later to 2 grams. It took the whole day to feel better but by bedtime my head didn't hurt so bad and I could see relatively straight.

I was really thinking there for a while that Josie was going to make her appearance, but through it all, my cervix remained relativelay the same and she stayed put. Although I would have been relieved to have this over, I'm glad she was able to stay in the best place she could be for a little longer.

I've been at 2 grams of the mag ever since and doing better. The doctor came in this morning and said that on Wednesday he will start weaning me off of the magnesium. Then I may go back on the oral meds for a few days. But after 35 weeks he won't stop labor anymore! This means 8 more days max in the hospital (except for the birth of course). I'm hoping that I may even get out of here for the weekend to enjoy Mother's Day at home with the kids...but I'm not holding my breath. So, assuminig we make it the next 8 days, she could come anytime after that!

So the countdown begins...Kaden, Jordan, and Brett helped me make a "Countdown to 35 Weeks" to put on the wall in my hospital room. I love seeing those numbers get crossed off! Kaden spent the Friday night up here with me (we had a lot of fun:) and the first thing he said to me in the morning was, "Mom, can I cross off the 11?" He's in a hurry for Mom to get to come home, too:)

That light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

The contractions weren't letting up yesterday, and they were starting to be more painful, so I had yet another trip into labor and delivery. My cervix has started to dilate a little bit more, and I'm 75% effaced. The baby is at -1 station, which for those of you not familiar with that terminology, it means she's really low. The contractions actually picked up once I got there and they were 3-6 minutes apart for a couple hours. The Terbutaline shot they had given me on top of the Procardia wasn't working, but for some reason, the oral terb seemed to do the trick. I was kept overnight and since things were still calm in the morning, we got to go home:)

So much for the negative fetal fibronectin test! This is what you call labor...contractions that cause cervical changes. My doc said those tests are "crap". If he believed that test, Josie probably would have arrived by now:)

So the plan is to keep me on the oral Terb for a couple days and try the Procardia again. Terb will raise my blood sugar so I can't be on it for too long. Just 2 more weeks would be great. Although one nurse in the hospital told me her daughter was born at 34 weeks and came home with her after 2 days, I know this is not the most likely scenario. And even though I cannot wait for this to be over with, the longer the better. And we are only at 33 weeks today.

By the way, I love little Josie with all my heart, and she is so worth all of this! But there will NOT be a next time, just in case you were wondering!