Friday, April 28, 2006

Emma's first bath at home

I'm lovin' it!

I am totally loving having all 3 of my babies home with me. Caden loves his new baby sister and has announced that we should have another sister for him. We kindly explained that any baby brothers or sisters will not be coming for quite some time and another baby or sister might not happen ever. His response, "Ok."

We have figured out that Lily is not so much jealous over the baby. She just WANTS the baby. She wants to be right where the baby is no matter WHO is holding the baby, or what. She wants to hold the baby (until she cries, then she gets upset and cries). She is constantly giving hugs, trying to pick up (don't worry we're right there with her watching her like a hawk), giving kisses and all around just loving on the baby. We're trying to teach her to be gentle with her "petting".

Emma is fitting in nicely in our home. The nights are tiring, but she sleeps except for her feedings (promptly every 3 hours). She sleeps most of the day as well. She is awake currently "playing" with the kids and the train tracks. We wrpped her up and put her in one of the kid's toy bins. She fits perfectly and is confined. She can smoewhat sit propped up in it and seems to be content. (Picture will follow tonight when I have more time). Other than that there is not much going on. She has a bunch of doctor appointment next week. An eye apppointment, pediatrician, occupational therapist, etc. Until monday we plan on just hanging out at home and enjoying our family.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

She's home!!!

After 9 weeks, 4 days, 1 hour, and 34 minutes we brought Emma home. I can't believe she is FINALLY home. She looks great. Lily is pretty jealous and cranky so we're hopoing in a few days she'll get used to having another baby around. I'm sure we'll all be tired for awhile, but the wait was definitely worth it. No more night drives to the nicu. No more wires. No more alarms. YAY! Here are some of the highlights of her coming home.

Still Waiting...

Of course out of all days for Emma's doctor to be in a meeting until noon it HAD to be today. LOL. So we'll be heading back to the nicu 1:00 p.m. pacific time. It's is 99.9 percent this time that she will come home. She had her pictures taken this morning. I will try and scan that this afternoon. For now we play the waiting game. It was funny. Leaving the nicu earlier this morning was bittersweet. I looked at Sean and said this is the last time we are leaving here without our baby. It is all too surreal. I haven't shed tears yet, but I know they're coming. Once again thank you for all of your loving support, kind words, good thoughts, and prayers through all of us. They were much needed and much appreciated. We couldn't have done it alone. For that I will be forever grateful.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Need your prayers!

There is a HUGE chance of Emma coming home tomorrow morning. I spoke with her doctor regarding her spells and it seems the only time she has spells is during nipple feeds with a bottle. Her last true apneac spell was 3 days ago. Since then they have been due to bottle feeds. She is nursing well enough to nurse exclusively at home. Yesterday she said she would re-evaluate on wednesday and we would go from there. So far so good. Pray that Emma makes it through the night with no spells and that her doctor feels confident enough in emma's health to let her come home. We filled out the form for Emma's hospital pictures (they normally take the the day of discharge or day before) today. She will be having her hospital pictures taken in the morning. They also told us to be ready with the carseat installed "just in case". It's getting harder and harder not to get my hopes up! Praying for the best!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

More Pictures

Friday, April 21, 2006

About time for new pictures!

Emma nursed really well tonight. I ended up bringing a cloth diaper with me to make sure they weren't so big that they wouldn't work. They're big, but workable. YAY. I can't wait until she gets to wear them all the time. Anyways, here aree some pics from tonight. She weighs 4 lbs. 1 oz.

So close!

Emma is so close to coming home. She is taking all of her feeds by either breast or bottle. This also means she is more tired than she has been and also burning more calories. she just need to get used to all the extra work. She nurses really well. She has taken to nursing with a nipple shield well and actually is now using it on both breasts. We will begin to wean her off of it once she is home. At this point we are willing to do just about anything to get her home! Now the wait begins. Everyday comes new hopes. We're just waiting for her to go 48 hours with no spells. She seems to go a day without any spells, and then the next day will have one or 2. She is SO close to coming home. I can feel it. I have no doubt she'll be home by next weekend. Ok, well maybe a TINY bit of doubt. I just hope it's sooner rather than later. She had one spells yesterday, and as far as I know has not had any today. Pray for her that she comes home this week.

Emma hit 4 lbs. a few days ago. I could hardly believe it. When she comes home I will post one of her first pictures and her coming home picture for reference sake.

I installed Emma's carseat yesterday so we'll be ready when we get the call (getting all teary eyed and choked up writing this). Sean is bulding her crib this weekend. I am going to set up her cosleeper next to our bed today along with the angelcare (sleep apnea) monitor tonight. (It alarms if there are no breathing movements for more than 20 seconds. The $100 bucks was worht our peace of minds. We're pretty much unpacked but plan on doing all the last minute things, and last things to settle ourselves this weekend. It is finally seeming so real. I know it will be rough when she gets home though. Lily is already super jealous and is still a baby herself so we'll see how that goes. Caden can't wait for his sister to come home. I think he'll be a big help by fetching diapers and whatnot.

We're all so excited. I'm sorry I haven't posted new pictures lately. The camera is always in the car, but I am constantly forgetting to bring it in with me. I will try to get some new ones up this weekend.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

She successfully nursed!

Well, she finally did. She finally latched on an sucked long enoguh to get a letdown off my right side and successdully nurse on that side for about 10 minutes!!! Yay! Unfortunately, when I tried to get her to latch on my left side she wouldn't do it. There's something about my left side that she doesn't like. She really hasn't latched on that well to it. I'm planning on working with a lactation consultant before she comes home to work on that. After nursing her she had her bottle and nippled 30 cc's. I pumped after her feeding like I normally did and since she didn't nurse at all on my left side, it was a bit easier to guage exactly how much she got from me (my left and right side produce pretty much the same amount as one another during pump sessions). So, she took about 25 cc's from me. So her total feeding between breast and bottle was about 50 cc's. I can't believe it. She loves to eat!

She is up so 3 lbs 12.8 ounces. We're thinking she'll be just over 4 lbs when she comes home. Which may be sooner rather than later. We are thinking she might come home next weekend. She is up to nippling 4 times a day and might go up to 5 times a day tomorrow. Once she takes all her feeds by breast or bottle, and doesn't have any spells for 48 hours she can come home. They do not count spells which occur during a feeding unless she has to be stimulation or given oxygen for it. She is doing so well! I really can't believe how close we are to having our baby home.

I haven't thanked everyone in awhile, but all of your prayers and well wishes have been appreciated. They have definitely been felt and are working.

Friday, April 14, 2006

New Do

I thought it was time for a change. I cut off a few inches and went curly. I LOVE it!

Caden adopted a cat!

Well, we haven't even been here a week and Caden has adopted a cat. It's a pretty friendly cat. It looks a few year old, very fluffy grey hair. Super friendly and even Lily can pull it's tail without it batting an eye (don't ask me how i know). It's the best kind of pet. We don't have to feed it, clean up after it, or worry about vet bills since it's not really ours. It comes by 2 or 3 times a day. Waits at our patio door for Caden to go outside and then he plays with it and then it leaves. It did manage to come inside today though. I snapped a few pics before I shooed it back outside. Sean is highly allergic to cats and with the kids asthma we really shouldn't/can't have our own so this is perfect!

Emma is doing well. She is up to 3 lbs. 12 oz. almost 4 pounds! Yippe. She is nipplinhg 3 times a day and most likely will be goin g to 4 times a day tomorrow. She is nursing for about 5 minutes twice a day. I'm hoping she gets the hang of it once she's home. Sean and I are gyuessing she'll be home in about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

She finally got to nurse!!!

YAY, Emma finally attempted to nurse today. It was so exciting, and a bit frustrating. Caden and Lily always preferred my left side. So I tried her on that side first. Nope, no go. Wouldn't even try to suck. We changed positions a few times before deciding to switch to the other breast before she got tired. The second we put her on that side she latched on and took about 5 sucks! That was an accomplishment in itself. She nursed off an on for about 5 minutes before she got tired and we started giving her the bottle. She only took about 15 cc's through the bottle before she started bradying and desating so we went ahead and put her back in her bed and gavaged the rest of the feeding. the nurse assured me that this is very normal and ANY amount of nippling at the breast at this stage in the game is better than nothing. She is 34 weeks 5 days adjusted age. So she's JUST at the age where the suck, swallow, breathe reflexes are established. Hopefully, I'll get to try again in the morning. It was so satisfying to finally get her on the breast if only for a few minutes!

Up to our ears in boxes.

We are up to our necks in boxes. I hate this part of moving. It is nice having our own place again, but it will be even nicer once it's organized and clean! The kids seem to be adjusting well.

Emma is doing well. She is now nippling twice a day. Once at 10 a.m. and again at either 7 p.m. or 10 p.m. I am trying to be there for all of her nipple feeds. She is taking about 1 ounce over 25-35 minutes. Last night she took it in 16 minutes! She seems to handle the feeds ok. She does have some desats and brady spells sometimes during the feeds, but that is normal at this point. She is up to 3 pounds 9 ounces.
Last night I gave Emma a bath for the first time. It felt so strange and so new to me. You'd think after 3 kids I should have this down by now but it's different with her being so small. She LOVED her bath though. Pumping is still going well. Although I do have a love/hate relationship with my pump I know it's the best thing for Emma and I would really like to eventually get her to the breast at some point.

I was a bit pertubed the other night. They ran out of breastmilk and didn't say anything to me that morening about being low. Instead of calling me to ask me to bring some milk they just gavce her formula. I was LIVID. It's not the end of the world but it's one of the very few things I can give/do for her right now and it sucks that they didn't let me know.

So for now Emma is doing well. We're still aiming for her due date for a coming home date. Lets all pray all goes well for this goal!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Porta Baby

We now have a "porta baby" as Daddy calls it. Emma has moved into an open crib! Her isolette is still set up for her in case she needs it but so far she is handling being out in the open well and maintaining her temperature alse. So far no spells at all today. YAY Emma! Her stools came back negative for blood today, so that's good. If she does have more blood in her stools over the next few days than they will have me cut out all dairy from my diet for 2 weeks to see if she is allergic to it. I'm really hoping I don't have to do that. I need milk in my coffee and cheese on my quesadillas! Emma gained another 10 grams so that's good. All in all she just keeps plugging away and surprising all of us with how much of a fighter she is!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We're Moving!

The blog postings have been few and far between since we are moving. We spent about a week finding a place and finally found one we like. The rent is a bit high on it, but it has a washer and dryer in unit which I feel is a MUST with 3 kids. It's 2 bedrooms, 1106 sq. feet. The kitchen sucks (it's small) but the layout is nice. All three kids will go in the same room. My mom and I are going to make the kids room a hawaiian, surf type of thing which should work well for a co-ed room. The big move date is Saturday. We get our keys on friday. I'm not sure if I'll be without internet for a few days or not. It depends on when we can get the cable people out to our house or whether any of our neighbors have a wireless network. Hopefully we will all be settled and ready for Emma by the time she gets home.

Emma is doing well. She is 3 lbs 4 oz. she is up to 28 cc's on her feeds. Delivered through the pump over an hour every 3 hours. She has had some blood in her stools off and on so they are not adding the fortifier to the breastmilk for a few days to see if that gets better. They did an abdominal x-ray and palpated a bit, and nothing out of the ordinary showed up. She continues to do well without her oxygen and maintaining her temperature. She only had 3 spells the day before yesterday, only one spell yesterday, and only 3 so far today. So that is GREAT news! Next week they will try to begin nipple feedings. Lets all cross our fingers that she does well. I'm hoping to get her to the breast as soon as possible. (As long as she is ready of course)

She has another eye exam done. Unfortunately, this time is showed stage 1 retinopathy. The Dr. said it is not overly concerning at this time, but at stage 2 and 3 nearsidedness occurs. She is off the oxygen (which causes retinopathy) so that is in her favor. We're hoping this regresses and that it won't permanently affect her.

On a happy note, Emma is the best dresses preemie in the nicu. She has so many cute clothes and blankets that she has her own mini dresser FULL. The nurses all get crack out of it. They think it's so neat. All of the donations, and clothes, and everything that we received early on from all over the world are now being used. It's so neat. I have also begun sewing her some shirts (with froggies of course!). She is now beginning to grow into preemie clothes and out of micro-preemie clothes. They are still big, but she is bulging out the seams of the micro clothes. I can't believe how big she is getting. She also has a TON of hair. I need to get started on making her some coordinating bows. A girl's gotta have style.

I'm not sure I will be able to update again before the big move. I did get some more pictures of Caden holding his sister so if I manage to get those uploaded than I will do a quick update with pictures. Until then keep praying, they're working!