Friday, July 31, 2009

Good News

I have hesitated putting this in writing because I am afraid that I might jinx it, but...Perron is coming home on Sunday! We are so excited. If he continues to do well with his temperature and his feeds, then we will spend the night in the NICU tomorrow night and take him home Sunday afternoon. We can't believe the day is finally here. He will be two weeks one day old when he comes home. He continues to eat like a mad man. He had 60 ccs (2ozs) at breakfast and lunch today. He gained another ounce and now weight 4 lbs 3.8 ozs. He is doing so well. We are a little nervous about him coming home, but luckily that is overshadowed by how excited we are. We have been FRANTICALLY trying to tie up all the loose ends and get things ready for his arrival. We are getting close.

On another note, I had another blood pressure check today and I got good news and some discouraging (but not totally unexpected) news. The good news is that my blood pressure was great at my appointment and I don't have to take my medication anymore! YAY! No more pumping and dumping after tomorrow afternoon! While I was there I was able to ask Dr. Gunnells some questions about my preeclampsia. I had been reading about preeclampsia online and thought that I might have had preeclampsia with another servious condition called HELP syndrome. See this link for a good explanation of what HELLP syndrome is I asked Dr. Gunnells if I had HELLP syndrome and he confirmed that I did. I asked him if we decided in the future to have another baby what the chances were that I would get it again. He said the good news was that it is less common with second pregnancies; however, if I were to compare myself to my friends that did not have a history of preeclampsia then I would be at a significantly higher risk than they were. I also asked about the possibility of the baby being IUGR again and he said that it would be very likely that the baby would be IUGR. He said that preeclampsia and IUGR really go hand and hand and many women who experience preeclampsia have IUGR babies. Because of the constricted blood vessels due to the preeclampsia it makes it hard for the baby to grow. So not the best news, but again not entirely unexpected. As Stephen has told me, worry about the baby we have right now not the babies we might have in the future. Very good advice!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Steps Not Baby Steps

This has been a very exciting week for Perron! As you all know, Perron now weighs in at over 4 lbs...4 lbs 1.4 ozs to be exact. He also is taking all of his feed by bottle. The most exciting part about that is he is now tube free! It is so wonderful to see his beautiful face without the tube taped to it. He has the most adorable nose and mouth (and I am not just saying that because he has my features:)) and it is great to see him with his entire face unblocked. Then when we went in to see him tonight we were greeted with him in a big boy crib! So exciting. He has to maintain his temperature for at least two days in the crib so please pray for him. Also, he has to be able to up his feeds to 45 cc's. That is what they call his 4 hour feed amount. Basically they take his caloric intake needs for the day and then divide it to figure out how many CCs he would have to take in to go 4 hours between feeds. He is currently at 35 CCs but he is taking it very well, so hopefully he will tolerate his feeds being increased. Now that he is on all bottle feeds, STephen and I are able to feed him. Stephen fed him is first bottle last night and I got to feed him his 12 o'clock feed. We have devised a system were Stephen feeds him at the 9p feed and I feed him at the noon feed. Enjoy the pictures below!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Yes, you read that right! Perron is over 4 lbs! Can you believe it?!? He gained 45 grams yesterday. Stephen and I would definitely believe it, because we got to witness his bottle feed last night. He literally sucked down 35 CC's in less than 10 minutes. It was unbelievable! I have a feeling that Stephen and I are going to be eaten out of house and home in the very near future. We are so proud of him. He ate so fast that he didn't even have time to suck down any air because it was impossible to get him to burp. Which speaking of burping....very scary and hilarious at the same time. First of all his face gets BRIGHT red and his little eyes look like they are bugging out of his head! It is scary because it is so easy to pinch off his airway when sitting him up to burp him. The nurse is trying to teach me, but I am still a little hesitant.

He is also up to 4 bottle feeds a day. Every other feed is given by bottle and will hopefully will be increased soon. He also is large enough to move to an open air crib; however, when we talked to his nurse last night, she said they rarely do both at the same time. For instance, they would either up his bottle feeds to every feed and give him a little time to adjust to that and then move him to the crib, or vice versa. I am not sure what they are going to do first.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers! they are definitely being answered!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

1 Week Birthday

It is hard to believe that at this time last week we had already welcomed our baby boy into this world. Perron is one week old today and he continues to do really well. I just called the NICU and he is 3 lbs 13.4 ozs....almost back to his birth weight! They have started introducing bottles into his daily routine and he is having a bit of trouble with them. His suck reflex is not very well developed and he usually spills more all over his washcloth then he gets in his mouth. They have told us that this is very typical for preemies of his gestational age and it is just a developmental issue that will require patience and practice. It is hard though because I know that one of the milestones he must reach in order to go home is to take all of his feeds by bottle. He also has to finish each feed within 30 minutes of starting because if he takes longer than that, he ends up burning more calories then he takes in. I talked to the Nurse Practioner last night when she was making rounds and we talked about the timeline for going home. She said that a week would be a very optimistic goal, not impossible but a little aggressive. She said it would probably be closer to 10 days. Hopefully he will continue to improve and we will get to have him home with us soon.

Perron had a very special visitor last night. His Aunt Lauren came in for Charlotte for her first visit with her nephew. Perron was very excited to see her and made sure he was at his absolute cutest. I am going to post some pictures below and you will notice one very big change....He can finally wear clothes! YAY!! I washed all of the fabulous preemie outfits that our friends and family have gotten him and I took them down to the hospital. He is wearing one of my favorite outfits that some of our best friends Katie and Scott got him. I love the monkey's and especially love the little monkey feet. They preemie clothes are still a little big on him, but he looks so cute I can barely even stand it.

We had another big milestone last night. Perron was held for the first time by someone other than mommy and daddy. I wish I could say that I was selfless and generous and volunteered to give up some of my cuddle time....but I can't. :) It was Stephen's idea. Lauren, Mom, and Dad all got to hold him for the first time and it was very special. I was excited to get to share him with everyone and they loved the opportunity to give him some squeezes. Enjoy the pictures below!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leaving without a Peanut

Well, we were officially discharged from the hospital today. It was hard to have to leave the hospital without a baby. It is not fair and it is not what we had planned, but I think we are all taking it in stride. He is still doing so well and we know that this is what is best for him. Today was technically his 35 week birthday and it is hard to look at him and know that he should still be inside of me growing and thriving for at least the next two weeks. However, that is not what God had in the plans for us and we are willing to accept that. We are just so grateful that he is doing so well. The upside to this all is that I will at least have a little bit of time to fully recover from surgery before he comes home. That is definitely a positive.

We got discharged this morning at 8:30 and stayed through the visitation in the NICU. We ended up leaving at around 12:30, so I am a little sore since I have been up and about for the longest period of time since the c-section. ML came and visited Perron for the first time today. He did so good and was a little angel the entire time. His bilirubin is almost within the range of normal, so hopefully he will be out from under the lights tomorrow. I will be so excited because then we will be able to see his little eyes all the time! He is still doing really well and we are so pleased. Please continue to pray very hard for his good health and steady weight gain. He only lost a half an ounce yesterday, so that is great news. We know that God is listening to and answering all of our prayers and Perron is living proof of that. Thank you all again for your kind thoughts, concerns, and prayers.

We love you guys!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hi guys! Sorry for the delay in posting an update. It is amazing how quickly the days dissolve away in the hospital. Things are continuing to go well with my health and we are hoping that we can start weaning me off of my blood pressure medication tomorrow. I am not able to save my breast milk for the baby while I am on the BP meds, so I would love to get off of them sooner rather than later. The good news is that they re-drew all of my major labs this morning and everything is back in the range of normal. My platelette counts are still a little low, but they are continuing to improve, which is all that they need to do at this point.

Emotionally I am holding up pretty well. I am dealing with the same hormonal issues that every pregnant woman has to deal with...just under much more stressful circumstances. I did have a little bit of a hard time yesterday and cried for the first time. We were in the NICU and Perron was crying and I wanted to hold him but couldn't and I felt so helpless not being able to comfort my own baby. It is really hard to have to ask permission to hold, touch, and care for your own baby. I know that they are doing what is best for him and Stephen is really supportive and just reminds me that most people at this stage haven't even gotten to meet their baby yet, so that does help me put it in perspective. If I could have one word to describe the NICU experience, is helpless. You want to be able to do what you can for your child, but what you want to do is not always what is best for them. It is hard, but when you get to see him and see him progressing, it makes it all worth it.

Speaking of progressing...Perron is doing GREAT! He actually had his first graduation today. He was moved out of the open radiant warming bed and into an isolet. It is weird because seeing him in an isolet makes you think that he is actually sicker, but it is really a good sign. They reserve their open beds for their new admissions and their sickest babies. Once they get to the stage where they just need to grow, they move him to the isolet. They don't have to watch his respirations and color as closely, so they can have him closed off. It is actually better for him because it is quiter and a little more sheltered of an environment and he can focus more of his energy on growing. When we went to see him this afternoon, the nurse mentioned that we might be able to start giving him a bottle in the next couple of days!!!! That would be a HUGE milestone! I started crying as soon as she said that because I was so happy and grateful! It is a miracle that he is here and it is a miracle that Perron is doing as well as he is. God has answered every one of our prayers and has blessed us beyond measure. Perron is a miracle and we thank God every day for him. Please continue to pray for us and for Perron's continued success and development.

We have some new pictures and when Stephen gets back into the room we will upload more pictures of him in the isolet. PS...they had to put an IV in his head because he yanked the one out of hand...he is so active.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Pictures

We had a great visit with Perron this morning. They let me hold him the entire time I was down there!!! Stephen read him some books and he slept almost the whole visit. They fed him right before we left through his little tube and you could tell he is going to be a good eater just like his daddy. As soon as the food hit is belly he got calm and sleepy! Enjoy the picture!

Day 4 in the Hospital

Hello! It is finally Julia again. I am well enough to be able to get on the computer for the first time since Friday. It has been a roller coaster or a few days. I am going to give everyone the run down on what happened and then update you on precious baby Perron and me. I hope to get some pictures up soon too!

Okay, where to start. So after I posted on Friday night they re-drew my labs on Saturday at 5am. Unfortunately I was deteriorating rapidly and they had to get the baby out ASAP, no longer for his health, but for mine. I had been running blood pressures in the high 140s to 150s over 100+s all day and night. Also, Perron had had some decelerations throughout the night but for the most part had done really well. (as a side note, when they delivered him his cord was wrapped around his neck twice, so that might have been causing the decelerations). It was really scary and it all happened so fast. From the time that they said the labs were unfavorable to the time I was delivering him was maybe only 30 minutes. My parents barely got there in time to kiss me as they were whisking us off to the operating room.

Perron was born at 7:42 on Saturday morning and he came into this world screaming and crying, which was such a relieving sound to hear. I was able to see him for just a second and then they whisked (along with Stephen off to the NICU). They finished sewing me up and then sent me in for recovery and what would possibly be the worst 24 hours of my life. Becaue of my pre-eclampsia they had to put me on a magnesium drip in order to keep me from having seizures. I was naive enough to think that pre-eclampsia goes away as soon as you have the baby...but I was WRONG! Because your system is still in shock and still has all of that blood volume in it, it takes a while to regulate. I was so sick on Saturday and Sunday that I thought I was dying. Literally I asked my nurse in the middle of the night on Saturday night if I was in danger of dying because my blood pressure was so high and I was so sick. I was seeing double, having trouble with my breathing impulse, nauseuous, etc. The worst part of all of this is that I was not allowed out of my bed for 24 hours so I didn't get to see Perron for the whole first day. They finally got me up around noon yesterday and I was still feeling really bad. I did get to go down to the NICU and hold him for a minute but the I felt so sick I as afraid that I was going to throw up on him. Luckily by 4pm I was feeling a ton better and was able to go see him twice after that.

He is absolutely perfect and he is already such a fighter. Stephen calls him the star of the NICU. He contiunes to only need room oxygen, which is remarkable for his gestational age, weight, sex, and race. They say white male preemies do the worst with breathing. He also was able to start feeds on an NG tube yesterday, which is also awesome. When I called the NICU this morning and talked to his nurse they said that they were probably going to up his feeds today because he was acting hungry!!! He must be just like his daddy! He is under the photo light therapy to keep his billirubin down but his bloodwork came in today and showed it trending down, so hopefully he will be off of that soon. I hate it because he has to have his little eyes covered with a patch and you can't see him. He is still on a radiant warmer, but we are hoping he will get to move to an incubator within the next week. The neonatologist talked to us yesterday and said that they think he will probably be in there about two weeks. I am going to post some pictures so enjoy...and please ignore how horrible I look!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

update #2

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to send out an update on everything. Julia had a very rough night last night with a bout with high blood pressure. She has been on magnesium since 10:00 yesterday and will get off of it at 10:00 am today. Magnesium's ultimate purpose is to keep seizures from happening. The side affects for Julia have been feeling nausea, double vision, and she has been extrememly hot. Last night we slep with the AC set on 65 and she was burning up all night long. She said it was the worst she has ever felt in her life.

Now on to the good news. Once she gets off the magnesium at 10:00, the doctor is going to get her up and moving. He is going to allow her to go see Perron for the first time at the NICU. This will hopefully be the start of her feeling better and on the road to recovery.

Now onto the person we thought would have the most trouble, but has pleasently surprised us all. Perron made it through his first day and night not needing oxygen. He has been breathing room air since birth. Both of my visits yesterday, he was very active and do well all on his own. His only issue is that he is still breathing a little hard. The NICU wants his breathing to be under 60 and his has been between 62 - 68, so he is close.

I will try to post some pictures on Julia's blog this afternoon.

Please continue to pray for Julia and Perron.


Friday, July 17, 2009


We just got some good news! We were afraid that we were going to have to deliver Perron tonight, but they are letting us wait until tomorrow at lunch time to make a decision. My labs came back stable. All of the things that were wrong before are still wrong, but they are at least holding steady and not deteriorating. They are going to re-take all of my labs first thing in the morning and see what is happening. They also will send my 24 hour urine collection to the lab to check for protein in the urine. Right now they are waviering between it just being pregnancy induced hyper-tension or if it is truly preeclampsia. They said that the 24 hour urine collection is definitely the best way to determine preeclampsia, when looked in combo with my labs.

Perron has been doing well on the monitors. We had a full ultrasound again and he is still measuring very very small. The big problem right now is that his amniotic fluid index dropped pretty significantly between Tuesday and went from 12to 7.5. That is a sign of distress so I believe they will check that again tomorrow morning as well.

If I do get to be released tomorrow afternoon, I will be on STRICT bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy. I also think he said I would have to have the Contraction Stress Test every three days, but I might have been confused. Whatever is the situation we definitely think that when we deliver him we will be delivering him via a c-section.

None of this is great news, but things do not look nearly as bad as they did at around 11am this morning when my blood pressure was 150 over 100. YIKES! Please continue to pray for us, we still need all the help we can get and we are definitely not out of the woods yet. It has been hard because this whole process (really this whole pregnancy) has been such an emotional roller coaster. Just when i feel like things are okay we are thrown another curve ball. Please pray that he continues to do well on the monitors and starts to grow. Pray that my blood pressure continues to stablize and my labs and urine come back good.

Thank you all again for your love and support!


As a disclaimer...I am having to type this while lying on my left side so there will be lots of typos...

I went in this morning for my non-stress test amd unfortunately Perron failed the test. In addition I had lost weight and even worse was that my blood pressure was through the roof. Dr.Edwards admitted me to the hospital for several different tests and a possible induction. They did something called a Contraction Stress Test where they give me pitocin and then measure his response to the contractions. Luckily he passed that test easily which is great. He looked much better than he did on the office non stress test. The problem now is the my blood pressure is way to high, my uric acid is way too high, my platettes are getting low and something is wrong with one of my liver enzyemes. They are retaking my blood work at five and they have me on 24 hour urine collection. THey are trying to determine whether I have preeclampsia or not. Unfortunately everything but together does not look good for us being to hold off delivery much longer. They are going to look at my 5 pm labs and determine whether my bloodwork is still showing preeclampsia. They are sending in the neonatologist in a little bit to talk to me about everything.

Luckily my dad's plane landed right when we were being admitted so he came straight to the hospital. Stephen went home to get the last few things i did not bring in my bag this morning and he's getting McKenzie squareed away.

Please pray for us. Perron is still VERY small and we need you to pray for his health and safe delivery. At this point there is no way he will avoid the NICU but we just hope he is as healthy as he can be. Please now pray for my health as well. Preeclampsia is not something to mess around with. Prayer that PErron and I are safe and Stephen and our families find strenght and comfort during this time of uncertainty and fear. We love you all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Crigler Medical Minute

That is what I think the new name of this blog should be, because I feel like all I do is chronicle Perron and my medical saga's. So in keeping with that tradition, here is the latest on us. I went in yesterday for my 34 week appointment. I was excited because I had been feeling good and I thought that I would get the all clear to go back to my regular activity schedule. I had a gut feeling that I had started to efface some because of some of the changes that I had noticed, but I wasn't sure. After waiting an hour and a lie...for my appointment, I was taken back. When I was weighed the nurse mentioned that I had lost a pound, which I thought was a little weird, but I have lost and gained weight off and on throughout the pregnancy.

When I got back to Dr. Edwards and we started talking about some of what I thought were minor issues, I mentioned that I had lost weight and was that unusual. He said that it wasn't and we kept on with the exam. He checked me and I am currently 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was a little surprised by this, but barring everything that I have been through in the past five weeks, I was not completely shocked. He didn't seem to terribly concerned about this, and I have definitely heard stories of women walking around dilated for several weeks before they delivered. He then went to measure me and that is where the curve ball came in. He measured me and I only measured 31 weeks, which is what I had measured two weeks no growth. He immediately sent me for a growth scan and told me to come back as soon as it was over. Of course, I had decided that things were going to be just fine at this appointment and hadn't brought anyone with me. Stephen was playing golf and my parents were on the way to Chattanooga because my dad had a talk. I got brought back and had the growth scan. He was measuring 3 lbs 15 ozs and per the ultrasound measurements he was measuring at 32 weeks 5 one week behind. We had our last growth scan on 6/22 and at that time he was 3 lbs 5 ozs. so he did grow some, but at this point he should have gained at least a pound or a pound and a half and he only gained 10 ozs. They also checked my amniotic fluid levels and those continue to look good.

After the scan, I went back to meet with Dr. Edwards again and develop a game plan. He stressed to me that Perron was still in the range of normal, just the small side of normal and that he was very pleased with the amniotic fluid levels. The plan for now is that I have to start coming in two times per week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Friday's I will have just a Fetal Non-Stress Test and on Tuesdays I will have a NST and an Amniotic Fluid Index taken. If things look good with those test every week, and my fundal measurements improve, we will wait two weeks to have another growth scan. If at that time he is still not growing correctly, then we will have to develop another game plan. I don't think he is considered to have Intrauterine Growth Restriction yet because he would have to be under the 10th percentile for weight. If he doesn't grow then he will be in danger of IUGR. If he has IUGR then they will probably determine it is safer for him to be out then it is for him to stay in because my placenta is not able to provide him the nutrients that he needs to be healthy and thrive.

As a side effect of yesterday's appointment, I have also been having a lot of problems with contractions. I did not sleep a wink last night and had a hard time with contractions and anxiety. Stephen is working from home today so that he can be here to help me and watch me. He has been really great and is doing his best to keep me calm...easier said then done.

I have several specific prayers to ask everyone for. The most important one is the please please please pray for Perron's growth. I am so worried that he is going to be too small and that something bigger will be wrong with him that they haven't detected yet. Please pray that I can hold off for a couple more weeks and not continue to dilate and efface the way that I have been already. I want to make sure that he has as much time to grow inside of me...if that turns out to be the best thing for him. Pray for me that I am able to control my anxiety and trust in God that this is just a part of his plan and even though I may not understand it now, it will all work out positively in the end. Also pray that Stephen and I find comfort during this difficult time. We love all of you and are so grateful to have you all thinking and praying for us!