Sunday, August 30, 2009

Picture Post

I haven't posted pictures of our peanut in a while and I figured y'all were getting sick of me blabbing on. Enjoy!

Going for a ride in my swing.

Evidence that I love sleeping on my side. I look so sweet how could you tell me I could not sleep on my side.

Sweet sleeping angel.

I love my play mat. Horray!

About to go out to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary.

Catching a few Z's on the couch with Daddy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Due Date

Today is the day that Perron was supposed to be born. I can't believe that his due date is here. It is so weird to think that this entire time he was still supposed to be inside me. It is a really surreal feeling that is very hard to put in words. So much has happened in these past six weeks and at times they alternately feel like the fastest and slowest 6 weeks of my life. It feels like he has always been here and been a part of our lives and he has changed so much in the past six weeks. He has had so many milestones that it is hard to imagine that he wouldn't be "alive" on the outside until today. He is in newborn diapers as of today. We switched him from his preemie bottle nipples to his newborn nipples yesterday. We have already had to take his bumper pads off of is crib because he moves around so much. I came in this morning (after a very long night...more on that later) and he had scooted all the way to the top of the crib and had pressed his face up against the crib bars so hard that when I picked him up he had an indentation on his face! He is going to be a strong little squirm worm just like his mommy.

Back to the long night. As I mentioned, he is is quite the squirmmer. He HATES being swaddled and screams bloody murder if you try and keep his hands down. I think that he gets this from his daddy because being in a straight jacket is probably hands down one of Stephen's biggest fears. So we have started just wrapping his swaddling blanket under his armpits and letting his arms go free. He likes that for the most part, but it really gives him leverage to move around. He wants to sleep on his side really bad (like his mommy) and we are having a hard time getting him to stay on his back already. I went and bought sleep positioners yesterday after talking to my pediatrician and we tried them out last night. BIG MISTAKE! He was so tired, but everytime you would put him down, his little arms and legs would start flailing and he would bump the positioner. That would startle him and he would start screaming bloody murder. I was up with him from 1:30am until 6 am with only 30 minutes of sleep in the mix. Stephen got up with me at 5:30 while we tried to figure out what to do. I have to say we still don't really have a plan. I think we are going to give the shankapotomus (see adventures in poop entry for explination) one more try and see how it goes if we take everything out of the crib. I don't think he could roll all the way over at this point, but I also didn't think he could wiggle out of his positioners and get his face pressed against the crib rails. Wish us luck tonight! Mommy can't take another five hours straight of awake time in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Own Baby Manual

I, like every other first time pregnant woman in America, spent hours pouring over the internet "researching" all of the things I would need to know about babies before mine got here. If I had only known then, what I know now. A.) No amount of internet research can prepare you for the real deal. B.) Those sites really don't tell you the super useful things, so I am going to start my own baby manual. Are you ready for lesson one?

Lesson One: The Sleep Radar

Now this appears to apply more for mommy than for daddy (at least in our house it does), so keep that in mind. Sleep Radar is an ability that all newborns possess. After you have rocked them, jiggled them, sang to them, stood on your head and fed a bottle to keep them happy, you are finally able to get them to sleep. Ah victory! You race to bed, dying to get under the covers and catch your 45-90 minute interval of sleep. You are so excited and a bit delirious from the sleep deprivation. Now at this juncture the baby can do one of three things. One of which I personally think is cruler than the others, but I will let you be the judge.

Baby Sleep Radar Option A: They act like they are dead asleep and then once you lay them in their bed they behave as if you are laying them on a bed of nails and you immediately have to scoop them up. Babies that do this are obviously very intuitive or have ESP because they read your mind that you were planning on going to bed and started screaming before you even made it to your bedroom.

Baby Sleep Radar Option B: They let you lay them down and they appear to be sleeping soundly. You say a quick thank you prayer to God and then you race to bed because you know the clock on your 45 minutes has already started. You make it to the bedroom, victory is in sight. You jump into bed and get yourself comfortable...and then the wailing begins. Now I personally think these first two options are a more humane way for the baby's sleep radar to operate. They at least don't trick you into believing that you would actually get some rest.

Baby Sleep Radar Option C: This is the cruelst of all sleep radar behaviors. You get baby laid down. you admire them sleeping like an angel and think how lucky and blessed you are to have them. You go into your room and lay down. Ah sweet relief, you are finally going to get some sleep. WRONG!!! This baby sleep radar behavior is not a sophisticated as the other two and it takes them approximately 20-30 minutes to catch on to the fact that you have just fallen asleep. No worries! To make up for lost time, they scream extra loud so you can't "pretend" like you don't hear them on the monitor and lay in bed for a few moments hoping that they will magically settle themselves back down.

So moral of the story...babies have a sixth sense when it comes to determining whether you have just laid down to rest and picking that exact momemt to decide they MUST be picked up that instant.

Stephen and I are lucky because we have a pretty good sleeper. We have the NICU to thank for that. This morning I was able to blow dry my hair about five feet from him and he didn't even flinch; however, I will say he does have a pretty good sleep radar. Stephen and I have devised a good system for sleeping. now mind you, it doesn't leave much time for romance, but who am I I would have the energy for that! :) Plus lord knows I don't want Irish twins. I am still recovering from the trauma of this birth experience. But I digress. I go to bed at 9 o'clock every night. Stephen stays up with him and feeds him his 11 or 11:30 bottle and then comes to bed. I am then in charge from approximately 1 am or so on. Typically Perron will sleep until between 2:30 and 3 am so I am able to sleep from 9 until them. The bitch of it all is that even if Perron decides to sleep later, I still have to force myself out of bed to pump before he wakes up. YUCK! Pumping SUCKS! Anyhoo, it has proven to be a system that works for us and it is amazing what 4 solid hours of sleep can do for you!

The next lesson will be on Diaper Changing. As a prelude...if I was having to sit in my own pee or poop I would be kissing the feet of the person who helped me out of that situation...not screaming bloody murder like I was being tortured.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Adventures in Poop

I feel like I could write a multi-chapter novel entitled "Adventures in Poop". Perron had been home for almost three weeks and we have had so many of these so called adventures that I have lost count. I am going to hit some of the highlights for you.

Prelude: There was a little known adventure in poop that happened before Chapter 1. The day we brought Perron home he was wearing this beautiful blue gown my mom and dad had got for him. Stephen was holding him in his lap and his little gown was pulled up around his waist (thank God!) and the next thing we knew Perron had projectiled poop out of his diaper and right on to Stephen's shorts. If we were more experienced, we would have seen this as foreshadowing of what was to come.

Chapter 1: Y'all have already read this chapter. It was one of Stephen's original Adventures in Poop.

Chapter 2: I am changing his diaper at 5 am one morning. He had already pooped, but I had at least learned that that does not mean anything. I was ready for him with my cat like reflexes, but he threw me a curve ball...literally. I was ready to catch the poop as it rocketed out of his behind, but he tricked me and some how managed to shoot it sideways towards the wall. Needless to say, that adventure ended with a middle of the night load of laundry and a wrestling match with the Diaper Champ which was convienently completely full when I am trying to get rid of the three poop diapers it took to contain this adventure.

Chapter 3: Stephen was working the first night shift and I was sleeping peacefully with no idea what would greet me when I woke up. Perron had embarked on another adventure and had pooped all over his clothes, the changing pad liner, and his swaddling blanket..which is affectionately referred to as the shankapotomaus (re: E*Trade baby commerical) blanket. Stephen was able to wrestle the poop, but was sweet enough to put all of the nasty poop covered items in Perron's laundry basket to wait for me. Luckily, he did at least remember to mention that they were in there.

Chapter 4: Bathtime. I was getting Perron undressed for bath and he had...wait for it...pooped (are you seeing a trend here)... I was saying to Stephen "Oh I hope he doesn't poop in the bath tub." Oh sweet, sweet naive mommy. he had pooped twice so I thought for sure he was done. WRONG! HE POOPED IN THE BATHTUB! How gross is that? It was a mess and Perron was very upset that I was having to dangle him cold and wet over the bathtub as daddy tried to drain the water out of the tub and clean it. PS. Poop really stinks a lot more when it hits the open water.

Chapter 5: Last night Stephen was getting Perron ready for bed and I was about to go to the grocery store. All I hear from the bedroom is "POOP...HELP!!!". Perron had shot poop all over his clothes and his changing pad. Stephen needed my help getting Perron's clothes off because we were going to have to pull the poop covered clothes over his head. As I was in there trying to wrestle off his clothes, he starts flailing around and lands guessed it POOP! So now he has poop and Bourdeaux's Butt Paste all over himself. So an emergency bath was arranged and I ran to start getting his tub ready. Next thing I know, all I hear is "PEE!". Perron had shot a fountain of pee that almost hit his bookshelf. So we then had to bathe him, clean the furniture, take all fabric items off of the changing table and get to our emergency bath.

So, those are the chapters that I have to share for now. I am sure there will be many more (and in fact there are many that I have left out of my novel). Stay tuned for the latest update.

On a more serious note, we went for our 1 month pediatrician appointment this morning. Perron is weighing in at 5 lbs 14ozs. Can you believe it? He is almost 6 lbs. He is 19.5 inches long and his head is actually now big enough to be on the growth chart. We are so proud of how well he is growing. We are continuing to supplement and breastfeed. It is a lot of work for mommy but it is totally worth it. We are afraid that the Labatelol that I had to take might have permanently damaged my milk supply, but we are giving it some more time. Dr. Gilbert said that she was going to be extra restrictive with our activities this fall and winter due to the swine flu, the regular flu and RSV. Unfortunately, there will not be many public Perron sightings until the spring. I am disappointed because a. I am stir crazy and b. I want to show off my cute baby, but more than anything I want him to be healthy so we will do whatever she says. He will start getting a specially antibody injection for RSV beginning in October and will continue to get that through May. Hopefully that will help protect him some! Otherwise, he is doing great and we could not be more in love with our little man!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Nursery

I know this post is long over due. With him coming early (and one of our pieces of furniture being on back order for an ETERNITY) I didn't really get a chance to take any pictures of his nursery before him came home. In addition, it wasn't really done until right before he came home. So I finally went in there and took a few shots. I still need to hang some picture frames on the wall, but it is pretty much complete. It is the smallest room in our house, but I think we did a pretty good job utilizing the space. We wanted something that was a little more sophisticated and not super baby. As Stephen said, if we ever went to sell the house he didn't want to have to repaint the room. My girlfriend Tracy helped me paint the adorable pictures that hang above the crib. You can't really tell but the match some of the animals that are on his bedding. I liked the bedding because it was a little more retro and not quite so cutesy. The wreath that is hanging on the wall hung on the door to our hospital room. I was going to make a wreath for the door the weekend he was born, so when he came early we didn't have anything to hang on our door. My mom and dad went out the day he was born to a local florist who makes these wreaths and brought it back for us so we would have something for the door. It was very sweet and made it feel like we had a baby even though we didn't get to have him in our room. We think that all in all the room turned out really cute. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1 Month Old

Dear Perron,

How fast the time flies. It feels like we were just in the hospital yesterday scared about how you would do and scared about mommy being sick. Now we have blinked our eyes and you are already a month old. Everyone told us how fast the time would go by, but I don't think you really believe it until you are experiencing it first hand. We have had you home from the NICU for two weeks now and it is amazing how much you have changed just in those two weeks. First of all, when we were at the doctor's office yesterday you weighed in at a whopping 5 lbs 10 ozs! (*Disclaimer: you had just eaten 3 ozs. so that probably accounted for some of it.) Everyone comments on how good your weight gain is and I definitely think you have your daddy's hollow leg. Just looking at you I can see how much your face has changed. You have already grown out of two of your preemie outfits, but I don't think we are ready for ready for your newborn gear quite yet. We have a pack and a half of preemie diapers left and then we are going to test out the newborn diapers...hopefully they will keep you from wetting your clothes so much :) We go through at least two and usually three outfits a day. Mommy feels like she is either washing laundry or washing bottles 24 hours a day. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Everyone comments on how much you look like your daddy and I tend to agree, but you definitely have your mommy's mouth. When we first came home from the NICU you hadn't "found your lungs" yet, but guess the past week or so you have definitely located them. It is amazing how loud of a sound can come out of such a little body. Luckily you are a good baby and don't fuss unless you need something.

There are lots of things that you love to do.

1. Bouncy Seat: This was the first toy that we introduced you to and you have really grown to love it. You will just sit in it and stare at the toys for forever. You love the snail that dangles from the toy bar and we saw you intentionally reach for it the first time the other day.

2. You are finally big enough for a swing. After your daddy struggled for two hours to put it together for you when we got home, we found out that you couldn't use it until you were five and a half pounds. You are just like your mommy and love to swing. It usually puts you to sleep in five minutes.

3. Speaking of sleep, we have moved you to your big boy bed and you have done so well. Daddy and mommy (especially mommy) were having a hard time sleeping with you in our room because we wanted to check on you every little noise you made. Now we take you in shifts and daddy watches you from 8:30 until around 12:30 and then mommy has you if you wake up from 12:30 on. You won't understand this until you have children one day, but four consecutive hours of sleep can feel like an eternity if you were used to only getting an hour and a half at a time! You sleep very well for a newborn though and usually only get up two times a night for feedings.

4. Adventures in poop: We have had several more adventures in poop since you came home. The other night you decided you wanted to store up all your poop for the day and then let it loose on mommy at 5am. Needless to say that little trick earned you two new diapers, a new outfit, a early morning load of laundry, and mommy cussing at the diaper champ because it was full and she was having to change it out with poop every where. How you have learned to shoot your poop sideways is totally beyond me. Our other adventure in poop happened last night when you mangaged to poop in your whale bath tub. It was really gross and as your daddy mentioned, it is amazing how much more it stinks when it is floating in water.

You continue to be the light of our lives and as we get ready to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary, we can't believe how much our lives have changed. One day you are planning a wedding and the next thing you know you are lying in bed (exhausted may I add) with a precious newborn down the hall from you. What a miracle and a blessing God has given us! We love you!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Many Firsts

Well we have been home with Perron for 2 and half days and it is going really well. We are excited to have him home and he seems to be adjusting well. Diana continues to be a godsend and we have had lot of good nights of sleep thanks to her. Stephen's parents come in town tomorrow for the first time since they saw him in the hospital the day he was born. He is very excited about that and we are glad that they are getting to spend time with him outside of the craziness of the NICU. The only bummer is that in the madness of the transition between the hospital and home I have lost my keys...all of them! We have searched every where and called the hospital a million times hoping that they will show up. I just know the second we go through the process of getting all new keys they will show up again.

I have turned in to a Japanese tourist and have taken like six billion photos since he has been home. He has had so many firsts...first time in a car seat, first time in a pack n' play, first bath, first playmat experience, etc. We also had a little family photo shoot out on the back porch today. I was sick of having pictures where I looked fat and disgusting with no make-up and bad hair. Ah the joys of mommyhood. I hope you all like the pictures...just warning you there are a ton of them...and this is a fraction of what has been taken!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

He's Home!

I am so excited to be posting this. I was afraid to tell anyone about the possibility of Perron coming home yesterday after what happened this weekend. Stephen and I stayed in the family room at the NICU and we got home yesterday around lunch time. The family room was an interesting experience. Perron did great but mom and dad were not nearly as comfortable. They have a full size bed in the tiny little bedroom, but they don't really have sheets and blankets that work on the bed. Apparently the idea of a fitted sheet escaped them because it was like there was a single flat sheet on a double mattress (that would encased in rubber by the way). They then gave us this tiny little blanket that Stephen and I played tug of war with all night. However, as uncomfortable as it was, it was totally worth it because it meant we got to take him home. it was so freeing, and a little scary, to have him detached from his last wires yesterday. The staff at St. Vincent's was so wonderful to us and to him the entire time we were there, it was a little sad to say good bye. It is really hard to trust the most precious gift you have ever been given to other people for such a long time, but I can truly say they all treated him like he was their own.

Perron was very interested in his new surroundings once he got home. His eyes were wide open and he kept looking all around. Aunt Diana came over yesterday evening and stayed the night with us. She has been an absolute GODSEND!!!! I don't know if there will ever be a way that Stephen and I can thank her for how great she has been. She is helping me with breastfeeding him. She helps me put his ointment in his eyes because I am scared to (although I did do it this morning) and she is a burping champion. In fact, she stayed up until his 12:30 feeding last night so Stephen and i could sleep for a few hours. It was wonderful! I just dropped her off at mom and dad's house, but no fear, she is coming back tonight. We are going to conquer the bath tonight.

We have had our fair share of funny first time parent moments. I went through three diapers with him last night because he pooped, then pooped again as I was changing him. luckily my cat like reflexes kicked in and i was able to get the clean diaper up in time to catch it. Unfortunately Stephen did not fair so well. I came in from dropping Diana off and picking up some breakfast and all I hear is "I need help!". Apparently while I was gone Stephen and picked him up and heard him pooping. Like a good daddy he thought he would go in to change his diaper. Well apparently Perron wasn't done yet because as Stephen was changing him he projectile pooped and shot poo all over the place...on his clothes, his swaddling blanket and his changing pad liner (thank goodness I had that put down). To add insult to injury he also peed on himself simultaneously. Stephen said he had poop shooting out one direction and pee shooting in the other direction. I must admit I would have paid good money to witness this event.

We have some great pictures of some of his firsts...first time in a car seat, first time in his pack n play, first time in his bouncy seat. I will post those when I get a moment.

Thank you all for your thought and prayers during this journey that has finally led us home! We love you guys!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pictures of a Peanut

I thought I would share some adorable pictures of our little peanut to make up for the yucky , unfun posts I have been having to make recently. Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Quick Update

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update before I have to run and pump again. (at least the one positive is that I don't have to dump anymore) Stephen and I are mentally, physically and emotionally drained after the events of today. I feel like I have been hit by a bus...and I must admit that I look like it too. Things with Perron are holding steady. His lab work came back good. He is not anemic and his white blood cell count is not pointing to infection. They have gone ahead and cultured him out just to make sure. Please pray that it is not an infection. He hasn't had any more brady's since this morning, although now that we know anything is possible I am not going to count on it not happening again. I am trying to stay positive but this day has been very difficult. I cry at a moments notice and usually without warning. I am torn between wanting him home so badly that I can taste it and wanting him to be okay and stay in the hospital. It is a horrendous emotional limbo to live in.

He was really in a tizzy this evening when we went in to see him. On top of having the brady, an IV line put in, and a blood draw for the culture, he was circumcised today. He had wet his diaper and his vasaline gauze had fallen off and he was screaming bloody murder. I was trying to change his diaper and couldn't figure out how to get the vasaline on without touching his little wee-wee. He peed on himself and his blankets while I was trying to figure it out and so then I had to change him. It was enough to almost bring both mommy and Perron to tears. Luckily as soon as I got him changed and scooped him up for a snuggle he stopped crying and went to sleep. Bless his heart. It has been a bad day for everyone involved! Please continue to pray for us!

A Ride on the NICU Rollercoaster

We have offically purchased a ticket for a ride I never wanted to go on. You see, I hate roller coasters. Always have, always will. We boarded the NICU rollercoaster this morning at around 9:30 and from the second I got on, I have wanted to get off. We were frantically trying to get everything ready for Perron's arrival. I was barking orders at Stephen like a drill sargent and trying to determine if I had time to shower and go to the grocery store when I got the call. Perron's NICU nurse called and said Perron had an episode of bradycardia while sleeping (I will be calling it brady for short). Bradying as they refer to it, is when your heart rate slows down to a dangerous level and can be accompanied by apenea...a stoppage of breathing. It is a relatively common phenomena in preemies because their central nervous system is not always fully developed, but it was shocking for Perron because he has never had any episodes of A&B. He apparently dropped his heart rate down to 60 for 5 seconds. The good news is that he was able to bring it up on his own and did not loose his oxygen saturation or turn blue. The bad news is he should have never had it in the first place....

We raced to the hospital as soon as we got the call and waited for the neonatologist to get there for rounds. He told us that they are going to keep him for at least another 3 to 5 days for monitoring. They also are taking a ton of lab work to check for anemia and infection. Please pray that it is neither of those things. They went ahead and put an IV line in his head just in case they need to transfuse him or give him antibiotics. It is heartbreaking and terrifying all at the same time. It is so hard to imagine that just 4 short hours ago I was frantically trying to get all of the last minute things done before our night in the family room. Now we are looking at possible worst case scenarios and praying for the best and facing at least 3 more treacherous days in the NICU. Stephen and I obviously want what is best for him and what keeps him healthy, but it is very hard to realize we are not brining him home this weekend. I have certainly shed more than a few tears this morning, but I am trying to keep my emotions in check until we know exactly what is going on. Please pray that this was just an isolated incident and that the brady is not going to point to something much more serious. Please pray that our stay in the NICU is on the shorter end of the estimate. Please pray for Stephen and I. We worked so hard to concieve him and then worked even harder to get him here as safe as we could. I don't think my heart could bear it if something was wrong with him.