The birth of my two preemies

If this is your first time here, please read McKenzie's and Avery's birth stories!

McKenzie's birth story

Avery's birth story

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NICU, day 38

32weeks gestation today!!!!
Avery is up to 4lbs even but due to gaining 100grams overnight she is back on a 2 dose order of lasix to pee out the extra. Tomorrow we are hoping to see a weight loss. They moved her feedings back 30mins from what they were. I got to try and breastfeed again tonight, and she nursed for 10min while her tube feed was going. After i was done breastfeeding and bonding with her I gave her to Phillip to hold. They are going down on the calories in her milk from 26 to 24calories. Tomorrow she *should* have her very first eye exam to see where we stand as far as her vision goes. Next week she gets her first round of vaccinations! This all seems to be going fast.

NICU, day 37

Tonight was an EPIC FAIL, it was just an all around not good combo. Avery is great and doing great, it really had nothing to do with her.
We got to the NICU really really late (at her 11pm feed instead of 8pm feed). Pretty much all of the nurses in Avery's room were busy with the little baby that is sick (they are having to intubate her). I saw the nurse a total of 2 time the entire 2hrs i was there. They started her feed 30mins late so she was tired and kept falling asleep, which made putting her to breast impossible. As soon as i did put her to breast the first time she pulled her feeding tube out. I had to hold her while they inserted a new feeding tube down her throat (and gagged as they did it) and they even had me pull the tape off her chin! It was just all over disorganized and a disaster. Avery is an amazing little girl though and the time spent with her was awesome.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope this letter gets to you in time for Christmas because this year i have a special request. My one and only request for Christmas this year is to have my baby home for her very first Christmas. I promise I will be good and not ask for anything else if you just grant my one wish, I hope it isn't too much to ask. I know you are a pretty busy guy, so thanks for listening!


Sunday, November 28, 2010


Every since Avery was born i feel like everything we do/say/think has to do with Avery and her NICU stay and I don't post nearly enough just how amazing Chloe is. Chloe is 2.5years old and smart as can be. She got her flu shot and never even cried, until mom tried to take her band-aid off later that night (after she asked me to). She weighed in at 32lbs and is 35in tall! Chloe can sing her alphabet, count to at least 10 and can even spell her name! She knows her full name, she knows Avery's full name and knows her mom and dad's first names. She is amazing, smart and special in so many ways that i just want to keep her to myself forever. I am so amazed and proud of her everyday that I still can't believe she is mine. I can't believe that Phillip and I created something so special and perfect, I love being her mommy!

NICU, day 36

Some NICU mom was sick and still came to visit her baby, the baby was sick today and when they called the mom to tell her the baby is sick and being tested for RSV the mom told the nurse she (the mom) has been sick for a week. This is bad because Avery is in the same room as this baby, but luckily Avery and the other baby are both still in isolettes.
Avery's daytime nurse today did NOTHING. She didn't fortify Avery's milk, she kept her on the right side of her head all day (where she is already getting a flat spot) and she kept Avery in the same clothes she wore yesterday!

Avery is a rock star! All the nurses love her and tell me what a good baby she is. Bernie always keeps us in the know and lets us know EXACTLY what is going on. Avery is 3lbs 13.5oz now, she will be weighed again tonight (and measured too). Bernie told us when she gets Avery undressed to weigh and measure her tonight she will also get a new set of hand and foot print for us since they have grown since we got the last set! The best news of all is that I got to do recreational breastfeeding again tonight and Avery latched and nursed for a full 15mins!!!!! She never had a de-sat and did AMAZING, I am so proud of her. After she was done nursing she passed on me while her tube feed finished.

NICU, day 35

Last night there was no NICU update because we didn't get to go visit Avery until WAY late and there was really nothing to update except that she weighs *almost* 3lbs13oz.

Today/tonight was a big one for Avery, the upped her feeds to 35ml because she is doing so good with them. They also got her down to 2L of oxygen (at 30%) now which is huge because she was previously between 5-6L. Being that she is now only on 2L of o2 she is now on a 3 baby assignment which means the nurse that cares for Avery (Bernie) also has 2 other babies instead of just 1 like before. They changed her nasal cannula from a high flow one to just a regular one and they changed her feeding tube to a smaller and softer one that should be better for her. The very best part of today was that i was allowed to "recreational breastfeed" Avery!!!! I was allowed to put her to breast to get her used to breastfeeding and the fact that mommy is where her food comes from. We were not expecting much but she actually latched a couple of times and even sucked (AND SHE GOT MILK!!!). She was doing great with her suck/swallow/breathe and didn't even de-sat. Where her problem is, is that when she suck and gets milk, she gets so excited that she lets go and smiles at us! She is a total smile and happy baby, we got really lucky.

Bernie asked when we first got there if she had been put to breast yet and was SHOCKED when I told her that we have not been allowed yet. I also told her about having some nurses that wouldn't let me hold Avery and some that would let me hold but not skin to skin. So Bernie got the charge nurse to write orders, that are now firmly planted in Avery's chart, that I am allowed to put her to breast once a day (more if the nurses will let me) and that I am allowed to do skin to skin with her ANY TIME!! I am so glad that Bernie is back to being Avery's nurse and that she is willing to help me.

Tonight was nothing short of amazing, I FINALLY got to "breastfeed" my daughter, after 5 weeks and she is making leaps  to getting better. I am on a total "proud mommy high".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NICU, day 33


Today is Avery's first Thanksgiving and as hard as hard as it  was to not have her home I think it made me appreciate what i have that much more. We got to the hospital early enough to be able to do her care (temp and diaper) and hold her through her feed. As i took her diaper off i realized that she once again was poopy, i swear she saves it for me. Once the nurse put her in my shirt for me to kangaroo care with her Avery got comfortable and was so happy to be skin to skin with me, then after a few minutes she started to get fussy and she is NEVER fussy. Well after about a minute of fussing she "motor boated" my hand (she farted repeatedly on my hand). It was so cute. I told the nurse that Avery may be in the hospital but i still got to feed her Thanksgiving dinner since i held her through her feed. She is currently 3lbs 9oz and 15in long. They started treating her for reflux by giving her Zantac and they said it seems to be helping. She seems to be VERY VERY alert these days and is awake more now. She looks like a completely different baby, more newborn-ish. In the next week or two if she is still doing good they will let me start putting her to breast just to get her used to it, i can't wait!
Anyway, i hope that everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Oh and if you are black Friday shopping then you are NUTS!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NICU, day 32

We got there at 8:05pm tonight, knowing they start her feeds at 8pm but first they have to take her temp and change her butt. Well apparently the nurse decided to start her feed early so when we got there she was already 1/3 the way through her feed. They don't like to move her during her feeds because of desats and we don't like to hold her right after she eats because that is when she is the most comfortable and relaxed so we opted not to hold tonight. She is currently weighing in at 3lbs 8.9oz and is doing really well. Yesterday i was able to take home her first BP cuff because she was given a new one. Her blood pressure cuff fits perfectly around my pointer finger, and perfectly around her upper arm. It i so crazy to think that her arms are that small around.

Tonight for the first time ever I pumped while we were at the NICU. I felt strange and a little uncomfortable doing it there but I think maybe if i force myself to do it every night (instead of skipping a session) it will not only help my supply but i will get more comfortable doing it. Tomorrow will be bitter sweet for me, Avery's first thanksgiving which is so exciting but she isn't home for me to hold and hug and kiss whenever i want. Anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

NICU, day 31

Avery is 1month old today.
We were VERY late getting to the hospital tonight because as we were heading out of town a car came off the freeway just blowing a TON of smoke so we stopped to see if they were OK and made sure they got home alright (it was a man and his son).
Anyway, we got to the hospital after Avery had already finished her feed and was so comfortable and asleep so we decided not to hold her. We stood there and talked to her and held her hands. She is doing well, 3lbs 7oz. It was a long night and now I'm tired so its bed time!

Monday, November 22, 2010

NICU, day 30

Avery is doing well tonight, the upped her feeding today to 30ml which is a full ounce! She is getting to be a big girl. She is 3lbs 6oz now but i suspect that she will lose some again. Tonight when we got there the nurse and the RT were busy with the baby next to Avery so we had to wait a little which was not a big deal. After the nurse took Avery's blood pressure and listened to her lungs she asked if we wanted to change her diaper and stuff. So I went and took her temp then went to change her diaper. When i got her diaper off she was poopy, but apparently had been poopy for a VERY long time. The poop was hard and crusty all over her butt. I of course was not expecting that so i didn't grab enough wipes *cue phillip getting me extra wipes*. It literally took me no less than 6 wipes to get all the stuck on poop off which of course took a few minutes and was pissing Avery off. I had to have her diaper off so long that as soon as i moved it Avery peed all over her bed. When Phillip told the nurse that Avery peed in her bed she proceeded to lecture me and give me a lesson on changing a diaper along with telling me what i did wrong. She then had to go get a new swaddling thing so she told the other nurse in the room that she was going to get it and acted like she was so put out by having to go do it. Then when she came back Phillip and I had already decided not to hold tonight because they were starting Avery's feed late and we really needed to cool off so we didn't smack the nurse. When she was listening to Phillip and I talk she turned around, looked at us and said "Oh, your holding her during her feed? Thats what your plan is?" followed by an eye roll. Yeah no, we decided we will hold her tomorrow night. Ugh, I'm a little upset that she made us feel unwelcome and miserable during our visit tonight along with being passive aggressive with us when she was talking to us (there is more i didn't even put in here).
Tomorrow is going to be emotional for me because Avery will be 1month old but she will also be 32weeks gestation. I started crying talking about it to Phillip on the way there tonight because we have a 1month old and don't have her home and really don't even have a light at the end of the tunnel right now. I am still emotional about my body failing her. Sigh

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NICU, day 29

Today i went to the NICU in the afternoon to see Avery, with my mom-in-law. It was a good visit with Avery and the nurse was nice too. Becky was even able to hold her, and wasn't limited to just 10mins.
Tonights visit with Avery was good too. She had a new nurse, whom I don't really care for because she talks to us like we were stupid and really hovered over me as i changed Avery's diaper even though we had talked about the fact that i have done it several times before. Anyway i got to change a poopy diaper when i was there this afternoon and a pee diaper while i was there tonight. She only had 1 desat all day today which is really good. She was very awake and alert tonight. She was looking all over the place while i held her. Then when she realized that she was getting fed he kept sticking her entire hand in her mouth to suck on, but getting really really pissed when it would fall out. So we offered her a pacifier to suck on and she did, A LOT! She loved that thing and it really helped her to fall asleep. I am hoping that offering her a pacifier to suck on while she eats will not only stimulate her to suck but also help her to associate sucking with getting food. In roughly 2 weeks *hopefully* they will let me start recreational breast feeding just to get her used to being at the breast, to stimulate my milk and to eventually get her to associate me with getting food. Overall tonight was a really good visit and the best part was that we missed the rain diving there and home!!

Oh and a Chloe funny, tonight she was holding my pump, trying to un-zip her pajamas and told me "mom, i can't pump my boobs with my jammies on"

NICU, day 28

Tonight driving to the NICU i was emotional. I don't really like to talk about how the NICU makes me feel because it can be a lot of different emotions all at once.  It was nothing in particular that made me emotional, just the whole thought of going there to see her. I know just how lucky i am to have her (and Chloe and McKenzie too). I was emotional pulling into the parking lot today (as i am most nights) because when i pulled into that parking lot for the first time (in the ambulance) I knew that Avery was going to be born prematurely but i never could have imagined that she would be born as early as she was. Every time we pull into that parking lot all i feel is failure, my failure, my bodies failure to be able to carry her to term. When we pull in I can feel the tears in my eyes because i think of all the "what ifs". In my heart i know that i did the best i could, but getting my mind to agree is a completely different thing.

Anyway, on to the Avery update. She is doing fabulous, she lost 1/2 an ounce since yesterday so she now weighs 3lbs 4oz. She is 4 weeks old today. Nothing really new on the medical front, tomorrow morning she will have a chest x-ray just to make sure everything look good since he is on oxygen and all that jazz. Tonight was my night to hold her (Phillip and I trade off) and she giving me the eyebrows so i did it back to her, she gave me the biggest grin. I got to hold her for well over an hour, for her entire feeding.

Lately we have had a really nice nurse named Narissa (she is about our age). Narissa makes the whole visit WAY more relaxed than I really thought it could be. She jokes with us and listens to us when we have a question and she is always willing to help. She even lets me (with her help) put Avery back into her incubator when i am done holding.

So far we have been pretty lucky in our NICU stay so i want to say a HUGE THANKS to everyone that has been and continues to pray for Avery, she is a little miracle!

Friday, November 19, 2010

NICU, day 27

Ah, another good night in the NICU.
When we started this NICU journey i didn't realize that there would be things that made me think of the NICU and smile, just random things. Tonight we were driving to go visit little bit and I got a whiff of something that made me smile. The air outside smelled like poop, but not just any poop, it smelled like preemie poop. Preemie baby poop ha a completely different smell than newborn poop and tonight that is what the air smelled like and it made me smile. When Phillip asked why it made me smile i said "because someday these trips/smells/sounds will all be a distant memory for us"
Anyway, little bit is doing really good. She is still tolerating her feeds and still getting them timed over an hour. She really enjoyed being held tonight and Phillip really enjoyed holding her. She is already a total daddys girl, she was so relaxed she farted in his hand. She is a little wiggle worm and she knows that if she moves her head enough she can wiggle her oxygen cannula right out of her nose.  Here is the biggest news, SHE IS 3lbs 4.5oz, SHE GAINED A FULL POUND IN LESS THAN A MONTH. She kept smiling at Phillip and then she would make her "I am not impressed face" and she LOVES when her dad talks to her.

 relaxing when we first got there...


"ugh, what now mom"

Phillip taking her temp during her care, he also changed her diaper....

yeah, she already has him wrapped around her finger....

well hello there beautiful......

enjoying her feeding....

and one of chloe too!

NICU, day 26

Late night at the NICU tonight. Avery just finished her feed about 10mins before we got there and was just relaxing. I got to kangaroo care with her and she snuggled right up on my chest and farted in my hand (she also likes to poop as soon as i am holding her). She is still getting her feedings spread over an hour to help keep her from de-sating during and after feedings. She has a little of what they call "toaster head", the right side of her head is slightly flat but still cute as ever. She is 3lbs 3oz and 15in long and growing so fast. In just 5 short days it will be Avery's 1 month birthday. Tonights nurse decided to switch her and put her head where her feet usually are to help keep her from getting torticollis.
We were talking to the nurse tonight and she asked how many kids we have and their ages and if they were also born early. So i explained to her that we have a 2.5 year old that was full term, a daughter that is 1.5 years old but she was stillborn last year and then we have Avery. She went on to tell me that in April of 2008 she had twins that were stillborn at 20weeks. It was nice that we related on that level, but of course you never want to meet someone that suffered a loss like that. Anyway overall tonight was a pretty good night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NICU, day 25

Today's visit with Avery was VERY short compared to every other day we are there. We only stayed for about 30mins. It was almost her feeding time and we really wanted her to be completely relaxed for her feeding since she has a lot of de-sats after she eats. We opted not to hold her tonight, even though we could and she was doing really really well. She is 3lbs 3oz.
One of the other big reasons that we decided to make it a short visit tonight is Chloe. Chloe is having a really rough day today since she really doesn't feel well. I wish i could do more for her but i can't, so we just decided to spend more time with her tonight and really let her know that we still love her too!

can i just cry please

i am so freaking mad and sad at myself and my body's inability to do anything right. Over the course of the last 2 years my body (mostly my reproductive system) has done nothing fucking right.
We all know what happened with my body and McKenzie's birth, then here we are 1.5years later and my body once again fails and so Avery was born early. Now my body is failing me again, my doctor thinks that my outer incision healed too fast preventing anything inside from draining out thus giving me an infection. Now he prescribed me different antibiotics, but one of them is not considered breastfeeding friendly by all doctors. So my OBGYN told me to call Avery's neo and find out if he is OK with me nursing while taking it. If he is not OK with it then my options are basically to take the meds to make me better and stop nursing or nurse and hope the one antibiotic takes care of the infection. Yes i could probably just pump and dump until the one is out of my system but i really feel like the one thing my body has done right in 2 freaking years (making milk) it is now trying to take away from me.

I fucking hate this and some days i just wish i was someone else.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NICU, day 24

We got to the NICU a lot earlier today than we usually do, which was nice because we are home earlier. Today they changed a few things with Avery to help with her desats (which happen mostly after feedings). She desats after she eats because her belly is so full that her lungs can't fully expand. Well today to help with that, they turned her up to 6L of oxygen and they keep her in the prone position. So the head of her bed is always inclined and when we hold her we hold her inclined. Since they changed those things she has only had 1 desat!! Tonight was Phillip's night to hold her and it was so cute watching him hold her. They both took a nap together, until Avery started to stretch and it startled Phillip.
As of yesterday Little Bit is just shy of 15in long, i didn't ask about weight because it will be fluctuating a lot while they rid her body of extra fluids. She is doing well and we fall more and more in love with her everyday. Every single day i find more things that remind me of her sisters. I am so thankful for my babies!

For anyone reading this that has been praying for baby boy S (Avery's NICU neighbor) he is doing better today than i have ever seen. He had a few de-sats but he managed to bring his levels up with very minimal help! Keep the prayers coming for this little guy, he sure does need them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NICU, day 23

Tonight when we got to the NICU, we of course went to scrub in and I noticed that Bernie was in room 1. It made me happy to see her, but sad to see her in room 1 because Avery is in room 3. Bernie saw us and waved, then came out to talk to me. She is going to get Avery's chart tonight to make sure that she is still down as Avery's primary because she should have been assigned Avery tonight. She asked how Avery was doing and told me when she gets a chance she is going to go peek in on her. She is seriously my favorite nurse ever!!

OK on to Avery. She is doing well, but retaining some water, she gained over 100grams overnight (which is over 3 ounces) that is a lot and so they are giving her some lasix to help her pee out the extra water. She is on 28ml still and doing good with it. Today they had to tape her nasal cannula to her nose to keep it in because she wiggles and stretches her head until it comes out of her nose, on purpose might i add. Tonight when we got there the nurse was holding her because she had fed her and knew we would be there soon so she just continued to hold her and wait for us (they all seem to really like Avery). Avery's incubator is nice and personalize and girly now with some receiving blankets from home. I was able to take home a "preemies first pacifier" which is a pacifier for micro-preemies and i got to take home a preemie diaper too. I am hoping to also get to take home her blood pressure cuff (when she is done with it) and everything else. I want to put them all in a keepsake box for her that i can give to her some day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NICU, day 22

Today Avery weighed in at 3lbs 1oz! Woot, she is becoming a big girl.
This afternoon i went to the NICU with my mom so that she could see Avery again, she held her hand and talked to her. It really was a sweet day, i know my mom wishes she could see her more often. The nurse told us that they upped Avery's feedings again, and she is now at 28ml every feeding. Its no wonder she is 3lbs already.
Tonight when Phillip and I went to the NICU he held her for a little while and then I held her. We both sat there and talked to her about everything from her family, her sister and how much we love her. Tonight i told her that she has to keep fighting because her sister can't wait to meet her and loves her already. When we went to leave Phillip changed Avery's nasty poopy diaper, it was really cute to watch.
Avery has very few de-sats, mostly when she is eating the last 5ml of her feedings and for about 15mins after she eats they have to turn her oxygen up. The nurse told us that it is because when she gets really full there isn't a lot of room for her lungs to expand for her to take a deep breath. She said it is VERY common, and then when they start to digest the food a little, they start breathing better.  So overall she is doing really really well!

NICU, day 21

Avery is 3 weeks old today. It seems as though the last 3 weeks have just flown by. Tonight was a really awesome night! When we got to the NICU tonight the RT (respiratory therapist) was checking her lungs and then it was care time. So we got there at the perfect time, i was able to change her diaper and check her temperature Then i got to hold her and her tube while she ate, so essentially  i got to "feed" her.
 When we had first gotten there and i took her temp i was waiting to show the nurse (who had gone to put the milk we brought into the freezer) and while i was waiting Avery reached up and pulled out her feeding tube and then in a show of "ha ha ha, i did that" she started playing with her tongue and very much enjoyed herself.  
 Avery also got to wear her very first outfit today. The hospital has a program called "polka-dots for preemies" or something like that. What it is, is that people (mostly former NICU parents) donate their kids old clothes when they outgrow them (preemie, newborn and 0-3month sizes). The clothes are then used for the babies in the NICU, then hopefully more parents donate and the cycle continues. So Phillip and I have decided that as Avery outgrows her small sized clothes we donate them to the NICU (just the clothes that we ourselves purchase, all borrowed clothes will be returned to their owner) so that we can help someone elses baby the way that someone is helping Avery now.
 Avery offically "outgrew" micro-preemie diapers, she didn't actually outgrow them but they said the preemie ones would be more comfortable for her. So Avery is now wearing regular preemie diapers and they are giant on her. She now has her security anklet on her so that nobody can attempt to steal her. She is almost certainly going to be an outie. As of today is is WAY WAY WAY more active and they keep her swaddled a lot of the time so that she doesn't pull on wires or tubes (like pulling her feeding tube out today) because she is so active.
Hopefully i didn't forget anything, its late and i am tired. So here is a picture from today of her wearing her first outfit!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

what i want and need

just a few things i still want and need for Avery.

NICU, day 20

Tonight was a great night for Avery. I got to hold her and she tolerated it really well. They decreased her oxygen from 38% and she is now at 24% tonight. She is still on the high side of her oxygen saturation too, so they may decrease it again. Also if she continues to be on the high side they will decrease her from 5liters down to probably 4. When i was done holding Avery the nurse had me put her back in her isolette (with a little help of course) so that i could get used to doing it. I was able to check/change her diaper and re-swaddle her too! She is still the same weight as yesterday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

NICU, day 19

really short update tonight.
Today i was feeling really great, i felt good yesterday but wanted to give it an extra 24hrs before i went in to see Avery. Tonight was AMAZING!! I got to do kangaroo care with Avery, skin to skin holding is the best and she LOVES it. She really really thrives when she gets held that way. Her skin color looks better, her breathing is better and she is completely relaxed. Avery is 1310grams (1361grams is 3lbs) just to give you an idea. Today she only had 2 de-sats all day, and both times she was able to bring her oxygen levels back up with no help. The nurses are really impressed with her and how well she is doing. Did i mention that she was so relaxed while i held her that she pooped!! LOL. There is really nothing else new with her! Tomorrow i will put up some pictures of her from tonight, some are cute and some are funny!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

i could never have imagined

When i though of the family i would have someday i could have never imagined the turn my life would take or the journey that we would go through. I was naive and sheltered when it came to horrible things like losing a baby. I knew that miscarriages happened but as far as i was concerned baby loss after 12 weeks DID NOT HAPPEN. I was painfully and happily oblivious to the pain and heartbreak that many women face. I never could have imagined (as i am sure every women does) that i would be THAT mom, i would be the mom that would face outliving her child, i would be THAT mom, the mom that faces the trials and pains that come with the NICU journey. I never imagined in a million years that after having Chloe, becoming a mother again to another take home baby would be such a difficult thing.

Last night on the way to the NICU Phillip and I were talking and he very seriously told me "I refuse to ever outlive another one of our kids, I can't do it". It really got me thinking, this isn't something that just I didn't envision for my journey into parenthood. This is something that WE never imagined, this is something that Phillip and I are BOTH going through. This is OUR journey not just MY journey. This is a hard journey to have been on and still being on, but it is ours and though i never imagined this is how it would go i will embrace it because it is OURS and it has and will make us better in the end. We will get through it and we will be different people than when we started.

NICU, day 18

According to the nurse Avery is doing good and "right on track for a small preemie". She is looking better and better every single day. She had a few de-sats today, but it was less than she has had in the past few days (which is totally normal for a preemie). She is now 2lbs 14oz!!!! Just 2oz shy of meeting 3lbs, i can't believe it! She has been in the clear of jaundice for 2weeks now so they will not be drawing her billirubin levels again (unless there is a drastic change) because she doesn't need it. I am so amazed and impressed with how well she is doing. There is no new changes with her. She will be having a new blood draw on monday, to check her potassium (among other things). She is starting to get meat on her and get some rolls!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NICU, day 17

today i didn't get to go see Avery because i woke up sick this morning, which is a total bummer but it has to be done. Phillip went and visited as usual so that Avery knows there will be someone there for her everyday. She is doing great, no real changes with her and sometimes that is a good thing. She is now 2lbs 12.7oz as of today and 14.5in long as of a couple days ago (they only measure once a week). She is still feeding well and just doing well in general.

NICU, day 16

ah, what a wonderful night visiting Avery. She has no IV right now at all, they removed her PICC line today and she is getting all of her fluids from the breast milk she is getting. She is "maxed out" (for right now) with her feedings at 24ml every feeding and is tolerating and digesting it well. She is still on her oxygen, which we all knew she would be. I got to hold her tonight for well over an hour, and i even got to hold her while we had to watch 3 short movie things (on hand washing, shaken baby syndrome and what to not put with your baby while they sleep) They are required to have us watch them at some point before Avery comes home. When the nurse (Sarah) went to put Avery back in her bed she unhooked her oxygen for a minute so that she could make sure that it didn't have any water in it. While she was unhooked (literally 1 - 1.5mins) Avery held her oxygen levels within the limits! I was so proud of her. Avery weighed in (last night) at 2lb 12.6oz, the nurse hadn't weighed her yet when i just called to get her weight (bad mommy forgot to ask while we were there!).

If you are reading this and you are the praying type (or just have good thoughts) that you can spare can you please send them to Avery's NICU neighbor (Baby Boy S). He is not doing so well and while we were there they had to come over and call the respiratory therapists several times to help him breath (they had to bag him and manually help him breathe). We heard the nurses talking about him and how he is going to be intabated tonight. He has severe sleep apnea and his spells are getting worse and lasting longer. He is not doing well and really needs the good vibes! THANKS!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NICU, day 15

Today was an EXCELLENT day for Avery. This morning/afternoon they stopped giving her fluid and lipids in her IV and started a clear fluid just to keep the line open. The day nurse told me she suspects that will be gone fairly soon too. She weighed in at 2lbs 12oz today too, i can't believe how fast she is growing. They started increasing her feedings more frequently and by tomorrow she will be up to 24ml at every feeding. Once she hits 24ml they will increase feedings slower to make sure that she tolerates them, they don't want to rush it too much. When she is tolerating 24ml nicely they will start putting a power in my breast milk that they give her so that it increases the calorie content and will "fatten her up". She is tolerating feedings great and just doing so well right now. Phillip held her for 45mins tonight and she held her temperature nicely and only had a desat when she was first moved into his arms (it always happens, she hates being messed with). Tomorrow morning they will be drawing some blood from her heel so that they can check her potassium among other things since they took her off of her IV things. She is currently at 6liters of air (35%) and doing really well with her nasal cannula.

NICU, day 14

AHHHHH, my baby is 2 weeks old!!!!! How did that happen?! I feel like the days go by slow but then before i know it another week is gone, so the weeks are flying by!
Tonight we went to see Avery and had a really great time. The nurse that was there wasn't out favorite but she knows what she is doing and takes good care of our baby. They offered to let me change her diaper but due to my back really hurting i just needed to sit down so i let the nurse do it. I got to hold Avery again today and Phillip held her "syringe" that connects to her feeding tube, that had the milk in it while I held her. So i told him "aw, you're feeding your baby!!" he of course got an ear to ear grin on his face. While i was holding Avery and talking to her she smiled at me! That was amazing to see and a great present for us, she has a beautiful little smile. She kept opening her eyes and "looking around" just checking things out. When Phillip kissed her she squished up her face like she was saying "dad, you are so embarrassing" but every time that i kissed her she would open her eyes and stare at me. She did really well today, she had a few desats this morning but that is pretty normal. They upped her feedings again tonight to 16ml per feeding. She is tolerating her feedings much better now and her tummy is completely better. No more puffiness in her feet or hands (and no more diuretic either). Her nose looked a little yellowish to me so i think tomorrow or the next day she will probably end up with her biliblanket back, but that's OK. She is 2lbs 10oz of pure amazing!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

NICU, day 13


We got to the NICU tonight to visit and Avery was WIDE awake, we were so excited and started talking to her about it. The nurse (whom we have NEVER MET or seen before, and never even introduced herself to us) looks at us and says "yeah she is awake because i had to wake her up, because she tried to go towards the light!". WTF, lady did you really just fucking tell me that my daughter tried to DIE, and if that is the case then why the fuck did my phone NEVER FUCKING RING. If you honestly were worried that she was going to die then why the hell were we not called?!?! I kept my cool and never said anything to her because i didn't want to react to her in the heat of the moment. We had forgotten the camera in the car so Phillip went back out to get it. While he was out i asked the nurse if i could hold Avery. She looked at me and got an attitude and said "I guess, but i really don't want to" (insert my dumbfounded look here) "the little boy next to her is having a lot of problems and isn't doing well at all so it has been getting really crowded over here a lot. So if i let you hold her and it gets crowded i am putting her back without you arguing. Do you understand?!?!" I seriously wanted to smack her in the face for talking to me like i am a child and WTF did she think it was OK to tell me about how bad the little boy next to Avery is doing? If she is telling me about him who the hell is she telling Avery about because her medical info and how she is doing is nobody elses fucking business. After we were done holding Avery (which we didn't do for very long) we really wanted her to be able to lay down, get comfortable and sleep. As the nurse was putting Avery back in she started lecturing us on how we really need to plan this better and come in when we can stay and hold Avery for at least an hour because all this moving is really stressful for her and then putting her back is stressful too, so basically we shouldn't bother unless we can hold her for a long time. As we were getting ready to leave Phillip said "well it's time to start the long drive back to Manteca" the nurse looked at him and said "it isn't a long drive" and proceeded to ARGUE with him about it because she drives it every night. Seriously i do not understand how a NICU nurse and mother (she told us she had a child in the NICU for 5months) can have zero compassion!!!!
As soon as we got home i called the NICU and talked to the charge nurse, i explained the situation and told her i do not want this woman caring for my child ever again. I really wish i could file a complaint with the actual hospital but she really didn't do anything "wrong" i guess.
Avery is doing good though and she looks good. We were even able to get her hand and footprints today so i will get them up as soon as i scan them!

i miss being pregnant

Not that i want to be pregnant ever again, because i DON'T. I do however miss being pregnant, but i just miss being pregnant with Avery. I miss feeling her kick and roll (not so much punching my bladder though) and seeing her distort the shape of my belly was pretty cool. I miss the fact that Phillip only got to feel her on the outside a few times before she was born (but am beyond thankful he even got that). I miss having that "pregnant glow" instead of the tired NICU mom raccoon eyes from trying to balance everything in my life. I am glad to be semi back to my self again and i really like the fact that my boobs are bigger than my belly and i can see my feet again. I am thankful for everyday i had being pregnant with Avery and for everyday that i have with her now. Watching her doing all of her growing on the outside is kind of surreal. She is amazing and i can't wait to see the baby/child/woman that she will become some day, just like her big sister but i still miss all those moments of pregnancy that i no longer get to experience with her, and the ones that we missed out on all together. Sigh, its so bittersweet.

NICU, day 12

today was a double good day because not only did my MIL let us borrow her van to go see Avery but we got to make it to our HAND meeting tonight too!
HAND was pretty awesome, thanks to all the ladies (and the husbands too) for a great time and for helping me to laugh a little. I really needed that right now and it honestly could not have come at a better time!

OK so the Avery update! Bernie was there tonight (you will hear that name a lot, she is my FAVORITE nurse) and really made me feel so much better about the last couple days. YES Avery has air in her tummy, but it is getting better and she is doing better with her feeds. I honestly thing that the whole situation has a lot to do with the fact that the other nurses have NOT be swaddling Avery and have NOT been putting her on her tummy like she likes. Avery always does so much better when she is swaddled and on her tummy. So yesterday we were told that we could not get Avery's foot prints done until she got her PICC line out because of the placement. So tonight i asked Bernie if she could maybe get the one unwrapped foot a print for me so i could always remember how little they were. Bernie told me that tonight when she does Avery's weight she will unwrap her foot and get her tiny little prints, then she said she would do her hand prints too!! Now you all know why she is my favorite nurse. I was also told that i need to bring more milk up there because they are upping her feedings every 12hrs and that by the end of the week she will be up to 5oz a day!!!! Holy cow, its a good thing that Phillip and his mom bought me a double pump today (my pump quit!). I can't believe how fast everything seems to be happening. Bernie also told me that Avery is a strong girl and she can't believe she was only a 27 weeker. She said that i did a really good job getting her the calories and nutrients that she need while i was pregnant with her! That made me feel a little better. Bernie said that she expects Avery to have a weight loss tonight when she is weighed because she is actually peeing like she should again and she had  diaper that weighed 20grams today! Avery is back on the nasal cannula and seems to be doing really well. She was so happy and just a total little burrito. I even got to hold her again tonight and as we were leaving Bernie held her out (she was putting her back in her isolette) and let us kiss her head! All in all tonight was a pretty spectacular night!