Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 Months Already!!!

Today is Maggie's 3 month birthday! A couple things come to mind when I think about the past few months... one is I can't believe that much time has passed already and two I can't believe how much I love someone who has only been in my life as a separate entity for 3 months.

She is such a bundle of joy, when I look at her now, she doesn't look like she was ever sick, and those long days at the hospital feel like a distant memory. I remember all those days that I would show up to see her and as soon as I caught sight of her I would tear up because I felt so overwhelmingly in love with her and just wanted her to be healthy. Now she is healthy and I am so thankful.

She is a true gift from God.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shake it girl

Yes I get excited about the little things. Heck I am proud of myself for the little things. But in the last few days, Maggie has been able to grab her rattle and shake it a bit. Now I find myself wanting to buy her a metronome and I am having images of Partridge family type tours (only with less people). I love that little girl!

I pick you

Dear Maggie,

Throughout my day, I care for you. I play with you, I feed you, I change you, I talk to you, I comfort you, and I hold you while you sleep. From time to time I let you be, I let you play without me or I let you take a nap on your own and I take that time to grab a bite to eat, clean, do laundry, rest, blog or just watch tv. I never know how much time I have to do these other things because when you say so by crying I drop it all and tend to you. I pick you because you are more fun than dishes, you are more interesting than whatever is on TV and you are more wonderful than I could ever imagine. I can easily say that when it counts no matter how big or small I will pick you. I love you.




Making a Footprint

Babies have the cutest little feet.. Maggie's are no exception. I love them!

When she was a month old, we had one of the nurses do her footprints and I thought it would be fun to do it every month or so to see how she grows.

I took some pictures as we had our "craft" time. Our little girl is so cute!

I have scanned the results, the top footprints were on October 16th when she was a month old, the bottom footprints were done on November 30th when she was 2 and a half months old. The difference is slight but she has grown!





Look what I can do!

I spend a lot of time chuckling to myself... I'm learning to live one handed. One hand holding my baby the other hand on task. It's amazing how much longer everything takes to accomplish with just one hand. Everytime I am busy one handing away the day... I can't help but want to shout... LOOK WHAT I CAN DOOOO!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Maggie Mixes it up

Dear Maggie,

For weeks I have tried to make your bedtime 8. We go upstairs together. I feed you, change you, put on your jammies play with you and then rock and sing to you until you finally fall asleep at 10pm. Last week I finally gave up after evenings of defeat. And things have been great! 9:45 rolls around and I take you up to bed and within 15 minutes you are out.

So tonight - you were being crabby early. So I took you upstairs at about 8. And we did our usual routine. The same routine we do every night that always works. It ends with me holding you over my right shoulder while humming and holding your pacifier.

But not tonight ... nope. You decided you wanted something different. After 30 minutes of you fussing while I held you on my shoulder - like we do every night - I finally gave up and held you in a cradle hold. Within 5 minutes you were a sleep. And I put you in your bed .. and just like that you finally went to bed at 8:30.

Lessons I have learned
1. You are already strong willed and assertive.
2. I have to just go with the flow because every day is like a new day with you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Captain Pants???

So here is a little tidbit about me, I am not a big name user. If we are out in public and I need to get your attention, I will say your name. But if we are at home or already near each other, I will either just look at you and talk to you or use a “pet” name to get your attention. For example, I call MJ sweetheart. My dad calls me “darling” unless he is upset with me then I get my proper name. Because of this, when people use my name when we are already in each other’s company, I feel like I am in trouble or they are mad at me. It always puts me on edge when MJ says my name from the kitchen when I am at the kitchen table. I immediately think “oh oh, something’s wrong”. Proper names just seem so …. I don’t know … formal.

So when it comes to Maggie, I realize I never use her name when I talk to her. Instead, out of who knows where, I have concocted a barrage of nicknames for her. First it was Pooh Bear which I shortened to just Pooh – which when spoken sounds like I am calling my daughter feces. At night, Maggie gets really crabby so I started calling her crab cake in the evenings. Then appeared Captain Pants??? Yes you read that right – Captain Pants. We even do the “pants dance” when she gets a diaper change. I have no idea where I got this name nor does it make any sense. What is worse is I am now just calling her captain. So last night the nicknames degraded even further – I started calling her snoodle. Snoodle isn’t even a word!?!

I realized that I have a history of this. For example, my bunny’s name was J.J. which stood for jumping jillikers. (Pronounced jill-a-kers). Then I called J.J. Jeeger Peeger. Then it became just Peeger. And finally is was just Peeg (like peach only with a J at the end.) Zia has become pocket rocket or just pocket for short. Odin Ranger – now just Oat. And Marley we call Jonesy. Apparently no person or animal is safe.

I am starting to fear for my daughter’s development. How will she ever recognize her name when I am calling her Captain and Crab Cake? I mean sure it’s cute and the Pants Dance could qualify for being on some kids show, but I don’t want my kid unable to respond to her own name or some teacher saying “Magdalynn – I will not call you Captain in my class.”

‘sigh’ I guess I will just have to do it and start calling Maggie …. well …. Maggie.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merry Early Christmas to Me!!

Santa delivered a MacBook Pro a month early!! YAY!! I'm hoping that both a computer that doesn't freeze up and the change to a laptop will make the internet more accessible to me!

Time will tell... But so far I am loving this little dream machine!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Socially disabled

I understand now...

My mom always use to tell me that when she was raising us she would have moments when she would crave adult interaction... lots of them in fact. Which made sense, I had a taste of what being around kids a lot was like... But its different but not... and its only the beginning, I don't think I do truely understand just what she meant just yet... in fact I dont think I am making any sense writing this blog.

Thus far I feel like I have become inept in holding a conversation. I guess for me I feel like I don't have much to bring to the conversation. My life is taking care of Maggie, and I have found I love what I do, and Seana loves what I do so talking to her comes with ease. However, there isn't a whole lot to share about my day to my friends or visitors.

Maggie does like 5 things in a day: sleeps, eats, poops, cries and looks around. These 5 things... well 4 things... the sleeping doesn't really count... it takes up the majority of my day. (Which by the way, I love watching her when she is looking around and learning). When talking to someone these items can be covered in less than a minute... I don't think the majority of my pals want a run down of how Maggie poos so for most Maggie topics less is more.... well that and I also don't want to become one of those moms that can't talk about anything but her baby.

So Im feeling a little out of touch with adults... like my Mom I crave adult interaction but once I am in it's presence... I have almost nothing to say. I don't really have an outlet or rather an inlet of other topics to converse about... unless it's on netflix instant download Im at a loss.

Some of this I think has been compounded by our public restrictions, I do have a bit of cabin fever. It's not too out of control, Im content most days watching a movie with my favorite little lady napping on my chest. I just wish I had more to say when I am graced with another person who can say more than just vowels.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cloth Diapers

If you recall back in July... I took the leap and bought cloth diapers that were going to last us up to 5 months...

Well....

The size I purchased are for babies up to 15 lbs, and the covers are for newborns up to 11 lbs. I knew I was going to have to go up a size and buy more covers as she got older.

Here is the wrench... By the time we left the hospital she was 11 lbs. So the diaper fits... just barely... the covers however... well they don't fit. Our baby girl is just bigger than we anticipated.

The contemplation begins... should we just get the next size covers for the next 4 lbs of her life... or should we start from scratch.

Since she seems to be growing pretty fast we bit the bullet and are starting from scratch. We bought FLIPS which are a product by Bumgenius. These diapers are a one size diaper... which means the diaper grows with the baby. It covers babies from 8 lbs to 35 lbs. I don't know what the average age of a baby is that weighs 35 lbs but I do know our infant car seat only goes up to 30 lbs so I think we have some time before she outgrows these cuties!





our Growing Girl

Since getting Maggie home she has had two visits to our pediatrician.

Her first visit was on October 27th a day shy of 6 weeks... She weighed 11 lbs 5 oz, Her length 23 1/4". Which puts her in the 96th percentile for her age. Hard to believe that out of 100 babies statistically there were only 4 babies bigger than our Maggie.

On her second visit which was November 10th a day shy of 8 weeks... She weighed 12 lbs 1 oz, her length 23 1/2". Which puts her in the 84th percentile for her age. So her time at home has slowed down her growth rate, which is good, we want her to be gaining weight but she doesn't have to be the biggest baby in town! Although the competitive part of me wants her to stay in the 96th percentile... in my head that is an "A" right!? But in reality where she ranks doesn't matter as long as she is healthy.

Which brings me to clothes...

We are transitioning already from the 0 to 3 month size to the 3 to 6 month size. I have attempted to put on many outfits with no luck she has already outgrown almost all of them! Although our Maggie is turning 2 months this week she just doesn't fit the clothes for that age. This makes me wonder why outfits are by age....they should be by weight. In my eyes she is just physically advanced!

Here are some photos of her in some of the outfits we received as gifts that don't fit already or are on there way out:






















Trick or Treat!

Growing up my family didn't celebrate Halloween. I always felt like I missed out.... on what? Well CANDY of course.

My parents were quite religious when I was younger and since Halloween is a pagan holiday we weren't allowed to take part of any part of it... if it was on a weekday... we didn't go to school that day. Once I reached adulthood, I dabbled in celebrating, but I always felt guilty for it. Yep guilty for dressing up and going to a party.

So when raising our daughter I have of course pondered whether to take part in this holiday or not. And I say "Bring on the Candy and leave the guilt behind". To Americans this holiday is no longer about it's pagan roots it is about dressing up and getting or giving candy... or maybe a good scare. There really is nothing to feel guilty about.

Here are some photos of our little chili pepper celebrating her first Halloween!

We had to test her costume on our unsuspecting pets first!



Ready to hit the streets!


Getting used to being a chili pepper



Since Maggie's lungs are still healing and we are on public restrictions, we picked 4 houses to visit in our neighborhood, all neighbors we know. So trick or treating this year was short but sweet. And her Mommies got some candy!

Giggles and Coos


What I have learned so far...


1. All hats and hoods should come with little bear ears on them.


2. Pooping in a fresh clean diaper is a baby's favorite.


3. Positioning yourself and a new diaper are crucial... even the smallest toot can project poo right onto your shirt.


4. Bath time is a great time to pee on Mommy either on your way in or on your way out of the water.


5. Timing is everything, as soon as I start doing something productive, Maggie needs something... but ironically if I feel like being unproductive she sleeps for hours.


6. Any topic can be turned into a song.


7. Abba and Neil Diamond are awesome for dancing with a baby!


8. Eating and typing are quite challenging when holding a baby.


9. Eating ribs while holding a baby is close to impossible.


10. Spit up and Poo can happen at the same time... and getting them on myself doesn't gross me out.


11. Nothing beats waking up to giggles and coos, Maggie's smile makes my heart overflow with happiness.

Holy Crap we are parents

Like Seana said, nothing prepares you for when you bring a baby home. I have to say that having a baby in the NICU makes the parenthood transition become two steps instead of one.

While Maggie was in the hospital, we were parents during the day tending to her, sitting at her bedside, working with her "goals"; but at night it was just the two of us with no parental responsibilities. I kept a pumping schedule through out the night so I got up twice a night to pump but that only took half an hour in hindsight this was a drop in the bucket compared to tending to a baby in the middle of the night. Our nights were like we never had a baby, but at the same time all of our conversations were about Maggie our baby. We were parents in waiting if you will.

Bringing Maggie home was an exciting and quite chaotic day. I thought we were prepared but we were far from it. Before her birth I had done all this prepping and organizing... well 6 weeks later we just weren't organized anymore... some of it was due to the time lapse but a lot of it was when I organized I didnt know how our days would be spent so things were set up in an inefficient manner. As you can imagine this disorganization mixed with our insecurities of having her on our own made it for an intense first couple hours!

You will be happy to know we survived! And like all parents, we have started to figure it all out. Tomorrow we will be 3 weeks in to having her home and everyday she teaches us something new. With all that said, I still can't believe we are parents! It's a title that will take some getting used to. I just can't believe we are grown up enough to raise another human being... heck I still can't believe my body created another person... I can't tell you how many times Seana and I have looked at her and said " wow she is a person". Some how stating the obvious doesn't seem to capture our awe at this feat and it doesn't make it more real... because for now it all feels surreal. I wonder when it will all finally sink in.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

At 7 weeks, she wants what she wants

So I thought I would just jot a few things about Maggie so far. I have a feeling this maybe a small sample of her personality

1. She has thrown all our plans out the window. Including using all the cloth diapers we bought. She was so big when she was born and now she is 11 pounds 6 ounces that she never fit in her cloth diapers or a huge stack of new born clothes
2. She already eats 3-4 ounces a feeding
3. She is independent and cries if she wants to be put down so she can watch her "animals" which is a mobile above her crib.
4. She already smiles, coos, interacts with you and tries to grab things. She can also hold her head up.
5. She lights up when Melissa talks to her - which melts my heart
6. She seems to have bad dreams once in awhile and wakes up crying from them. I think she remembers bad stuff from the hospital
7. She loves to lounge on the changing table and smiles off into space.
8. She "huffs and puffs" almost pants when she is about to throw a fit over something. It is like an early warning system.
9. She is wearing 3-6 month clothes already.
10. Her hair seems to be changing from brown to redish blonde. But it still naturally makes a mohawk. Which I love.

Hitchhike to the hospital

So as you all know, Maggie is home. I have been wanting to catch up the story but having a baby really cuts into your blog time. There are a few things I wanted to share.

One. The day you say to yourself "Surely they won't release her today:" is the day they will in fact release her. And you will be stuck at work begging an ex employee for a ride to the hospital. I considered hitch hiking, but I figured that was not the best solution.

Two. Regardless of how many hours you have spent tending to your child in a hospital, nothing can prepare you for the chaos of having them at home. First there was the dogs incessant whining because they wanted us to put the new "puppy" on the ground for inspection. Then there was the fact you have no nurses to pawn the baby off to when you are tired and want to sleep. And lastly there is the wonderful truth that the baby is yours to keep.

What I have learned so far
1. Maggie likes the changing table. When she is cranky, I can change her diaper and she is happy. Even if the diaper is clean.
2. Three hours of nonstop crying can be erased by 1 minute of her smiling.
3. Having her on home restrictions for 8 weeks makes us both a little stir crazy
4. I find myself wanting to make more money at work so I can save for her school, buy her baby supplies and yes ... get a baby sitter now and then.
5. I have no idea how to put a baby on a schedule,. But I do know Maggie knows how to throw any schedule I have made out the window.
6. Without Melissa, I have no idea how I would survive this transition. She has been amazing and it just makes me love her more that she gave us the gift of a family. I am truly blessed.

Now pray for us as tomorrow is Maggie's first set of shots. Oh boy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maggie Update

Maggie is HOME!!

She is fully weaned off all medication, eating great and is currently tube and line free!!

They discharged her yesterday afternoon with a clean bill of health!

We were instructed to keep her out of public places for the next 6 to 8 weeks, so life at home will still be a juggle but we are so happy we have finally gotten her home!

This is our last update!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: Work on feeding and get volumes up orally, Wean off Morphine and then wean off Versed at home

PROGRESS: There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Meds-Maggie has been coping okay with the Morphine wean, she only has two more weans to go!!! The next one will be changing when she gets her morphine from every 12 hrs to every 24hrs. They attempted to change this yesterday but her withdrawals symptoms shot up like crazy so they went ahead and kept to the 12hr schedule. They will re-attempt tomorrow. After the 24 hr wean, the next step is off!! YAY!!

Feeding- Maggie is excelling, the lactation consultant called her "Brilliant"! We went from doing 3 bottles a day and me attempting breast, to today where everything changed....4 breastfeeds a day, with the nursing staff doing bottle when I am not here, the NG Tube is out of her nose for the time being. If she does well over the next couple days... NO MORE TUBE FEEDING!!!! She has been doing awesome with the breastfeeding and my nipples are feeling it... I thought they would be conditioned with all the pumping but I feel a bit sore. It's an absolute dream!

Our Dr. today said that maybe Sunday we would be going home.... this of course all depends on Maggie and how she continues to do on weaning. We are very hopeful that this is our last week living the hospital life.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: She is working on feeding properly, going down on oxygen, and getting weined off Morphine and Versed.

PROGRESS: Happy Birthday to Maggie she is 1 month old today! We were transferred this week to IU-Hospital, which is just down the block from Riley Chilidren's Hospital. Our little girl is no longer a high risk case and can now hang out with less sick babies in a Special Care Unit! The new digs are nice, it's a newer facility so it is more asthetically pleasing to the eye;t he staff more layed back; the food still not tasty for Mommy!

Meds-Her Central line has been gone for about a week now, and she is fairing well with her wean. The staff has toyed around with it a little to see if she can take a more aggressive approach... to which Maggie said NO to. So they went back to her schedule I had mentioned in my last update. Yesterday, our new Dr. approached me about trying a different method. She thought that maybe we could be a little more aggressive with the Morphine wean, but not wean her off versed until we are home. That way we are only weaning one drug at a time, which could help her get home faster! I like the idea, and so we are trying it out.

Feeding- Well this continues to be an adventure, as of the beginning of this past week Speech had re-evaluated both breast and bottle, and we are still on the bottle, she is still aspirating on the breast. Yesterday, we had issues with her aspirating on the bottle. So our new Dr. and our new lactation consultant and I discussed some options... The Dr. at IU is willing to have her just have oral feeds 3 times a day... it can be breast or bottle. Lactation wants me to try breast with a nipple shield to see if that helps slow the flow of milk a little bit, a long with some different holding positions. So this weekend I am tasked with non nutritive breast feeding with the new holds and skin to skin time and then Monday we are going to try breastfeeding with a nipple shield. Maggie has struggled with getting her volumes up so Seana and I will be trained on NG Tube placement and feeding so that she can go home with a feeding tube if need be.

Oxygen-Good Bye Nasal Canula, HELLO room air! On Tuesday this week Maggie decided she was done with the oxygen and pulled her nasal canula off, her stats stayed stable so the staff decided to leave it off and see how she did....SHE DID GREAT! This was also the day of her feeding evaluation so they decided to put it back on so that they weren't affecting one with the other... after both her evaluations were done (one was on tuesday and one was on wednesday) they took off her nasal canula and she has been breathing with no assistance ever since!! YAY!!! Goal Accomplished!

NEW GOAL: Work on feeding and get volumes up orally, Wean off Morphine and then wean off Versed at home

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4 Weeks ago...

Well four weeks ago tonight I went into labor. I never imagined going down the path we are currently on.

I am so thankful, and so in love with Maggie. Her health has improved by leaps and bounds, when I look at her I forget how sick she was and how she still is healing.

Looking back the last four weeks have been very hard. It's hard to not be living the reality I had imagined for the past 9 months. It hurts that we didn't experience the birth we had envisioned. I had wanted a waterbirth at home with lots of bonding time with our newborn baby. Instead I experienced a hospital c-section with 45 minutes of being able to look at my baby and touch her but not hold her before she was flown to another hospital. I then spent 2 days in a different hospital without seeing her. Once released, my visits with her were hard, all I wanted was to hold her and love on her and I could only look at her and occasionally touch her, I had to wait a week before I could hold her. Seeing her everyday on all those machines broke my heart time and time again.

This experience was far from what I wanted, and I feel robbed, I feel a sense of loss when I think about it. I think I just want to say that out loud. In my heart I know Maggie deserved a much better start at life than what she has gotten. I want to give her warmth, comfort, love and security, she should have gotten that immediately after being born. Im sorry that she was poked and prodded instead.

Even now, everyday is a challenge as we wait for her to heal and progress to a state that she can come home with us and thrive. The commute is wearing, as is the hospital itself. There is no escaping the worry and the wondering. But one look at Maggie and I know it is all worth it.

Im so happy that she can now be held, and I want to hold her all the time, I feel like all the time I spend holding her now makes up for all the time in that first week I couldn't hold her.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's like staying away from free chocolate

So I am sick. It is not a huge surprise since I have been running myself ragged for three weeks. I mean I can only go without sleep, eating yucky food and being around dirty hospital for so long before my body forces me into a time out. I have never missed a Dr. appointment, I held my daughter the minute she was born, I have been at the hospital every day since and now .... now I am at home by myself. Which is where I should be because the last thing I want is to get my Queen Bean sick.

I am sure I will find something useful to do in between napping and blowing my nose. All I know is I can't wait until I am better and can hold my sweet girl again. And hug Melissa without both of us holding our breaths. ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: She is working on feeding properly, going down on oxygen, and getting weined off Morphine and Versed.

PROGRESS: Maggie is still doing awesome!

Meds-The bigs news is that they changed her drug intake from IV to oral! This means that she doesn't need her central line IV anymore... YAY for less tubes!!!!! They did the switch to oral a few days ago and monitored how she handled the change. Yesterday they weined her off them for the first time since changing to oral meds. She seemed to be fine with it yesterday, we will see how she is managing today! Her central line was scheduled to be taken out last night so hopefully when I get there today this will be done.

Feeding- She is sucking, swallowinig and breathing on the breast, and she has taken to it like a champ, however, the hospital feels that she is aspirating (breathing in some of the milk) during the feeds. Her respiratory rate spikes from time to time during her feeding and usually at the rate she is breathing aspiration is very likely. So they have ordered that we switch to bottle with my breastmilk thickened by rice so she can practice. The Dr has discussed this with us and is working towards our goal of exclusively breastfeeding, but we have to get Maggie past this hump. So we will bottle feed her the thickened milk, once she gets to taking her full feeding this way with no respiratory issues, we will thin the milk and move back to breast.

Oxygen-Over the weekend they made a change to her oxygen intake. She has been unable to go down to room air, so they changed the strategy. They have her on a 100% oxygen with a 1/2 liter of flow with the intention of shutting off the flow. The thought being that we can possibly take her home sitll on oxygen if they haven't been able to wein her off by the time the meds are weined. The Dr. is confident this is not going to be the scenario as we still have 3 weeks of drug weining scheduled out. During this time thy are still going to work on weining her off the oxygen its just a different way of approaching it.

THEY GAVE US A DATE! The Dr let us know yesterday that her current tentative discharge date is October 25th! Which seems like forever away... but I know it will go by fast! The Dr also feels that Maggie has been handling the weining off the medication really well, and its possible that if they can be a little more aggressive and Maggie handles it well our discharge date will be sooner!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh the carbon footprint!

I am very thankful that I live so close to one of the top 5 Children's Hospitals in the nation, the progress Maggie shows everyday is evidence of their abilities! Well that and a lot of prayers and positive thoughts from all around the country!!

I have to say, I have been enjoying my time with my baby girl even though we hang out in sterile one time use land. Hospitals have to be the biggest worst culprit of creating landfills full of recyclable products.... among other things.

I am by no means the greenest of individuals, but I try hard to work at being ecoconscious and well, I cringe a lot in the NICU!

They don't recycle anything, namely PLASTIC! Which could easily be recycled.

Everything, is used once and then tossed.

They have a "No hitting the floor policy"... which applies to everything! I dropped a pillow on the floor, they took the cover off and threw it into the linens laundry and then threw away the PILLOW! At least they saved the cover SHEESH!

The irony is, I bought cloth diapers and cloth wipes, to minimize our impact on the environment... I will of course be using them once we get home... as well as trying to brainstorm other ways I can lessen our little miracle's impact on the planet.

I thought restaurants were horrible with the styrofoam containers... not even close!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: She is working on increasing her feeding amounts, going down on oxygen, and getting weined off Morphine and Versed.

PROGRESS: Maggie is still doing awesome!

She had a day of rest on Tuesday the 28th, where they didn't change anything. The Dr. felt like they had been pushing her quite a bit to progress and she met their challenge but needed a day to just be.

Yesterday and today, they dropped her meds by 10 milograms or whatever the measurement is.... She has been handling the drop in medication very well, with pretty much no withdrawal symptoms.

She is on 1 liter for her vaporizer nasal canula, her oxygen level is at about 30% so she just has a little bit to go. They attempted to put her on room air yesterday but she seemed to not be quite ready for that just yet.

We have made a lot of progress in her feeding, yesterday we started doing non-nutritive breastfeeding. This is where I pump right before her feeding, and then while she is getting tube fed we work on getting her to latch on and possibly suck. We got to do this for three of her feeding yesterday and she did great! On the last feeding we think she even got a little milk and swallowed it down just fine.

Today we got to go a step further, I still get to do the non-nutritive but I also get to do a nutritive feeding, which is breastfeeding essentially. I have to pump off an ounce of milk before we start so she doesnt get too much milk to start out with, and then I let her latch on and suck for about 20 minutes. Once she has finished we supplement her feeding with breastmiilk through her tube. Today she took about 5 ml from the breast, so she had 75 ml through the tube.

You may be wondering how we measure how much she takes from breast, well it is not an exact science but they can use a syringe with her feeding tube to pull up what is in her tummy before and after to measure. Which is kind of crazy to see, and you gotta wonder what that feels like but Maggie doesn't seem to mind!

That is all of the updates we have for now! She is getting lots of love and snuggle time, and we have been moved to an almost private room since we are trying to introduce her to breastfeeding!

The process now feels a lot slower in comparsion to the huge hurdles she has overcome this week. They have gone up in the amount of breast milk she is given each feeding, we have also started dipping a pacifier in milk while she is being fed through the tube and attempting to get her to suck on it so that she can learn to associate full belly to sucking. Since she went over a week with no food she has lost the instinct to eat.... there are 3 functions that she has to learn to put together these are suck, swallow and breathe. The nurse said that most babies pick up 2 out of 3 fairly quickly and struggle just with one.

They have been slowly cutting back on the Morphine and Versed, We did see some withdrawal symptoms yesterday, she had some shakes.

They have also turned down her oxygen intake.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: She is working on increasing her feeding amounts, going down on oxygen, and getting weined off Morphine and Versed.

PROGRESS: Maggie is doing awesome! The process now feels a lot slower in comparsion to the huge hurdles she has overcome this week. They have gone up in the amount of breast milk she is given each feeding, we have also started dipping a pacifier in milk while she is being fed through the tube and attempting to get her to suck on it so that she can learn to associate full belly to sucking. Since she went over a week with no food she has lost the instinct to eat.... there are 3 functions that she has to learn to put together these are suck, swallow and breathe. The nurse said that most babies pick up 2 out of 3 fairly quickly and struggle just with one.

They have been slowly cutting back on the Morphine and Versed, We did see some withdrawal symptoms yesterday, she had some shakes.

They have also turned down her oxygen intake.

That is all we have now! I have to run to change a diaper YAY!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: In addition to introducing food to her, a new goal for Maggie is to get off the current ventillator she is on which will allow her to breath on her own!

PROGRESS: We had another great day! Maggie is off the regular ventillator and off the dopamine! She also had her first day of successful tubefeeding!!

They have stopped doing "as needed" doses of Morphine and Versid. Now she is just given a specified amount at scheduled times. Tomorrow they will begin cutting back her doses. The nurse did inform us that tomorrow we may start seeing withdrawal symptoms.

NEW GOAL: Now that she is successfully breathing on her own, the next step is to get her to where she doesn't need the oxygen tubes (Nasal Canula I think that is the medical term for them). These tubes have oxygen flowing through them that has also been humidified and warmed. She is breathing on her own, this just enriches the air she is breathing. She will need to be slowly weined off of this as well.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: Taking her off of the Nitric Oxide machine, and weining her off the regular ventillator and all the medicine that has helped keep her comfortable and stable. We also would like to introduce her to food over this next week.

PROGRESS: Well I feel like we have hit a turbo button! Maggie is off the Nitric Oxide Machine as of yesterday afternoon. With the removal of that machine they were also able to remove the arterial IV line that went into her belly button. With its removal, we were able to finally hold her!! So last night Seana and I both got to hold her, it was the best day so far this week! We also were able to dress her for the first time! I really enjoyed them removing all the machinery from around her bed... We are down to just two machines by her bedside the ventillator and the medicine dosing machine thing.

In order to introduce Maggie to food they have to get her off the blood pressure medicine she is taking, which is dopamine. Yesterday they attempted to remove it but Maggie wasn't having it. So they turned it back on, it is on a really low setting. They will be trying again today. Once she is off the dopamine, they will introduce her tummy to the colustrum I pumped. It will have to be tube fed to her to begin with as the tube for the ventillator impedes feeding orally.

In addition to dopamine she is also on Morphine and Versid (excuse the spelling) these have been given to her as needed, so over the past week she has built up a tolerance for them and Morphine is highly addictive so as she continues to get more healthy they will be slowly weining her off these drugs. They will do this with care to minimize any withdrawals. I know that she is on some other drugs but these are the 3 biggies.

NEW GOAL: In addition to introducing food to her, a new goal for Maggie is to get off the current ventillator she is on which will allow her to breath on her own!

PROGRESS: They have already begun working on this goal, as of last night her oxygen intake on the respirator was around 35%. The nurse last night said this will probably only take a couple days, as the oxygen level in the air we breathe is around 21%! This will be a huge step in progress! By getting her off this ventillator the tube down her throat will be removed and one less machine will be by her bedside.

We are so proud of our little girl, and so thankful for all of your prayers! God has really been working on healing our Maggie!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maggie Update

CURRENT GOAL: This weeks goal is for Maggie to be taken off the oscillator and put on a regular ventillator. In order to do this they need to be able to turn down the amount of oxygen she needs while the rest of her stats remain stable.

PROGRESS: She has turned the corner!!!!! They took her off the oscillator today! She is now on a regular ventillator. Over last night they slowly notched her oxygen levels down so that today's changes were possible! We are ecstatic!

NEW GOAL: Taking her off of the Nitric Oxide machine, and weining her off the regular ventillator and all the medicine that has helped keep her comfortable and stable. We also would like to introduce her to food over this next week.

PROGRESS: They have cut her Nitric Oxide intake in half twice. She started at 20, yesterday they cut that down to 11 and now today she is at 5. The nurse said that once they get to 5, they do a countdown approach instead of cutting in half approach. So the countdown to one has started today. The nurse is optimistic that she will be off the Nitirc Oxide by tomorrow sometime.

Maggie is on several different types of medication which they will now start dialing down. Some will take longer than others for her to come off of. For example, Morphine, she has been given morphine to help make her a little more comfortable through the healing process. Morphine is an addictive drug so now as she continues to get healthy they will have to carefully cut back her intake so she will not be affected by withdrawals.

Currently Maggie is given nutrients through a drip, as she progresses in the areas mentioned above, the nurse said that they can start introducing her tummy to food. As long as she is on a ventillator we for obvious reasons can't bottle or breast feed her. I have been faithfully pumping since about an hour or so after her birth. All of the colostrum and milk I have pumped is currently frozen and being stored at Riley. This next week we are hoping to use my supply to start tube feeding her so that her body can get accustom to processing milk.

We feel truly blessed that so much has happened over the past 24 hours! God has been answering our prayers and the differences we see in her is so amazing!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pictures of our Precious Maggie Roo!

1 Day old at Ball Memorial NICU:








2 Days old at Riley's Children Hospital NICU:

5 Days old with me holding her feet at Riley NICU:











Maggie Update

HER CONDITION: In laymens terms, Maggie's lungs haven't been able to support her without assistance, part of this is from pulminary hypertension and part of this is from her breathing in Meconium (baby poo). As a result, she was put on an Oscillator (which is a type of ventillator). The oscillator is a great ventillator for short periods of time, but if you are on it more than a week it can be damaging to the lungs.

GOAL: This weeks goal is for Maggie to be taken off the oscillator and put on a regular ventillator. In order to do this they need to be able to turn down the amount of oxygen she needs while the rest of her stats remain stable.

PROGRESS: As of last night, they were able to turn down her oxygen to 64%, it was previously at 82%, which is great news! Today they will monitor her stats and hopefully she will maintain the levels she is at. They were also able to turn down her blood pressure medication as she seems to be able to maintain a higher blood pressure which is also good news.

These are small steps of progress, which we are so blessed to see! Maggie is getting better on her own timeline, she is still 3 to 4 weeks out from being released from the hospital. But everyday is another blessing and we are so proud of her progress!

Ms. Maggie's Arrival

Well, nothing ever is as you picture it! Seana and I have talked about sharing Maggie's birth story in great detail, but here we are almost a week has passed and we haven't even blogged up an announcement!

I will give you a brief overview of my labor....

I went into labor Tuesday night, at like 1130pm, with my water breaking and it having some meconium staining in it. It was straw colored, which meant it was older and nothing to cause much concern. However, it meant the baby should be monitered a lot more closely. I immediately chose to labor in the tub 1) because I wanted a water birth and 2) Once your water breaks your contractions are more painful, the sac and amniotic fluid typically work as a cushion which I now was without.

So began my long labor, I went into active hard labor where I was actually pushing during 3 separate occasions, each with periods of rest in between and attempts to get the baby in a better position and my cervix to give way as there was a little lip of cervix that just didnt want to let go. So the baby would start to descend during the active pushing and then she would rescend right back up, each time losing all pushing progress achieved.

By Thursday morning at 3 am, I was exhausted, Seana was exhausted, we had an additional midwife on site assisting, and my chiropractor had come in the middle of the night to adjust my hips in hopes it would help get the baby to move down and stay down. Which unfortunatly didn't work.

So the time had come, It was recommended I go to the hospital to get an epidural so I could get some much needed rest, and hopefully the baby the time it needed to descend. We packed up and headed out, we ended up going to Ball Memorial in Muncie because the assisting midwife knew a Dr. there that was very open to home births and would not give us grief for not being at the hospital to begin with. She notified him that we were coming and we were on our way.

Upon our arrival, we skipped admittance and were sent to a room after just a couple questions. The Dr. came in and immediatly put C-Section on the table as a possibility. This being because how long it had been since my water broke and the fact there was meconium present in the fluid. He was however, open to let us try the epidural-rest-pitocin-vaginal birth option but would let us know if that option was no longer available.

The epidural was a Godsend, I slept finally. They introduced pitocin.... and everything changed. Our baby's heart rate was decelerating and I began leaking new fresh meconium... a sign that the baby was in distress. They shut off the pitocin but it had little affect.

Cesarean Section became absolute. Within 5 minutes I was prepped and they were cutting in. In the next moment Maggie was with us, she was whisked over to be cleaned and checked. She had inhaled and ingested meconium, and they immediately moved her to NICU, Seana went with her. I was then stitched up and put into a recovery room to wait. Our little girl was born and just in time.

As I recovered, Maggie struggled, and they soon had to put her on a respirator to help her breathe. As she fought, the decision was made that she would have to be flown to Riley Children's Hospital.

My heart broke. They assured me I would get to see her before she was moved, and with that they wheeled my bed right into the NICU. There she was. My baby, I could hardly see her with all the machines hooked up to her. I touched her hands, and arms; her cheek and her hair. I stayed by her side until they had her transferred onto the machines for the flight for life. It was the best 45 minutes of the day. Then she was off to the best pediatric hospital in the United States.

The hospital Staff at Ball Memorial were great. They were very understanding and sensitive. The Dr. gave me the option to leave earlier than normal given our situation. I declined, I knew that Maggie was in good hands, and I needed to take care of myself so that I could take care of her as soon as allowed. I was released 2 days after the surgery, and have been recovering quickly. I have gotten to go visit Maggie everyday since coming home.

Here are Maggie's Stats:

Date of Birth: Sept. 16th, 2010
Time: 12:59 PM
Weight: 9 lbs 8 ozs
Length: 21 1/2 inches

Maggie's Status:
Her condition is called Meconium Aspiration syndrome. She is still considered to be critical but in stable condition. They estimate that she will remain in the NICU at Riley's Children Hospital for 3 to 4 more weeks.

We ask everyone to pray and send positive thoughts to our baby girl as she battles through.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Final Belly Shot

Here are my final belly shots, these were taken last Tuesday Sept. 14th. In these I am 40 Weeks 2 Days.

With Shirt:

True Belly Shot:

These were taken in the morning and I went into labor around 11:30 PM that night!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Giddy

So when Melissa and I got married last year, we had a rehearsal dinner. And I remember describing the dinner like the best Christmas ever - all my favorite people all in one place. It was one of the best days of my life. Right before the wedding I had this happy feeling knowing I was going to get to see all my favorite people.

Well it’s Friday and Melissa has already passed her first due date (remember the various Drs have given us three different dates). Today is her “second” due date. I can’t help but feel giddy at the possibility that I could meet one of my new favorite people this weekend. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. Every time I schedule a meeting for work next week I think “Will I be able to make that meeting or will I be on leave with Melissa and the baby”. It will be a whole new experience.

Will I miss lazy Sundays sleeping in and spending my day with just Melissa - of course, but I know that loss of lazy Sundays comes with a gift. I really am excited to get to be a part of someone else’s life in such a way that I never have before. I get to watch this little girl grow into whatever she will. God has a plan for her and I get to be a part of that plan – whatever that may mean.

Now when I call my mom she won’t automatically assume I need a copy of one of her recipes or I need cooking help. We have a whole new experience to share – what a treat.

Sticky

So I try very hard to do things my way... or at least avoid listening to my Mom. Why? I don't know. She often has good sound advice... I guess I just want to figure it out on my own... I think I have always been like this. I usually will hear her advice but not take heed unless I find that this advice is shared by someone else or is factually backed by something I have read.

Why am I telling you this... Well a couple months ago my Mom told me to get Lanolin for my nipples and start applying then to help condition them.... I of course bought the lanolin but put off applying it... I just didn't see the point. Plus it is an ointment... greasy and probably will stain my bras unless I want to start using breast pads, no thanks.

Well last week I happened to read the back of the Lanolin box... what does it say. Prenatal use recommended to help precondition nipples for breastfeeding. BAHHHHHHHH!

So today I tried it.... better late than never.

By tried it I mean I actually touched the stuff for the first time.... ummmm...
NOT greasy.... Sticky, it doesn't just glide on like a lotion it kinda pulls at your skin while you rub it in...it actually causes a little pain huh.... It does make your skinny very shiny.... And did I mention STICKY!

I learned a couple things... with this first application...

1. Dont bend over when you are a day shy of 40 weeks pregnant it turns out that the part of your breasts that just got sticky do come in contact with your belly and spreads the stickyness to your tummy.

2. If you buy reusable cloth breast pads, its best to wash them right after they have been purchased... not take them out of the box and read the instructions that state "to wash before use" after you have applied Lanolin.

3. Have an old bra on hand, sure it's a cup too small at this point, do you really want to get this sticky goop all over your new nursing bras???

4. Listen to your Mom, she does have a lot more life experience to draw from than you do.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Productive Week!

So it has been a very productive week and weekend. I am happy to say that we have knocked out quite a bit of our list. Some items are half way there so they will be scratched off soon! YAY! Take that List!

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

As you may have read off Seana's blog we had a very fun labor practice run this weekend as well. We had our midwife appt this morning, and it's officially back to the waiting game. Bahh! I am so ready to have this baby! Of course doesn't every woman at the end of the 3rd trimester scream that!

I am getting more cranky and I have proof of this. With my crankiness a new list of pet peeves....

1. The looks- I walk into a public place and almost everyone looks me over... I know Im huge you don't have to comment to your friends how big and miserable I look.... At least try a little discretion it's not like I have a 3rd arm growing out of my belly button.

2. I have no control- stop putting in your personal request of when YOU would like the baby born, If it were up to me she would already be here.... you are crazy if you think I care what you would like.

I guess I just have the two, well when it involves other people. I have a long list of why Im tired of being pregnant as well but that has been previously expressed in an earlier blog why reiterate.

For those of you who are guilty of these pet peeves... You have officially been warned.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Savoring the nap

Last night Melissa had some cramp like pain again - started about 10:30. After we went to bed and slept a bit ... well I slept a bit, we got up at 2:30. She was having cramps about every 4 minutes for about 30 seconds each so we called the midwives. Let me say that having midwives is wonderful. I mean we called at 3:30am and they answer and have answers. So I made Melissa some food, she drank water and took a nice long bath. The whole time I was thinking ..... "Man I should have taken a nap." I mean don't get me wrong - I was very excited that we could be holding our daughter soon, but I think reality hit me. The reality that a small baby will be controlling my sleep schedule.

So after the bath, Melissa was feeling better and we went back to bed at about 5am. Got to sleep in until 11. And today ... that's right ... I took a nap. You know why? Because I could .... and well because I was tired.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Threat level has been raised to Orange

So last night I think we got a preview of what is in store for us soon. Melissa had “period like” cramps. She hasn’t had that sensation before and both of us kind of look at each other like “Is this it?”
I am fully educated for what the “warning signs” of labor look like. I have a flow chart in my head for validating Melissa’s pains. Kind of looks like this

1. Cramps ? = Yes go to 2.
2. Are they painful? = Yes go to 3
3. Are they consistent? =Yes go to 4
4. Are the increasing in frequency? = Yes go 5
5. Has Melissa asked out loud why we decided to get pregnant? = Yes Call Midwives

It is much longer than this and includes a section on Active Labor and Transition labor. So last night Melissa had quite a few cramp like pains. After this went on for about 2 hours, we finally went to bed and she is feeling better today.

So what is interesting to me is I feel totally prepared for her to go into labor mentally, but I don’t think I am emotionally truly prepared to watch one of my most loved people go through pain that I cannot fix. I haven’t had to do that before and I am both excited and freaked out of my mind. I am sure she feels the same way. I do have total confidence in Melissa and our birth team. MJ is a trooper and I believe she can do this and I plan to be the best coach I can be.

So that’s the update. Pack your bags grandparents … we may be seeing you soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update on the To Do List

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

We haven't made much of a dent, it seems there is always something else that needs to be done... Hopefully this weekend will be a productive one, the days are slipping away! We are less than two weeks away from the due date which feels like its more of a guess than anything else.

Your mom ;)

How MJ has been.
So I read a ton of stuff early on in pregnancy that frankly scared the crap out of me. The books talked about how “crazy” pregnant women are. How they are snappy and demanding. How they have crazy cravings and do weird “nesting” things like obsessively clean grout and dusting baseboard. I have heard friend stories of women peeing themselves while sneezing, crying over nothing, wanting to eat random foods together.
So now that I have seen 38 weeks of pregnancy, I thought I would compare how MJ has been. Plus I thought the Queen Bean may enjoy reading about how her mom was while pregnant ( I know I like it when my mom talks about me).
1. Morning sickness – early on, Melissa needed to eat … often. She would feel sick if her stomach ever got empty so she ate often. Before pregnancy, she would say things like “I am getting hungry” and that meant I still had time to shower before we went to eat. Not in her first trimester – she would say “I am getting hungry” and I would be grabbing my coat to take her to eat. She never threw up. She just made sure she ate even when she did not want to.

2. Cravings – in the first trimester, MJ wanted hot wings and lots of them. I can’t remember how many times we had hot wings – but it was a lot. Randomly in the 2nd trimester, MJ wanted pickles. We had the same jar of pickles for like a year and it never was opened. Suddenly she wanted pickles. Then came the ice cream. First it was a small bowl – two scoops. Soon I was scooping a big heaping bowl every night. Then in the third trimester it has been buffalo chicken sandwiches. (I bet as MJ reads this she will want one) ;). There have only been two instances of food items she had to have. One was a meat sandwich that she actually blogged about and the other was a pie that we immediately went to the store for. Not bad if you ask me.

3. Attitude. Melissa has been great. There was only a two week stint where she was snappy. Since then, I think she has done very well. She gets frustrated sometimes because she can’t do everything she wants without getting tired. Or – right now- she is tired of eating every two hours or so. I can understand that. It is hard for a very hard worker to not be able to physically do everything on the “to do” list. I think all in all she has been great

4. Nesting – no obsessive behavior as of yet. She would like the blue chair put up in the nursery, but that is about it.

5. Peeing herself – happy to report that this has not been an issue.

So there you have it. We have come a long way since New Years Eve and a little pink line. I am excited about getting to hold my girl. Can’t wait!

Belly Shot: 38 Weeks 3 Days ... and an update

Well we have made it to 38 weeks, which is full term! Here are the belly shots for 38W3D for you all to enjoy.... yes I am even bigger.

True Belly Shot:
Belly Shot with shirt:


So last week during week 37, our midwives came over for my prenatal and home visit. We had a night of snacks if you will. I served Caprese Salad for an appetizer, a Romaine Salad for well a salad... and Pub Cheese Fondue for the main course... and for dessert I made a Blueberry topped sour cream coffee cake! YUM!

During our meal we discussed my health and went through the prenatal appt usual round of questions. One of our midwives explained her theory on why she thought I might be a week or so past my due date... one is I am a first timer and two I have a longer menstrual cycle than average and theoretically this equates a longer gestation. Last week I was okay with being a week late, I have worked hard to not get to ramped up on an expectation of when she may be joining us. They jokingly requested I not go into labor this week as they are at a midwife conference. I wanted to tell them not to tempt the universe by bringing it up!!

After dinner, we gave them a tour of the house, pointed out to them areas they would most likely be using during our home birth (i.e. the laundry room). After some discussion of where the big event was going to take place we or I guess I decided on the master bedroom. The midwives suggested I pick the place I am most relaxed and comfortable... and I actually really love our bedroom it is very calming and where I do feel most comfortable! During the master bedroom tour they also saw our bath tub in the master bath and informed us that it is the ideal size if we wanted to use that as our birthing tub instead of the inflatable one they brought. We are thinking it over.

Lastly, came my check up. I layed down on my bed we got to hear her little heart beat! They felt around for her position she is in the perfect position and they measured my belly... the result 40! Let me back peddle and explain just in case you are not familiar; the fundal measure is done from my pelvic bone up to the top of where the uterus sits. Typically you measure in centimeters what your gestation is. So if I were 16 weeks my tummy would measure 16 cm. Now since 16 weeks I have always measured 1 cm bigger so I was 17 cm. Which happens, but since my last measure which was at 34 weeks (the result 35 cm) our little girl has been growing by leaps and bounds apparantly. So at 37 weeks I am measuring 40 cm.... ummm that's 3 cm larger than I should be!

The midwives gave each other a glance and one of them casually said I guess we should get your birth supplies here sooner than later! And they less jokingly stated they would prefer it if I didn't go into labor this week.... I don't really have any control over this but I have been mentally requesting next week... next week...next week. Keep in mind they have a back up midwife on call should I go into labor... the downside of this happening is we haven't met her. Seana of course asked if that meant it would be sooner, they of course said what they always say. That is a question we can't answer, but this could be a sign it could be sooner but there is no way to know.

My attempt to not set an expectation has gone out the window, I am hoping for next week, one because it's not this week. Two our little girl has gotten quite strong and many of her jabs, kicks and rolls well HURT! And three I have hit the 3rd trimester wall! I am tired of my body being so weighed down, I am tired of not being able to move around easily, Im tired of tossing and turning all night....mostly Im tired of eggs and protien and eggs.... I hate food right now which is not like me... I hate eating which is also not like me. I guess I am just tired and ready to meet our little girl.




Friday, August 27, 2010

Ah ... an evening off.

It is completely true what they say, when you work for something, you appreciate it much more. My time had been packed these last few weeks. Started my new job, taking baby classes, taking quarter end exams in school, traveling for work, studying for my certification tests, meeting with Mid-wives and all while trying to eBay items so we have some extra cash for baby stuff.

I had no idea how long it had been since I had a night off until I realized two things. 1. I rented "Rear Window" 4 weeks ago and I finally got to watch it this week. It is the only TV show I have watched.
2. I had no idea the weeds on the side of the house were waist high because I hadn't been in my own yard for that long!!!

MJ has been holding down the fort. She has forgone some items off her house list to help me plow through mine. Without her, I would have at least quit school by now and I am pretty sure run away from a training class I had last week. So this weekend is a much earned reward where I actually get to participate in doing some last house items until the Queen Bean gets here.

I never thought I would be so about being able to wash a car so I could put a car seat in it ...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy At Work on my List

I put up my to do list along with my 36 Week belly shots.... Here is what I have accomplished (I've grayed out completed items):

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

I am now in my 37th week, which puts my due date just under 3 weeks away! I can't believe it is only weeks away... I have been used to it being month's away, some date in the distant future.... and now it's practically upon us!! I'm very excited to meet our little girl. I still can't believe Seana and I are going to be parents... what a crazy year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Belly Shot Compare

I have been holding off doing a combo belly shot blog, but have decided that I've waited long enough. Here is my body's transition to the size I am now!

I only have 2 more belly shots to go (38 Weeks and 40 Weeks or the day I go into labor which ever is sooner).

13W2D:
16W3D:
20W2D:
24W2D:
26W2D:
28W2D:
32W2D:
34W3D:
36W5D:



36 Weeks 5 Days!

Here are my 36W5D belly shots!

True Belly Shot:

Shot with Shirt (which actually doesn't cover my entire belly anymore, I have to stretch it down to cover, and this is a maternity shirt!):


I remember at the beginning of the pregnancy thinking how far off this stage of pregnancy was... It has actually gone by very quickly!

This week I have been feeling a lot of emotions about how much time we have left before our little girl is here.... 4 weeks give or take a week or so! Which seems like NO time at all. That is going to fly by! I am feeling excited, anxious and scared.

I can not wait to hold her in my arms and see her for the first time. However, the reality of the upcoming pain to get to that point is setting in for me. Especially given that we have chosen a home birth... there is no epidural just set aside to be administered should I break down and want one! Im just going to have brave it, breathe and get through it. I know with Seana by my side this is possible, Im very blessed to have her, however, the fear sneaks in a bit here and there trying to psych me out with the what ifs. I just keep thinking about what I CANT WAIT for: Our little girl. That seems to help release the tension.

As for time, there really isn't much time... it's actually less than 4 weeks now. I have this list in my head of what I want done before she gets here.... Maybe it's the nesting instinct kicking into ultra high gear... The hard part is some of the stuff I want done, I can't actually do.... Like move my nursing chair upstairs. Seana would kill me if I didn't kill myself trying to do it alone (keep in mind Pre-Pregnancy MJ would have figured out a way to do it alone just for the challenge of it!)

Here is my list:

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

I guess wish me luck or rather US luck... I am still missing quite a few of my elves so we've got our work set out for us!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home Birth Headaches

I dont know why I have insurance... We end up paying so much out of pocket it's like we are throwing money down the drain for insurance coverage. But then again, I haven't had an emergency room visit in a while, that is when it pays to have insurance.

If you are thinking of doing a home birth be prepared for your providers to not be covered by insurance. I just spent part of my day talking to our insurance company, by the way the reps are great and very easy to talk to, but their answers were disappointing to say the least.

First off, I am attempting to get In Network Exceptions made for my chiropractor and our midwives.

The chiropractor. The chiropractor happens to be out of network, but also happens to be 1 of 2 chiropractors with a Diplomat in Pediatric and Prenatal Chiropractic care in our state... This is a post graduate certification. None of the In Network Chiropractors have this certification, conveniently, the insurance company doesn't believe this differentiates this chiropractor from the 250 other chiropractors that are in network and within a 50 mile radius of me. One thing I do know is seeing this chiropractor has been night and day in comparison to the one I was seeing who was in network. I went from 3 visits a week to just 1 thorough visit a week. The attention she provides is amazing! Her technique so well magical. I don't want to ever see anyone else! It is 35.00 a week, and we are on a tight budget. So my attempt to get an in network exception for her was declined today, but the rep gave me the address if I want to write a letter of appeals regarding the decision. Guess what I will be doing later...

The midwives. The midwives we have chosen are Lay Midwives they are not Nurse Midwives as they offer different services and have different certification. Our insurance doesn't have any In Network Lay Midwives in our area (they do have a category for lay midwives in the "Search for a Provider" link on their website). So I called to see if an In Network exception could be made, the first rep I spoke to did some research on my request, contacted a local branch of our insurance provider who gave her a list... but I verified the list these are nurse midwives. I decided to fight the battle another day. But this first rep called me back because when I asked her if these were lay midwives she said yes, but then found out they weren't. So she called back to clarify which I appreciate! Unfortunately, she said lay midwives have no benefit. Of course, right after I hung up with her, my brain clicked on and questioned whether that meant that lay midwives wouldn't be considered out of network. So, I called and spoke with another rep, who did some research, she said that because of their certification and stature. Lay midwives would have no benefit, which means they would not be covered at all. This includes out of network coverage. She also said that birth center births are allowed, however, there is no mention of home births and if it is not listed in the benefit it is not covered.

And so the battle begins. I want to go ahead and appeal this decision as well, since they have a search function for lay midwives for In Network Providers on there website. I have seen a list of insurance companies that have paid for home birth's and our insurance is listed on it. Plus, insurance companies are known for saying no at first (how many NOs follow through with the appeal process easy cost savings) but if you appeal there decision enough they will usually end up paying for your claim as they should have.

So this was a bit of a boring post. So I will do Seana style take aways.

Take Aways:
1. Research your In Network Providers and insurance coverage before getting attached to a provider.

2. It pays to be polite and well natured when talking with phone representatives, It's not their personal policy they are communicating and angry words in their direction doesn't do anyone any good.

3. Document your calls with a call log, get a name, reference number and time and date of call.

4. Don't give up if you are told NO by your insurance company, that doesn't mean they should NOT be covering your care.

5. Always Appeal, the worst that could happen is you are out a little time, a stamp, and your told NO once more.

6. Keep copies of all documents sent to the insurance company as well as their responses.