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.