I’m not a crier 

I’m usually not a crier. But I was watching a recorded episode of Nashville last night, and a particular scene really got to me…

Now I know I didn’t purposely do anything to cause Nora and Nadia’s premature births and ongoing related issues… But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel quite guilty. I mean, my God, Nora had bacterial meningitis and sepsis as a preemie, two separate episodes. When they told us they said, I’m so sorry, as if she was already dead! I’m honestly shocked she’s doing so well. We still have many follow-up appointments, which reminds me, we need another hearing test for her, as she’s at-risk for hearing loss for several more years yet, I think until she’s five maybe. And Nadia, every time I look at her and will her to crawl or make a babbling noise I’m reminded of her brain bleed.

There is the rational side of it all… But then there is the side who wishes she could go back. To beg for the cerclage, or do more research on my own, or rest more during both my pregnancies. I don’t know, anything to change a 29 and 30 week delivery. And then I think of our frozen embryo. How do we give that little boy or girl a chance? Is it irresponsible for me to attempt another pregnancy? What if I delivered at 24 weeks next time? How would I live with the guilt of raising a possible special-needs child knowing my body was the cause?

I think back to the month we started our first round of IVF, how scared I was of the process… And here now, with two beautiful girls… The situation may be different, but the fear remains.

Physical Therapy

Today was Nadia’s second visit with the Physical Therapist (PT). The PT was actually quite happy with her progress, although personally, I see no progress. Nadia still isn’t crawling, although maybe she is reaching to the sides for toys when sitting a bit more now than she was a week ago. Nadia will use both of her hands to reach and grab for toys, but she much prefers her right, and also leans very much to her right when sitting. I think the PT was going to review Nadia’s most recent brain MRI to see on which side the brain bleed occurred.

 

Homework for this week is more of the same… encourage Nadia to reach when seated and during tummy time, both to the sides and in front of her. The PT also suggested taking Nadia to a park to swing, as she suspects that part of Nadia’s issues are related to her strong dislike of motion. I guess I’m not sure how much I believe this, as we’ve had her in swings with a lot of movement at home since she was born… I have noticed that Nadia prefers not to be held when drinking bottles. She much prefers lying on the floor or propped up on a pillow. Is that weird? Anyone else’s child not like being held when eating?

Nadia’s Cardiology Appointment

Do you ever feel like some appointments are complete wastes of time…?

Nadia had one episode of SVT in the NICU, which did require her heart being shocked with those paddle things, but… Over a year of medication three times a day seems excessive based on one episode, when she was a preemie, whose heart wasn’t ready to beat on its own outside the womb to begin with yet. But, I’m not a cardiologist, so… Our appointments seem a bit pointless though, as all they do is listen to her heart, adjust medication based on weight, and send us on our way. Three hours in the car round trip, for maybe an hour at the hospital.

Today they decided not to adjust her dose, but rather to leave it stable and thus begin to wean her off the medication. We can home with a portable heart monitor she will wear for the next 24 hours. We see the doctor again in three months, at which time another 24 hour monitor will be sent home with us. I think we repeat that every three months for the next year as her dose continues to be lowered. I am thankful we haven’t had more heart issues… But the drives to Iowa City, this being the third in the last seven days, are wearing me out. FullSizeRender 26Nadia was super happy after her EKG, in the photo above… but the drive home was another story. I think she is getting her two top front teeth. And they seem to be coming in pretty far apart. Is that an issue??

Nadia’s 9 month check-up

This morning was Nadia’s 9-month check-up with our regular pediatrician in town. No shots, thank you God! I did leave a bit discouraged though…

Last week we had Nadia’s neonatology high-risk check-up in Iowa City, basically a visit where they check milestones, fine and gross motor, social, physical, etc. It all looks like playing with her to me, but I know it’s a lot more than that! I left that appointment feeling great. There were a couple of areas where she wasn’t performing at 100%, but they evaluate based on an age range, that visit being 6-9 months. Her adjusted age as of today is 7 months 15 days, so they said she technically had several more weeks to meet all the milestones they were testing for before they would be concerned.

So today, our pediatrician was more concerned, specifically regarding:

  • Nadia makes no attempts to crawl, basically just lies on her belly and cries rather than attempting to push herself up on her hands or knees.
  • The only sounds Nadia makes are the traditional high-pitched squeals babies make. She does not make other babbling sounds, such as da, ba, etc.

Our pediatrician is referring us to physical and speech therapy. I don’t know the details yet, as those providers are supposed to contact me to set appointments. I don’t want to be that mom who’s in denial that there is a problem with their child. But I do think its a bit early to start therapy. But… what the heck do I know? Perhaps the sooner the better. Iowa City always tells me that preemies are known to be a bit delayed, even for their adjusted age. Isn’t it possible Nadia will catch up on her own, without therapy? Nora did everything early, so this is all new to me. And perhaps I’m just terrified to learn there really is an issue with Nadia’s brain… remember her brain bleed in the NICU, and the spot on her brain they found on the MRI that showed lack of oxygen at some point shortly before birth?

Last week Nadia did also see ophthalmology in Iowa City. Thankfully her optic nerves, retinas, and vision is perfect! We don’t need to return to them for 12 months!

Behind again…

Maybe the titles of my posts should just be the dates from now on, as I’m always tempted to call them, Catching Up, as that’s all I do these days…

I’m pretty sure I missed several weekly pictures of Nadia. Well, I didn’t miss them, I took them, and posted them in the sidebar, but didn’t write specifically about them. Here is the most recent from last week…

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Nadia is still quite a fussy baby, but we’re learning how to make her a little happier. For one, MiraLAX is our new best friend. Our pediatrician suggested we add it to her bottles, about 1/2 tsp over the course of 24 hours. I actually make 20 oz of milk at a time and add it to that. She now goes more regularly and seems a bit happier overall. She’s having more periods of wakefulness during the day, and sleeping up to six hours at night. Which sounds nice, except that she wakes when her pacifier falls out of her mouth, so I still only get maybe an hour of sleep at a time. And throw in Eric snoring, Kona wanting to go outside, and Nora waking every now and again, well, I’m still tired. Always tired.

Nadia is starting to be more ‘social’. She coos and smiles when spoken to, will follow people and objects with her eyes, can hold a rattle, but won’t yet reach for it on her own. Maybe soon. We need to work more on tummy time. I’ve been pretty bad with it, as it’s hard to leave a baby on the floor with a toddler and large dog just waiting to trample her. I assume Nadia will roll much later than Nora did for this very reason.

Speaking of development, Nadia is right on track according to the high-risk follow up group in Iowa City. Their only concern was her weight, now 10 lbs 4.5oz, which is only 10% for her adjusted age. When we left the NICU she was closer to the 50% curve for adjusted age weight, hence their concern. We have another weight check at the end of the month and we’ll see if they want to increase calories at that point. We’re still feeding Neocate, which is meant for milk protein allergies. When Nora’s immunologist called last I snuck in a few questions about Nadia… Long story short, unless we saw blood in Nadia’s stools, enough that it was clearly visible (which is wasn’t) when she doubts Nadia is allergic to the proteins in milk. Dr. Bayer said it’s a very rare allergy, and her guess is Nadia has colic. Recommendation was to add milk back into Nadia’s diet around 9 months actual and see how she does. Without writing a book on just this topic, lets just say I feel awful that I gave up breastfeeding when I probably didn’t have to… But, as we all know, life doesn’t always turn out how we want or expect.

Next steps with Nadia will be checking in with cardiology (SVT) and neurology (brain bleed and lack of oxygen at birth) in the next few months. Nadia also sees urology for urinary reflux, but I don’t think we see them until she’s almost a year old. I’ll post updates from the doctors when I have them.

Moving onto Nora, although I’m sure I could write about Nadia for hours and hours…

Nora is 21 months, and some days, a little ball of (too much) energy.

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Nora has more teeth, but refuses to let me count. By glancing I’d say her mouth is full, but I know there must be more coming. Nora also has more words, so many these days that I can’t possibly list them all. Her favorites are: sissy (sister), cheese, appa (apple), juice, NO, tree, bye, hi, shoes, socks, chair, car, dog, Kona, baby… There are just too many to list. She still says, ‘oh boy’ all the time, and usually when it’s appropriate. Her energy seems to be non-stop some days, but every now and again she still brings her pacifier and blanket to me on the couch and wants to snuggle.

Nora saw the high-risk follow up team the same day Nadia did, and they had all great news for Nora. They were happy with her skills in all areas, ranking her well above 21 months, even though she is really only 18 months corrected. The immune group was happy with her results as well, as her IgG, is now about half what the normal is for her age. I know, that doesn’t sound great, but it used to be about 1/10 the normal, so this is progress. And she still hasn’t really been sick, knock on wood. Eating is still my biggest struggle with her, as she is just 20 lbs. Her favorites are still chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, blueberries, apples, and all kinds of cheese. Its getting harder and harder to make meals out of just a few items time and time again.

I still wonder most days how I got so lucky to be the mom to these two perfect little girls!

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Day of Life 36

First, an update on Miss Nadia. She’s doing well, I think. More on the I think part later. Weight is 5 lbs 14 oz I think. She’s been taking two bottles every 24 hours, and of those, usually taking about 2/3 of each feeding from them, and then the rest still through her tube. So we’re slowly getting better in that arena. Still on oxygen, and I need to ask again for them to explain to me… I thought she was barely on any, but I swear today she was on .25L of 100% oxygen, which seems like a lot to me, since normally she was on 21%, which is room air. I’m hoping there isn’t an issue with her lungs that I just don’t know about yet. Only other update I know about is that they decreased her SVT medication from 4 times a day to 3 times a day, although I don’t know the dose change, or even if it changed. Perhaps just a scheduling change. I’ll worry about that when she’s home and I’m in charge of giving the meds.

As for me, I was in a TERRIBLE mood all day. I suspect it has to do with the fact that I haven’t been able to see Nadia since last Saturday because of this awful cold I’m battling. I think I’m actually on the mend, so hopefully I can see Nadia on Friday and then again on Sunday, as there is another home football game on Saturday. The I think part to how Nadia is doing is because Eric went to visit her today, and I feel like he never really gives me the whole story. Not that he hides stuff from me, but more that he just knows and understands it all, but since I don’t, I ask the nurses a lot of questions when I’m there visiting.

In addition to not being able to see Nadia, I’ve been pissy about other stuff too… Part of me feels like everything is just so sucky right now. Postpartum depression? I’m already on meds for that, why aren’t they working?? Feel free to skip the bullet points of my complaints:

  • I hate pumping. No seriously. I hate getting up several times a night to a pump and every few hours during the day, instead of a sweet, or screaming baby. On the plus side though, my Ameda Platinum rental arrived today, and I love it!
  • What mom has to be away from her five week old baby for almost a week? Yes, I hate the NICU rules. I mean, I get it, and it’s worth it to keep Nadia and the other babies healthy, but I still hate it.
  • I hate we’ve spent three months so far in the NICU between Nora and Nadia. I hate the NICU. I hate my body spits out children early.
  • I hate that I feel like nobody understands how bad this situation sucks. Notice I said I feel like, as I totally understand that many of you reading do know how badly the NICU sucks. Some days though it’s hard to remember others get it. I often just feel like I’m stuck in this sucky situation all alone.
  • I hate that I have no idea when Nadia is coming home. My personal hope is still set for October 15th, but that’s quickly approaching, and I so hope I’m not disappointed.
  • I hate that I think I’m addicted to my iPhone and/or Facebook. I feel like every time I’m stressed, which is always, I grab my phone. I hate that so much of my time with Nora involves me looking at my phone. Same goes for my time with Nadia, what little time that is lately. Of course, I’m often taking pictures, but then I get sucked into posting them, and replying to comments, and oh, you know how it goes.
  • I hate that my cleaning ladies act like I’m a spoiled, lazy bum. Or maybe I’m afraid they think that of me. Or maybe I’m afraid I am that. The two that were here today were especially quiet with me. Normally they will chat my ear off, but today I totally got the impression they were wondering why I was just hanging out watching them clean my house. I need to start leaving when they’re here…
  • I hate that my cleaning ladies (I swear) never actually clean the master shower…
  • I hate that my phone will only take 10 pictures and then is full. I don’t need the new iPhone, but damn it’s annoying to have to upload pictures before I can take more. (I know, 1st world problems.)

Okay, sorry, I’ll stop complaining now. Just a crappy day. Well, actually, I shouldn’t say that, Nora and I hung out and she made me laugh more times than I can count. She really is super fun. Even if she screamed for naps… We ran a few errands and she was giggling at all the people we encountered. She is something else! So yes, it was a good day, just so hard not seeing Nadia. Tomorrow is MOPs, and I think it’s good for me to go, to spend a few hours with other moms in this area, forge friendships and such. And I probably do need one more day to get healthier. I can make it one more day without seeing Nadia…

    4 Weeks


    Can you believe it’s been 4 weeks since Nadia’s birth?  Seriously, time is flying…  But why have I only lost 14.9 lbs in the past month??  With Nora the weight fell off!  I guess I need to use our jogging stroller for more than trips to the mall…

    Eric and I visited Nadia today and to my surprise, it was a really nice, calm, pleasant visit.  No bad news today.  Although I feel like now that I typed that the phone is going to ring from the NICU.  Please God, no more bad news calls in the middle of the night.

    We are getting to the point where we can start checking off discharge goals, so I thought I’d list those out, although these are more for me than you all reading 😉

    Temperature – Just today the nurse told us that Nadia’s temperature has been normal even with her warmer bed at the lowest setting.  Therefore, she is ready for an open-air crib.  One goal complete!

    Oxygen – Nadia has been off oxygen for several days now, I actually can’t remember when they removed it.  She must have no ‘spells’ (meaning drop her oxygen level below 90%) for 7 days to meet this goal.  I’m not worried as I don’t think she’s had any spells since breathing room air.

    Heart Rate – The goal for this is no spells for 7 days as well, meaning not drop her heart rate, I think the cut off is below 60 bpm, but I’m not for sure on this.  The past few days she’s been good, so I assume that by the time her other goals are met this won’t be an issue.  I hope.

    Speaking of her heart, her echo came back normal and they started her propranolol today.  I’m not sure there is much more for follow-up on this until we are out of the NICU, as I think we will have monthly checks with one of the pediatric cardiologists.  For now though, all should be well on the meds.

    Weight – There is no set weight required for discharge, but Nadia must be gaining almost everyday, which she is and has been since birth.  Today her weight was 5 lbs 9 oz, which actually seems huge to me, since Nora was discharged at 4 lbs 15 oz.

    Feeding – All feeds must be taken by mouth, either bottles or breast.  The nurse said this is really our focus right now, as to date, all of Nadia’s feeds have been by tube.  I feel like we’ve had so many set-backs with holding feeds due to residuals.  Ugh.  Again today I really wanted to try breastfeeding, but we needed to leave before she was due for a feed.  Her tube feeds are on a pump now, and she is still having residuals, but it sounds like they aren’t as concerned as they have been in the past.  I’m really hoping we can try breastfeeding tomorrow, and I told them they could try a bottle with her tonight for the first time.  I want her to take to breastfeeding, but since I’m there so seldom, and I really want her out of the NICU and home, I guess I’ll have to accept bottles.  Hopefully she doesn’t refuse the breast after having some bottles…

    Vision is not one of the discharge goals, but I’m pretty sure this week will be her first check of weekly checks while in the NICU and then I forget how often they check vision after discharge.  I know in December we have Nora’s last check…  I assume Nadia’s eyes will be immature now, as expected, but hopefully no other issues.

    SVT

    Another day, and with it, more worries and concerns. I feel bad, like this blog is turning into one big sob fest. I keep telling myself, in the end, all will be okay. But it’s getting to the end that is the hard part. Like, I know that as Nadia gets bigger and older some of her issues will go away, but it’s so hard to remember that right now when every day seems like another hurdle.

    Nadia is still in bay 2.  Eric went to see her today while I stayed home with Nora. And let me tell you, Nora was a handful, but it did take my mind off the worry I feel for Nadia. Lets just say, Nora napped for all of 40 minutes, so she was moody by 5pm. Thankfully she is sleeping now.

    So far Nadia had only one occurrence of Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), basically a very fast heart-rate. So far we know her electrocardiogram (EKG) was normal, and we’re still waiting on the results of the echocardiogram which was done this afternoon. One of the pediatric cardiologists did stop by and talk with Eric today… Apparently in preemies, even if they only have one of these episodes, they treat the condition for the first year of life with regular follow-up appointments. Awesome, cause we don’t already have enough specialists to see. The treatment is a medication, propranolol, an oral solution. Sounds simple enough, except that it needs to be given four, yes 4 times a day, for a year. OMG. It better have a better flavor than those vitamin drops I gave up on giving Nora on her second day home from the NICU!

    Nadia is still having some feeding residuals so they have decided to put her feeds on a pump to slow down the rate at which they flow through her feeding tube into her stomach. Currently the entire feed flows in by gravity, which means the entire feed is complete within a few minutes. The pump will space it out over hours at a time, depending on the size of the feeds. If I remember correctly they did this with Nora and it helped a lot. They are still considering doing a barium enema to check for strictures within her digestive system, but no word on when.

    Why do I feel like every day is a new horror, adding worry to my already overflowing brain? They haven’t even checked her eyes yet! That will be the next thing… Please God… Why does this have to be so hard? So much of me feels like it’s my fault she was born early. My body failed, for whatever reason. And because of that, both my daughters have a number of medical problems. I hate they will both see so many specialists. I hate they will both be subjected to more tests and procedures than the average child. I hate that when I look at Nora’s hands and feet I see scars from IV and PICC lines, and I assume I’ll see the same on Nadia’s. It just makes me so, so sad.

    I was able to sleep last night, but how, I don’t know. I pray the NICU doesn’t call tonight…

    Our regular Tuesday sitter is here tomorrow, so I think Eric and I will both head down to see Nadia tomorrow. I miss her dearly, but as I’ve mentioned before, seeing her makes me sad sometimes. Or maybe it’s more that just being at the University is scary for me, all the bad memories and such.

    I pray Nadia is home, and healthy, soon.

    Nadia’s Birth – Part 3

    I’m really hoping this is the last part of Nadia’s birth story!  I’m in the middle of scalding milk, washing pump parts and dishes, and dreaming of the 50 million other things I should be doing though, so hopefully I can focus long enough to write the rest of this… We did get Nadia’s crib and dresser up and into her room today.  Although the room in general is still a disaster and nowhere near ready to be called complete.  I still need to order a rocker and a small table too.  And crib bedding.  And most everything else.  So basically I just have a crib, dresser, and area rug ;). You know, the important stuff! I’m still feeling so overwhelmed with everything there is to do.  How long are my hormones all messed up?  Eric told me a couple of weeks, and then added, it’s been a couple of weeks, as if I should be all ‘normal’ now.  I don’t feel normal…

    So I’m in the ambulance, the sirens are on, but surprisingly, it’s not all that loud inside, believe it or not.  One of the nurses was timing my contractions, which were about three minutes apart at that point.  I was still receiving the IV magnesium, but they don’t take the baby monitors along, which I thought was odd…

    The critical care nurse with the ambulance team was really, really sweet.  I wish I could remember her name and somehow send her a thank you.  She talked to me throughout the entire ride, told me all about her SIX children, two sets of twins, how one set came early, etc.  The nurse who came from Allen Hospital with me wasn’t nearly that sweet!  I mean, she was polite, but certainly was just doing her job. The conversation on the ride was nice, took my mind off the contractions somewhat.  Wait, no, that’s not really true.  I know I stopped talking during the contractions.  It was so difficult not being able to really move on the stretcher.

    We arrived in record time at the University.  I remember feeling embarrassed as I was wheeled out of the ambulance and up the elevators to labor and delivery on the 6th floor.  There were a lot of people just hanging out around the labor and delivery entrance, and for some reason, I feel really silly all strapped to the stretcher… Eric wasn’t with me yet as he followed in our vehicle. As soon as we got to L&D I was wheeled to a room and the ambulance team helped move me off the stretcher and onto a bed.  All my IV tubing was removed, as apparently hospitals have different tubing, so my IV was left in, but my meds were stopped.  (And I swear this is why my contractions progressed, but thus, I am not a doctor, so what do I know.) The very sweet critical care nurse gave me a hug before she left and wished me all good things for my delivery.

    I remember two nurses specifically asking me a ton of questions, all the same I had been asked this morning.  I really wanted to scream, it’s all in my chart, just open it! I tried to be nice, but I was in pain and moody, of course.

    I think it was around 5:45pm when I arrived at the University, but I could be a little off, my mind wasn’t really with me. As the nurses were starting fluids and magnesium a familiar face popped in, the head of the NICU, Dr. Bell, who is also the father of Eric’s best friend.  I think I mentioned him before, as we’ve gotten to know him well over the years through Eric’s friend and also because of our NICU stay with Nora.  He asked where the heck Eric was and if I wanted him to hold my hand until he arrived.  I did, and I didn’t.  I mean, I know him, and a familiar face was nice, but I wasn’t sure I felt all that comfortable with him in the room.  So I politely told him I was okay…

    Clearly I was not okay though… I asked the nurses again for pain meds, and they said they would see if I could have something after the doctor checked me. I was like, okay, where the hell is this doctor, as I know there are at least 30 OB/GYNs plus residents here at the hospital right now.  No idea how long I waited, several painful contractions, I know that, and finally a doctor, I’m pretty sure a resident, came in and introduced herself. I don’t remember her name, but she was super nice, I have to admit.  She checked me, I was 6 cm, so at that point their plan was still to stop my contractions, and thus they said I could have a little of something in my IV for pain.  But they had to order it, and wait for it to arrive from the pharmacy.  Like seriously people??

    So lots of people were in and out of my room at this point, the resident who checked me was setting set up a table at the end of my bed with lots of scary looking tools, which she swore were not for torture.  Yes, I asked her that. There were maybe five or six people around what looked like a NICU incubator in the corner of the room, the two original nurses were still there, plus a few more, and I also remember a random old guy, who I was later told was the actual OB on my case.  Funny how he didn’t actually do anything!

    Eric finally arrived…

    One of my original nurses walked in carrying my pain meds!  I was so happy.  For all of about 5 seconds.  She said they had to check me again before I could have it.  What???  I was at 7 cm, and they decided at that point they couldn’t stop my labor and I was having the baby.  And therefore I couldn’t have the pain meds.  I shit you not people, I begged her to give it to me.  And she very sweetly put her arm around me and explained how it would harm the baby’s respiratory system, and since my baby was a preemie, I just couldn’t have it.  I think she was trying to make me understand it was best for baby, and I know that now, but at the time, I certainly wasn’t thinking clearly!  I’m fairly certain I told her I’d pay extra for the pain meds…

    I asked what else I could have, and they said an epidural…  Great, wonderful, that sounds wonderful.  They went to get anesthesia.  Several more contractions.  Eric was asking me how he could make me feel better.  I think I said to knock me out.  All the sudden I tell Eric I feel like I need to throw up. He grabbed me a random container, I tried to throw up, but since I hadn’t eaten all day, well, I was throwing up nothing but spit really, which I think is actually worse than really throwing up.  Then, I felt a strange sort of gush.  My water broke.  Not sure if it would have on its own, or if it was somehow the pressure of me throwing up…

    The resident checked me again and I was at 10 cm, no time for an epidural.  I. WANTED. TO. CRY.  No way was I having another baby without pain meds.  I am weak, I’ll be the first to admit that!

    Oh, did I forget to mention they did a quick bedside ultrasound when I arrived at the University and confirmed baby was head-down.  Otherwise I think they would have been prepping me for a c-section.

    So the very sweet resident tells me I can push whenever I feel the need.  Okay…  I really only pushed twice with Nora, so this part of the birth process was somewhat new to me.  But surprisingly, pushing was a relief from the pain of the contractions.  I’m sure many of you understand, and for those of you who don’t, I’m not sure how to explain it.  I mean, it was still painful, but somewhat better.  I think I pushed for maybe 30 minutes, and I’m quite certain between each contraction I told Eric and the entire team that I was giving up and couldn’t do it.  Of course they were all very sweet and encouraging and told me what an awesome job I was doing.

    Finally, at 7:13pm, so not all that long after arriving at the University, Nadia Louise was born, all 3 lbs. 13 oz. of her, 16.75 inches long. She was taken by the NICU team immediately for them to access. The very sweet resident did let Eric cut the cord this time though!

    I remember instant relief once Nadia was out.  They did give me pitocin to help get the placenta out… Do they give that to everyone?? There must have been several students in the room at that point as well, as I remember the resident who delivered Nadia explaining about how you never pull on the cord for the placenta, or something like that.

    The neonatologist very quickly brought Nadia over so we could see her, we snapped one picture, and then they took her to the NICU.

    I remember telling the resident this was the second baby I delivered without cute toenails!  Next time I will be prepared.  Well, if there is a next time.

    I needed some stitches, and I tell you, it seemed like they stitched FOREVER.  The resident was really funny though, she said she was making everything ‘pretty’ so I kept telling her to carry on and take her time!

    Once me, and the room were all cleaned up the nurse brought me some food, I think a sandwich, potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie.  Doesn’t sound all that interesting, but I was starving, and I hadn’t had real food, because of the gestational diabetes, in weeks.  So yes, it tasted amazing!  I ate while I texted a few family members and friends, Eric was calling some family I think.  About an hour later Nadia was stable in the NICU and Eric and I were allowed to see her.

    I don’t think it had hit me yet at that point, that we had another baby in the NICU.  Walking in there, again, felt surreal.  Maybe I was in shock, or denial, I don’t know…  I hadn’t been to bay 1 since Nora was very sick the second time during her stay.  Even the smell of the place brought back (bad) memories.  Even washing our hands upon entering gave me flashbacks of our days there with Nora.

    When we walked into Nadia’s room I could have sworn it was Nora.  Maybe it was just the setting, all the same cords, the familiar sounds, etc.  Or maybe they really do look a lot alike.  Nadia was almost a pound more than Nora at birth, but I swear she looked just as tiny in her warmer bed.  Her eyes were closed, greasy with whatever it is they apply at birth, she was intubated, although breathing over it for the most part, had several lines into her umbilical cord, and I think an IV in one of her hands, although I can’t remember now.  She looked very sweet and as I placed my finger in her hand she tightened her tiny fist, just as I remember Nora doing the first time we met.

    Nadia’s nurse gave us an update on her, basically that she was doing awesome.  Which scared the heck out of both Eric and me.  That’s exactly what they told us with Nora, and then a week later Nora was diagnosed with meningitis.  Neither Eric nor I really wanted to get too excited about Nadia doing so well, really for fear we’d be disappointed later…  And like all NICU stays, we’ve had our ups and downs so far, and still aren’t out of the water.

    I’ll share more later, details of my stay before being discharged, and also more on my feelings regarding the NICU and bonding with Nadia.  I need to pump soon and finish the dishes, and the million other things on my list 🙂

    MOPs

    Today was the first day of MOPs for the year, and it didn’t disappoint!  A few hours away from everything in my life that feels stressful right now, good food I didn’t have to make, and best of all, great conversation with some of my favorite ladies was just what I needed!  Today we were allowed to sit with our table of ladies from last year.  And I love those women dearly, so it was great to see them all again after the break for summer.  Starting next week though we’ll all be placed with a new table of ladies, and while I should have an open mind, I’m really sad to be moving on from this great group.  Of course, we still plan to get together, but I know how difficult it can be sometimes when the events aren’t as structured.  I’m hoping my new table of ladies are just as wonderful!

    After MOPs I rushed home, although Eric had already sent the babysitter home.  Eric is off work until September 27th, which is both wonderful and annoying at times.  Great to have the help and support right now, but Eric is sooooo used to having a very set schedule.  When he has free time, like now, he tends to waste it.  And maybe he deserves to do nothing right now, but him laying on the couch watching Star Trek while I do everything is getting on my nerves.

    Speaking of my nerves…  And I must first say, I don’t really mean to complain.  I think it’s just my hormones talking.  Yes, let’s say it’s my hormones…

    When I got home from MOPs Eric’s family (mother, brother, aunt and uncle) was here all ready to pick him up and drive him to Iowa City to see Nadia.  They are staying over night so they can see her both today and tomorrow, and wanted to include some time for dinners out and shopping as well.  Now I know this is going to sound awful, but I’m annoyed.  This sounds like a vacation to me, and what I wouldn’t do for a vacation right now.  Eric gets to see Nadia, stay in a hotel, without a toddler, eat out at nice places, etc,. for the next two days.  I’m home with Nora, and yes, I love her to death, but home alone with a toddler is no vacation.  And I miss Nadia so much!  Eric is coming home tomorrow sometime, I assume late, and then there is another home game Saturday, so I won’t get to see Nadia until Sunday.  And that feels like FOREVER to me right now.  I just want my baby home!!!

    Nora and I did have a good day though.  She didn’t nap all that well for the sitter in the morning so after Eric and his family left I fed her lunch and then she took a nap which was over two hours!  She didn’t wake until about 4:15!  Then we played outside at her water table for a bit, had dinner, played some more, read some books, and then finally got her to bed around 7:30pm.  Just as I started to read her books it started to storm, as in, hail and the whole bit.  So I rocked her a bit longer than usual, and she was still pretty wide awake when I laid her in bed.  Thankfully she went right to sleep.

    I finally got out my hands-free pumping bra, which is facilitating this post 🙂  I know I still need to write the ending to Nadia’s birth story, and I planned on doing it tonight, but now I’m worn out and tired and writing another post is the last thing I really feel like doing…  Scalding my milk and washing pump parts used all my energy.

    Before I go though, I don’t have a lot of details on Nadia, since I’m not there and what Eric has told me is over text, but he said she is doing really well.  Over 5 pounds now, increased feeds again, and she must be doing okay without oxygen, as it wasn’t back on her in pictures today.  Thank goodness!

    I’ll try to make some time tomorrow to write a post that’s a little more substantial and meaningful 🙂