Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Have a Night Owl

I have always been more of a morning person.  For the most part, I don't mind getting up in the morning.  In fact, I feel pretty darn lazy if I stay in bed much past 9.  Before I had kids, I would stay up late and still get up early.  Since Fiona was born, I turn into a pumpkin much earlier.  I would much rather go to bed early and get up early.  Nathan is the complete opposite.  He HATES getting up in the morning and would stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep all day if he could.
Thankfully, Fiona takes after me for the most part.  She's always been happiest in the morning and needs to get to bed pretty early.  It worked well, since we would get up in the morning together.
Calina is a whole different story.  This sweet baby girl ...
is a total night owl.  Just like her Daddy. 
If only her Daddy could nurse her then all would be well in our house.  Mommy and Fiona could go to bed and Daddy and Callie could stay up all night.  I shouldn't really complain, because it has been nice because after Fiona goes to bed, Callie and I get alone time, and before Callie gets up in the morning Fiona and I get alone time.  However, going to bed late and getting up early is seriously cutting into my sleep time.  Thank goodness Callie sleeps well once she goes to bed and they can usually both be convinced to nap at the same time or Mommy would not be coherent.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just a few of my favorites from our photo shoot with Kim Dusek.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fastest Month Ever

I would just like someone to explain to me how it is possible that an entire month has gone by since my baby was born.  Miss Callie Jean is one month old today.
That week in the NICU seemed like an eternity, but then we got home and I feel like I blinked and three weeks zoomed past.  Everyone said I would be busy, but that is the understatement of the year.  Fi and Callie keep me on my toes constantly.  For example, Callie was napping in the pack-n-play and Fiona was playing with her doll and reading books, so I tried to sneak into the kitchen and do a few dishes.  Suddenly I noticed that it was especially quiet in the living room.  When I checked on the girls, Fiona was sitting inside the pack-n-play with the baby stacking stuff on top of her sister.  Life isn't going to get boring anytime soon. 
Calina is really a good baby.  I'm still not sure what to do with a good baby who sleeps.  Fiona never slept and was very needy.  Callie is very relaxed in comparison.  It is kind of sad when your newborn sleeps better than your toddler.
We did have a rough patch there for a bit.  Basically, since they pulled the tubes out I've noticed that Calina gags a lot.  She never really spit up, but I could tell there was stuff coming up.  It made me nervous at night because she would be kind of gurgly and cough a lot when I layed her down flat.  A little over a week ago she started really getting cranky and spitting up.  She spent hours screaming and it seemed like she was in pain.  The pediatrician put her on some Zantac and I'm now on the Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) diet.  Basically, I can't have any dairy or soy.  I noticed a huge difference pretty quickly.  After a week of being dairy/soy free Calina is back to being her laid back self.  I'm still in mourning over not getting to have any cheese and eating out is going to be a pain, but it is totally worth it to have a happy, pain-free baby.
I think part of the reason that this month has flown by is that we have been super busy.  We've crammed in Calina's first annual family campout, her baptism, a photo shoot, and Father's Day.  I've got tons more pictures that I could post, but I didn't have time to upload anymore tonight.  I'm going to try and at least post a few from our photo shoot.  Kim Dusek is in My Omaha Mommies with me and she got some awesome pictures of both girls.  
Well, that kind of gives you an update on our life lately.  Busy, busy, busy, but it is a very good busy :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Week in the NICU

I have been trying to get this post written, but 2 little kiddos really cuts into my computer time :)  Be warned it is kind of long.  I wanted to get it all written down before I forgot it. 
In my last post I blogged about Calina's birth story up through Sunday.  Here is the only picture I have from when she was on the CPAP. It was taken Sunday night when I finally got to hold her for a few minutes.  It's not a great picture because it was with my cellphone and it was dark.  I was so scared holding her with all those tubes and wires.  I was afraid I was going to pull something out, but I was so happy to be holding her for a few minutes.
By Monday Calina was improving.  Her oxygen levels had finally stabilized enough that they took her off the CPAP and put her on a high flow oxygen.  Since she was off the CPAP they could take the suction tube out of her mouth and put the feeding tube back in her nose.  She was still under triple bank lights for her jaundice, but she looked much better without quite so much stuff on her head.  She seemed much more comfortable too.  Here she is on Monday afternoon when they finally took all the extra stuff off.
Monday was a long day, but she seemed to be steadily getting better rather than worse.  Until Monday I had still been checked into the hospital.  It was nice to be able to go over to my room and eat or get some rest for a little bit.  However, we had to check out on Monday.  I dreaded the end of the day.  At one point I saw a couple leaving the hospital with their new baby and I just sat down and bawled.  I knew I had to go home that night and I wasn't going to get to take my baby. 
Nathan went home early in the evening so that he could take Fiona home and do bedtime with her, so my parents came to pick me up later and take me home.  Leaving that night was so hard.  I cried the whole way home.  I didn't get much sleep that night and went up to the hospital super early in the morning the next day.
On Tuesday she had improved even a little more so they decided to take off the oxygen all together.  They kept the feeding tube in because she was still breathing too rapidly to try and nurse yet.  Tuesday was a long day.  I went home for a couple of hours Tuesday night, but was back very early on Wednesday.
On Wednesday Calina's breathing had finally slowed down enough that I got to try and nurse her in the afternoon/evening.  I was so excited.  We tried a couple of time, but she was having a hard time figuring it out. They finally weaned her totally off the IV nutrition by the end of the day.  However, with good news came bad news.  She started to have a lot of bradycardias, which means her heart rate would drop really low for a second.  She came out of all of them on her own, but it was still scary to hear the alarm going off all day.
On Thursday, the doctor had them pull the feeding tube and we worked hard on nursing.  Since she actually had a chance to get hungry she did a much better job.  It was a really great feeling.  Also on Thursday her bilirubin levels came back much lower so they were able to take her off all the lights.  She kept having "bradys", but she didn't have quite as many as the day before.  It was so wonderful to be able to hold our baby whenever we wanted to.  Since she was off the lights we got to put clothes on her and she got moved to a regular crib.  It was a good day.
Since she was finally off the lights, Daddy got to hold her for the first time since Saturday.
Looking so much better without all the "stuff" on her face.
Getting to hold both my girls :)
Grandma and Grandpa got to hold her too.
Real clothes and a real crib! Yay!
Friday was a really long day.  Calina was doing great.  She only had 2 "bradys" and she was nursing well.  However, we still had to stay until Saturday because she had to finish up her full course of antibiotics, just in case.  I was just getting really tired of sitting up in the NICU by myself.  Thankfully, we had some great visitors that day to help take my mind off the long wait.
Eileen came up and kept us company for awhile.  It was really nice to have someone to talk to.  Sitting in that little room for 15-16 hours a day by myself was extremely isolating.  My parents brought Fiona up for a little while every day, but I was still feeling pretty lonely.  Also on Friday my grandparents came into town, so they came up to visit us. 
Friday just felt like a long day of waiting.  I wanted to take my baby and go home.  All week we had been told that we would probably be going home on Saturday because that would be the last dose of antibiotics.  I was so ready to not be at the hospital anymore.  However, the doctor who had been caring for Calina all week was not going to be the one at rounds on Saturday, so we had no way of knowing for sure if we would go home on  Saturday.
When I got up to the hospital on Saturday morning Calina's IV in her hand had gone bad and her poor little hand was all swollen.  I was worried they would have to put in a new one, but the nurse said that they might just skip the last dose of antibiotics, but they wouldn't know until after rounds.  The morning dragged on forever.  Rounds took extra long, but finally the nurse came by and said that they were skipping the last dose and discharging us as soon as the doctor could get by to check Calina out one more time.  It seemed like an eternity before he finished up and came to our room. 
Finally, we got the okay and we packed up and headed home. 
We stopped to pick up Fiona, who was initally very excited that we brought home a baby.
Of course, excitement soon turned into indifference once she realized the baby didn't really do anything and she wasn't allowed to carry her around.  I felt so blessed to finally have our family together.  We could officially start life as a family of four :)

Our week in the NICU was one of the hardest weeks of my life.  It made me very grateful to now have 2 happy, healthy girls at home.  It also made thankful us for all our wonderful friends and family who helped us out and sent thoughts and prayers.  Calina is doing well now and doesn't appear to have any breathing trouble left.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Calina's Birth Story

We went into the hospital very early in the morning on Friday, May 21st to induce labor.  I had prepared for a long day because I was only 1 cm dialated when we went into the hospital.  The day was pretty long because I couldn't eat anything, but I really didn't have much pain.  Finally, around 4:30 the doctor came in and broke my water.  Things picked up a little bit after that.  I got the epidural because the pain was getting pretty bad.  It took the guy 20 minutes to get it in.  I swear he poked me 7-8 times trying to get it in the right spot.  Around midnight I was about 7 cm dialated.  The nurse decided to drain my bladder.  After that things started moving very quickly.  I basically went from 7 cm to fully dialated and wanting to push.  They made me hang on the 30 minutes it took for the doctor to get back to the hospital.  Then I pushed with about 4 contractions, all of 10 minutes and Calina Jean came flying into the world.  Labor was so much quicker and easier than it was with Fiona.
Calina weighed 6 pounds 10.4 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She has the longest skinny little legs and feet.  I think she is going to be tall like her Daddy.  She was pretty smooshed and bruised from her quick entrance into the world though.
They did all the normal stuff after she was born.  We snuggled and tried to nurse, but she wasn't interested at all.  Later we realized that she wasn't interested because she was having to work too hard on breathing to worry about eating.
After about an hour and half, they were going to give her a bath, so I jumped in the shower.  When I got out of the shower, Nathan and the nurses were all gathered around Calina in the warmer bed looking serious.  They had her hooked up to monitors for her heart and breathing.  She was breathing really quickly and making little grunting sounds.  The NICU team came up and looked at her and then decided that she needed to go down for observation.  Nathan and I walked over with the transport team so we could see what was going on.  It was one of the worst moments of my life.  I was scared for my baby and I had no idea what was going on.
The nurses seemed to think that she would probably only need to be there for observation for a couple of hours and then would be back up with us.  Nathan decided he wanted to stay down there, so he wheeled me back up to our room and then went back to be with Calina.  I tried to do some sleeping in our room, but I pretty much just sat up there and cried.  I finally gave up on sleep and got up around 7.  I called Nathan and he was really upset.  He came to get me and we went back to the NICU.  Calina had not gotten better over the couple hours I had been gone.  They had run some bloodwork and done a chest x-ray.  She was just having to work so hard to breath and her breathing was so fast.
That whole day is pretty much a blur.  At one point they put in a feeding tube to get her some nourishment, since she couldn't eat because her breathing was too fast.  Things just seemed to keep getting worse and we didn't feel like anyone was bothering to keep us in the loop.  My parents came up to the hospital and brought Fiona to meet her baby sister.  Fiona was pretty unimpressed.  She was much more interested in running around and exploring.

Her face just says it all.
That night it looked like she was still doing okay.  They still hadn't decided what was really wrong with her.  When we got up Sunday morning and went down the NICU she had gotten worse.  Her oxygen levels had dropped significantly, so they had to put her on a CPAP to help force her lungs open a little and get her some more oxygen.  Since they had that in her nose they had to put a tube in her mouth to suck the air and stuff out of her tummy.  Because she didn't have a feeding tube anymore they had to start an IV to get her fluids.  Then on top of that her bilirubin levels were high, so they put her under the lights.  It was so hard to show up and see my beautiful baby girl covered in wires/tubes/cords.  She looked so uncomfortable and I couldn't really do anything to help her.  It was a really long day not being able to hold her at all.  Finally, late in the evening on Sunday they checked her bilirubin again and it was a little bit lower, so they took her out and let me hold her for a couple of minutes.  It was so nerve racking holding her with all the "stuff" on her, but it was the best feeling ever to be able to hold my little girl. 
Sunday was definitely the worst day of the week.  They had decided that most likely she had "Respiratory Distress Syndrome", which usually clears up on its own after about 3 days.  However, her chest xrays looked wet, so they were worried that it could potentially be pneumonia.  Before babies are born their lungs produce fluid.  Sometime during the birth process their lungs switch and start sucking up fluid.  In babies with Respiratory Distress Syndrome their lungs don't switch over right away.  It takes a couple of days for their bodies to figure out that they have been born.  It is more common in c-section babies because they don't get squeezed in the birth canal.  Since Calina was born so quickly she wasn't squeezed much either, so her lungs didn't get the message that they needed so start sucking up fluid.
Anyway that catches up her birth story and I'll write another post about the rest of the week in the NICU.

Calina Jean is Here!

Calina Jean was born on Saturday May 22nd at 12:49 in the morning.  She weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She is very long and skinny with the longest little legs and feet and lots of dark hair. 
I'll post about her birth story and our emotional week in the NICU later on.  Just wanted to put up a couple pictures.  Life with two little kiddos has been a whirlwind, but I'm loving have my girl home with me.