Mini Marts

Mini Marts
All 5 of us!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's NICU Stay (Part 2)

This story is broken up into a few different blog. This is the fourth.
Find the first three here:
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's NICU Stay (Part 1)

We are on Day 8. This is the day of our baby shower:

5/1/10, 8 days old: Today is your baby shower. Daddy and Mommy are feeling so blessed by the love everybody around us is showing! You got so many cool things! We came to see you at 8pm today. Mommy called every three hours (after each feeding) to see how you were doing! You didn't eat very much because you got circumcised today and were very sleepy after. Allison was here all day with you. Matt and Tammy came to visit you, too! Tammy held you for awhile. Matt prayed over you. We are so thankful for them in our lives. You only nursed for about 10 minutes. But we can tell you are getting stronger each day!

5/2/10, 9 days old: Mommy had a rough morning at church, missing you. I have such a hard time when I am away. I was crying in the bathroom. Summer Christopher came in and hugged me! I really needed that! I just want to take you home! I need to allow God to be in control and be ok that I am not.  Mommy got here at 12pm today to nurse and you DID! You have taken 4 bottles all on your own and then nursed! I am so proud of you! We got plenty of skin-to-skin today! It's amazing how God made our bodies so perfectly. My milk stays up and is increased when we get lots of STS! GiGi came to visit. Daddy came to being me dinner and visit with you! We had to go to a class to learn how to take care of you when we get home. We both thought it was LAME! Hehe! We are so anxious to take you home and show you your room, even though you will be sleeping in our room for a few months! We
came back to see you after the class. Arlene had already given you a bath. You smelled so good!

5/3/10, 10 days old: We had a great report on your eating today! In 24 hours, they have only gavaged 42cc. That's less then 1 feeding. When I got here you had just finished ALL of your bottle and were wide awake. We played with the toy Allison gave you. At one point I changed you and got ready to do STS but you were acting like you ere hungry, so I tried to nurse you . . . and you ate for about 15 minutes! This is the first time you have shown an interest in eating!! I was so encouraged! We had some sweet STS time for 1.5 hours. You slept so peacefully while I sang and read to you. I tried to wake you for your next feeding but you were konked out! So I let you sleep and pumped. Brandy (your nurse today) says she can tell I nurse you when she tries to give you the bottle. I love that! They suggested I bring in a different bottle that breastfed babies tend to like more. So I will tomorrow.

Left: Your little nose cracks me up! It's lopsided because you came out sunny side up!
Right: I know this is a little creepy! But it remiss Daddy of his friend Jeremy Bohlman (whom you were named after).
His nick name was Crazy Eyes because he did this with his eyes!
5/4/10, 11 days old: You are getting better and better at eating! You drank the entire contents of 3 bottles last night! I took stats today to show how well you are doing:
You have to eat 56cc at each feeding!
12pm: Nursed 46cc, Gavaged  10cc
3pm:   Nursed 36cc, Gavaged  20cc
6pm:   Nursed 14cc, Gavaged  42cc
As the day wore on, nursing wore you out. You are a little fighter though! The Nurse Practitioner told me if you drink 90% of your feedings in the next 24 hours you can have your NG tube out and eat what you want the next few days and see how your weight goes. That's one step closer to coming home! Daddy is on his way to eat dinner with me and see you. I can't wait to tell him the good news. We fall more and more in love with you each day! You are so precious!

I love all these expressions! I can still see them today!
You looks like a little frog on the middle one!
5/5/10, 12 days old: Mommy only stayed a few hours today. I am really sleepy. During the night when you are awake eating, I am awake pumping. You took your NG out 3 times today so the NP said we can leave it out because you are doing so well eating on your own!! You drank all your bottles throughout the night and even cried for MORE!! This is music to Mommy's ears!! Thank you, Jesus! Can you believe I didn't take any pictures this day? Oy!

5/6/10, 13 days old: You are still gaining weight and eating on your own! They are saying they may discharge you Saturday or Sunday (today is Thursday!). I am so excited! Just in time for Mother's Day! How sweet! Daddy sat STS with you today while Mommy read a book to you both. The pictures are priceless. We got all the things we needed for your room today with the gift cards from your baby shower! You are such a lucky little man!

5/7/10, 14 days old: YOU ARE COMING HOME TODAY!! I called to check in on you at 9am, as I do every morning and Sharon (your nurse today) told me the good news!! Mommy and Auntie are deep cleaning the house this morning! Daddy is on his way home from work. We to to the hospital and Sharon had everything ready in bags ready to go! Mommy had to sign a few papers and off we went! You had about 7 nurses come to say goodbye to you! They all say you are SO cute! You  are still tiny, weighing in at albs, and need to keep gaining weight. You also have times where you stop breathing. It scares us but that will go away as your lungs develop.

Top: Buckling you in!
Bottom Left: Sierra meets you for the first time!
Bottom Right: Ready to go! Look how small you are in that car seat! 5lbs 1oz!

See his progress from the first year:
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's First Year

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's NICU Stay (Week 1)*

This story is broken up into four different sections. This is the third.
Find the first two here:
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Pregnancy
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Bed Rest and Labor

We left off with Jeremy (then named Noah) being born at 34 weeks. He was not breathing and had an infection. We didn't know any of this. We didn't get an update until an hour after I delivered. I lost it! I was so upset that I didn't know how he was doing or where he was. Bobby kept reassuring me that we were at thee BEST hospital in the nation to care for a pre-mature baby and they were doing everything they could to save his life. These journal enrties are written to Jeremy. For simplicity I didn't change the words.
10am: An hour after delivery a NICU doctor came in to tell us you was in the next room over. Once the e[pidural wore off and I could get out of bed into the wheelchair, we could go see you! I jumped up! They were amazed, so soon after delivery and epidural, I could get out of bed! But I was determined to see my baby! The doctor said you weren't breathing on your own and would need to stay in the NICU for a few days.

The first time I got to hold you.
2 hours old

At 5 pounds 14 ounces, you was so tiny! You felt so light in my arms! We were only able to see you for a few minutes.  It was so hard to put you down. The team needed to get you to the NICU unit to stabilize your breathing and get antibiotics for the infection you got while I was laboring. They said we could come to the NICU at 12pm to visit for as long as we wanted. They are now saying you will be in the hospital until your due date: 6/2/10. That is 6 weeks! 
They moved us to a recovery room. I was crying at one point telling B, "We didn't get to see him for long enough. I wouldn't even recognize him." A lactation consultant came in to talk with me about the importance of breastfeeding. (See this post.) They wanted me to start pumping right away. The sooner I started the more of a jump start I would get on producing milk. Since you were not with me I needed to pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes each time. 

12pm: We got to see you! Mommy got all misty again! You had a nasal canula with a small amount of oxygen. Which means you were breathing on your own and just needed a little help! This was great news! You also had a feeding tube. They wanted me to bring anything I pumped! Even when it was only drops. They will try to start feeding you in 12 hours. 

At this point we had been up for 28 hours and needed to get some sleep. The nurses sent us back to our room to eat and take a nap. We went back to see you at 8pm, well fed and rested! 

The teal and white blanket was given to us by someone in the hospital that makes them!
How sweet of her! 

At this point we had decided the name "Noah" did fit you. We had Jeremy in the list of names we wanted and were debating if you were a "Jeremy." As we walked back to our room this was the Bible verse outside our door: 
Ok, God! Thanks for the clarity!
Jeremy Noah Martens

4/24/10, 1 day old: The first time gave you a bath, sponge bath because your umbilical cord was still attached! It was a bit tricky, We needed to remove all the monitors, set the bed up to be water-proof. You cried quite a bit! You are off the oxygen today! Thank you, Jesus! Yo hare still not interested in eating. I keep pumping so you have a stock when you are ready. You needed a spinal tap to check for further infection, your billi-ru numbers were high which meant you were slightly jaundice, so you needed to be under the UV lights. You got to meet Grandpa, Grandma, and Auntie! 
Bath Time.
The after bath snuggles are still my favorite time of the day!

4/25/10, 2 days old: Mommy has to go home today. I come to feed you every 3 hours. You are not interested in nursing. You are too tired. The nurses tell us nursing for you is like us running a marathon. Your little body is too busy trying to mature that it doesn't have the energy to nurse. But keep trying so you feel the comfort. We usually feed you through the feeding tube. Daddy wishes he could have one! This process is called "Gavaging." Mommy get to have some skin-to-skin (STS) time with you! Your jaundice is doing better today so they let you off the belli lights for a little bit. STS helps with milk production too! Daddy read to us while I snuggled with you! After your bath we head home at 10pm. Mommy cries the whole way home. Daddy takes me over to see Matt and Tammy. They comfort me by praying for us. We get home, unpack, pump and get in bed by 1:30am! It was a long emotional day! We came home to the fireplace FULL of gifts from the ladies at the preschool! There was a huge diaper cake on the table from Auntie Sherri and Auntie Sock! We were overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown to us.

4/26/10, 3 days old: Visiting hours start at 12pm. I can stay until 6pm. They do a shift change and I can come back at 8pm and stay throughout the night, but we can't sleep there. We usually get there at 12pm for your feeding and stay until your 9pm feeding,  head home, pump at 12am and sleep. Same routine the next day. Today your Bilirubin is much higher and you have to be under the lights a much as possible. We only take you off to try to nurse and keep the UV pad under you. You have to stay on your antibiotics for 7 more days. They are growing cultures from your spinal tap to make sure the infection hasn't spread. You nursed for 7 minutes today and you were wide awake! I love every minutes of it! WE have decided while you are in the hospital, Daddy will work his regular shifts and come to the hospital on his days off. Daddy will be with me tomorrow! I want to take you home and snuggle with you but I know this is the best place for you right now.

The glow under you are the Belli-Rubin lights.

4/27/10, 4 days old: Your infection is so much better today! They discontinued your antibiotics! your Bili test is still high so you have to be on lights all day. They are above and below you. Daddy made little labels for your goggles: I can still see you, I make these look cool, I'm still checking you out. All the nurses were cracking up! You did a little better eating today. They upped your feeding does from 32cc or 44cc. We only have to gavage (feed through the tube) a few cc each feeding. Mommy is still pumping but not enough, so we have a prescription for donated milk until I start to produce more. Your nurse today is Allison. She is the girlfriend of a firefighter Daddy works with! She will be your nurse everyday she is working. We are getting to know her and love that you are so well taken care of. His mom also works in the NICU and she will take care of you when she is working! Daddy spent the day with us. He fed you while Mommy pumped. You were too sleepy to nurse today. He also gave you a bath today! He changed you for the first time and you pooped ALL over everything! Your bedding, monitors, wires, all of it! Hehe! We brought you outfits to wear, blankets from home that smell like us, toys and books. We left a little early today, 6:30pm. We love you so much! We are have so many people praying for you to get better and come home!

All eyes!

He just melts my heart!

4/28/10, 5 days old: Your Bilirubin is lower today but you still have to be under the lights. So I didn't get to snuggle with you. I sat by your bed and read to you. They started giving you a daily multivitamin. You were very sleepy today but you nursed for quite a while. It made me so happy! Daddy is working today but asks for lots of pictures all day! I am going to spend some time with Sierra tomorrow morning, so I will be coming in the afternoon with Daddy. I watched the videos we need to take you home: Baby CPR, Shaken Baby, and Carseat Safety. We will being your car seat in for the test. You have to be in it for 90 minutes and continue breathing. You are down from your birth weight. You weighed 5lb 1oz, today.
Left: Our favorite picture of you! That's a washcloth coving your entire body!
Top Right: Grandma came to visit!
Bottom Right: Love those eyes!
4/29/10, 6 days old: No more UV lights! Yea! They are adding HMF to your bottles. It's a supplement to help fatten you up! Ha! You are not gaining enough weight. But you are getting better eating each day. We got some skin-to-skin time today. Mommy loves that time! I took a little nap with you! Shhh, we aren't supposed to sleep in the NICU. They wanted you to take a carseat test. They check the specs on your carseat and put you in it for 90 minutes to make sure you don't stop breathing. If you do, we have to get a new carseat that allows you to lay down during a car ride. You passed the test today! Pastor Jim Gilbreth, from the Grove, came to visit you today and pray over you!

4/30/10, 7 days old: YOU are so cute! I'm pretty sure you are the cutest baby in the whole hospital! GiGi came to visit you again today! She got to hold you for about an hour. You drank 3 bottles in a row all on your own last night! Mommy is now pumping enough for you to eat!! When I got here today, you nursed for 15 minutes! I was elated! Then you layed on Daddy's chest while we all took a little family nap! The nurse let us and even took a picture! Tata came to see you too! He brought Daddy and Mommy dinner, Cuca's! YUM! You got your Hep B shot today and we had to sign consent for you to be circumcised. We don't want to be here for that!  Tomorrow is your baby shower. Allison will be here with you and while you get circumcised. We will come visit you in the evening! Happy one week old birthday!
I love that bottom right picture!
"Don't put me down Daddy!"

The next week in the NICU can be found here:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

34 Weeks (17P Injections)*

This week the injection stung going in. I winced a little. Jeremy is so cute! He knows what it is. When we pull the little pink bag that keeps all the supplies he says, "Mommy butt." Ha! He knows what's in there and knows it goes into my hip (butt). He watches Bobby ever so carefully, he is careful to stay back and doesn't get too close but makes sure he is "monitoring." So precious!

Baby Update
He's saying, "Baby Stay."
Just like he does when he tells Phoebe (the dog) to "Stay."
Well, we have made it to 34 weeks!! Woo-Hoo! All the praise goes to God and the prayers being sent up! Let's see this week Capri is the size of a cantaloupe, about 4.75 pounds and 18 inches long. Jeremy was born at 5lb 12oz and 18.5 inches long. This was after 2 doses of steroids at 32 weeks, which Capri also received.  So, she may be a little heftier then the stats. This week she is working on maturing her central nervous system and lungs. I read that this is the week the baby typically "drops." However, based on the ultrasound we had in the hospital there is no where for her to drop, unless it's down the birth canal! She is already SO low and wedged in my pelvis! Her liver is almost fully developed at this point! And she is busy in there! I don't know what little babies do while they are in womb but Capri must be training for the Summer Olympics this year!  

Bed Rest Update

This week hasn't been so bad! It's so nice when I have people here to talk with. Ya know, one can only look at Facebook and Pintrest so many times in one day! I have plenty of other things to occupy my mind but sometimes I like when there are other people to occupy it! And conversation is the best! I am working on getting my journal from Jeremy's pregnancy through his first year on here! A goal that's been put off for two years now! 

Week 1 of bedrest:
I came home from the hospital on Monday. My mom was here until Wednesday, helping out and filling in when B was working. Jackie stayed with us Friday. By this point I was getting restless and tired of being in bed for a week. But the next few days we full! Yay!

Saturday: Bobby took Sierra and Jeremy to a steam locomotive exhibit! They loved it. See the post here
Sunday: We had friends come over to take Maternity pictures! So excited we got them. We were not so lucky with J! Also, my cousin came over with his wife and baby and they brought In N Out! SCORE!! See the maternity shots here.
Monday: We had a family dinner for Jeremy's birthday on Monday. My Aunt and Uncle did all the food! The pictures are on a friend's camera and will be in a post soon! My mom was here helping clean the house and take care of J! Gave B a little break.
Tuesday: Doctor's appointment. He said I am doing well. He doesn't believe "Strict" bed rest does any better then taking it easy. The difference: I can be up and around as much as I feel comfortable.  I know my body and can make the decision if I am doing too much. He said no cooking, cleaning, strenuous activities, picking up Jeremy, driving myself anywhere, grocery shopping, but if I want to sit on the couch or floor to play with Jeremy, that's ok and listen to my body. I don't need to be in my bed ALL day! Lay down and let my contractions cool down when they come. That being said I was up and around more this week. I did some research on my own when I got home and, just as he said, there are NO studies that say strict bed rest keeps the baby in longer. Only that it causes muscle fatigue and depression on the mamas! Bobby says I have been moved from bed rest to house arrest! Ha! And the order for abstinence are still active :(. I did have B take me to get a pedicure today! Shhh. . . Don't tell anybody. We drove right down the street and I didn't have them massage me and we came straight home. It was really nice to get out of the house for a little bit and my feet feel so good! 
Wednesday: Our small group! Friends that come over each week for a Bible Study. We talk about the sermon from Sunday. (Sandals Church can be live streamed here). It's so good to see them each week, talk, and be comforted by friends! LOVE them!
Thursday: Low key but I was ok with that! B and J worked outside all day and did some gardening! 
Friday: Bobby went back to work. He says it's hard to be at work because he feels like he needs to be home taking care of us. We revisited the option of him taking leave but still decided it's better for him to work his normal days and lean on family and friends when he is working. But what a touching  concern of his! I love this man so much! My Aunts came over to babysit J and I for the morning and afternoon! It was so nice to have them here and catch up! That's the picture above. She brought me a recliner lounge chair so I can sit on the porch and enjoy the outside! I love to sit out there and watch J play! Then on the evening, my girls from small group came to babysit overnight! 
Saturday:  The girls from our small group and our moms were scheduled to have a girl's day in Palm Springs at our timeshare. We had to cancel, of course. But Jeremy was already set up to go to a dear friend's house (Sherri and the Sock) for the day. They were planning to take him to the zoo and asked if they still could! Ah, how sweet of them! He had a blast! A post with pictures is sure to follow! 

I was curious if my tummy had poked out a little more from the baby gaining some weight due to the steriods, so I measured, nope. . . same as last week. And I didn't gain any weight since I left the hospital. You'd think laying in a bed, having steroids, and the fact that this is the time in the pregnancy you gain a pound a week, I would have packed a few pounds on, huh?

Cheers until the next update! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Maternity Shots!*

I am so exited to share these with you! I didn't get to take maternity shots with Jeremy because he came too fast! This time, as soon as I went on bed rest we planned to have them taken!
I"m so in love with these!

These are precious to me!


3751 Steam Locomotive

One of the things I have missed the most while being on bed rest is driving around with Jeremy! He points out everything "boy" he sees! Trucks, airplanes, tractors, fire trucks, pick up trucks, motorcycles, and choo-choos! He is fascinated but choo-choos lately! Bobby's grandpa's hobby is trains (layouts, the train yard, etc.) He recently invited us to go to the San Bernardino train yard to see one of the only steam locomotives still running! It was coming from LA! We were so excited to take J to see it in person! The weeks before, we have been watching a video of it on You Tube. He LOVES it!
They got to climb all around one of the trains. He is saying,
"Hi, Dada."

I was so sad I couldn't be there to experience it with him. But Bobby was and took lots of pictures for me to enjoy! Sierra went with them! Bobby's cousin that has 5 kids went, too! It was a fun day to hang out with the cousins for them! B said J wasn't as excited to see it in person as he is to watch it on tv! Go figure! He said he was a little nervous by the sounds of the breaks! He still asks to watch the You Tube video!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Bed Rest and Labor*

This story is broken into 4 different posts. This is the second. See the first post here:

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Pregnancy

Doctor's order are strict bed rest. This means mostly in a reclined position. I can get up to pee and a 10 minutes shower each day, I can go in for weekly doctor's visits.  We are trying to keep as much weight off my cervix as possible to prevent further dilation. I am also continuing on the Procardia, anti-contraction medication. 

33 weeks: The first week goes by very well! It's hard to stay only in bed and ask for everything. My back is killing me from the position and I find it hard to sleep at night, since i am not using any energy during the day. I have Sierra (3 year old niece that lives with us) here to keep me company when she's willing to sit still and talk or watch a movie! Jackie (B's sister, Sierra's mom, that lives with us) is taking great care of me so that Bobby can still work his regular days. My mom has been here quite a bit also. My friend Danielle is painting the nursery. She brings her 3 week old son along! So fun to get to know him and snuggle with him during the days! 
"And in the morning' I'm makin' waffles!
My mom and Sierra making fresh toast!

34 Weeks: I go to my doctor appointment. Great news! I haven't dilated any further and the medication seems to be working. I get to head home for another week! Our goal is 36 weeks. So we need 2 more weeks! Come back next Friday for another check up!
This was 4 days before I delivered
Jackie and Sierra feeling the baby move.

4/22/10 Thursday (the day before my next check up)
12pm: My water breaks. Now this wasn't a huge gush! It was an odd, leaky feeling. I go to the bathroom thinking that I just didn't get up in time. Come out and it happens again! I tell Jackie and Danielle, who happened to be in my room, just chatting with me. They are very excited. I found this to be an odd reaction.  I was scared! I called the doctor, who's office was closed because it was 12pm, lunchtime! She calls back within 1/2 hour and tells me to come in. We call Bobby to come home from work and meet us at the hospital. I decide to take a shower first. I am not in any pain and I'm not having contractions. B beat us to the hospital. We arrive around 1:30pm. B has me all checked in, all I have to do is sign and they take me back into a room. I test positive for amniotic fluid, yes my water did, in fact, break. Which means I need to deliver the baby within 24 hours or they will need to do a C-Section because the risk of infection to the baby is too high. 
7:30pm: We are in active labor. Contractions are a 6/10. Dr. Avants comes in to exam me. I am 5.5cm dilated and fully effaced. 
9pm: Dilated 6cm. Contractions still 6/10
10pm: Dilated 7.5cm, Contaction are a 7/10. I ask for the edidural. There is a mom with triplets that needs a C-Section. The anesthesiologist will come see me when he is finished with her. at this point, i wasn't in the worst pain possible. I didn't feel like I couldn't take it any longer but I didn't want to get to that point. I had no intention of having a "natural birth." I have equated it to getting a tooth pulled. You wouldn't have the dentist take it without giving you Novocain. I wanted the pain meds. 
11:30pm: Yay for epidurals! I love them! It made me feel so much better! It was rough to get it because you have to hold completely still during a contraction. B was right there to hold my hand. I had a button I could push if the pain got too bad and I needed an extra boost. I didn't use it until I had to deliver the placenta. For some reason that hurt more then the delivery. My contractions slowed down after the epidural. B and I were able to sleep for about 2 hours.
Auntie wanted to give you some lovin.

4am: I am still only dilated 7.5cm. They started pitocin to speed things up a bit. They say it's common for epidurals slow dilation down. 
6:30am: Dr. Avants comes in to see us. I am still not progressing. She says if I don't progress in an hour we will have to do a C-Section. My water has been broken for too long and the risk of infection to an already premie baby is too high. They give me an oxygen mask to help relax and antibiotics in case the baby already has an infection. 
7:30am: Dilated to 9cm! Awesome! We are ready to push! I have NO pain! The pushing was difficult and tiring. But not painful. I really love epidurals! 
9:04am: We have officially become parents! albs, 12oz, 18 inches long. I pushed for an hour and a half. The NICU team was there and ready as soon as Jeremy (Noah, at the time) arrived. He was not breathing. They brought him over so we could get a quick glimpse and kiss, then took him to the other room to evaluate. Next it was time to deliver the placenta. THIS hurt! I yelped in pain. Dr. Avants pushed my epidural button and waited a few minutes, then no pain! While I was being cleaned up. The NICU team was working on Jeremy. They had to intebate him to help him breathe. 

That's all for tonight. Find the rest of the story here:

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's NICU Stay Week 1
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's First Year

33 Weeks (17P Injections)*

Not much to report on this week! Kinda the same as last week. I'm so happy there haven't been bad side effects. I have had night sweats more often. Not only on Thursdays but about twice a night. They have been pretty nasty! I wake up from sweat running down my back or between my boobs! TMI?? This week I got to drive into Corona to get my shot this week! So exciting for a Mama on bed rest! It didn't last long because I was so uncomfortable from sitting up in the car and moving around. More on this under "Bed Rest" below. . . .

Baby Update

Little Eli is about the size of a pineapple (4.4 pounds from the last ultrasound) and about 17 inches long. I read that I am carrying around 10 pounds of baby life support gear (amniotic fluid, placenta, cord, etc). WOW! I'm interested to know what I weigh right after delivery. Prayerfully, that will be in 2  weeks! Although, I may have just lost my mucus plug (before sitting down to write this!). . . More on this below. . .

Bed Rest Update

Bed rest has been a bit of a struggle for me. It's VERY difficult to ask for everything you need. I want to be productive in getting things done that only require sitting in bed, but that means I need things from around the house. For example, trying to write thank you cards for Jeremy's birthday. That requires cards, address book, stamps, return address labels, pens, etc. Good thing I am organized and tell whomever exactly where it is! I am constantly praying through the difficult times and asking God to calm my heart.

As far as labor goes, so far symptoms seem to have subsided. I am not in pain when I am reclined. When I do get up and move my stomach, really uterus, is very tight. I think I may have lost my mucus plug today, I'm not sure because I don't know what it looks like! I have no other labor symptoms, thus why I am blogging and not heading into the hospital. Plus I have an appointment at 3:45pm (It's 1:30pm now) for a check up from when I was discharged so we'll have them check! I'll post a doctor update soon!

In the meantime, please keep praying for us. The prayers truly are working. We can feel them! Tomorrow makes 34 weeks. if this baby follows Jeremy's suit my water will break on Saturday and we'll be delivering Sunday. But we are banking on prayers that we last 2 more weeks!

Pray for. . . .

  • 2 more weeks of bed rest
  • Bobby's patience. He has been so awesome. He just does everything without a single complaint. I know he's exhausted. He falls asleep by 930 each night and is currently taking a nap beside me. he keeps the house clean, organized and Jeremy couldn't be happier to have him home and attentive to him! All this and he goes back to work Friday. Which is hard because he hasn't had any down time at home. He says it's difficult for him to be at work and not caring  for us. We have talked about taking the time off but when there are other people wanting/willing to help it seems like he should save that time for when I deliver and if the baby has to be in the hospital. 
  • Jeremy. He does very well when Bobby is home. He has tougher days when there is somebody else here. He seems to be understanding more each day we explain to him why mommy can't play baseball or play at the sand table or go for a walk. It's a good transition time for him for when the baby comes home. But it still breaks my heart when he is being taken to the bath and crying down the hall, "Mama do bath." 
  • Eli. Whenever he comes, that we are ready and accepting of God's will. Weather it be a healthy full-term, fully developed baby that we get to bring home or a baby that needs some time in the NICU to become stronger. 

Thank you for lifting us up so faithfully! We are overwhelmed by the sweet prayers and love everybody has showed us in the time!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Pregnancy*

Left: 4 weeks                                                                        Right: 34 Weeks

A trip down memory lane! Of course, being on bed rest again reminds me of Jeremy's pregnancy, bed rest, NICU stay, and how life was adjusting to an infant. I have a journal from that time and I want to organize it and add pictures. I'll post it in a few different posts. It will be good to go through the pictures and find the good ones, too! I'll start with the pregnancy.

I have always wanted to be a mom. I didn't like college, it bored me. I felt it was a waste of my time because I wanted to be a mom. So why waste all the time and money, only to stay home and take care of kids.  Bobby wanted to wait a few years, so that left me with the realization I need to capitalize on this time and get some schooling to fall back on if B were to loose his job or God forbid, I were to loose him. I decided to study kids! What a great move! I got my Early Childhood Education Credential, while nannying and working at a preschool.
June 2, 2007

After 3 years of Marriage Bliss, B was ready! Yay!!We found out we were pregnant after only 2 weeks of being off the pill! I counted my days and thought I was "late." Come to find out I hadn't even missed my period! HA!  I took a test before B got up to go to work. PLUS sign! Here's our conversation as I was waking him up for work:

Me: "I'm pregnant." 
B: "No way, it's only been 2 weeks!"   
Me: "Wanna see the test."
B: "Well looky there, a little positive."

And off we went, our separate to work with a whole new outlook on life. 

B will tell you from the moment he found out, his mind set changed. He was now responsible for a little precious gift God had given us. We decided not to tell anybody for a while. But of course, I just couldn't keep it in completely!! I called Danielle, she didn't answer! So I sent her a picture of the test! And we told Jackie! She was living with us at the time and camping that week. She came home that afternoon to grab a few things and I showed her the test! I also told my director and aide at work. This way if morning sickness became an issue, they would know why. Thank you Jesus, I didn't have any! They are both very involved in J's life! It's so sweet to see their bond and know it was from the beginning! 

We waited until Halloween to tell our family. A grueling month! Jackie did so well keeping our secret! We had both our families over, it was a fun day! We played this song for them:

My pregnancy was pretty mellow up until 31 weeks. Doctor's check ups were all good, blood tests came back normal, I didn't have morning sickness, or wasn't insanely uncomfortable. I have scoliosis so I went to the chiropractor once a week and kept my back in check.  We had decided on Noah for a name. We had yet to think of a middle name.

 At 31 weeks, I had a day where my back was in so much pain. We were at a store and I couldn't stand up, then we headed to my Aunt's house for a family day. I sat on the couch for 4 hours with heat on my back. I just thought the baby was pulling in a weird spot and it was effecting my scoliosis. I hadn't even read up on labor because it was too early. We left 2 days later to go to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. It was a 5 hour dive. My back hurt but not like 2 days before. By day 2, I was uncomfortable, still not thinking anything of it, just, "This must be the part of pregnancy where you start to feel uncomfortable."  We got home at 9pm the following day. I was feeling fine. It seemed my back had let up a little and I was looking forward to a good night's sleep in my bed! By this point, I had rolled into my 32nd week.
The day we left Mammoth. 32 weeks

At about 12am, I woke up to pee and saw some blood. This is a panic feeling to a pregnant woman! It wasn't a ton of blood just a few spots but nonetheless. Then I realized I actually woke up because I was having intense back pain! As I laid there trying to fall asleep, I begin to think I may be in labor.  I wake B up and ask him to start timing contractions. They were only in my back so I didn't know if it was really contractions. We woke Jackie up to let her know and headed to the hospital. It took 20 minutes to get there and by that time I was having full on contractions, 5 minutes apart, and still bleeding. We went in through the emergency room and they sent us upstairs. We were cracking up because they were so scared, they wouldn't even take vitals! 

I had to stop 3 times on the way up to take a break. (By the way, I am still not thinking this is full on labor.  I thought they'd say just go home take it easy put your feet up. I had no idea what was in store!) We get up to Labor & Delivery, the nurse is very calm, asks B to fill out the paperwork. I ask for something to cover the chair because I may bleed all over it! She takes her time getting paperwork done, getting me in a room and hooked up to the monitors. When he saw the monitors she said, "OH you ARE having contractions!" Well, DUH!! I was squirming on the chair in the waiting room and crying! 

The nurse called my doctor to decide on a plan of action. She came in and said, "You are in active labor and we are going to do everything we can to stop it." I balled my eyes out. It was too soon! The baby wasn't big enough or strong enough to survive yet. He still needed 8 more weeks to incubate! Bobby prays. We send out messages letting family know and ask for more prayers.

My doctor come in to do an exam, I am 2cm dilated and fully effaced. They start me on Procardia, a medication to stop contractions, and give me a shot of steroids, to help mature the baby's lungs.  The Procardia works! Praise the Lord! 12 hours later, I get another dose of steroids and an ultrasound to measure the baby. It was the most painful thing! We measure Little Jeremy (we were still calling him Noah) at 4 pounds 7 ounces. The contractions had stopped and I wasn't dilating any further. They kept me for another 12 hours to observe and then let me go home on strict bed rest! The nurses were saying I was really lucky that my doctor let me go home because usually she keeps her patients until they deliver. I say God was answering our prayers. 

For the rest of the story: 

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's First Year

Nursing Helpmates

I recently wrote about my passion for breastfeeding and why I feel like, as a mother we all should breastfeed and not opt for the sometimes easier option of formula. Check that post out here.
I know from experience that it's a difficult thing to set your mind to do. It takes a great amount of patience and determonation. And some helpmates are nice too!  I found quite a few gadget to help me along the way!

  • Nursing Bras: I went through a few brands before I found ones I like. I ended up with Victoria's Secrets. But they no longer sell them! I have heard Bravado is really good. My cousin gave me one. I will let you know how I like in the next few months. Be sure to get one without underwire, as it stunts milk production.

  • Nursing Tanks: Camis with clips on the straps to nurse. These were so nice in the summer! It's hot to nurse in the summer! So to wear just a tank that supports and has easy access was wonderful. I got mine at JCPenny.  They no longer sell the kind I had and I can't find mine! Boo! But I am going to try the Bravado brand this time.
  • Boppy: I got a "My Breast Friend" at a yard sale (for $1, barely used!! I know!!) a few weeks ago. I am pregnant now and will get back to you on which I liked better. 
     Boppy Nursing Pillow with Slipcover                             My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow, Chocolate, 0-12 Months   

  • FenuGreek and Blessed Thistle: These are natural herbs that help increase your milk supply. When I was feeling like I wasn't producing enough I took 3 Fenugreek and 2 Blessed Thistle with each meal for 2 days. I saw my milk supply increase by the 3rd day. Almost, too much! I was pumping after each feeding to relieve the pressure. I would stop taking the herb when my milk spiked.
Natures Way Blessed ThistleFenugreek Seed 610 mg by Nature's Way 180 Capsules
  • Medela Pump in Style: There are many pumps out there and so many different versions! I didn't have much time to research and ended up buying mine from the hospital. GREAT buy! It wasn't more expensive then anywhere else I would have bought it from and works great. All the reviews i have read since point to this one! I opted for the back pack carry bag because it was easier to carry then the shoulder bag. 
Medela Black Pump In Style - Adv -Backpack
  • Medela Micro-Steam Bags: LOVED these! So convenient! After pumping you put oz of water in the bag and microwave for 3 minutes and they are ready for the next use. It's so nice when you are at someone's house or on vacation!
Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags

  • Nippleshield: Helps the baby latch easier in the beginning. 
Medela Contact Nipple Shield 20mm
  • Cooling Packs: Officially called: Nursing Care Instant Relief System. Ahhh these offered such relief on days I was sore, both nipples and being engorged.
The First Years Nursing Care Instant Relief System

  • Water and Mint Leaves: Mint is a natural digestive agent. Jeremy had a rough time with his digestive system in the beginning. He would squirm in pain sometimes. I boiled a few mint leaves and gave in an ounce of the water, instant relief! It was incredible. Then i started adding leaves to my water and what a difference it made. I could tell the days I forgot to go out to the garden and pick a few. But boiling them helped when I forgot.
I'm sure I will be adding to this with baby #2 coming soon and many more to come after that! There are so many more thing our there in the past 2 years! What are some things that have helped you? Comment and share with us! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Breastfeed Your Baby?*

I am PRO breastfeeding! I believe it's the natural process God designed our bodies to feed our children. I know it takes A LOT of work in the beginning to get the milk flowing, get the baby to latch, find a routine that works for you and baby as well as the family that existed before the baby was born. It takes patience. All that being said, your baby is worth it!!

Sitting with Jeremy on my chest significantly increased my milk on the spot.
Often times I would need a new gown because I was leaking! 

I can speak of the patience, diligence, and determination it takes, from experience.  Early on in my pregnancy when people would ask I am going to breastfeed I would respond with,
"I am going to do my best." 
As I researched it more and heard more people's perspective my answer changed to,
"Why wouldn't I want to provide my absolute best for my baby?" 
I was determined that there was no other option.

At this point, I didn't know breastfeeding would be one of the many challenges I faced much sooner then my due date. I started having contraction during my 31st week of pregnancy. Jeremy was born on April 23, (my due date was June 2) at 34 weeks and in the NICU for 14 days. I had many lactation nurses come visit me. He was less then 2 hours old and I was pumping for 20 minutes every 3 hours. It took about 12 hours to pump 1 drop of colostrum from each side! What a discouragement! By now, I am exhausted from 21 hours of labor and 1.5 hours of pushing and dealing with the emotions of my baby being in the NICU for 6 weeks (that's what they were telling us)! My patience was very thin and pumping was making me feel useless as a mommy!
Then a wonderful lactation nurse came in and said, "The ONE thing you can do to keep your baby healthy is pump! Even one drop will help tremendously. Don't give up!" My body knew what Jeremy needed to get better and was producing everything he needed! God's perfect food for my baby. That lactation nurse must have been an angel! My milk increased in volume within the next 5 hours and I felt so much better! That was when my mind was set back, there was NO other option! I would breastfeed Jeremy no matter what it took.
For the first 12 days Jeremy had a feeding tube.
We tried to get him to latch but he wasn't strong enough to eat, he would rather sleep.
The vile that Bobby is holding has BM in it and it goes down the tube through his nose into his tummy. 
I pumped religiously every 3 hours for 20 minutes for all 14 of those days. There were days I wouldn't even have 1oz with both sides combined but the benefits of breastmilk over formula are so monumental in a baby's development, I keep persevering. When Jeremy came home (Mother's day weekend!) we were so elated! Now I was even more confident in my milk supply. Since he was with me, he was able to drain my ducts more effectively then the pump. Don't get me wrong there were still days I felt like I wasn't supplying enough and he was always hungry. My little picture of feeding every three hours was fading because I thought he wasn't getting enough.  I read and heard from so many people that feeding on demand tells my body to produce more because the baby needs it. Plus, now the "milk hormones" (prolactin) were flowing since he was at my breast with each feeding. I would call the lactation nurses to get advice quite often. They would say, "Jeremy was a 34-weeker, right?" "And how much are you supplementing?" I'd say, "None." To which they responded." Really?? That is so unheard of. So many moms give up while their babies are in the NICU because it too hard." This, of course, made me feel so good. I wish I could say he had NO formula his entire life but there were days in the NICU I didn't pump enough. We were able to get a prescription for donated breastmilk the first few days! SO incredibly thankful for those women that donate!

6 days old and he took a bottle of pumped milk!
But it he exerted too much energy and didn't eat on his own the rest of the day.
Still it was a step!
I am so happy to say I successfully breastfeed Jeremy for 14 months. I stopped at this point because we wanted to get pregnant again. I wish I had continued longer. I will with the baby that's on the way!

All this to give you encouragement that YOU CAN DO IT! And it is SO worth it! I honestly believe the Lord gave me this experience to help lift other Mommy's spirits. There was so much peace in my heart once I spoke with that lactation nurse that told me the best thing I could do was pump. pump, pump for my little guy fighting for his life!
It's so convenient to feed the baby when you are out and about. Here we were hiking while camping.
No bottles, water temperature, making sure there is enough powder to last.
Jeremy is 10 weeks old here.

Here are my reasons why "The Breast is Best":
  1. Your milk is specifically designed by God for your baby! It's packed with living cells hat protect against illness, especially respiratory. My milk had exactly the nutrients and antibodies that Jeremy needed (born at 34 weeks) to grow into the healthy little 2 year old he is today!
  2. The bonding time you get with your child during this time can never be replaced!
  3. It's a reason to get some time with your baby during family gatherings! Haha!
  4. You are providing everything that little baby needs to survive.
  5. It's biblical: 1 Kings 3:21, Genesis 21:7, Job 3:12, Song of Solomon 8:1, Luke 11:27
  6. Less spit up and constipation because it digests easier them formula.
  7. Reduces risk of allergies, type 1 diabetes, asthma, leukemia, SIDS and obesity. 
  8. BFing supports better teeth and jaw development therefore children have fewer problems with snoring, sleep apnea, and need less orthodontic work in the future. 
  9. Helps cut the baby weight! BF burns 500 calories a day!
  10. Baby's poop and spit up smells better then formula.
  11. Peace of mind if there is an emergency. Just hook baby up! 
One day, I would love to take the classes necessary to become a lactation consultant! This is not the season of life I can swing it! In the meantime, I research and help as many mommy friends I can! If you need help or a dice, I'd love to help! Email me:

Here are a few sites that have some great advice:
Human Milk for Human Babies

Here is a post of mine with nursing helpmates!