Saturday, January 30, 2010

20 days later...

She's home! This morning when I went in to feed Alison the doctor was there. I actually had never seen this doctor the whole time Alison was at the hospital, so I was hoping that wasn't a negative thing for her/me! I was so hoping the doctor would tell me I could take her home today. The doctor introduced herself and said, "I have good news to tell you. Would you like to take her home?" Yay! So happy! Last night she passed her car seat test. Once they say they can go home, you just arrange what time is best for you. We had a couple of things going on today so we came back about 2 pm to get her.

Justin and I came with an outfit and blanket, changed her clothes, signed some papers, made sure we knew how we were supposed to feed her and left! Simple as that! They want me to breast feed her twice a day and to give her my milk in a bottle at all other feedings. So I will still pump and pretty much follow the same schedule I've had--going in to feed her twice a day and bottles for the other feedings. I go to doctors office again on Monday to see how she does.

We were anxious to see how Molly would react. We came inside and grandpa was holding her. She was interested and just looked at the baby.

We brought her into the family room to take her out of her car seat. Molly kept saying, "She's tiny!" and giggling about it. It was so cute. She was pretty excited once she understood what was happening.

Molly even gave the baby a few kisses!

Our little family all together!

Molly really wanted to give the baby her binky. Alison was pretty sleepy, so we didn't actually let her put it in her mouth. When I took Molly downstairs for her nap she wanted to keep the binky with her.

We are so grateful to have her home! Now she'll actually feel like she's ours! Thanks to all of you for your support, encouragement and prayers. We appreciate it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

So close!

Last night the nurse told me to bring in the car seat so Alison can be tested today. She is getting very close! She gained 30 grams (1 oz.) which makes her total 5 lbs. 10 oz. The nurse today asked the doctor if we could take the feeding tube off but he doesn't want to take it off until 4 pm in case she needs it. Last night she took a bottle at every feeding! She nursed for just under 30 minutes this morning which is an all time high for her. The doctor told me he's a bit worried that the nurses are pushing too hard, but she may be able to do it.

I haven't written much about Molly, so this is for my benefit. A couple of new things Molly has been saying are, "huh?", "rye hee" (right here), "alright" and she told me today that "papa is busy" (first time hearing busy). She has done such a good job keeping herself entertained while I am busy with one thing or another. Hopefully she'll keep it up when the baby is home and I'm nursing all day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doing Well

Yesterday Alison got new orders from the doctor since Monday night she was waking up for her feeds! Yay! The plans are to have her nurse or bottle feed every other feeding. So far it has been going well. Since Monday she has been more awake than ever and it seems like she is finally having a break through! The doctor said that it is common for babies to all of a sudden wake up and stay awake. Once in a while he said they'll kind of go from awake back to sleepy, etc. But we are hoping that she is the type that will decide to stay awake for feedings. This is the key to her coming home, so we hope she keeps up with it.

She currently weighs 5 lbs 8 oz. I took in another little outfit to put on her last night but it wasn't long enough! This morning I tried a different one and it worked. We would love for her to be home by this weekend, but we aren't holding our breath, so we'll see. This morning she had lost 5 grams in weight, which isn't great, but at least it's not too much. I'm sure it's because she hasn't had as many tube feedings. It takes a lot more calories to try to nurse or take a bottle.

I have been having the nurses give her a bottle at 3 pm and staying home trying to take naps (I'm not always successful but today I was!). I am still going in at 9 am and 9 pm and she seems to be awake for these feedings. Maybe in a couple more days she'll be awake for every feeding...keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2 Weeks

Today little Alison has been her for 2 whole weeks! It's still kind of crazy to believe. My mom came to visit with me tonight and she displayed her best talent-sleeping! Now I think my mom knows what I'm talking about when I say that it takes a lot just to get those little eyes open!

I guess I should have left the flash off on this picture. This is her wearing her first little outfit (thanks Karen!). We have a bunch of preemie clothes to choose from, but she has a monitor on her foot so it has to be something that buttons and not zips, so that is a bit limiting! But this outfit is darling and they even changed her bow to match! They know what a girl needs!

You can see her little feeding tube. Wouldn't you love to sleep all day and have your tummy always full?
Alison and mom

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 13

This morning when I went in to see Alison she had gained 2 ounces from yesterday!! That is huge for her. She currently weighs 5 lbs and 5.9 oz. They did a bilirubin test on her and she is measuring low to moderate I think they call it, which isn't high enough to go under the lights. They measured her the other day and she was at the same spot. They will check her in a few days again to see if she's come down and hopefully she will continue to decline on that scale.

She had a great feeding today and hopefully she will continue with that. They took her out of the covered isolette and now she's in a "big girl bed" as the nurse called it. That's just the regular beds they have in the nurseries. They think she can hold her heat better and she's gained weight, so that's why they moved her back.

She was sleepy pretty much all day yesterday, but I'm sure that's how she gained all the weight, plus she was in her dark heated space so life was pretty nice. We'll see if she gains as much now. I asked the nurse this morning if with the weight gain that means she will be able to stay awake more often for feedings, but she said it's all developmental and that she'll just be awake when she is ready. That's why they can't really say when she gets to come home.

Molly and I went to the aquarium yesterday and had a lot of fun. I knew Molly needed to get out and she loves to see the fishies (she was excited to see her friend too)! She was kind of scared yesterday though, I was surprised. She didn't want to stand next to the glass. It's so funny how they can change so quickly from being fearless to being totally scared.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 11

Today was a better day. I actually saw the pediatrician while I was at the hospital this morning and he put my mind to ease a bit. Yesterday was a bit difficult because I was getting frustrated that she wasn't progressing (in my mind) like I thought she should. Well the doctor said that she really is doing great and I'm looking at the wrong perspective. She gained 47 grams, which is an ounce and a half! In one day! Good job, Alison!! Keep it up and then you will be big so you can eat more and come home! She also had a really great feeding, so that made me feel better as well. He also said that because I am breast feeding her that that is a gift and she thanks me for that. I thought it was kind of funny how he said it, but I guess it's true?! Still no time line. It's just hard to say when she'll be able to get off that feeding tube.

It was also pointed out to me that she has such great care there since they are such a small hospital. If she were somewhere bigger, there would be like 50 babies with machines beeping all the time. Currently, she is in her little incubator with a navy blue solar system looking blanket over to keep it dark and quiet so she doesn't have to burn any calories by being distracted with noise or movements.

We are so grateful to all the nurses who are working so hard to keep Ali happy and well. At this point we pretty much know all of the people who work there in the nursery and we appreciate them putting up with us and answering all of our questions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 10

I don't really have much to report today. Alison is still working on getting strength to nurse or bottle feed for every feeding and gaining weight in order to come home. But she is still tired and has to use the tube from time to time. She is slowly gaining weight. Yesterday she gained 8 grams and today 18, so you can see it is slowly but surely! My schedule is still going in at 9 am, 3 pm and then 9 pm each day. Sometimes she has really good feedings and sometimes just fair, but we are being patient and staying the course.

The nurse told me yesterday that we could bring her in clothes to wear, so we brought her in a long sleeved white onesie (I know it sounds boring but her bow is red and white striped and I don't have anything red!). I have some preemie clothes, but I think she is too long! She is really skinny and has long arms and legs. She is 18 1/2 inches long and I think preemie goes to like 17 inches or so.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 6

Last night when I went to see Alison they were taking her iv off. I guess it wasn't working properly again (nice, right?) but the nurse talked to the pediatrician and asked if she needed a new one or if she could go without one. They said to try it without and she has been fine.

They put her back under the lights today. She had a really good feeding this morning with me at 9 and tested her levels after and determined she was a bit above where they wanted her. We determined last night that I would go in for 2 feedings with her and they would use a bottle with my milk and/or a tube through her mouth for the other feedings. The tube allows her to get food even without having to be awake. She is struggling with endurance right now. She will have a really good feeding with me, but then she is so tired and three hours later at the next feeding she can't do as well. So the tube lets her get more rest so that she can do well at the next feeding. It's also nice so that I don't have to go in every three hours-exhausting! They asked me if I was okay with the tube feeding and said that it sounds like we're going backwards, but the lactation consultant thought that in the long run it would help her, so I agreed.

Today I had the nurse call me before 3:00 pm to see if she seemed awake and ready to eat. The nurse called and said she was really awake, so I went over and she had another really good feeding. So we will just slowly work up the feedings. One nurse said that if she keeps up eating so well she will be able to go home! So that's what we are working for. She is doing better and better each day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 5

This morning I went in to see Alison/feed her and got to talk to the pediatrician who was making the rounds on the babies in the nursery today. She said she looks really good. She doesn't see any problems. She decreased her fluids (they give her fluid to keep her hydrated) so this shows that she is doing better just on her own. They said she doesn't have to be under the lights, so her bilirubin count is going down. And they again increased how much she can eat! So a good day for her. The doctor said she's strong as a horse.

Yesterday I noticed that her right arm was bigger than her left and it felt kind of tight. Turns out the iv in her arm had leaked and the fluid was going into her arm, making it so big. So this morning when I went in it looked back to normal. The iv monitor should have made them aware but it didn't, so it's a good thing I was paying attention!

Someone was helping to give me suggestions while I was nursing Ali today and it was so helpful! I changed the way I was holding her and she ate so much better. We were all impressed. She is doing so well.

Yesterday my mom came with my grandpa to see Alison.

Grandma holding Alison for the first time. She had a cold so Sunday she didn't hold her, plus they weren't letting many of us hold her Sunday!

Grandpa at 94 holding 4 day old Alison

4 generations!

Here's what the lights looked like. They aren't turned on in this picture. There was another one on the other side as well.

Doesn't she look so cute with her eye mask on?! The coloring is funny since the lights are on in this picture.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 4 update

Little Alison continues to do well. They have increased her fluids which have electrolytes, increased her feeding to 16 ml (she is eating every 3 hours) and she went under the lights for jaundice today. She looked so cute with her little eye mask on! I wish I would have taken my camera but I will bring it later.

I have been pumping at home and try to go in to nurse her at her feeding times. Alison is still figuring it out, but she is doing well. I have been supplementing with my milk after I try to nurse her and she does great with her mini bottle. The doctor told me yesterday that he thinks she will be there for 5-10 days (I think from her birth date), so hopefully that means she will get to come home next week towards the end of the week possibly!

I am feeling pretty well. I still have some cramping during the night, but Ibuprofen is enough to handle the pain. I'm trying hard to rest while at home. Justin comes with me to the hospital at night and Ali will open her eyes to look at him when he talks, it's so cute! He has been very helpful and didn't complain when I got up to pump last night in our room! My mom has been awesome, watching Molly so I can feed Ali as often as possible and getting me things I need from the store. My visiting teachers brought over a nice dinner last night, so I'm feeling pretty spoiled!

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Alison

I feel like the pictures from the last post don't do Alison justice! Here are some I took of her today (glamour shots!). She had a bath sometime before I visited her this morning. Isn't she beautiful!

peeking to see mommy!
little yawn
she liked the binky when I tried giving it to her today!

this is from last night. She's enjoying a warmer over her and breathing on her own.
the nurses say she is so sweet and we think so too!

Grandma and Grandpa Pendleton
Aunt Natalie
Uncle Ryan and Aunt Becky

Aunty Em and Uncle Zack

Most of our family members came to visit yesterday. It was kind of different because Alison hasn't been able to be in our room, so we can take one person at a time with us to see her in the nursery. A couple of times the nurses let us bend the rules and have an extra.

Alison continues to do well. They took the sugar water away in her iv, so now she just has an iv for an antibiotic which the pediatrician said they will probably take away tomorrow. They have fed her today with a small bottle about a sixth of an ounce is all every three hours and she has kept it all down. In order for her to leave, she has to keep a steady body temperature, be eating regularly and gaining weight on a regular basis. They told me they had to give her some oxygen today for a little bit, but other than that they said she has been perfect.

They haven't told me when she can come home, but I'm pretty sure she won't come home when I leave tomorrow morning. You haven't seen Molly in any pictures because no one under the age of 14 can come into the hospital. I'm excited I get to see her tomorrow! She has been a good little sport spending time with grandma and grandpa.

Oh and a couple of interesting little side notes. There have been about five 34 week babies that were delivered in this hospital this week! The nurses say that's the special they're running :) And my mom's second baby was also 6 weeks early. Pretty ironic!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby Pics

I am posting these for Nicole. The baby is doing very well and her lungs look strong.

She's here!

We welcomed Alison Kate this morning at 7:41 am!

Before my epidural at about 9:30 pm last night I was dilated to a 2, so they thought I would deliver around 4 am. Well, at 7:10 am I was finally dilated to a 6. Five minutes later I felt pressure and they checked me again and I was at a 10! I called Justin when I was at a 6 and told him to make his way over, then called him back and said hurry! He got here in plenty of time and the doctor was the last one to show up. After just a few pushes she was here. The cord was wrapped pretty tightly around her neck but the doctor cut it quickly and she was given to the nurses and pediatrician. I got to see her for just a minute before they took her to the nursery to receive oxygen. I still haven't held her, but I'm hoping sometime soon! I haven't heard on that yet.

Six weeks early, she weighs 5 pounds 3 ounces and they haven't measured her length yet, but she is doing well. She has an iv in and is under a warmer. She has some brown hair and is very cute! We don't know much more than that at this point. The pediatrician will give us updates throughout the day. We've taken some pictures, but we don't have the cord to connect to the laptop, so those will be coming!

Thanks for all of the encouragement, support and for keeping us in your prayers!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Justin and new baby girl's First Post

So, I am in the hospital with Nicole and had nothing better to do so I am posting on the blog. I guess the baby wanted out so here she comes. I never wanted to have a January or December baby but I don't have a choice in the matter. Nicole is doing great. She had some leaking this morning and was worried. I told her to toughen up and that it was nothing. Good thing she never listens to me! We went to the hospital, they did some tests, and viola the baby is coming. So they induced her and are pumping her full of pitocin. We expect her to have the baby sometime early next morning. In the meantime we are watchin movies and eating popsicles. Anyway, hope you liked the post. I know it isn't as snazzy or cool as Nicole's but this is what you get!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A new year

Last night Justin and I wrote down goals for the year; something I HATE doing and he LOVES. But I'm always a pretty good sport because I know you should make goals. It's not that I'm not motivated, I just don't care to write them down because then I'm accountable! Ha ha ha! Isn't that the truth.

Well anyway, we made some together and one involves "treats". We said we can have a treat on Sundays and one other day. And that's it! Am I doomed to failure already? Probably! I guess the good news is that I haven't had him define "treats" yet so I'm saying that things like pumpkin and banana bread are ok. They are, right?! I'll let you know how I do.

We just came back from being in WY again. Justin really wanted to go back up and snowmobile and be there for the open house for his brother Mark, so we did. We had a fun time and most of the family was able to be there at some point.

Justin heads back to school this coming Monday. He's had a 3 week break, which is really nice. Molly and I have loved having him home and I know I'm going to hear her asking where he is about 20 times next Monday when he's back at school.