Archive for March, 2009

Todays update

Today was a pretty great day!

It started out rough, I had been told I would get to breastfeed Addison, then I was running a few minutes late, and I called the NICU to let them know, gave them permission to give her a bottle if necessary, but ONLY if I’d still be allowed to try to nurse her.

When I get there she was still under the photo therapy lights, and they wouldn’t let me nurse her, or hold her for that matter!

I sat there crying, trying to figure out which staff member to let my anger out on. A nurse came in and finally let me nurse her!

It only took Addison about 2 minutes to latch on properly, which seemed long to me given that Bethany got it first try, but Addison is 5 days old and at that point, had only had one or two bottles, and hasn’t been held very much (which really makes me sad). She nursed great, and eventually fell asleep while comfort sucking. I held her like that for about 20 minutes.

She was very wide awake when we first got there, and just really wanted attention. She kept pulling her little eye protectors off and making screaming noises. Not obnoxious screaming, but just screams here and there to let us know she was not happy being in her cage.

I just called the NICU for the latest. She’s been off the photo therapy lights since 6 PM, feedings are going great, and they’ll hopefully increase tomorrow. They’ll do another blood check for jaundice in the morning, and hopefully those levels will be down.

I’ll go back to nurse her in the morning.

We still have no clue when she’ll be home. We get a different answer every time we ask, so it’s getting frustrating. It sounds like all that needs to happen now is everything remain stable, and her feedings increase, which makes me hopeful for Thursday. If it goes beyond that, we’ll probably put up a fight to get her out.

I’ve added new photos my online album, she’s getting more and more adorable. I think her eyes are blue, but it’s hard to tell. (They were still yellowish today due to jaundice). To me she looks a lot different from the other 2 kids. They looked exactly like Dan at birth, but I don’t see that in her. She also has a lot less cheek fat then the other 2 did, and unlike Bethany, her legs are long and thin.


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Today was a great day!

There was much improvement today.

Addisons chest tube has been removed completely. That means she only has 2 lines in right now; the non-invasive ones in her umbilical cord. When I left the NICU this afternoon, the nurse was prepping to remove one of those lines.

They’ll attempt a bottle feeding tonight and see how she does on that (they need to see how much she takes and if she holds it down). Tomorrow I get to breastfeed!

She was very active today, but I was so sad because she really wanted to nurse! She kept kicking her legs and waving her arms, and wiggling around as much as she could. She was sticking her tongue out a lot in an effort to eat. I’m so glad tomorrow isn’t that far away!

If all goes well and as “planned” her oxygen will be shut off completely tonight. If she remains stable, bottle feeds and nurses well, and gains weight, we might be  bringing her home as early as Wednesday!

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Chest tube update

Although I visit Addison daily, I also call 2-3 times a day to check on her current status.

I usually call around 9:30 in the morning so that the doctors and nurses have had time to run tests, get results, do the shift switchover and fill each other in on the latest reports.

I just got off the phone with one of the NICU nurses, and Addisons chest tube has been clamped, and she is doing very well without it. Her oxygen needs have remained low, and they plan to remove the chest tube completely today, if she continues to remain stable without the use of it.

I’m not sure what time I’ll be visiting her today since I’d love to see her without the tube, and hold her again. I’m hoping today or tomorrow we can try breastfeeding!

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Addison Ruth

Addison Ruth made a very quick entrance into this world on March 12, at 7:52 AM (8lbs, 7oz, 19.5 in). She didn’t want to wait for anyone, but luckily we arrived at the hospital 30 minutes before she came out.

We were set to have a c-section due to previous delivery complications, but Addison knew what I wanted, and decided to come all natural.

I would love to post the excitement filled birth story, but it’s late (or early) and I’m tired, so I’ll just post the important stuff for now!

Right away Addison started holding her breath and would turn blue, so she was taken to the NICU. Turns out she had a hole in right lung. She had to be put on an oxygen mask, and have a tube inserted into the side of her chest to suck out the air that was escaping from her lung. This would enable the lung to expand as it should, which would then naturally heal the hole.

Because of this, they put two lines into her umbilical cord, which was a very non-invasive way for the nurses to draw blood without pricking her several times a day. She also has a line that is giving her nutrients right now. She isn’t able to breastfeed (or bottle feed) yet, because it requires her to breathe too hard, which then requires more oxygen to be given to her, and could possible cause her to puncture her lung again.

I wasn’t able to hold her until she was 3 days old. She was taken away so quickly at birth, then with so many tubes and lines in her, it was too hard to move her, and risk pulling out the chest tube especially. It would be horrible to have to reinsert that tube! (It’s certainly a lot bigger than anything I’d want in my side).

Saturday morning her blood test showed jaundice, so while all this other care is going on, she is under photo therapy lights. Luckily that’s something that really won’t take extra time to correct, she’ll be under the lights while there for a few days, not really an issue.

Some of you have heard she had an open heart valve. This is actually quite common, and clears up usually within 24-48 hours. Hers was only partially open, and it was just mentioned to us as a casual remark, however, it’s not an issue what so ever, and her heart ultrasounds seem to be fine. They’ll do another one on Monday for standard procedure purposes, but her heart is fine!

As of my last visit and phone call to the NICU, I got to hold her for about an hour, and she smiled a few times, also laughed (I have no clue what was so funny, she was still hooked up to so many things!)  Her oxygen level had been stable through out the night and day, and they were able to completely take her off pain medications. Her oxygen level needs to be at 21%, and it’s been at about 24-25. They were able to remove her enormous oxygen mask (Dan calls it a wrestling mask), and  insert a very small tube into her nose. I finally got to see her face! (I had seen her for literally 15 seconds before she was taken to the NICU, and then had all these tubes inserted). 

The chest tube is still in, but they turned it off completely to see if she’ll remain stable without the use of the tube to suck out the extra air. Her chest x-ray showed that the hole was pretty much closed, and they’ll also do another one of those on Monday morning. The next step is for them to clamp the tube (not sure how that’s different from turning it off), and then remove it completely. Hopefully that all happens Monday!

After that we’ll start working on feedings. She needs to show that she can take full feedings every few hours, and put on weight. As of Saturday evening, she weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces. I am pumping every few hours, and dropping the supply off at the NICU when I go to visit. I didn’t know full time pumping could be so painful! I will be able to breastfeed her when they start the feedings, but unfortunately, she’ll have to have bottles in between since I can’t be there 24/7. Normally I’d be opposed to that, but in this situation it’s obviously necessary.

We really don’t know when she’ll be coming home. I’ve been told maybe Friday, next Monday or Tuesday, possibly 2 weeks. I’m optimistic it will be this week since she is doing so well, but if she should relapse at any time, that will set us back a day.

I’ve had several people ask about coming to see her when we get home, and while I do appreciate that, I’ve decided I’m going to be selfish. When she comes home, I want 2-3 days of no visitors so that we can make up for lost time, get into full time breastfeeding, and allow the other 2 children to become acquainted with her, and just try to settle in a bit. She is almost 4 days old, and I’ve only held her for an hour of that time, and that is really hard on me. I can’t wait to have her all to myself (of course share her with my husband and kids), so I’ll let everyone know when I’m ready for visitors. At this point we can’t plan on anything since it’s still up in the air when we’ll be bringing her home.

I will try to post daily updates or milestones, so please check back here for the latest progress. I will also be adding photos daily (or every other day, but I’ll take them daily!) You can click on the link to the right titled “my photo album.”

Also, a quick apology: I’ve had many texts, e-mails, phone calls, facebook comments, etc from several people, and it’s not easy for me to respond right now. Part of the reason is time, I’m at home taking care of my house and kids, and driving an hour and a half daily to visit Addison in the NICU, and I did just have a baby, so I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. I apologize if I offend anyone by not returning your calls/e-mails! But again, you can check here for updates, or talk to one of our family members, they usually know what’s going on.  Hopefully I will only have to post a few more updates before we announce she is home!  Thank you for all your prayers. We’d like her home sooner than later!

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Pregnancy Update

Just a super fast pregnancy update: I am 36ish weeks pregnant and had a Dr. appointment today.

Due to my previous delivery, I’ve been scheduled for a c-section for the 31st of this month, but I’ve had a really hard time accepting a c-section. So today I talked to my doctor about my options for a natural delivery.

Turns out I’m 2 cm dilated, and she said she won’t force a c-section on me, ultimately it’s my decision, however there are risks involved. I’m hoping and praying that I go into labor within the next few days, because I’d feel comfortable going natural at this point.

If I make it to next week, I know the risks aren’t worth it, and I’ll carry on with the c-section plan. I know it’s not the end of the world, but after 2 natural deliveries, I’d hate to have a c-section if it can be avoided!

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