Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Check-in

Weight gain: FAIL.

It's so frustrating. He's only gained 1 ounce in 4 days. Now, he was starving when she weighed him- he was overdue to eat, so some food in his tummy probably would have helped a little, but still.

I've even been giving him fortified bottles. Guess we'll add another. And throw another moose on the fire.

The breastfeeding is improving. It's still not great, but he'll at least latch on and nurse for a few minutes several times a day.

We have an occupational therapist coming on Thursday who is also a lactation consultant- I'm going to discuss things with her.

My milk supply is better but not great. I was making less than 50% of what he was eating and now I'm making closer to probably 70%, but the frozen supply is going quickly.

This stresses me out immensely because he doesn't tolerate formula very well and if he has to go to formula it's going to be ugly.

So I just ordered some domperidone. I'm too scared of the depression risks with Reglan. Since I feel like I'm sort of barely holding it together as it is, I'm quite sure that would push me over the edge.

Speaking of which, I had a melt down on Saturday.
I'd finally gotten some sleep. Maybe it gave me the energy to freak out, I don't know.

But I was trying to nurse Robbie and it wasn't going well. He was hysterical. I finally tried to give him a bottle, but it was too late. He was too hysterical to even calm down and take the bottle.

David had some in to watch and finally I put Robbie and the bottle down, stood up and said "David, you have to feed him. You have to. I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this. I'm losing my fucking mind." Then went to the bathroom, closed the door and pretty much lost my shit.

After I was done crying and feeling stupid, I came back and offered to take Robbie back. David insisted he had it. And he did. It wasn't a pretty feed, he'd wail, then eat a bit, then wail some more. But he got through the bottle. And David took him for a few hours while I slept.

He promised to help more. Promised I could leave the house the next day. Promised we'd go for a walk.

None of them happened, but at least for that evening, I got some rest.

I don't know what to say about the state of my marriage. I hope that someday I can overcome the resentment I feel. But for now I've just had to accept that I'm mostly functioning as a single parent. If I expect nothing I can't be let down. Then when he DOES come through- like on Saturday- I am pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, that's the state of things for now.

It's really not as bad as I seem to be making it seem.

Robbie is beautiful. He's wonderful. He's healthy and developing well and I adore him.

I'm about to turn 32. It'll be my first birthday as a mom. At least as a mom of a real, live baby. Life is pretty good.

But man, motherhood is hard.

--Trish

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Relief

HE SLEPT ALMOST 5 HOURS!

Now, I do feel a smidge of guilt for letting him sleep that long w/o eating, but frankly, I'd rather feed him every 2 hours for the entire rest of the day to make up for that lost feeding than to give back that sleep.

I slept from about 3 until 5. I fed him and put him back to bed. I spent another hour trying to get him to sleep on his own. I'd pat until he was calm, then sneak out. He's slowly work himself back up to upset and I'd start over. Finally about 6:30 I decided I was fighting a losing battle and got him up.

He was SO bright eyed and perky. It's hard to feel irritated when he's just happy as can be.

Since the sun was coming up, I opened the curtains and let him see the sun. I took him back to our room and turned on all the lights. (David wasn't out of bed yet, though his alarm had gone off. I got some perverse passive-aggressive pleasure out of turning all the lights on him.) I took his blankets off and let him lay out and kick a good long while. We played and talked and generally just had WIDE AWAKE time.

When it was getting close to time to eat, I stripped him down and changed his diaper. Of course, he managed to pee all over himself, so he got his clothes changed.

Basically I was just trying to wear him out.

When it came time to eat, I practiced with the nipple shield a bit and it worked. He nursed for about 15 minutes. Then he took almost a whole bottle. I don't know if that means he wasn't getting much from the breast (though he seemed to be swallowing) or what, but he was certainly full when we were done.

I held him upright for a half hour (I nodded off) and then put him on the boppy beside me. This isn't recommended sleeping, I know. Back to sleep. I know. I'm using the heart monitor as a crutch, but I was desperate. And it worked.

He ate around 8:15. He woke a couple of times and fussed just a bit, I don't think I woke up completely, just handed the paci and patted for a few seconds and he was back out. So was I.

I woke up a little before 1 and thought I had to be looking at the clock wrong. Then I thought I had to have remembered what time he ate wrong- maybe it was 9 and not 8?

I keep a chart of when he eats so I checked- nope, it was 8.
He'd slept 4 1/2 hours. And was still sleeping.

I got up and made him a bottle and then came to wake him up. He was cranky. That sort of "hey, I was sleeping, leave me the eff alone" cranky that I feel pretty much every day.

I tried to put him to the breast but that was a no-go. The bottle feeding didn't go the greatest- his reflux was acting up. You could hear him struggling to swallow milk down as milk was coming back up. It seems worse if I let him get too hungry and I felt bad about it, but in the end, I got most of the bottle down him and resolved to feed him again in 2 hours.

We're now in the recliner. He's half awake and peeking at me.

I feel like a new woman.

Thank you so much for your kind comments & emails. You literally made me cry.

I know something has to give, but I just don't know how.

I'm trying to work on the schedule. And I'll try the baby massage- I did learn some in the NICU but hadn't even thought to try it for sleep time. (Apparently I'm stupid.) He likes his bouncy seat better than most anything. I'll be glad when he really gets some better head control (he's doing really well in that regard, though.) because he REALLY likes to sit upright and I think using a jumper or exersaucer will be great for him.

As for David- we have talked. We've fought. His mom has talked to him. He just doesn't see it my way. He was better at the beginning of the week after he'd spent a day taking care of Robbie, but as the week has gone on, it's gotten worse again.

My plan is to make him do it tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

--Trish


P.S. How 'bout some random Robbie pics are a reward for being so nice to me?














Moosies on my sleeper! They make me grow big and strong!

Deprived

The sleep deprivation is insane.

The developmental therapist who came to see Robbie on Monday asked if he's awake for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. This was at about noon.

I flatly replied "He fell asleep just before you got here. He'd been up since 12:30am."
Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.

Seriously, the kid doesn't sleep.

He's not necessarily crying a lot- though he does have those periods, too. But he wants to be held and talked to and played with and patted and handed his pacifier 800 times in a row. As long as you're willing to do those things, he's a very happy baby. But if you're not- he cries. And cries. And cries.

Now, but all rights- he has it coming. He got jipped out of 3 months of uterine bliss.

But seriously, cut a mom a break.

Two hours of sleep yesterday, an hour this morning and an hour this afternoon.

I swear to you, the only time he sleeps is when someone visits so that I CAN'T go lay down.

The home nurse called about 11:30 to ask if she could come. I told her to come on- it's not like he's sleeping anyway. Five minutes after I hung up- he was out cold.

He slept until she got here and woke him to weigh him and such (5 lb 6 oz, for the record.)

She asked if I was sleeping and I scoffed.

Then, because she's apparently an angel walking on earth, she asked if she could come back after work and just look after him a while so I could rest. And that she'd bring food.

And I let her because I have no pride. Seriously- a nurse asked me if she could let me relax a bit? HELL. YEAH.

David wasn't expected home until 10 or 11 pm. I was on my own with practically no sleep. Music to my ears.

Right after she left, my dad came over. He offered to hold Robbie while I took a shower. I hadn't showered since Wednesday. I debated long and hard about whether to nap or shower but it was nearly time for Robbie to eat again, so I figured I'd fit in what I had time for- a shower. God, it felt good.

Eventually Robbie slept an hour. I joined him. He woke up hungry, of course and as I got up to make his bottle, my angel nurse arrived.

She brought a spinach salad and pomegranite-blueberry juice and a promise to work with us on breastfeeding.

she helped me get him on with the nipple shield- he nursed for 20 minutes which is about 4x as long as I've been able to get him to go in the last few weeks. My milk supply is shit. Or rather, my ability to get the milk from my boobs to a bottle is shit. I feel engorged, but the pump just isn't cutting it. And of course, my time to pump is very limited. I'm doing the best I can. If he would nurse, it would save me an immense amount of time and I think there would be plenty for him to eat.

Then I ate and drank and pumped without having to get up 23 times to pat/paci/sing to Robbie.

She was here for about 2 hours when my husband got home.

I wanted to send him back away because she's more helpful than he is. But she left.

No time for a nap.

I asked David to wash bottles while I fed Robbie and pumped. Two hours later, still nothing washed. It was close to time to pump again and I was out of clean pump equipment so instead of sleeping- Robbie was actually asleep- I washed bottles and plotted painful deaths for David.

He has to work tomorrow, too, so I'm on my own again.

I seriously don't know how single moms do it. And you moms of twins out there? God bless you.

I literally cried this morning and begged him to please, please, please go to sleep.
I love that he's so neurologically sound as to be awake and alert this much, but seriously..he's really a newborn. He's supposed to sleep like 16 hours a day. He MIGHT have slept 6 today, total. That's 20 minute naps, an hour here, an hour there. Long enough for me to put him to bed, MAYBE pump, and he's up again.

Tomorrow he might sleep all day. Every couple of days he has one of those. And I take full advantage, believe me. He's got to be due, right?

Maybe he's on some weird 72 hour day rhythm.
I don't know.

I've been trying to do the see-the-sun-in-the-morning/darkness-at-night thing. He doesn't seem to notice.

I suppose that's Karma. David and I are both night owls and I know I was NOT a good sleeper as a kid. I fought it with all my might.

My dad just keeps laughing at me.


Okay, enough of my whining. It's time to feed the kiddo. Then he's going to sleep. RIGHT?

--Trish

P.S. In an amusing turn of events, it turns out that my husband's cat is troubled by Robbie's crying. Three times in the last day when he's been crying, she's come to bite me on the foot/leg. I'm not sure what's she's trying to communicate- maybe it's "Shut that thing up!" or "What's wrong with it!?" but I think it's some sort of concern. Earlier he was laying in our bed crying while I got a diaper and warmed a bottle. She hopped up and sniffed at him, the kneaded the place next to him for a while. I think she might have been trying to soothe him.

Cats are weird.
D

Friday, September 26, 2008

zzzzzzzzzzzz

Babies who are supposed to be 3 weeks old who do not fall asleep until 3 am are not allowed to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4:20 am.

I declare it.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


--Trish

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shower Review

The shower was a ton of fun!

Honestly, who needed food & gifts- I was just so thrilled to see everyone.

I have wonderful friends, I truly do. Several of them made several trips to the hospital to visit while Robbie was at the hospital- just to take me to dinner in the cafeteria. But it wasn't the same. I really haven't had a social event since before Robbie was born. For those keeping track- that's 16 weeks now.

So it was great to hang out.

The day had a rough start. Robbie was up ALL night. He finally fell asleep around 6:30am. By the time I pumped, washed bottles and got a few things together it was nearly 8. I needed to be up around 9:30. I debated about sleeping at all- is an hour of sleep worse than none at all. Finally I decided to sleep a bit. Of course, the phone rang at 9:15 after I'd gotten to sleep at 8:30.

45 minutes of sleep... oh boy.

I was hoping my MIL would show up early and I'd slip out. Much to my surprise, David had actually set his alarm to get up early with the baby so I could do what I wanted to do. He actually got out of bed a little after 9.

So I got up and showered and headed out. My MIL wasn't here yet, but she was due shortly. I hit the mall.

Before I got pregnant, I was wearing a 26/28. I've lost a lot of weight since he was born (and only gained 10 pounds while pregnant) so I was grabbing 22/24. I found a dress I liked but it was only in a 18/20. I asked about the next size and the sales girl told me that I needed the one in my hand. I protested. She insisted I try it on.

She was right. I was floored. I haven't been an 18/20 since I was about 20 years old. Go me! That pre-eclampsia, premature infant, gall bladder disease diet really works!

Anyway, I ended up buying a dress that looks good on, but just didn't scream "baby shower" to me.

On the way home, I decided to stop at another place and finally found what I was looking for. They had a whole line of ice-blue stuff that I was in love with. In the end, I went with a sheerish top and pin striped pants. (Pictures below.)

Got home and asked how things went. David was already a little flustered. Robbie had been very cold when he'd changed him and then only took half a feeding. Now I was panicked. I'd been gone less than 2 hours and getting ready to leave for several more. Could they handle it?

I took his temp again- much better. Had David prepare another bottle while I put my clothes on.

The time that I'd intended to write lovely, thoughtful thank you notes to my hostesses was spent feeding Robbie again. (which he took just fine, for the record.)

I worried about leaving again- what if he wouldn't eat for anyone but me. But I had to go.

While I was feeding Robbie, I heard my cell phone beep that I had a message. It was one of my hostesses leaving a message. A very strange message that sounded a little odd.

When I called her back, it seemed there was a bit of a snafu with the restaurant where the shower was to be held. They had booked the location online. Only that location has been closed for a few months. (It's seriously about 5 minutes from my house- I hadn't noticed.) The restaurant had booked the room at another location w/o ever letting anyone know.

So the hostesses were going crazy trying to reach every one to tell them where to go and give directions.

I made a few calls myself, then headed to the corrected location myself.

The shower was supposed to be at 1, I got there about 1:15, but was still one of the first to arrive. Most everyone else (a few hostesses included) were lost.

After a comedy involving "I can see you, but you can't see me" we sent BFF's mom to retrieve the lost party goers and all was well.

From there- everything was great. We had a pizza and pasta buffet served family-style. We played a few games and I opened LOTS of gifts. But mostly we got to visit. It felt good.

I thought about calling home to check in a few times and decided to have faith. They could handle it.

I decided just to enjoy the time.

It was so great to see everyone.

It was funny because only 3 of the party goers were NOT from a message board. At one point my BFF (we've been friends since I was a sophomore in HS) pointed out that she wasn't from "the board." I had to laugh. I suppose I met my husband online, it shouldn't be add that most of my friends came the same way.

Anyway, the food was good. The cake was awesome- white cake with chocolate mousse center and butter cream icing. YUMMY.

After the party, I called home and David sounded tired. I asked if things were okay and he said he was just trying to do some cleaning. You could tell he was worn out.

I got home and things were going well.Robbie had eaten well and was sleeping. My MIL had made David do pretty much everything.

We went through all the gifts and cooed again..

It was good.

By the end of the day, David was exhausted. I asked him if he had a little bit of insight into my day and he said yes. And he's been much nicer to me since then. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

For now- pictures!


Cake:





Me and the Cake:





Gifts!
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Guests!





Me and gifts!



Diaper Cake:




Favors and a couple of Seuss books for Robbie:





The Loot:





Sixteen weeks old!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shower Day

6:22am
Been up all night.
I'm paying my dues for having slept 5 hours almost in a row yesterday morning, I'm sure. Robbie was up to eat twice in that time, but went right back to sleep both times.

The boy finally went to sleep about a half hour ago. Still had to pump. Trying to figure out my day today.

It's my baby shower day.

It's a little bittersweet, to be honest.

I'm so much looking forward to getting out of the house, but also hate having to leave Robbie. It will be the first time since we've been home.

I'm looking forward to this time-honored tradition, gathering with friends and cooing over adorable baby things. But knowing this should have happened months ago, while I was still pregnant, when we should have played annoying games about guessing the size of my tummy is a reminder of some of the things that pre-e stole from me.

There are perks now, of course. We know he's a boy. We know he's small. I can eat what I want without worrying about unpasteurized cheese & lysteria. I won't have to stop to pee every 10 minutes. We WON'T play the guess-how-big-my-tummy-is game. (I supposed we could, but I might slug someone.)

What I wouldn't give to have all the annoyances back. To not have to choose between seeing my friends- friends I sorely miss- and being with my son. To bring along an ultrasound picture instead of photo albums showing how tiny and fragile he was.
...


I'm already lonely at home.

I'm a social person- perhaps too much so, but that's who I am. I have always enjoyed spending time with my friends, being able to hop up at a moment's notice and grab a bite to eat or hit the mall.

Even in the NICU- if I needed a moment away, I could pop next door and check on Robbie's girlfriend's parents.

I've been listening to Elvis tonight. Her dad was a big Elvis fan and it's made me miss him. He always had something thoughtful and kind to say.

Or I could laugh with Robbie's BFF's parents- he was 2 weeks younger than Robbie but excelled so we were usually neck and neck on the milestones. His parents were always as involved and demanding as me which made me feel right at home.

And there were always the nurses. Sure, I considered violent ends for one or two, but for the most part, I loved them. They were part of Team Robbie. I enjoyed getting to know them, hearing their stories, just hanging out.

The NICU is a community- an odd community, yes- but a community nonetheless.

And now I'm a hermit. The only time I've left the house in the last 2 weeks was to take Robbie BACK to the hospital and to the doctor on Wednesday.

People are the enemy- they harbor germs.

Thank God for the internet. My message boards, my blog, email.. and shopping, of course- God bless E-Bay. It's my only connection to the outside world.

But tomorrow I get to play. I'm hoping my mother in law shows up semi-early and I'm going to try to do a little REAL shopping. I need thank you notes and a couple of house things that I don't trust the husband to be able to pick, and maybe even a pair of pants that actually fit. (I'm down more than 50 pounds since Robbie was born. I'm having trouble keeping my pants up. That might make for interesting shower photos, but not really the excitement I'm looking for.)

So I'm off to sleep. Ninety minutes until the boy needs to eat again. Better make 'em count.

--Trish

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boring post

Thank you so much to everyone who was so supportive.

I hate complaining about it. Which is odd, because I'm normally such a complainer.

I think it's a bit of survivor's guilt.. I spent too long trying to conceive, watched and still watch too many friends struggle..
Then the time in the NICU.. I saw too many scary, heart-breaking things. How can I complain when I've been blessed with such a perfect baby?

I realize that there is always someone with more problems and we all have the right to complain about whatever is on our plate, but I also hate to be ungrateful.

I don't really have much to talk about today.

Robbie was very fussy and barely slept all day.

The home health nurse was out this morning. I still can't quite figure out what I think about her. She's nice enough but has a tendency to say things that just make me worry more.

The first time she visited, she told me to make sure to keep the heart monitor as long as possible because Robbie's at such high risk for SIDS.

It's not like it's not true, and it's not like I don't know that.. but I still felt like she could have maybe left that out or at least phrased it better.

Today she had a trainee with her and she was explaining everything she was doing and the results. At one point she said "His anterior fontanel is still quite open but it's not swollen or sunken so it's okay." Well.. hmm. Aren't they supposed to be open for a while??

I hate that. I don't need more shit to worry about. I have flatly refused to google "soft spots not closing." because if no one has mentioned it and it's not on the list of things to follow up on (which I've seen) and it wasn't on his medical record (again- I've seen) then it's not a problem. I'm not borrowing trouble.

In any case, there were no naps today. Even when he did sleep, it was 15 minutes here or there. He got his rotovirus vaccine yesterday and I don't think his tummy feels the greatest. I'm keeping him dosed up on mylicon and he seems a little better tonight.

The hubby made dinner which was nice. Of course, I ate it mostly cold because Robbie wouldn't settle down anywhere but in my arms. I'll be glad when the faux-Moby wrap I ordered comes in.

Oh, and speaking of ordering stuff (this whole isolation thing is leading to WAY too much shopping online) I pulled a totally moronic move.

Robbie's room is done in Dr. Seuss. I ordered a light switch plate on E-Bay. It came in today. It's adorable!
It's also a SINGLE switch plate and the light switch is a double. DOH! I've only lived in this house for 4 years and I literally didn't even think about it until I went to put the thing on. Thank Goodness it was only 10 bucks.

I'm blaming sleep deprivation.

Anyway, for some reason I don't find myself as exhausted as normal today. David asked if I was doing drugs with the dog. (David lovingly called our dog "Crackhead.") I have no explanation but I bet it catches up to me tomorrow.

For now I get to go bathe a baby. Boys are dangerous with those penises. This will actually be his 4th outfit in about 24 hours. Though the first two were the result of leaky diapers. No more Huggies for us. Pampers is the way to go. Trust me.

--Trish

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Whine

I'm having a hard time writing this post.
I just typed out a huge one and decided it sounded whiny and bitchy and deleted the whole thing.
If you're in the trenches of infertility, I'm going to recommend you skipping this one. I wouldn't have wanted to read it when I was still TTC.


The short version is that I'm exhausted.

David has just not been as helpful as I'd expected him to be.

He doesn't get up at night. Ever. Not even once. He'll sleep 10 hours a night even on the weekends. I haven't slept 10 hours in the last 3 days combined.

Robbie won't nurse, so I'm still exclusively pumping.

My milk supply is shit- probably from lack of sleep. I started Fenugreek yesterday so I smell like I bathed in syrup. And God knows I don't have time to shower to get the sweet stink off of me.

David tells me I need to cook and clean more.

I told him we might need a divorce lawyer.

In the end, we both cried and said we'd work out a schedule.

Mostly I'm just living for my mother-in-law to visit because I feel like I can finally rest.

David's still awkward with Robbie. He spent all the months that Robbie was in the hospital just coasting. Every time I'd encourage him to feed/change/hold him, he'd try to pass it off to a nurse. If I got pissy, he'd finally do it, but he seemed to have to DRAG himself out of the chair to be bothered to do something.

He told me a 100 times how tired he was. I tried to be understanding.. he doesn't handle stress well. He has no outlets.

But mostly I just wanted to slug him. While he was snoring blissfully, I was wringing my hands in the NICU. He didn't KNOW tired.

Now it's even worse. Robbie eats at least every 3 hours- often every 2. If I could get him to nurse, it would speed things up. But for now, I have to pump, prepare and wash bottles.

These are all "normal" woes, I know. Every new mom is exhausted.

And I'm thrilled to BE normal, but I don't know if my husband is going to survive Robbie's first year.

I might smother him with his warm, inviting pillow.

I'm hoping it gets better.

After I threatened to divorce him (yes, I really did. My temper is VERY VERY short these days and he was way over the line.) we talked and he agreed to help more.

Tonight he helped keep an eye on Robbie for about 2 hours while I pumped/tried to nap.

After fixing Robbie's pacifier/patting his back 4 or 5 times, David said "he HAS to sleep SOME TIME." It was all I had to do not to laugh. I said "this is a glimpse of what I do every single night."

Tonight he complimented my mothering several times. And mentioned taking care of Robbie on the weekend so I can sleep.

My MIL is in on The Plan. She's frustrated that David's so.....helpless.

She's going to stay with him while I'm at my baby shower on Saturday but she's already said she's going to make him do everything. She'll be there to coach, but that's it. Thank God she's not one of those moms who thinks her son does no wrong.

She's almost as frustrated with him as I am.

Of course, the minute that I'm completely fed up and exhausted, Robbie smiles. It makes everything better.

I'm still in awe that he's truly mine. I keep half expecting someone to knock on the door and demand their baby back.

Their FIVE POUND baby, I might add.

We had our first pediatrician appointment this morning. Five pounds, one ounce! All is well. The doctor doesn't want to see us for another month. We continue on the heart monitor for a while longer, we hope to gain lots more weight. We tweaked his reflux meds a little bit, hoping it helps. She wants his G-button removed ASAP. Hopefully at his 6 week post-op check (October 6, I believe?) it'll be gone.

Overall, things are improving. Both with Robbie and with David.

Keep the moose coming and pray that I don't kill David in a fit of rage.

--Trish

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Robbie Vs The Pacifier

For my beloved readers, a video taken only moments ago.

This is one of those moments that I hope translates well (and that the video uploads well) but maybe it's just a parental thing.

But it made me laugh until I cried. Had to call the hubby out to watch it, too. And, of course, my next thought was "Everyone online has to see this!"

So here I am posting what is sort of an embarrassing video to me because it includes me singing, but you know, after a few years of infertility and then childbirth, I don't have any dignity left, so I'll deal.

Remarkable Robbie Vs The Pacifier
video

Monday, September 15, 2008

Someone emails me a lot of political stuff. This person is quite obviously very conservative, which is fine. I mean, I married one and all. I'm more a middle of the roader myself, but this isn't a political blog, so I won't get into all of that. The reason I bring it up is because one of the emails this person sent today had a bunch of Pro-Palin cartoons in it.

Most made me laugh mostly at them instead of with them. A lot of them referenced how attractive she is- actually calling her a MILF at one point. Am I the only one that doesn't really find her all that attractive? I really don't.

But that's neither here nor there. What REALLY struck me hysterical was this one. Because, of course, my first thought had absolutely zero to do with politics and everything to do with Robbie, Pierre and my amazing Canadian readers who keep us in moose sacrifices. I will clearly never think of moose the same way again. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


I don't have much of an update today except that Robbie is eating a TON. He was up every 2 hours most of the night. Then when I passed him over to David to try to get some sleep this afternoon, he mistunderstood and thought I said to get him up every 2 hours to eat- so he did. Robbie just rolled with it. And has been eating every 2 hours since then as well. We're going to fatten this kid up yet.

Since this is a pretty pointless post, I thought I'd add this offering.

A Robbie video! It's not especially exciting, but we were in the hospital and I was waiting on a bottle to warm. What else is a mom to do but to video the kiddo?
video

Saturday, September 13, 2008

15w

Sorry for the blog silence. Free time is quite a commodity these days.

David had to go out of town for a work conference, so my MIL came to help. That allowed me to sleep a few hours a day which was wonderful. I really almost cried when she left this morning.

David's very, very, very slowly getting the hang of taking care of Robbie. I nagged him for all the months in the hospital that he needed to learn to do things while we had the experts there to guide us along, but he just wouldn't do it. So now we muster through at home.

I'm not going to say it's been easy. I've been very resentful because he sleeps all night. Just last night he slept 10 hours in a row. I haven't slept 10 hours total in the last couple of days.

He said before he went to bed that he'd get up with Robbie, but it just didn't happen.

But this afternoon, I pretty much said "here ya go." and went to sleep for 2 hours. He managed. I know that the only way he's ever going to learn is by doing, so I'm trying really, really hard to reign in my OCD desire to just do it myself. It isn't hurting Robbie to cry for an extra 5 minutes while David figures out how to snap up a sleeper. Right?

In any case, the reflux battle continues. Ended up calling the doctor again yesterday because Robbie went back to not wanting to take his full feedings and when he tried to eat, he'd scream in pain.
This was after 2 days of adding the fortifier back to his breast milk.

I asked about maybe trying plain breast milk again or upping his dose of Pepcid and the on call pediatrician agreed.. try plain breast milk and if that doesn't help, up the Pepcid.

He's been taking more-than-full feeds of plain breast milk ever since. He's spit up a very small amount a couple of times.. so the reflux is still happening, but it doesn't seem to hurt as bad to spit up breast milk as it does to eat/spit up the fortified stuff.

Robbie not screaming is lovely. But now we go back to worrying about weight gain again. At his home health nurse visit on Thursday, he was 4lb 10oz again.
That's what he was last Saturday.

Now, granted, he had a day of refusing to eat, followed by a day of nothing but pedialyte.. and when we left the hospital on Tuesday, he was down to 4lb 8oz, so he'd gained a couple of ounce in a couple of days. But still, the trend isn't great.

He's now about 9 days adjusted age and less than 5lb. But I just don't know what else to do.

My next trick is going to be to try to give him one fortified bottle a day and see how that goes. Since it seems to take a couple of days for him to be really uncomfortable, maybe I can just sneak in a few extra calories/day. It's not much, but it's something.

Other than that, we're doing okay. I'm having the usual mom worries- is he sleeping too much? Am I interacting with him enough? What can I do to help him along? Am I good enough for him?

His heart monitor went off this morning during a feeding. Normally that wouldn't concern me too much except that there were no warning signs. Usually if that's going to happen, he swallowed wrong and he'll choke or gag or you can just feel it go down wrong.. but he was just munching away blissfully and the alarm sounded.

But I suppose that's why we have it. Thank Goodness for it.

Keep us in your thoughts. And maybe throw a moose on the spit. We need the weight again.

--Trish

PICTURES!!

Robbie's jail cell crib from the peds unit:


A nurse helps me get dressed!


I love my paci!


Nom-nom-nom! Yummy Thumb!


See my heart monitor strap and my G button? I hate 'em both.


Daddy loves me!


I surrender!


I still love my paci!


Pierre try to eat me again!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home- Part Deux

Well, we're back home again.

We follow up with the pediatrician next week and the GI specialist the week after that. And somewhere in there- the surgeon.

We have a prescription (A $171 prescription, I might add!) for liquid pepcid.

It's frustrating that we're fighting reflux after having had anti-reflux surgery, but it is what it is.

Robbie is eating MUCH better, sleeping MUCH better and generally life is going well. He did spit up once earlier, but it was a small amount and only the one time.

We also had our first experience with his home monitor going off. He had a brady right after we got home. It was resolved before I could even get to the monitor, but it still freaked me out. But I suppose thats why we have the monitor in the first place. We managed.

The worst part of the day was actually this morning when I found myself feeling like a piece of crap mother.

Robbie was up to eat about every 2 hours last night. I was relieved, mostly, because it was nice to see him eating. After he ate at 5, he was in a great- and very awake- mood. I was sitting in the hospital bed talking to him when the nurse came in to check on him. I told her he had eaten and was just wide awake. She asked if I'd like her to take him and I could go back to sleep. I hedged but then agreed. I knew we were coming home today and might be my last chance for sleep for a while.

When our pediatrician came for rounds, I commented that we had to get out of the hospital today because we were being threatened with a room mate. She said that was completely unacceptable. Then added "You have to get out of here because every nurse in the place wants to hold him. I came in and he's at the nurse's station. He doesn't need to be around all those people."

It honestly hadn't even occurred to me that the nurse taking him meant him being around "people." I'm so used to the isolation of the NICU that I just thought "oh good, a skilled, trustworthy person to look after him while I get some rest."

I felt horrible. And it's lingered all day. If he does get sick, I'm never going to forgive myself.

He seems fine, but it's really eaten at me all day. This isolation thing is harder than I expected. And I expected it to be hard.

Just be another in a long line of feeling not good enough to be his mom. Mommy guilt sucks.

For now, we soldier on. David's gone for a conference across the state for 3 days, so my MIL is here. Fortunately she's very good about helping w/o being in the way. She listens to what I say about Robbie and takes it seriously. And she's been good for David in helping him to adjust to parenthood as well. She's not perfect, but overall, I couldn't ask for much better.

Thanks for all the well wishes. Hopefully this trip home is the one that sticks.

--Trish

Monday, September 8, 2008

take 2, day 2

Well, the verdict seems to be: Reflux.

Now, I know what you're thinking- But Trish, he had a fundoplication which should stop reflux. He couldn't even burp 10 days ago.

Yep. You're right. Yet again, my boy defies the odds.

His labs showed he was a little bit dehydrated, so he got pumped FULL of fluids (IV and pedialyte) overnight. He did not appreciate the lack of food and screamed most of the night. At one point I was singing nonsense to him that including selling him to gypsies. Then my old infertile self came back and I felt terrible joking about giving my kid away and took it back.

But I was literally so tired that I cried and wondered if I was really cut out for this mom business.

A nurse took pity on me early this morning and took him out of the room for labs and feedings so I could sleep 4 hours and I feel like a new woman. That puts me up to about 16 hours of sleep in 5 days.

In any case, he got increasing amounts of pedialyte overnight and then our pediatrician rounded this morning and ordered an upper GI.

I went with him down the lab and fed him the barium in a bottle. I think he was just happy to have something that wasn't water and he gulped it up.

Then we sat and watched him reflux on the screen. Even I could see it. I prayed that I was seeing the tech rewind the tape and that wasn't REALLY barium going back up into his esophagus. Finally I asked "Is that the stuff coming back up?" "Yes."

So we came back to our room. That's when I got to sleep a little while.

The GI specialist came by and said that the fundo is still intact and in the right place, but he's getting around it anyway. So now we just treat him for reflux. Of course "just" treating for reflux sounds way simpler than it is. We get to incline him to sleep, hold him up after feeds, thicken his feeds, give him meds. He's been on IV Pepcid since last night. They pulled his IV today so now he's on oral Pepcid.

They say we can go home tomorrow.

So the good news is that he isn't sick. The bad news is that this is probably going to be a long battle.

But for now we'll count our blessings.

Also- I left Robbie with his dad for an hour and visited our friends in the NICU. I got a kick out of saying hi to Dr. C. He automatically said hi before he even looked up, and then when he glanced up to see who it was, he did a double take.

We're getting that a lot. We've run into several respiratory techs, his lactation consultant, his physical therapist and a couple of nurses. Everyone has the same shocked look. WHY ARE YOU HERE?

Reunions are nice, but only after you have time to miss people.

Here's to missing them all again soon!

--Trish

Sunday, September 7, 2008

35 miles back

Well... The place that people called our 2nd home that was really more like our 1st home until it became our former home is now our home again.

Yes, we're back in the hospital.

Before anyone starts sacrificing whales again, we're on a wait-and-see path.

The short version that short of the nearly debilitating lack of sleep I was suffering from, things were going swimmingly at home until yesterday. Robbie has decided he will only sleep while being held, but we were managed.

Then his G Tube started leaking AGAIN.
The home health nurse came yesterday and said it looked okay, he'd gained 4 ounces since being home and was generally thriving.

But then the G tube KEPT leaking. We were struggling to keep him warm enough as it was (finally resorted to a space heater in his room) so the fact that he was constantly wet was frustrating to say the least.

Then about 7:30 last night he didn't finish a bottle. Okay, 1 bottle a day that isn't complete is no big deal. But then he didn't finish the next. Or the next.

Finally today I called the pediatrician. He hasn't taken more than 30 cc (when he should be getting about 45) since last night. I expected the on call pedi to tell us to come in tomorrow- instead he sent us to the ER. He wanted to see if the G button needed a balloon adjustment. He'd call ahead and tell them we were coming.

We got to the ER and they were waiting on us. At in- I walked in and said that the pediatrician said he'd call ahead and before I could ask if we could wait somewhere away from all the sick people, the girl next to her said they were expecting us, they had a room and people waiting and to follow her.

We walked down the hall and there were literally about 5 people in a room waiting on us.

They got him stripped, attached to 100 monitors, asked 100 questions and called the surgeon. They decided to inflate his balloon a little more, have me feed him and see if it leaked.

Well, I fed him.. but before I could finish, he promptly vomited EVERYWHERE. Now, he shouldn't be able to puke at all- that was the point of the surgery, and this was a LOT of it. Down his blanket, soaked my pants, left a puddle in the floor.

That got us admitted. They decided that while he doesn't seem sick, dehydration is too easy and quick to happen in a baby Robbie's size.

On the way to the room, we passed one of the RTs from the NICU who gave us the "WHY ARE YOU HERE?" look. David explained.

About the time we got into our room, that RT and our favorite RT (the one that attended Robbie's birth) were in to visit. You could tell the doctor was confused about why we had to RTs in the room when she came to see us. I had to explain that Robbie is very popular. Such a burden.

In any case, the plan is basically IV pepcid, IV fluids, and slow increasing doses of pedialyte to see how it goes. He'll be getting his 2nd dose of pedialyte in the next half hour.

He'll also be getting more bloodwork because somehow the lab has lost our CBC. I won't even get into how frustrating that is, but what's done is done, so we go with it.

So far the worst thing is that they're tracking his temperatures closely- RECTALLY. Suffice it to say that Robbie is NOT a happy baby. Which makes me not a happy momma. I cried when they gave him his IV. I know I should be used to it by now, but he was crying that "I'm so very, very sad" cry and it just shreds my heart.

The good part is that as of right now, we're mostly here for observation- not really because he's sick-sick. He doesn't seem quite himself, so I'm worried and will be glad when we get the CBC back.

So for now we'll stick with prayers and good thought. But keep the whales at the ready.


--Trish

Friday, September 5, 2008


3 years
6 IUIs
2 lost angels
4 surgeries (3 of mine, 1 of his)
4.5 million sperm
A way too short 26 weeks
A way too long 96 days
Uncountable tears
Terrifying odds
3 OBs
2 REs
4 Neonatologists
hundreds of nurses
dozens of lab techs
several respiratory therapists
5 weeks of intubation
3 weeks of CPAP
A couple of panic attacks
Too many sleepless nights
Immeasurable prayers
All the love in the world




One remarkable Robbie.......at home



Rooming in:


Mommy got sleepy


Preparing to go:


We're on our way:


Finally home:


A real recliner!


My own bed:


In my own room:


In my own home:


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sorry the posts have been less regular. Things have been CUH-RAZY!

Robbie passed his car seat test yesterday with flying colors.

Today he had his pictures taken, which I'd love to post but I can't seem to get the growing family website to load tonight. We had a ton of visitors today. I felt kind of bad for the family of the baby next to us because we had a lot of people in and out. I did apologize and they seemed okay about it, laughing about Robbie being so popular. Just a side effect of living in the NICU for 3 months and being so darned adorable!

I had to learn to work his home heart monitor and tonight David and I took infant CPR.

We're rooming in- staying at the hospital. As I type, I'm sitting in my pajamas with my son asleep about 4' to my left.
Correction, He's now asleep on my chest. Life is good.

Tomorrow we head home.

It was a bittersweet day, really. While I'll love having Robbie at home, I'll miss all (well, okay- most) of the NICU staff and other parents. It's a very social environment. It was evidenced by all the people coming in to say goodbye today.

I even braved the ICU portion to tell a few people good-bye. Ran into one of the neonatologists (the one who thought I had PPD because I was crying when I had to go back to work) and he just seemed so genuinely excited that Robbie was getting to go home. I made lots of promises to visit and send pictures.

I tried to take a bunch of pictures, so you get some bonuses!

Hope you enjoy-

--Trish


Remember THIS snuggli?


Look at it now:


I know I'm cute!


This carseat test is a breeze!


Nurse Robin says goodbye:


Our night primary, Mindy:


RT Stephie:


The aptly named Joy:


Day primary Dara:


World's sweetest physical therapist:


World's best neonatologist- Dr. C!


Robbie's longtime roomie and BFF Gavin.. oh yeah.. and Mommies, too! (Note the awesome matching blankies!)