Tuesday, July 28
Monday, July 27
One week ago tomorrow at 7:02am we lost Connor. He was laying in my arms as he passed. I can't figure out how it's been so long already. Or how I'm going to make it though this. I know I'm not the same and I won't be the same... but I don't know where I'm supposed to be heading or what is supposed to happen to me. It's so hard to think of moving on.
You see on tv and in movies that people are afraid that they're forgetting their loved one who died. I already feel that like sometimes. I'm so afraid that I'm losing Connor. We only had him for 2 days... so pictures are few and far between. Memories are the occasional touch in the isolette and the kicks inutero. So I feel like I'm forgetting him already. Right now I'm making a daily newsletter for Colby and I feel like I should be including Connor in it somehow, but I don't know how to. Bleh. It just stinks.
I'm still at a stage where I cannot believe that it's already been over a week that I had the little guys. The whole day was such a blur... the contractions, rushing to L&D, the emergency section, the recovery... everything. It came and went so quickly and at the end of the day I had two tiny baby boys struggling for their lives. Of course I wanted to know why. Did I do something wrong? Did I do too much? Did I really have an infection that forced the guys to come out and made Connor sick? It was a surreal day, but at the end of it, I had two beautiful babies. I immediately missed their little kicks. As I was laying in the recovery room that was the first thing I thought of... how much I missed those little nudges. However, when I got up to the NICU to see them and I saw them doing their little leg and arm stretches it was even greater than the nudges (though I still desperately miss them).
Monday was a great day... I was finally able to get out of bed. I was still in a ton of pain, but it didn't stop me from getting down to see the babies several times. I was terrified to touch them.. I didn't want to hurt the little guys. It hurt to be watching them and to not be able to take care of them, but I knew they were in good hands. They were both showing improvements in their own ways. They were both looking so good.
We went to bed on Monday with reassuring news... things were looking up and they were getting ready for the "next steps" for the both of them. We couldn't wait. Then there was that fateful 4am wake up call to get to the NICU because Connor wasn't doing well. The speed that Kristy wheeled my wheelchair told us that something was seriously, seriously wrong. And we all know the rest.
But like I said, it's still so surreal. I can't believe that I'm a mommy to two boys. I can't believe that they're so tiny. I can't believe that Connor passed away. I can't believe that we had to say goodbye to Connor already. I can't believe that I am in constant fear that something will happen to Colby. I just can't believe that anything in the past week happened. And that terrifies me. I've had so many breakdowns already, but I still don't think I understand the enormity of everything that has happened. I'm afraid that it's going to crash into me one of these days. Litt
Sunday, July 26
I have wanted to be a mom for as far back as I can remember. My brother Matt is only about a year younger than I am. From very early I took it upon myself to be his surrogate mother. My dad used to say “He’ll never learn if you always do it for him!” It drove my dad crazy. I didn’t care though—I loved taking care of Matt. Over the years many things changed—Matt could do things for himself, but I still wanted to help and take care of him. It was in me. Matt was my substitute until I could have a child of my own.
From the very beginning I knew that Johnny wanted children just as badly as I did. It was such a huge factor for us. So, when Johnny and I found out we were expecting on February 7th (I could tell you the time, what I ate that day, and how I was feeling), we were elated that our wishes were coming true. The dream became even greater when we found out on March 3rd that we weren’t expecting one baby—we were expecting two!!
Immediately Johnny and I were thrilled. Maybe thrilled isn’t the right word. Lots of people are scared when they find out that they’re having a baby. Things change—their lives will be different, they will have to dedicate their energy away from themselves. We didn’t care. That’s what we WANTED. We loved talking about the future… baseball games, family trips, mini vans—yes, I actually want one! I don’t care if it’s a “mom mobile”… that’s what I want!
We wanted it all WITH these little guys and we wanted it all FOR these little guys. Everyone else who loved them did too. I guess we still do.
A few weeks later we were thrilled—and a bit surprised—to learn that we were having two boys. Immediately Johnny and I agreed on the name Connor for our first little boy.
Besides getting married and having kids, it was one of the easiest decisions we made. There was not discussion. And if you know Johnny and I … you know it is rare when we agree on things immediately. From that moment on Baby A became Connor. He had a name and he was loved more than many people are in their whole lives.
Eventually I started feeling the little guys kick. The feeling was incredible. I’d stop things just to wait for a little nudge. I sat at school with my hand on my stomach as I read stories to my class. I wonder if my students noticed that I would smile at completely random times when the guys were saying hi. If I had a bad day, I’d ride the whole way home with my hand on my stomach going way too slow. It never got old.
As things progressed over the past few weeks and I ended up on bed rest, I tried to keep a positive attitude. But to be honest, there were only 2 things that could keep my truly happy and make me smile even when I felt miserable. One was to hear their little heartbeats on the Doppler and the other was to feel their little kicks. It was a reminder of why I was there and what I was pulling for. It was Connor and Colby’s way of telling me that things would be okay.
And it was. As they entered the world on July 19th—a lot early and a little impatiently—I was elated. Again, I don’t think elated is the right word here. But it will have to do. Hearing the first cries, kissing their little heads, and seeing the joy on Daddy’s face are all things I won’t forget.
Nor will I forget the precious 43 hours we got with Connor. He gave me the ultimate gift- my ultimate desire—I was a mom. But even better… I was HIS mom.
Now, taken too soon, it hurts to say goodbye. I can’t pretend that I completely understand why we had to say goodbye so soon. My first baby, Colby’s big brother, will always be missed. The will never forget those sweet features- the crinkly ears, those tiny toes, the dark hair, or those big blue eyes just working to take everything in.
But mostly I won’t forget the love I have for him. The love I’ve had since long before I knew him.
At closing, I just want to say that Connor will be forever loved. He was a dream come true. His life, although brief, was so important and meaningful to his daddy, brother, and I. There was no shortage of love in his life, I promise you that.
If you have read all of this, then you deserve an update on Colby. :) Right now he's doing great... he's eating with a feeding tube in addition to his IV nutrients. He's on the CPAP instead of the ventilator (GREAT day!!). We've gotten to hold him once. We can hear his cries now! He's starting to regulate his own body temp. He has no more blue light for the jaundice! Overall, he's a cutie who made it to 28 weeks yesterday! Here's to MANY, MANY more!!
Things didn't work that way. We tried on our own until September 2007 and then began receiving help at a local Fertility Clinic. Cycles started in January of 2008. February 2008 yielded a chemical pregnancy and a small glimmer of help. Failures of Timed Intercourse and Clomid/IUI followed until October of 2008 when two wonderful lines appeared on the test. Our happiness was short lived when a repeat Beta showed that my levels were not increasing as they should. On November 1, 2008 I miscarried our first child.
After a small break, we continued with Injectable IUI's, received more failures and then, after a heightened response in January 2009, our IUI was converted to an IVF. 8 eggs were retrieved, 6 were mature, 3 fertilized, and 2 cleaved. On January 27th, 2009 2 beautiful embryos were transfered. On February 7th the beautiful double lines appeared again and on March 3rd two beautiful beating hearts appeared on the ultrasound machine.
My blissful pregnancy progressed. I feel in love with my belly and my two growing boys.
Time stopped on June 22nd when I visited my High Risk OB and it was discovered that my cervix was dangerously short. I was in danger of having my beautiful boys at only 23 weeks 2 days and was immediately put on strict hospital bed rest at home, with the intent of entering the hospital at 23 weeks 6 days.
I spent the next 4 weeks in the hospital and remained perfectly boring. Ultrasounds came back wonderful, monitoring revealed amazing babies, and I remained stable. On Friday, July 17th at 26 weeks 6 days my cervix was checked and I was discovered to be only 1 cm dilated, long, and semi-closed. The results were so encouraging that I was going to be released to home bed rest at 28 weeks.
However, the world crashed when, on Sunday, July 19th, at 27 weeks 1 day, I woke up to intense pain. Only after trying to ease the pain in the shower did I realize that I was contracting. Nurses and doctors were called, I was hooked up to machines, and after learning I was dilated to 6cm it was determined that labor could not be halted and that my precious boys would be born that morning. I was terrified and prayed that my boys would be delivered safely.
The morning was a blur, and before I knew it, I was in the OR and my two boys were delivered via emergency C-section. Connor graced the world with his presence at 11:56am at 2lbs 9oz. His baby brother Colby followed 2 minutes later at 11:58am at 2lbs 3oz.
Both boys thrived that first day. They were beautiful. I was in a daze, but they were perfect. We had a long hard road ahead of us, but we were ready to take it on together.
Monday, July 20th we visited with the boys, enjoyed their lives, and prayed that little Connor's body would heal. He was fighting an infection, high blood pressure, a PDA, breathing issues, and potential bleeding on the brain. The problems were under control and the head ultrasound was scheduled for the next morning.
He would never get to it.
On Tuesday, July 21st we were awoken at 4am by my favorite nurse with the news that Connor was not doing well. We were rushed to Connor's side in the NICU where he was fighting for his life. His ventilator was no longer sufficient, a nurse was bagging him, and his heart rate and oxygen saturation were dipping dangerously low. Over and over and over again.
Finally, after 3 transfusions, a few attempts back on the ventilator, tears, and heartache we made the difficult decision to let Connor pass in our arms. At 7:08am, after only 43 hours, we said goodbye to our first born son.
It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through.
We said goodbye to Connor 4 days later in a small ceremony attended by friends and family Connor's ashes sit in a small heart box on our bureau.
Colby continued to grow in the NICU. After a few trips back and forth to the ventilator, CPAP, and nasal cannula, Colby was finally oxygen free 3 months after birth. Apnea spells kept him in the hospital until he finally proved that he could maintain breathing and his heartrate on his own. At 109 days old we were finally able to take our baby home.
Since being home, Colby has thrived. He is active, happy, and surprisingly meeting every milestone and challenge before him. He has never shown any problems with his lungs, breathing, eyesight, or hearing- all common preemie issues.
At 24 weeks an ultrasound showed a slightly shortened cervix so I was taken out of work and placed on modified bedrest/restricted activity. Three weeks later, at just over 27 weeks, on April 8th, an ultrasound showed that my cervix had shortened considerably. I was immediately admitted into the hospital and given betamethazone for the babies lungs. I remained on strict hospital bedrest for 3 weeks and was released on April 28th to home bedrest.
I continued regular monitoring- the babies still looked great- until my water broke at 34weeks 1day just after 2am on May 25th. We immediately headed to the hospital and at 6:20am and 6:21am Sydney Hope and Zoe Elizabeth entered the world. Sydney weighed 4lbs 10oz and Zoe weighed 4lbs 10.8oz Despite their 6 week-early arrival both girls were born incredibly healthy.
A few days after their birth I developed another infection and remained on antibiotics for over 3 days. A CAT Scan revealed a large blood clot on a vein leading from my right ovary. I was placed on a regimen of twice daily lovenox injections to break up the clot. I was released from the hospital one week after the girls birth on June 1st.
Zoe remained in the NICU for 11 days perfecting her eating and Sydney remained in the NICU for 13 days- only held back by a pesky apnea spell 5 days previously.
Now both girls are home, happy, healthy and incredibly cute. I am so grateful for the amazing doctors that helped to make them a reality.
Saturday, July 25
Wednesday, July 22
Sunday, July 19
Friday, July 17
Tuesday, July 14
|26 weeks||14.02 inches||1.68 pound||35.6 cm||760 grams|
|27 weeks||14.41 inches||1.93 pound||36.6 cm||875 grams|
|28 weeks||14.80 inches||2.22 pounds||37.6 cm||1005 grams|
|29 weeks||15.2 inches||2.54 pounds||38.6 cm||1153 grams|
|30 weeks||15.71 inches||2.91 pounds||39.9 cm||1319 grams|
|31 weeks||16.18 inches||3.31 pounds||41.1 cm||1502 grams|
|32 weeks||16.69 inches||3.75 pounds||42.4 cm||1702 grams|
|33 weeks||17.20 inches||4.23 pounds||43.7 cm||1918 grams|
|34 weeks||17.72 inches||4.73 pounds||45 cm||2146 grams|
|35 weeks||18.19 inches||5.25 pounds||46.2 cm||2383 grams|
|36 weeks||18.66 inches||5.78 pounds||47.4 cm||2622 grams|
|37 weeks||19.13 inches||6.30 pounds||48.6 cm||2859 grams|
|38 weeks||19.61 inches||6.80 pounds||49.8 cm||3083 grams|
|39 weeks||19.96 inches||7.25 pounds||50.7 cm||3288 grams|
|40 weeks||20.16 inches||7.63 pounds||51.2 cm||3462 grams|
Monday, July 13
Total weight gain/loss: Today I weighed in at less than 20 lbs gained. I may have lost some being on bedrest the past 3 weeks.
Maternity clothes? Maternity pjs
Stretch marks? Yes... and my parents bought me coco butter to slather all over them. :)
Sleep: Some nights are better than others!
Best moment this week: Last week was a very uneventful week which was nice.
Movement: They love to move. They spend their time trying to kick off the monitor every day. That's when they go crazzzy.
Food cravings: Coffee ice cream. Yum!
Gender: 2 boys
Labor Signs: Occasional contractions that I have been told are fine. They still make me nervous though.
Belly Button in or out? In-between-ie
What I miss: Being self-sufficient.
What I am looking forward to: Another great ultrasound and more uneventful weeks. July 25 makes 28 weeks!
Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy every minute.
Milestones: 26 weeks... under 100 days. :)
Sunday, July 12
Saturday, July 11
Friday, July 10
Wednesday, July 8
Tuesday, July 7
Monday, July 6
Total weight gain/loss: No idea... I haven't been weighed in forever.
Maternity clothes? Maternity pjs
Stretch marks? Holy cow they are here. They are big and pink and they hurt. Is that normal? The combo of the ultrasound goo (used 4-5 times a day), rubbing it off, and my sensitive skin is painful. They're only on the underside though... I can only see them when Johnny takes a picture of me
Sleep: Not enough, but I'm hanging in there.
Best moment this week: Having things calm down after the scare last week.
Movement: They love to kick! Usually they're really active every other day and 7pm is their play time.
Food cravings: Anything... I'm always hungry! :)
Gender: 2 boys
Labor Signs: Well, aside from the short, semi-open cervix, I'm doing okay. Contractions have pretty much ceased and I'm feeling good.
Belly Button in or out? In-between-ie
What I miss: Doing things for myself. Walking around.
What I am looking forward to: Meeting the babies in a LONG time. :)
Weekly Wisdom: I don't really have anything. Do what you're told, I guess. :)
Milestones: 25 weeks. We're steroid-ed up. They're still doing great... it's all pretty important, right?