Tuesday, March 19

Home Sweet Home

Hunter's home.  :)  He came home on Sunday evening & he's settled right in.

I'm scared to talk about how good he is because... well, he's so good.  I know he's still in the sleepy newborn phase, but he has seriously mayyyybe cried for a total of 2 minutes in the past few days.  Total.  He's on a NICU schedule... but not really because he was always Ad Lib in the NICU, but he's eating pretty much every 3 to 4 hours on the dot.  (For an hour or more, but still, so easy.)

He's pretty much exclusively nursing.  He has to get a small bottle 1x a day with his iron & vitamin.  And I'm also nervous because I've always known how much my kiddos were eating so it's so hard not to really know.   (I'm so tempted to rent a baby scale!)  So, though he eats for what seems like forever and then he seems content and sleepy, I have snuck in a few smaller bottles just to be sure that he was getting some milk... a 20ml bottle last night and then his vitamin bottle today was 50ml (as opposed to the "needed" 10ml).  It's just so hard to not know that (or if) he's eating what he needs!

As far as nursing/pumping, I'm not sure exactly how to do that either!  With the girls I was so focused on getting my supply up to support the 2 of them that I focused much more on pumping than nursing.  Now I know I'm making more than enough, BUT with him eating sometimes 4 (or even 5) hours I'm afraid that my supply will drastically dwindle because I was pumping every 1.5 to 2 hours when he was in the NICU.  SO what I'm doing... I feed him then when he is satisfied I pump for 15 to 20 minutes.  Then I usually pump again another hour or so later.  Then he wakes up another hour or two later & the cycle starts again.  But part of me knows I don't need to pump... but the neurotic part of me that loves the numbers makes me pump... (and I already have about 70oz of frozen milk in the deep freezer...).

So... what were your solutions?  And how do you get over the need to know that you babe is getting all they need?  (He was up 2.5oz yesterday at his check up over his discharge weight, so I do know he's eating.)

Friday, March 15


Sunday at the earliest...

Thursday, March 14

10 Days :)

The Hunter Man...

Hunter's still hanging out in the NICU, but he's doing well.

I'm home with the 3 kiddos during the day so we only get in to the NICU after Johnny gets home- usually around 5 after the drive.  I've missed his feedings the past 3 days which is really upsetting.  I'm trying not to get too discouraged and to remember that he'll be home soon, but it's still frustrating.  I did manage to stay really late yesterday because I went in alone so I hit his later feeding before heading home which was nice.

He's on his 3rd day of the 5-day count.  He's set to break out on Saturday barring no dsats, bradies, or other craziness.  He'll take his car seat test on Friday night, so hopefully he can hold his own.

He was up over 5 pounds on Wednesday.  He's just perfect.

The Others Post-Baby

The first days back home with the kiddos were hard.  Colby especially was having a really hard time.  He is thrilled to have a baby brother & loves Hunter (so far), but he had such a hard time with me being gone for most of last week.  Monday when Hunter was born Johnny and I were out the door the second my mom got here at 9am and it was clear to Colby that something wasn't "right".  Then for the next 4 days he was watched & put to bed by my parents or Johnny-- when it has always, always, always been me.  He was just a little bit of a mess-- yelling at the girls, hitting, saying no... just not "Colby" things.  Once this week started and it's been me and him and the girls ("normal") he has been so, so, so much better.  I'm thinking he'll do fine once Hunter comes home, but we'll see.

Sydney and Zoe... they're just themselves.  Sydney is a total diva/drama queen/trouble maker.  There is no other way to put it.  She is trouble.  She has her sweet moments-- which are actually more plentiful than her trouble moments, but when he's in a mood, watch out!  We are NOT going to survive the teenage years with this girl.

Zoe is sweet as pie.  She can throw a tantrum, but in much a different way than Syd.  Syd will flip out if you give her the wrong cup and cry and scream for a LONG time.  Instead Zoe gets over her tantrums really quickly-- and they're almost always related to being made to stop climbing.  (This girls has places to go)  She's turned into such a cuddler latey & I love it.  Her favorite thing is to sit and stroke my hair.

All I can say with those two... having Hunter home can go either way.  I'm expecting Zoe to be kind of oblivious to it because she's always just doing her own thing or playing with Colby.  Sydney... I'm expecting a bit of a mess just because she's drama.

Sunday, March 10

One week

1 week post baby...

Tomorrow I'm venturing alone with the kiddos.  Johnny's back to work to save up time, so 1 week post surgery I'm on.  I'm ready.  Ha.  I think.

So, one week out...

I'm feeling very much like I did after the birth of the boys-- but interestingly I don't remember feeling this way after the girls.  I'm feeling a bit sad that the pregnancy is over.  I'm feeling sad that I'm not feeling kicks anymore.  I wasn't ready for this pregnancy to be over.   I wasn't ready to say I'm done.  So I'm struggling with that.

It's killing me that he's in the NICU.  Again... I didn't feel like this with the girls.  I'm not sure if it was because I was so sick with the blood clot & infection or if it was just because I so expected them to end up in the NICU, but I was more "okay" with them being the NICU.  But having Hunter in the NICU is so trying.  He's doing well, but still drifting & spelling and still stuck there and there's just nothing to do.  And it's so hard to come up with time to visit because of the other three.  Blah... stress.  Nothing new.

But yes, my baby is 1 week old.  ONE WEEK OLD.  I cannot believe that he's already been out of me so long.  He's absolutely adorable and precious and sweet and calm and perfect.

Post-baby plans... oh I don't know.  And I think that's why I'm feeling so sad.  I have to face the reality that this might be the last baby.  I've mentioned the fact that prematurity weighs heavily on that thought.  But there's more.  This c-section (3rd, remember?) revealed some pretty significant scarring.  My bladder was adhered to my uterus because of scarring & the doctor had to make a new incision in the muscle of the uterus because of that.  I've been told that for the next baby -- assuming we have one -- I cannot labor at all.  My chances of uterine rupture is insanely high right now.  It should go down with time, so 4, 5, 6 years out?  Maybe then.  But right now we have to be very careful.  I just don't know!  

But then again I should spend my time enjoying Hunter because he is so amazing and I'm so excited for my life with him.  :)

Saturday, March 9


I mentioned last post that I was just feeling defeated.

Today was a hard day.  As was yesterday.

My biggest thing right now is that I just feel like I'm against a wall and there is no way I can see around it.  When we started infertility treatments I got upset with failures, but I never felt "out" because we always had something to try next.  IUI with clomid.  THen IUI with injections.  Then IVF.

Same thing when we started having kids.  The boys were 27 weekers, but there were way to get further.  So the next time we were blessed with twins we added the cerclage.  And it gained 7 weeks & 2+ pounds per babe.  It seemed like the trick really worked, we would have preferred fullterm, but instead I got twins in the NICU for less than 2 weeks and also who stayed inside 7 weeks longer than their brothers.  Then this time with Hunter's pregnancy the difference was one baby.  The cerclage + one baby should have gained us so much, right?  But it only got us a week.  I was so sure that we'd be NICU/prematurity free.  The last thing I wanted was another premature baby because my body can't cooperate.

So now I'm at that wall and defeated.  Say we want baby #6.  What can we do differently?  Last I checked you can't have fewer than 1 kid at a time.  And we already added the cerclage so that would be a part of the next equation anyways.  The way I see it (in my defeated view right now) is that there isn't anything we can do differently.  That to have more kids is to subject them to the NICU and prematurity and ourselves to heartache.  And that's a hard pill to swallow.  Can I do that to another baby?  Can I do that to myself?  Right now it seems and feels almost too selfish to even contemplate.

And then there are other little stupid things making me crack.  Like Colby being so excited to see his brother, but the NICU's flu policy right now is keeping him out.  Or that the pump my insurance covered this time isn't a hospital grade pump like I had with the boys and girls & instead it's loud and gets nothing out.  Or that I can't even pick up my girls or Colby because of my incision.

Friday, March 8

Welcome back, Hunter

The little man and I were ready to BREAK OUT today.
I've been here 4 days, he's been here 4 days.
He's been in my room since Wednesday.
He's been doing great.
I miss my kiddos at home in a BIG way.

We were just ready.

But then little man, aka Hunter, decides that he doesn't want to anymore.

Instead, he goes to take his carseat test in his lovely purple carseat (remnant of the girls, but I wasn't buying a new 4 lb carseat!)

And I get a call a little while later telling me that he failed.  Seriously??  I didn't know kids actually FAILED those things.  Although he's seemed fine, he dsat-ed in the seat (his O2 dropped) once.  Then thinking it was a fluke they decided to try again, but this time he dsat-ed again- this time an "I'll turn blue" dsat.

All that won him was a big ole failure and a one way trip back upstairs to the NICU.  Where he must stay for at least 5 days because we have a 5-day rule around here about dsats and bradies.

Then last night he decided it would be fun to let his heart rate drift too.

Sigh.  Big ole Sigh.

I was devastated when they called because I just wanted it to work so badly and for once it did, but now I'm in a much more normal place.  It stinks, but it is what it is and if I have to choose between having him home & exclusively breastfeeding, but having him dsat and struggle OR have him here and give up my control, of course I'm going to do that.

But this whole birth has been a trying experience.  I thought with one baby & the cerclage I would get so much more time with him inside.  I was so hopeful we'd get to April 2nd, but I knew we probably wouldn't.  But I though that I would definitely get more than just an extra week from when the girls were born.  It's almost more frustrating that with the girls or the boys.  I'm kind of feeling defeated like there is no way my body can do this.

I wanted to have another child-- and I still do-- but now I'm not so sure I want to go through this all again or put another baby through it all.  It's comforting, but also not right that everyone in the NICU knows us by name, that we don't have to tell them anything when we walk in, that they can ask "How are the other 3 at home?" and say "Oh I think he looks just like Sydney when she was born"

But there you go... baby still in the NICU & me questioning the status of our future.

Just another Friday.  :)

Thursday, March 7

Hunter Jacob

Meet Hunter Jacob.  Mr. No Name no longer.  :)

Hunter finally got a name yesterday evening.  We'd been tossing around Hunter for the longest time so I'm not surprised we came back to it.  If Sydney were a boy she would have been Hunter.  We went back and forth this time with Owen and Landon and Hudson and just about every boys name there is in this world.  We narrowed it down to Owen and Hunter and let Colby choose the final outcome.  Then middle names were impossible too!  We went with Jacob because Colby really wanted Jake like Jack and the Neverland Pirates and I not a a fan of "nickname" names (or what I perceive to be nicknames!) so we went with the "longer version" and got Jacob.

Yesterday afternoon Hunter broke free of the NICU!  He was doing great with everything, so down he came!  Around 2pm he came into my room & didn't leave until about 1am.  I was constantly pumping and feeding, but I am getting ZERO from pumping right now.  I got a little in the beginning, but it's been hours and hours (like almost 48) since I really got anything.  It's so discouraging.  So I was hoping he was getting something, but at 1 they had to take him to get vitals checked and they found that his blood sugar was a tad low.  So they kept him there and gave him the tinnny bit I had pumped before.  And then they ended up having to supplement with formula.  I was a little disappointed about that, but really, in the end I wanted him fed not starving because I need to dictate everything.

Yesterday afternoon three cuties came to visit this baby brother too.

I didn't get pictures of just Colby & Hunter because I was trying to protect my incision and Hunter, but oh my goodness, Colby is So in love I can't stand it.  And not in the "this is interesting" way that he was with the girls.  This boy was just BURSTING at the seams and SO proud of "his baby".  

Zoe was pretty "meh" about the whole thing.  She came into my room & went and played near the window, happy as a clam.  And that was it.  :)  She peeked around at Hunter a few times and came and sat with me, but all in all, she was pretty uninterested.

Sydney kept pointing at Hunter and saying "the baby".  She liked to sit in my lap and pat his head (and then his eyes and nose and mouth).  She seems to like him more in the "that's interesting" way that Colby regarded the girls.

My in-laws came to visit today.  Can you spell awkward?  Johnny's plan was to have a "sit down" with them about babyshower/purposely hurting me thing (because it has become so much more than the shower) but that was this weekend & we obviously didn't get there so he tried to be the bigger person and invited them to meet Hunter.  I tried to be the bigger person and to be civil and to let them hold Hunter.  But ... I don't know what I expected.  An apology?  Something?  It was so awkward.  His mom said maybe 4 words to me and though the shower was brought up (my older brother was visiting too and he asked something) there wasn't even a glimmer of saying anything.  And then they left and she stood across the room and said "Bye" and that was it.  It was just so weird.  So weird.  Johnny's dad seemed to be a little clueless about the whole thing because he talked more, but at the same time, he made it clear to Johnny earlier that he 100% sided with Johnny's mom, so it was still a little odd.

Anyways.  It's quarter past 5 & I'm finishing up pumping.  Once again I got pretty much nothing, but even a drop at this point is an improvement.  

Crossing my fingers...
1. Hunter stays down instead of having to go back to the NICU
2. I start to pump more
3. I start to really be able to take on feeding this boy
4. My incision starts to hurt SO MUCH less ... because OUCH right now.

Tuesday, March 5


Little no name!

Yes, yes it's a picture of a picture stolen from Johnny's facebook because this is the first free minute I've had since everything started yesterday.

But Little No Name is a boy & was born yesterday evening at 5pm via repeat c-section at 35 weeks 2 days.  The cerclage bought us 1 extra week from the girls, but he is just amazing, amazing, amazing.

He was 4lbs 14oz, 17.75 inches & perfect.

Did I say amazing?

I've been pretty convinced we were going to go all the way with this one.  My cervix was closed and hard & perfect every scan.  Nothing had changed.  I wasn't contracting much.  But then Saturday I did start to feel a little "off".  I thought I had dropped... but I don't really have a clue.  Just a "feeling".  I was having a lot of pressure and you know... I was pregnant.  :)  We had decided not to take out the stitch until D-day unless something major happened, so I had that reassurance too.

But I woke up on Monday morning with a bit of pain & went to the bathroom and there was blood.  Like lots of it.  After hyperventilating a bit (I was so hoping for a 36 weeker at least... so there would be the possibility of no NICU time) I got set into motion.  I called the hospital because it was just a tad too early to call my doc, called Johnny, called my mom and we finally hit the road a bit later.

At the hospital I was checked and was contracting every 2-3 minutes though the contractions were short.  They did an exam & found that the blood was all coming from my tearing stitch- no surprise there, so a quick snip and the stitch was gone.

The contractions increased but they hooked me to an IV in hopes of stopping them to get me a little further.  After 2 hours the contractions hadn't stopped but my cervix hadn't changed either so more waiting.  Then around 3 I had changed to 2 cm dilated, so I was in full labor & the OR was prepped and the rest is history!

Last night he was on the CPAP in the NICU with an IV.  Today he was off the CPAP and had NO oxygen requirements.  His IV ended this afternoon.  He's only breastfeeding... did I say amazing?

If things stay the way they are (fingers crossed) with no spells, bradies, dsats & he continues to take all feeds by mouth then he will be down in the regular nursery TOMORROW.  Did you read that???  I'll have a baby in the regular NURSERY.  Or I COULD.  But the possibility is so amazing that it's almost enough in and of itself.   (Almost)

So that's that.  :)

Maybe a shower.

Friday, March 1

Not unexpected

Surprise, surprise.  I didn't need to reserve judgement on my mother-in-law.

Her reasons for bailing on the shower?
1. She got the invite late and her feelings were hurt.  And I guess she got her bridal shower invite late (back in 2006) & also her other baby shower invite late (back in 2009).  And so her feelings have been perpetually hurt by this.  Because apparently we all have control over the mail?

2. My mom didn't check the date with her.  I guess in my Mother-in-law's family everyone checks every date before hand before scheduling a party.  So the fact that my mom didn't call ahead of time was a blow to her.  And if my mom did call ahead of time then she would have known that 2 of my MIL's sisters couldn't go to the party.  ?  So was my mom supposed to schedule and reschedule because of this?

3. "Tradition" states that you only have one shower.  And my MIL doesn't believe in multiple showers for the same person.  Which I get, but then why even bring up grievances 1 & 2 if your response would have just been "I don't believe in this"?

Anywho... I'm hurt.  Really hurt and honestly ready to say that this is IT.  I don't think I've said too much on this subject, but suffice to say that since I started dating Johnny she has come across as the most controlling and selfish person I have ever known.  It's bothered me and made lots of situations uncomfortable but it's Johnny's mom so I dealt (kind of).  I distanced myself and let Johnny visit a lot without me but I was always always civil when we were together.

But now I'm more hurt and really angry because she didn't just hurt me.  Instead she hurt my mom by saying that my mom was doing this stuff on purpose (mail?  seriously??), she stuck it to her unborn grandchild (whom you know she'll want to meet the second I'm out of the OR... yeah right... not now.  I don't want her there.  Period.), stuck it to my whole family, and made herself look like a complete ass in front of everyone.

Doesn't she realize that she looks like a complete child?  If you don't want to come, fine.  But if you have to, lie why.  Don't turn it into "I got the invite later than everyone else & you didn't talk to me first & you shouldn't be even having a shower."  And then don't not talk to us for days until you decide to call and say "Hey, do you want to get together this weekend?"  Because, yes, the answer to that one was a big fat no.

Well, enough on that one for now...


Baby sounded great on Wednesday.  Dr. K is leaning toward leaving the stitch in until D-day!  I'm so happy about that one.  I wasn't looking forward to the removal process & also I know that almost as soon as the stitch is taken out I'm likely to go into labor.  Sooo it will be nice not to really worry about it.  Of course I still have to be on the look out for contractions or blood.  Frequent contractions will lead to the removal anyways.... though the stitch tore a bit last time and I had zero signs, so this might not all keep it from tearing anyways.

I go on Thursday of next week for a growth check & EFW check.  It'll be the last ultrasound to recheck because of the two vessel cord.  (Still perplexing, but still also... oh well!)  Then I'm weekly after that.  I'm 35 weeks tomorrow.  35 WEEKS!

The countdown is officially on and I am so ready.