29 December 2007

Almost Home

We finally broke down in the form of two emotional outbursts, one per parent over the last 24 hours. Chase was given permission to be discharged from the NICU on good behavior ( :-) ). He's able to regulate his temp, eating very well, taking his pheno barb once daily, on room air, with great vitals, normal head circumference (yay for now) as well as a ton of other good things. We were invited to "room in" last night just for a few more hours of observation and to teach us how to administer his meds and to give us some "educational materials" on how to tell if Chase seizes (it's super hard in an infant, btw!).
The night went well, Chase fed great and no alarms went off (they are sooo loud). We both had problems sleeping and are exhausted today. As of now, we are staying one more night in Birmingham with family and then we will be back in Montgomery as of tomorrow afternoon.
Chase will continue to see both a neurologist and a neuro surgeon as well as his regular pediatrician. He will receive more than frequent head measurements which would indicate additional blood that would then need to be addressed. He has the ability to break down the blood in his head currently but if that doesn't happen, or he begins to clot, he will need a shunt to remove the blood and pressure. He will remain on the seizure meds for awhile.. if he doesn't seize he could go off them at the age of 2. Other than that, it's a waiting game again to see if and when he begins breaking down the blood. Frequent MRI's and CAT scans will help the neuro surgeons determine the best course of action for us and our little man.
Conner is doing well. He's really been through the ringer but has proved to both Michael and I that he is one strong dude. We really have missed being with him over the Christmas holiday since we've had to split our time up so much. But now, life will be getting back to a more normal state. I remember telling Conner the night before I was induced that I was truly sorry, but his world was about to be flipped on it's head... partially joking... and now that's proven to be the case. I just pray God gives us the strength to do the best for him and make him feel as loved as he is.
So thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for all the prayer and best wishes. In times of need, it is wonderful to see those who love you build a safety net of support... and without that we would have never made it through the last 8 days. We both love you all dearly and promise to keep you updated.

23 December 2007

Life in the NICU

Life in the NICU
As of now, baby Chase is in the NICU at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. We too are in Birmingham and staying with family, although we are mostly in the NICU. Conner is here with us as well.
Chase has not had a seizure in over 24 hours, since leaving Montgomery after being flown to Birmingham via emergency helicopter. Until this morning, Chase was being treated symptomatically for the seizures and associated breathing problems (due to his high doses of pheno barb - a seizure medication). Now, we have the results from an MRI/MRA (a vascular MRI) of the brain and Chase has been diagnosed with Sinus Venous Thrombosis. This means he has a blood clot in the vessel known as the Sinus Venus that runs down the top of the brain. The pressure causes the seizures and bleeding. They are running genetic tests to determine if this is a long term problem or if this was just a one in a million fluke. We will know more later, but he will soon be able to start receiving nurioushment (in the form of pumped milk from me) via feeding tube, which is great news to me. However, in an infant there is nothing that can be done currently for the clot, as medication would cause more than excessive bleeding. For now, it's the waiting game for all of us.
MIchael is doing well and is doing night shifts at the NICU from about 2 a.m. - 5 a.m. in addition to the other hours we are putting in. I was discharged early to come to Birmingham and am trying to do the best I can physically. Emotionally, we are holding strong and are heartbroken that we can't be with our angel (both our angels) 24/7.
We are asking that you please keep our little man in your thoughts and prayers and we want you all to know we really appreciate all the great things you are doing for us now. We want our baby home and healthy... and prayer is the only thing we have right now.

With Love,

19 December 2007

Good to the Last Drama

In the spirit of my pregnancy, my last OB appointment today went from normal to not. I arrived on time and my nurse started my appointment with a blood pressure measurement. She checked my right arm first, made a face... then asked me to turn so she could check the other arm... same result apparently. My bottom number was high... and I've always had "perfect" BP. So, on the scale I went, 4 lb gain in one week: yowza. Baby's heartrate was normal. So, as she packed her things and left the room she mentions in passing "Oh, Dr. Griggs will be right in and then you'll probably be off to OB triage...". Great... just great.

So, Griggs came in and we discussed how I've been feeling, which for the record, I've felt like I was in slow motion for 3 days now and the swelling in my legs and feet has been absurd.. and I normally don't swell. I've had 2 instances in which I've seen spots, but only for a minute or two. He decided to send me off to the hospital for blood work and monitoring.

I tried to calmly talk Michael into staying home with Conner, to which he finally caved and did (it was nap time). At the OB triage, I met an AWESOME nurse named Gayle (she spells it right, yay!) who told me that if ANYTHING looked abnormal, I'd be staying. Lots of blood work and monitoring later (plus an IV line... grrr), I was released although my BP had spiked once and contractions were present. Apparently, Dr. Griggs would not be able to deliver me that night personally, so 20 hours of waiting was going to be our game plan. Personally, I think it was a bad choice medically, but I did get to come home and do things as we had originally planned.

Now, we are a medical induction and will not be bumped unless there are a ton of other people needing to be induced and all of those have more serious medical conditions.

I would have to say that somewhere in me, I believe something else isn't "right"... and that all the problems I've had this pregnancy are starting to show their true colors - letting the doctors and nurses actually SEE what I've been telling them all along. So, here's to a safe, non-painful and stress-free delivery... and a happy baby boy!

13 December 2007

And Then There Were 3...

Only 3 people in the family NOW but as of next Thursday/Friday, there will be 4 of us!!! FINALLY, it appears we will be induced... baby is small but healthy... weighing in around the very low 6's... my guess is a 6 lb. 2 ouncer. We've been waiting on the weight to get a little higher, and at 36 weeks, he weighed 5 lbs. and a few ounces. Now, he is a little bigger and stronger and VERY ready to come home with us for Christmas!
We hope to not get bumped (PLEASE PRAY HARD THAT WE DON'T!!!!!!!!!!) as to avoid still being in the hospital on Christmas Eve. It would break my heart not to be with Conner at our house on Christmas! So, that's our story for now. I'll update if it changes.

Now... if the baby ONLY officially had a name. We're working on that. Promise.

10 December 2007

Just Shoot Me

Dear Amanda,
I just thought I'd post a pleasant reminder in case you EVER decide that experiencing the "joys of pregnancy" sound like "fun" again. It's hard to remember exactly how being pregnant feels once you are a few months out and you've been busy with the new baby... so this time, I'm recording it.
The first few weeks weren't too bad. You sat around, waiting on Mrs. Period to come and thinking to yourself "self, this is going to be one BAD month"... then the flu-like symptoms set it around "your time", and you began contemplating going to the doc for some antibiotics ... or to Publix for a pregnancy test. The migraines were bad for about 4 months.. in case you forgot. The nauseous was never ending, and since it wasn't your first pregnancy.. you gained weight FAST.
I'll fast-forward to the end of the pregnancy, since my fingers are so swollen currently it hurts to type. The contractions are annoying, only some painful. At 36 weeks, it began to become difficult to wipe your own butt... and since you were going EVERY hour (including nights) that is more of a problem than you'd think. Speaking of sleep, this pregnancy you experienced the fun that is Restless Leg Syndrome.... yowza. Your left leg is the worst, the urge to move is unbearable... and the crazy tingling sensations are more than enough to keep you up and uncomfortable.
Let's talk about the heartburn ... the 4 zantac a day... the prilosec... the hospital visit because of the super-sharp pain in your upper abdomen... waking up a 3 thinking your throat was on fire... Yup... let's not go through that again.
I want to mention not being able to get out of bed on your own without pulling something... how bending over ventures towards a monumental event... and how you can't fit into ANYTHING in your closet at 38 weeks except 2 items made of lycra and 1 that's technically a towel.
Your feet started swelling at 35 weeks.... and sometimes your legs go to sleep now... both... at the same time... and won't stop!
But your boobs are huge. As in bigger than a D... eww. Oh, and your face is fat. Sorry... I said it.

So, self, don't be a moron. Be happy with what God has blessed you with and enjoy your beautiful baby boys. Besides, don't you have your hands full anyways?

Lots of Love,

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