The First Week Home in Photos

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I had Averi and almost 1 week since she’s been home. I have to say things are going quite well. Shane has been home  the past month but set off yesterday to get some work done in the office. Having my in-laws here has been invaluable. Kaili is being happily entertained, it has allowed me to ease into everything and  Shane and I get some time away together.

Averi is as sweet as can be. She eats about every 3 hours and then sleeps with some awake time spread out during the day. I get up twice at night to feed her which isn’t too bad if I can get back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time. Having help here, I have the luxury to sleep an extra hour while someone gets up with Kaili, if needed. This will come to an end in a few weeks, so I am taking advantage of every second.

Kaili is so happy to have Averi home. She has taken this new chapter like a champ and is already a great helper.

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Our first outing as a family was to Bali Hai for lunch. This bowl of Gazpacho was so good and the Mai Tai a tad too strong.

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Girls just wanna have fun.

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While the grandparents took Kaili to SeaWorld, Shane and I and a couple of friends took Averi to Ramona for some wine tasting. We leisurely made our way to 3 wineries, munched on too much cheese and enjoyed the much needed break from home.

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Slowly getting back into the kitchen.

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Hot tubbin’ with Grandpa G.

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It sure is going to be fun watching these two grow up together.

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Kaili Meets Averi

Yesterday morning Shane and I headed to the hospital early to feed Averi and hoping to take her home. Luckily Dr. Katherian was the on duty doctor and Averi was first on his to-do list. Within the hour we were driving away, this time she was in the back seat.
On the way to the hospital I couldn’t keep the tears away and I told Shane there was no way I could leave her there another night. I was thinking to myself how sad I felt and how I might need to talk to somebody because the sadness was deeper than what I felt with Kaili. But the euphoria I felt when driving home with Averi was amazing and every bit of sadness was gone. I laughed for the first time in days.

We were able to get somewhat settled before Kaili came home from school. As requested I filmed her walking in to meet her sister for the first time.     This will make you smile.

 

 

The biggest challenge I foresee having is trying to tend to baby while Kaili is all up in my business. But as far as day one went, I think it was perfect.

 

Hardest Part

Averi has been making huge strides. She ended up needing some phototherapy since her billiruben levels were high. This is most likely because she wasn’t eating or pooping due to her meconium blockage. She stayed under the lights for 24 hours and that lowered her levels enough to satisfy the doctors. She has been eating, pooping and sleeping like a champ.

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I was discharged Monday leaving Averi behind which is up there with one of the hardest things I have ever done. She was moved out of the intensive care area and into the feeder/grower unit to make sure she is gaining weight. I have been back for most of her feedings trying hard not to take too much time away from Kaili. My heart is being pulled in two different directions.

I have a feeling of emptiness and of course sadness. I carried this child for 9 months and went to the hospital with a baby in my belly. She was taken from me and never given back. Almost a week later and  I am at home without her, it’s the worst feeling knowing the nurses are their caring for her instead of me,  my heart aches.

If you can believe it, I have heard that I have been “feeling sorry for myself”, and that I am emotional and hormonal.  But in all honesty this is ridiculously painful and I feel robbed not having Averi right here with me this moment. I do my best to brush off these comments but until you’ve been through this exact situation, you shouldn’t judge another persons emotions.

The day I was discharged, NBC news was at the hospital eager to get our story. I know I briefly mentioned about how Dr. Katheria approached us before my delivery about using his new warmer bed procedure during our delivery. Here is the story NBC aired.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/New-Preemie-Bed-Sharp-Mary-Birch-Hospital-Snyder-LifeStart-267196811.html

I am really hoping by the time you read this we are on our way to pick up baby A or we already have her home. I can’t wait to get on with our lives with Averi at home.

 

She’s Here


Thursday started as planned, we arrived at the hospital, registered and headed upstairs for the fun to begin.
I had taken my last nifedipine the night before along with my last sip of water. When the nurses hooked me up to the monitors they could see how thirsty I was and offered me water and a beer, ok that didn’t happen. I was contracting and they were consistent and intense. The nurse called my doctor and they all agreed to get the show on the road ASAP. After the nurse practically killed me trying to get a 16 gauge needle in my wrist for a blood transfusion IV, we were led to the OR room.
Once I kissed Shane farewell my nerves showed up. The anthesiologist was very kind and talked me through every step. Once I was given the spinal I realized I lost my chance to run and hide.
I was laying their helpless, curtains were in place and scalpels in hands, it was time for a numbness check.
“Can you feel this?” “Are you touching me ?” “Yes” ” then no, I can’t feel that!” This went on a couple times Until I screamed “OW!”
Everyone backed up, the curtain was lowered and they were holding up my helpless body so the anthesiologist could stick another needle in my back. Three minutes later I couldn’t feel a damn thing and Shane walked in.

Right before we went into the OR a doctor pulled us aside to ask if he could be in the room with us to try his new medical study on our daughter right after she was born. He wanted to give her oxygen through a cpap machine before the umbilical cord was cut.we obliged .

Ready, set go. It took the docs some time fighting through all the scar tissue and adhesions leftover from my last surgery. Finally it was time. I was able to watch her being pulled out of me and put on oxygen before the cord was cut. Good thing to because she needed all the help she could get. After a quick kiss hello, she went down to the NICU for breathing assistance.

 

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While the doctors fished around my insides looking for tubes, they showed me the umbilical cord, the damn thing had a huge knot in it. This is why kick counts are so important!

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After I was stitched up I was wheeled to recovery to stare at the ceiling and worry about my daughter. I laid there while new mothers came and went and came and went. Finally 4 hours layer I was able to move my legs and I finally got see see my baby. The gurney barely fit in her room and with her cpap machine on, I didn’t see much but I couldn’t wait to get back down there.
Apparently I have become immune to all drugs. None of the medications given to me were touching the pain and I struggled through Thursday evening. I felt as though l was losing my mind, the Morphine would work for 15 minutes and oxycodone didn’t do a damn thing. Gritting through the pain , I forced myself to get up and walk around. Sleep didn’t happen that night.
The next morning my doc and the anthesiologist came in to chat about my well being. They set up a time for me to have a consult with a pharmacist to map out a drug plan. It turned out to be a good thing, I started to get comfortable with a mix of different meds.
Shane and I went down to see Averi and to see if she wanted to eat. She made it clear she wasn’t hungry . A few hours later we noticed her tummy was hard and descended and she had been spitting up some green vile. I left her for the evening thinking things would work themselves out. I was long overdue for some shut eye . Thankful for my new drug plan I was set for a good nights sleep.
The next morning my girlfriend came down for a visit, I really used her for taxi service, I needed someone to wheel me down to the NICU she greatly obliged . I was finally able to hold my sweet baby. This is what us moms long for after months of pregnancy, I envy all the mothers who get their babies straightaway. I’ve never had that and that makes me sad. As we were all sitting there staring at my perfect child we were told that due to her stomach problems they are taking her to Children’s hospital for some x-rays. She hasn’t pooped and she’s spitting up stomach acid and they need to see if there is a blockage or if something else is going on. Shane went with Averi and we went back into the room to chat and rest. I tried to stay upbeat and positive but it’s not always possible. Once alone in my room I shed some tears …why me? Why again? Tears . Then the phone rang. It was the NICU nurse to tell me that Baby had a meconium blockage. Hopefully that was all it was, if she can poop again on her own then we might be ready to try a feeding tomorrow. A good sign…hopefully.
After a coffee break I headed down to love on my child.

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Party of Four

Do you ever feel alone? Not in the sense that you have no one to go to dinner with, more like no one cares if you eat dinner or not?  I have been feeling more stress than support this past month. The only person behind me 100% is Shane, like Brandon was to Donna in 90210 when he led the “Donna Martin graduates” protest.

You’re probably thinking that seems crazy since I have been on bed rest, but being on bed rest with a real threat to myself and my child you really need to know you’re supported. Knowing that you are thought of can really lift ones spirits when they want to stab themselves with a pencil out of boredom or worry. But when you find that support or concern is minimal it kind of makes you feel shitty and alone.

The countless of hours of bed rest and mindless tv really gives you time to reflect. I have realized that I have been a pushover most of my life. I usually put my feelings aside to avoid conflict and then when I do speak up I end up looking like an emotional basket case because I let it fester for too long. Now with two little girls to take care of, I am no longer going to be that person. When I want something I will say it, when I don’t like something I will say it, unless it has to do with food because that can be overlooked at times. I will address matters head on and if people choose to ignore me then I will unleash my fire-breathing dragons on them. I will be the Khaleesi to her naysayers.

So that’s it, I have reached the end. This is my final day of pregnancy, ever! No more contractions no more icky Nifedipine and no more bed rest. No more having to feel like a dictator constantly ordering someone around. The pressure of making sure my sandwich is always cut in half,  that my coffee is to my liking, my strawberries aren’t overripe and the reminder to hand me a napkin at every damn meal because with each bite I take crumbs plummet into my cleavage, it’s just plain exhausting.

I won’t lie and say I am not heading into the hospital tomorrow without anxiety, I am. I hope Kaili doesn’t get overwhelmed with the chaos that is family. I hope she can kick her cold in time to come visit me and I hope that baby A and I make it out of the OR without any hiccups and unscathed.

I am looking forward to adding to our family of three and starting a life with a party of four.

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Final bump picture- 36 w 5 d

Summer Bucket List

Seven more days and I am going  start thinking about checking off  a summer bucket list. First things first of course, I’ll have  to make sure I can walk around upright and poop without crying. I have been reminded that holding a pillow on the incision helps ease the pain, it’s also good when sneezing, just in case you are being cut open anytime soon.

Do you have a bucket list for this summer or the rest of the year?  I have a whole truckload of ideas, Shane thinks I am overzealous, we’ll see.

I saw this on Babble.

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A few of those aren’t much of a bucket list, more like life, and I can assure you I am not doing any sort of Triathlon, mini or not.

I am going to see how many tasting rooms I can get the baby into before Winter rolls around.

I am desperate for a bowl of good Gazpacho so I need a fool proof recipe for that.

I would like to get my backside some sun so it can catch up with my frontside.

Our newly refurbished home is begging for some wall art.

I want to take Kaili to the zoo so she can hang with her peeps.

I will find a babysitter who wants to and can handle two kids. One  that I can trust enough so I can actually leave the house.

I would like to go on a date with my husband while said babysitter watches the kids.

And maybe, maybe if the stars align, I will get to see Dave Matthews for our 8th anniversary. Or get to see the ponies run at Del Mar, or maybe both?

What is on your bucket list?

 

Calm Before the Storm

A little more than a week out and I’m feeling unusually calm about bringing another baby home. Maybe it’s because I have successfully kept K from doom for 3 years and that makes number 2 seems like it will be a breeze. Or maybe it’s because I have no memory of the infant stage and don’t remember a damn thing. Shane asked if we needed to bring diapers to the hospital and I had no answer, “honestly I have no clue”, I told him ” I don’t think we did with Kaili.”

I also don’t have the fears I had last time. All those hours of bed rest pregnant with K  gave me plenty of time to come up with what-if scenarios, this time I just hope  baby A’s  lungs are developed enough to not see the NICU.

I still have a fear of losing Kaili. She called for me in the middle of the night last night. Shane got up and then all was quiet. I layed there awake wondering if her window was locked, worrying that some crazy person could climb in and take her from her room. Thinking about every person she came into contact with that day {<—craaaazy and I know it} Every creak I heard made me more and more paranoid so  I finally had to get up and take a peek at her. Irrational or not, it’s a fear I imagine will never go away.

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The baby swing has provided more entertainment then any of her toys ever have.

 

 

35 Week Bumpdate

The countdown is officially on, 13 days until we meet the little human. I had my last ultrasound yesterday. We learned that she weighs about 5 lbs. 5 oz, has cute chubby cheeks and a head of hair. The scan was also one last chance to see if my placenta decided to move, it hasn’t.

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The foot that will score many goals in the future.

The days are moving along slowly but I’m not feeling too bad. Sleep comes in waves as does the nausea.

In soccer news, the USMNT has made it out of the group round and into knockout round. No one thought they could do it with the teams they were faced with. I’ve been lucky <–not the best word) enough to watch every match of the WC and catch all the drama, bloody heads and preschool antics. If you aren’t watching, you are disappointing your country and you should feel really bad about yourself.

Kaili has been handling my bed rest pretty good. It’s hard on me knowing it’s hard on her. Besides school, she is basically housebound with me. Trips to the park and play time in the hot tub help, but I swear, Shane built her this great play house area and it’s like she is allergic to playing alone. I told her that giving her a sister is the best gift we could ever give her. She likes to hug the belly and say hi to baby A, it’s pretty darn cute. Yesterday she told me she wants to get back in my belly to “try it out”…that kid.

On top of everything, her preschool is closing at the end of July. I am now in search of a new school that I can get her into by August 1st. I have an idea of a school nearby, fingers crossed they pass all the checklist questions and it will be a good fit. Trying to find a new school via the couch isn’t the way I had planned it going, as so is life and my pregnancies.

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What Should I Title This?

Kaili was sitting on Shane’s lap playing nicely and then out of the blue she hit him. “Kaili, we don’t hit, do you need to go to your room?” “Yes,” replied Kaili. Then she stomped down the hallway and the slamming of her door followed. A minute later she came out smiling.

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Did you guys watch the USA game yesterday? The range of emotions I felt during that 95 minutes was unreal.

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As I mentioned all I want to eat are desserts. Delicious decadent heavenly desserts. I saw a commercial for Sonic’s milkshakes, I have only been to a Sonic once in my life and it was on a road trip. Never need to go back but when I saw the commercial I could have sent Shane to the nearest one at that moment, they looked so good. Then I saw a picture of a coconut cream pie, are you kidding me? But then this recipe happened on Pinterest. I guess it’s been awhile since I looked for instant pudding but I don’t remember seeing coconut pudding before. This recipe definitely needs to be tested.

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I have had some contractions again the past couple of days, they seem innocent enough for now. I found this picture I took on one of the days I was at Triage. It’s probably hard to imagine what a contraction looks like on paper, so I thought I would share.

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We are officially under 20 days until we get to meet the baby. I am trying to go over all of the things I need for baby A. I am reusing everything of Kaili’s for the most part.  Going over some lists, I see I am missing a few things. If you have any suggestions for items that I could use, please indulge.

Bed Rest in Memes

Almost 34 weeks and the contractions have slowed waaaay down, being off my feet is most definitely helping.

I haven’t felt like this in a few days.

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Mentally I have ups and downs.

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It’s just so hard to sit back and watch the world go on, I want to play too. I find myself giving Shane my two cents whether he wants it or not, mostly not.

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My sweet tooth has been on a rampage lately. I want all.the.desserts.

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I am constantly thirsty so my water intake is off the charts. I got out of bed 6 times by 4:00 a.m to use the bathroom last night.

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I started a new book, enjoy the 3 soccer matches a day, spend time coloring with the kid and once the sun goes down I am ready for the day to end. I HATE wishing time away but seriously, could we fast forward to July…at least?

When I have a doctors appointment I actually get dressed.

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It’s my only key to the outside world.

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