Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress!

It's been a few days since my last post and a lot has happened in that short period of time! We are now situated nicely in Fargo (and loving the free parking!). Elise did great on the transfer, slept the whole way I am told :) Her days have been similar, she's mostly a feeder & a grower. Just today though, she is being weaned out of the isolette (and doing great keeping her temp regulated!), and now up to 2 breastfeeds/day and a few bottles. If this goes well, she will both be out in a regular crib and have her feeding tube taken out in about a day or two! They told us today that we can bring her carseat in at any time now, too! We are overjoyed by this, and so proud of our little girl :)

















Keira has been visiting as well, and will be spending the week with us in Fargo while Daddy gets the house ready for our newest arrival. Keira is having a blast and I cannot thank Josh & Heather enough for their help. Bishop, too - him and Keira have so much fun together, I love it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hello World!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Closer to Home!

We found out last night that our insurance approved the transfer of Elise to Fargo! Two hrs less to drive makes quite a difference for us. Josh will be able to travel after work on Fridays to come see us and get more time to spend together. Less time in the car with Keira will be nice as well. She has handled it well so far, luckily, but I think this will help with the stress level trying to keep a toddler happy while driving :) I am pretty excited to see Boscoe soon as well :P
We checked with nurses and drs and they all say the transfer is completely safe (especially because Elise is doing so well) and one of her nurses will be traveling with her :)
We have been so lucky to have my sister here to allow us to stay and feel welcome. Now we are fortunate again that Josh's sister and our good friend, Josh M., are welcoming us to their home for as long as Elise is in Fargo :)
We love you all and cannot thank you enough!

Ten Days Old!

Some pics from the past few days :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Little AW for Myself

One week postpartum :) I haven't weighed myself, but I am pretty sure I am at or less than pre-pg weight. Recovery from an incredibly quick labor with no problems is also soooo much easier. Very little bleeding and no pain. I've said it before, but it's pretty surreal. Makes focusing on Elise my one and only job right now, which is perfect!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Fighter

I just love this pic (taken by my great friend, Stacy) - Elise is showing off her guns :)
As you can see, she was back under the bili lights yesterday, but out again today. Today marks one week old! She spit up a little today, but I think that may have been because they could not find my frozen milk (even though it was there all along and definitely no shortage since I am now pumping over 24oz/day) so they gave her formula. Nothing wrong with getting formula in my eyes (we did both for K - breastmilk till 9 months, formula after that till whole milk at a year), but it seemed to be the only different factor so almost has to be the issue. It all but stopped after going back to BM as well.
A routine head ultrasound was also done today, something that is done with preemies at one week (sooner if there is reason). All looks great, no bleeds or abnormalities at all.
The nurses call her a little rockstar. I tend to agree :)

Keira seems to be doing better as well. Josh says her ear has much less draining. She has continued to be in good spirits, luckily this ruptured eardrum hasn't affected her too much!

I have to say a big Thank You to "Auntie" Stacy for visiting yesterday and today! It was so nice to see you :) I can't wait to be back home to see you and everyone else more! I'm super bummed to be missing Heather's baby shower tomorrow, too - I'll definitely be there in spirit, though!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Update

Things are going well, last night Elise's IV was removed and she was bumped up to full feedings (30ml), making only the feeding tube left :) She is really doing well sucking on a paci, waking to eat, etc so I am hoping that transitioning to breastfeeding/bottle feeding will go well, too. She was off the bili lights and put back under, but now back off again. It is likely she will go back under them a couple of times, it works almost like a weaning process. She lost a little weight after birth, but it was completely normal and has started gaining it back. My great friend Stacy is on her way down and should be here soon to go see little Elise. I am so excited! Here are some pics from the past few days :)





Saturday, January 15, 2011

All in a Days Work

It's good to know at least part of my body is working properly! Good thing, too. They upped Elise's milk intake again this morning :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Update

Not much to report, Elise is doing great. Still under the bili lights till her levels go down, but hopefully soon. I spent a good amt of time doing more Kangaroo care with her this morning, and Josh was able to get some good snuggly daddy time before we left. We were discharged a bit after 3PM. It was tough leaving Elise there, but we know she is in good hands and we will be visiting often. Friends are helping get my car down here this weekend so I can go when I want to, then Josh and Keira will be back in Bemidji holding down the fort :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Newest Addition!

Baby girl #2, Elise Dorothy was born yesterday morning at 8:31 at 31 weeks gestation, weighing 3lbs 14oz and 18 inches in length!






Em took me in to the hospital around 7AM because I was having some pretty frequent contractions that the meds weren't stopping. Thinking they would be able to give me something stronger (as they had previously done at 26 weeks) and considering that the contractions weren't very painful, I was very surprised when they went to check my cervix and run another fFN test that I was dilated already to 8-9cm!
This pic is probably a bit TMI, but I find it to be a pretty funny visual :) Basically, 8-9cm is a "no turning back zone" LOL! Anyway, the dr was very surprised since I was so calm that I was so close to delivering a baby. They quickly wheeled me from the small triage room to an actual delivery room and luckily my water was not broken so that meant we had a little time to get the rest of the drs involved, alert the NICU to be ready for Elise, etc. They all came to the room (probably 7-8 drs, nurses, students) and instead of waiting for my water to break they decided they would break it since they were all ready for her to come. And come she did :) The dr had to tell me when a contraction was coming because still I really didn't have much pain even without an epidural or any other medication for that matter! A few pushes and she came out crying :) Which, by the way, is the best sound!
Auntie Stef had come over shortly before they had broke my water, so she was able to cut Elise's cord, I got to see her quickly and then the NICU took over to assess her and do what they need to do. Her apgars were 6 right at birth and 9 at 5 minutes. The drs then finished up the delivery (placenta, etc) and then Stef and I stayed in the delivery room for me to recover while Em and her camera followed Elise to the NICU. After a little bit, I was then brought down to the NICU to see Elise and moved to a postpartum room to wait for Josh to arrive. Unfortunately, since I wasn't in much pain I had told him not to get on the road to make it down from Bemidji for the birth. It worked out though, I had my wonderful sisters there to help, update family, and take PICTURES :)
Right from birth, Elise has been doing great! She is breathing on her own (something that a lot of babies at this age can't do), has 99-100% oxygen saturation in her blood, and x-rays of her lungs look good. She had a breathing tube until about 7PM, but it only was needed because of short bouts of apnea where she would forget to breathe. She also has an IV which they have used to give her glucose and caffeine, but today she also got some breastmilk I had pumped for her, given through a tube in her nose. She is currently getting some time under the bili lights for jaundice, but nothing to be too concerned about. Her only "acute" issue is her prematurity.

Although it happened much sooner than one could hope, we made it further than expected, her birth was quite easy and she is beating the odds. I expect there may be setbacks, but most likely she will be able to leave the cities in about 5-6 weeks, possibly sooner. We are so incredibly happy and blessed, our family of three is now our family of FOUR. Love and tears are abundant in this place right now, with so much support from nurses, drs, family, and friends. Josh and I are also so very lucky to have the jobs that we have because they have been nothing but helpful and accomodating. We could not ask for more!

Check out this fantastic slideshow Auntie Em created with photos she took during the surreal delivery (warning: tissues may be needed!)
video
And a few extra pics:

Friday, January 7, 2011

No Longer Nameless!

Such a great week this week! Josh and I finally found (what we believe to be) the perfect name and we hit another 2 week milestone, now just over 30 weeks :)

Here is our beautiful baby, Elise Dorothy:













As of this morning, Elise is now 3lb 8oz (+ or - 10%), and like previous biophysical profiles we have had, passed with flying colors :) Along with the growth scan, they recheck for abnormalities that can show up as baby gets bigger (like defects in the heart, cleft, etc) and everything looks great there as well. She's definitely an overachiever, just like her sis who she looks just like :)
Another fantastic tidbit, my cervix at one point measured not much more than half a cm, and now looked to be more like 3.5cm (4cm is what is considered normal) according to the ultrasound measurements! The docs don't know how accurate it is because it is a different type of ultrasound, but I am still taking it as good news. Bedrest is not fun, but definitely working!

So thankful and hopeful, we could not ask for better!

Oh, almost forgot - a few belly pics... Don't mind the stretchmarks, they are in full force :p