Monthly Archives: December 2014

NICU Stay.

Never in my “what if” scenarios did I think we’d be in our recovery room without our baby or that we would leave the hospital without her.

Verity gave us all a surprise with her birth.

Once a baby is in the NICU its almost like feels like it isn’t your baby… of course that isn’t true, but it almost felt like it. Protocol starts and you dont have too much of a say. After they wheeled her away she stayed for five days and we left the hospital after two.

The first couple days we had to ask to hold her, ask what the tubes were for and what they were doing, what kind of treatment she was getting, etc. Her nurses were great and for that I am so thankful.

When Haddon met her for the first time he said: “she’s locked up!” He then watched the nurse check her with the stethoscope and then yell at the nurse: “she doesnt like that!”

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That week didn’t include the grand welcoming home and snuggling I imagined. A week after we were home for good even with Verity, if I had my slippers on Haddon would ask “mama go to the hospital again?” Thank God for my mom being here to take care of Haddon, feed us, help play taxi, visit with me and V so Haddon could have his dad, etc!

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My sweet husband arranged for us to have a golf cart at a Christmas tree farm during one lunch break to keep us distracted and excited. Most days I mostly lived at the hospital just without a room. I packed my lunch, snacks, things to do, and would only leave the NICU for rounds or during a shift change. I also went home for dinner/nap and after the 11 pm feeding until the 8 am feeding.

I was there so often that I learned a lot. I felt more prepared for a newborn with Verity than I ever did with Haddon. Not because I was a second time mom either. The nurses were just very informative and patient with all our questions. The doctors were great too. One in particular that would always encourage us that she was passing her tests, that she was an A+ baby, and that she was the healthiest in there. But, she would never tell us for sure when we would get to take her home. She said she wouldn’t want to disappoint us if something changed. The morning we went to the hospital expecting to take her home if she passed all her tests throughout the night I prayed “Lord please please let us, and if we don’t get to help me not turn into a basket case”. My prayers have been pretty simple and straight forward these days…

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As great as the nurses are, they are not those babies mamas. It broke my heart to see moms in and out and wonder their story (for some reason moms in there while we were there did not make eye-contact! I wanted to hug them all and find out each of their stories… but I guess there is an unspoken rule that you are all sad your babies have to be there so just keep to them).

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One good thing about her NICU stay is she goes kind of long stretches with her eating/sleeping. The nurses have to tend to all the babies so they have them on schedules from the beginning.

It was hard to hold my baby with “spaghetti” all over her and beeping happening constantly.

It was hard to say “okay” to formula for a couple feedings until my milk came in (it took 4 days…).

It was hard to know she was getting sugar water, protein, fat, antibiotics, heel pricks (her little heels still have over 20 little marks on them), etc.

It was hard to come home without her.

It was hard to know she wasn’t getting nurtured if she was upset.

But at the same time… it wasn’t hard at all. So many things in life are all about perspective.

I got to bring her home.

I get to feed her (who cares how that is done).

I can cuddle her all I want now.

She is an amazing baby. Regardless of any of those things that happened the first week and you know what she is probably better for them.

I am so glad she is home to stay.

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Verity – One Month.

DSC_1070My sweet sweet girl,

It’s your one month birthday.

This month has gone by way too fast. I don’t know if it was a mixture of you coming home after us, the holidays, the fact that time just flies faster these days or a mixture of all three but one thing is for sure – I want it to slow down!

You are a darling baby my daughter.

You should be in a text book under the definition of sleepy newborn.

You are eating pretty well and are super noisy while doing so… I pump a lot and give you bottles during the day so other people can take a turn feeding you and because its faster… you nurse a lot in the morning and at night. I like the mixture.

You hardly cry and when you do you are consolable after just a few minutes.

So far you will go to whoever wants to snuggle you but no one can put you to sleep or calm you like I can.

You sleep next to mama in a rock and play (man I love that thing). Half the time you end up in my arms from me falling asleep nursing you. Even though you sleep wherever, you sleep best on your belly. I let you sleep best during the day where I can check on you a lot…

Your brother adores you. He is very helpful in bringing me diapers, doe does, and wipes. He loves to give you kisses. He will only hold you on his terms. He thinks youre funny because of how often you poop.

Your daddy adores you. He says funny things to you and loves to give you kisses and cuddle you. He talks to you in a high pitched voice and would never admit to it.

I adore you as well, obviously.

After your birth experience I told your daddy, “sorry but I don’t know if I want anymore after this”, since having you home with us, I change my mind! If babies were guaranteed to be like you I’d take a couple more!

I love you Verity Belle! We are so glad to get to know you.

Christmas Day.

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I think most people and scholars would agree that December 25th isnt actually Christ’s real birthday. It sure is fun to celebrate life no matter when it’s done though, isnt it?

That said, I’m not ready for “Christmas” to come and be over with tomorrow. I love how focused I get on Him during this season. Sure, I shop, wrap, enjoy hot cocoa, pine smells, traditions, advent activities, etc as much as anyone but I truly do make a point to keep my eyes on Him.

This advent season more than ever I’ve really been thinking about Emmanuel – God with us.

Christ left His heavenly reign where He existed with His father before anything in this world was ever thought up. He came through childbirth and especially at this point in life I can say, whoa, what a humble thing. He didn’t come into this world in a comfy hospital bed or birthing center but to a smelly manger. The highest of high to the lowest of low.

There is so much rejoicing for my family this year. There are so many of my family and friends in sorrow. Mourning in this fallen world…

As joyful as I am with some of our earthly blessings, nothing is more of a blessing than my salvation. I tear up just thinking about it. How do I teach my children that “advent activities” and “traditions” to not be idols in their hearts but to long for His coming back more than any earthly desire?! What a huge responsibility… when I think of the temporary satisfaction I get from the world and how fleeting it is. How will I teach them to not do the same?

He is coming again.

I used to say “I want xyz to happen before He comes back”. Not anymore, we pray you would come quickly Lord.

Not only will He wipe away tears of this fallen world but there will be a final stake on sin. No more of it. Part of that sin, I am talking about is pride. Ugh – dont you hate it? Not a week after “Christ’s Birthday” we are all into how WE can be better versions of ourselves in the coming year. Not that it is necessarily bad in and of itself to want to improve but it amazes me how fast my eyes can go from Him to myself.

Praying that this year I can keep my eyes fixed on Him!

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel…

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Verity’s Birth Story.

This is a hard one to write but I never want to forget.

On 11/28/14 my water broke. It was her due date – it was 11:30 at night but still! I got so excited. I had just finished watching a movie with family and we were still hanging in the living room. I was just laying there but felt and heard a pop and realized what was happening.

However, by 1 am I still wasn’t having consistent contractions. Some of them were starting to hurt a little bit but nothing like I remembered with Haddon. I tried to sleep and around 3 am they started getting a little stronger so I would just rest and then breathe through the more painful ones.

By 11 am the contractions hurt but weren’t consistent enough for me to want to go into the hospital. Our midwife called to check on me multiple times through the morning and by noon she wanted us to go in because we were reaching 12 hours from when my water had broken and she wanted to check on the baby.

Much to my dismay… I was only three and half centimeters dilated when I got there at noon. The baby was sunny side up (just like Haddon had been…).

On the way to the hospital I told Micah, look Im gonna try to do this thing unmedicated again but if I don’t progress and she is sunny side up I am probably gonna get pitocin and an epidural. I didn’t want a repeat of Haddon’s birth. I didn’t have the motivation. Been there. Done that. It was not the “wonderful” natural birth everyone describes. It was the worst three days of my life and I hardly even remember enjoying Haddon at first because I was just so relieved to be out of pain.

I wanted this one to be different. It wasn’t shaping up that way with such a slow progression though… so when they offered a tiny amount of pitocin to get things rolling I accepted. The contractions intensified and got closer together so it was certainly doing its job. Due to her positioning though my body just kept moving slowly. I also had a lip of the cervix that wouldn’t move… that happened with Haddon too. They manually moved it with him and they manually moved it with her… After 6 hours on pitocin and still only progressing to a 6 I asked for the epidural. I expected complete relief… that wasn’t the case as I could still feel tons of pressure. It definitely helped though and Verity and I were handling everything well.

FINALLY at 1 am I was ready to push. Her heart rate then dropped drastically all of a sudden, so they had me lay on my side, wear some oxygen and she was much happier that way. We waited for a while to make sure she was good to go before pushing again. I prayed she would come out fast when I did push.

At 2 am I was able to push again and she came out in 15 minutes! I was SO excited. I wasn’t too worn out or in too much pain to not be thrilled at what was happening. I couldn’t wait to hold that girl and really experience the moment.

When I pushed her head out they realized the cord was wrapped around her neck but the monitor still showed a good heart beat… as soon as she was out my midwife unwrapped the cord and handed her to me.

She looked dead and she wouldn’t cry. It was really only a matter of seconds and the midwife had her back, they were rubbing her and the nurse started to call people in…

I just remember asking why wont she cry, why wont she make noise. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

As the nurse called people the midwife kept her cord blood pulsing to give her oxygen until what I refer to as “the baby swat team” came in. When they came in they took her and started to work on her right away – I don’t even know everything they did but I do know she had CPR, a tube down her throat, oxygen mask, etc.

I couldn’t see anything except chaos and my mom and dad watching and praying (they ended up being in the room for pushing this time and I am SO glad it ended up happening that way). I was praying more like chanting please let her breathe, please God and looking at Micah not saying anything but with fear in my eyes. He kept repeating… “who’s baby is she?” “who loves her more than we do?” “who made her?”

That man is amazing.

After what seemed like an eternity but also a blink of an eye, I saw my dad start to shake his head yes and make eye contact with me. Then my mom did it. Then the chaos calmed down and they wheeled her away. Everyone had left the room now.

I asked Micah to turn on some hymns, once they were on he crawled in next to me and we lost it.

I didn’t have to have stitches or anything so pretty quickly after all this I got to go to my recovery room. Doctors and nurses were really great about keeping us updated about what they could. In fact, we have had a phenomenal experience with the care for us and our daughter.

I kept wondering about long-term damage but day-by-day she is showing she is amazing and I am choosing to not think on that. She is showing no signs of damage and all her test results are great. When we take her home it will be like nothing happened. Her pediatrician will watch her milestones closely through the first couple years but that’s really the only thing that we have to “keep an eye on” for now.
I am beyond thankful to have been in a hospital. Every second counted.

When we visited her in the NICU the next day and I heard her cry I lost it! I sorta yelled at her “that’s what you were supposed to do last night!” I have also talked to her about her fill of drama for her whole life. No more please.

I am the most thankful that we get to keep her for now. God is good. Even if we didn’t get to keep her He is still good but I am so thankful for this little miracle.

We don’t really have medical answers for what happened. It is rare.

Pregnancy, birth, delivery, it’s all miraculous.

I am recovering well besides being exhausted and Verity is A+ student in the NICU.

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