Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where did November go?

I'll tell you where.....

We are still working through feeding issues (possible breakthrough - will update if that pans out), but with the supplementing, she is doing really well and just gets cuter everyday.

Life is still revolving around making sure she is eating. It's throwing off my ideas of a quick recovery, but we'll get there, too.

We'll get settled eventually. Who knew one little person could disrupt life so much? In good ways, I mean . . . she is such a joy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Sad One....

Don't worry - I am not all post-partum depression-ing. I know what depression feels like and I am perfectly happy. However, I am beyond frustrated/sad in regards to Caroline's eating situation. Yesterday I pumped quite a few times while I fed her a bottle. You know what? I don't make enough milk to feed an ant. So that's fun.

I took her to the doctor's today and she is down another 2 ounces. This puts her one ounce shy of being down an entire pound since she was born. This has me very sad. I cried at her appointment. I know it's not my fault, I just feel bad for her and I want to fix it. Plus, ya know, after being infertile for almost 10 years I didn't need any help feeling like I wasn't 'woman enough.' Now I have crappy milk supply.... so first I can't make a baby and then I can't feed a baby? That is really frustrating.

I know there are ways to increase milk supply and I am trying them. However, I also have to deal with the fact that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and that can effect milk supply because it messes with all your hormones. So it may just be that I am simply unable to nurse. But I'm giving it my best. I'm just sad about it is all.

Really, that's been consuming my world - well, that and staring at my little princess. She is such a doll. See?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not so happy post.....

Soren was not a screamer. I remember one time when he was brand new that he screamed so much that I was in tears in the rocking chair. And our first 3 days of trying to nurse were filled with screaming as well. I know it was 10 years ago, but I really don't remember middle of the night screaming that went on for hours...

Last night was very.... long. Caroline screamed and screamed even after I'd fed her twice. I had Alan get her a bottle (supplemental feeding #2 for the day) and I rolled over in frustration and went to sleep. When she woke up for her next feeding I was determined to have a positive, relaxed attitude. So she ate (with me staring at her making sure she was sucking AND swallowing) and fell asleep. Okay, I thought, fantastic. I went to lay her back in her crib and she started screaming and rooting again. What the heck? So I tried to soothe her and get her to go back to sleep. After about 30 minutes of screaming, I tried to feed her again. Same thing - she seems to eat off both sides and then crashes. Long story short, she screamed for almost 3 hours. I was in tears, not knowing what to do and, of course, blaming myself for not giving her enough to eat. This is the second night in a row it has been like this.

I really want to nurse. But if we have many more nights like this, I'm afraid I'm going to throw in the towel. She needs food and I don't know if I'm making enough or what is going on. It's hard to think that I could be starving her (not on purpose, of course - but we moms like to blame ourselves for everything, don't we?).

I'm not afraid to bottle feed. Soren was basically 100% formula fed, bottle baby. And he's turned out just fine, thank you. It's just... I think all women feel the pressure of nursing when they have a baby. And I feel like I gave up with Soren because I was young, busy, and didn't want to deal with it. Bottle was easier. I've said to myself that I would work at this with her since I am a lot more able to this time around. But I'm getting pretty frustrated. And if we are both going to be in tears in the middle of the night, is it really worth it? Right now, I don't know.

This weekend I'm going to see if she can take formula for the day and I will pump. Then I will compare how much I'm getting out to how much she's eating. And maybe that will help my supply a bit as well. I'm in the process of finding an electronic pump via Craigslist. I hope we can work this out.... I'm just tired and frustrated.

But I love her. And she is so worth every tear I might shed over this. And she is even worth every minute of sleep I've lost.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

But I Need A Chubby Baby!

Princess is down 2oz instead of up. So, we are back to supplementing with formula until she picks it up. She's supposed to be back to her birth weight by Tuesday, so hopefully we can pack on the pound.... haha... I was going to put pounds, but she actually needs just under a pound to get back up there. So now I've got to pump twice a day while she bottles it. I am not a fan of pumping, but she's worth it! I am hoping to get a little more out in the future. . . . or just not have to pump haha!

I'm feeling pretty good, considering . . . tired. Trying to get a nap or two during the day, but that's not always possible. I've got to run Soren around to his activities since my mom is out of town until Dec. 2nd and my dad and Alan are at work all day. I'm probably overdoing it everyday, but I'm trying not to... it's just hard. After 3 weeks in the hospital sitting on my butt, I'm just wanting to get out and do things. But when I'm out doing things, I get tired and just want to come home and sleep!

My biggest problem right now is food. I got so spoiled while in the hospital. I could just order what I wanted when I wanted it and someone brought it to me. Now I've got to find something to eat, make it, and then eat it! Haha! So I've got to work out some quick and simple, yet healthy, things I can have for breakfast and lunch. I've got dinners taken care of through this weekend and then I'll need to start thinking about those, too . . .

All in all, though, I am slowly getting back into the routine of life. I am hoping to ease back into work after Thanksgiving, barring any problems at the doctor. I have an appointment for me on Tuesday and for Caroline. We have to make sure the Choleostasis and the PIH have run their course. Then I will have 4 more weeks of taking it easy. I should be cleared for all normal activity by Christmas, or just shortly thereafter. Yay! I am looking forward to taking walks up to the park and registering for water aerobics.

No new pictures today.... too tired. And the camera is upstairs. And it's time to feed her again. Next time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Week Old

I can't believe it's already been a week with our sweet little miracle! And what a week it has been! We are all pretty exhausted, the normal result of bringing a baby into your home. I think it's been extra hard for Alan because he is not used to interrupted sleep. I'm a little more used to it, especially after that time in the hospital where I was poked and prodded in the middle of the night. But we are adjusting! Slowly but surely, we'll get there.

Caroline is very teenie, so we're having to take her to the doctor a little more and watch her weight gain as well. She was 6lbs 2oz at birth and has dropped to 5lbs 8oz as of yesterday. That was a gain from the hospital, but she still needs to put on a few more oz (at least 10) in the next week. We are working on getting her to eat more often, especially as that will help with her jaundice. While she weighs next to nothing (I swear my purse weighs more than she does), she is LONG. This creates a small problem with preemie clothes. Her feet are too big for the footsies and her body is too long for the outfit. But if I put her in something bigger, she drowns in it! She is such a cutie, though.

I've uploaded all the pics we have so far of her (I think). You can check them out here. That will also be where I'll be uploading other pics as they come in. Captions will come in time . . .

Here's a sneak peek of her and her itty bitty cuteness:

Soren also had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He's been having trouble with his feet, so we are in the process of working out what could be the problem. Luckily, he has a distraction:

Ok, I need to go grab a snack and feed the princess before we take an afternoon nap. I'll do my best to keep things updated, but we are all going through an adjustment having a screaming, cooing, sleeping, peeing, adorably cute princess running things around here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Presenting Our Sweet Caroline

Today at 7:47am we finally welcomed our little miracle, Caroline Eirene Tullis, into the world weighing 6lbs 2oz and measuring 20 inches! Here she is:

Yeah, that's what I felt like, too, sweetheart!

The following is her birth story - you may skip it if you want, but it's here for posterity! Hee hee!

It all started on Sunday night. Because I was delivering 3 weeks early due to our many little complications, my body was - of course - not prepared at all. The doctors decided to start me on a drug to get things going. It would take about 12 hours to do it's job and, if it didn't do what it was supposed to, they'd give me another dose. So, around 7:30pm, it started. Within a few hours I was feeling contractions. It was fun. The nurse gave me an Ambien so I could sleep and - surprisingly - I did. Until about 4am when the contractions were getting pretty uncomfortable. Ugh! At 7:30am, the medication was removed and I hadn't made a huge amount of progress. However, my contractions were pretty regular so there was a debate about whether to start the lovely Pitocin or do another dose of the other drug. We found that moving onto my side caused the contractions to stop, so it was another round of the other drug. Once that was given, the contractions started up again. However, each time they checked, I hadn't made much progress, so we waited. And, after two doses of pain meds, I gave up and got an epidural.

Here's a pic Alan took of me hooked up to a lot of my drugs:

At this point I think I was on 2 monitors, a blood pressure cuff, a saline drip, the epidural, the pitocin, and had a catheter. I was getting ready to go on magnesium as well because of the blood pressure issues, so I had all kinds of nonsense hooked up. I was trying to hold off on getting the epidural because I didn't want it to wear off . . . *insert forshadowing here* . . . but the contractions were getting really strong and, if you've ever been induced, you know they come faster and stronger than if you get to do things the normal way.


After the epidural, we waited until 11:30pm to remove the second dose of the original meds. Then I was put on the pitocin. Then things started to get uncomfortable and I had to ask for more of the epidural meds. I slept off and on during the night but was interupted frequently by the nurse to check my vitals, check my progress, adjust my meds, and make sure I was doing ok on the magnesium. Magnesium can really mess with you, give you flu like symptoms, and just generally make one miserable.... I said a prayer before they added that to my IV drip asking to avoid feeling like crap and managed to get by with only hot flashes (and they are finally taking me off of it in less than an hour! Hoorah!).

Now, before I proceed I should mention that our nurses work 12 hours shifts from 7am - 7pm or 7pm to 7am. I've had a great bunch of nurses and was starting to get some of the same nurses I'd had earlier in the week until Sunday night. I had a new nurse who got me through the night (she really was great - so kind and sweet and gentle) and we were getting ready for the shift change . . . .

However, just before 7am... my water broke. I called my nurse in and she said that yes, it sure looked like that was what happened! Hoorah! She checked me and I'd progressed. Joy! She then said - are you feeling any pressure? I thought for a sec and assessed my situation... no, I was feeling fine. So she said goodbye and told me a new nurse would be in to check on me soon. And she was off. And I swear to you the second she walked out the door that pressure she was talking about? BOOM. And all of a sudden, I was feeling OUCHIES like WOAH. I called the nurse station and was like - EPIDURAL FAIL! FAIL FAIL HELP ME OUCH! Haha, although I was quite nice about it. You know, between my pathetic moaning.

The new nurse came back in and I was like - uh, yeah, um - ouch? And then the worst thing ever happened. My IV with the epidural drugs started beeping. Yeah, it was empty. EMPTY!!!!! And the contractions I was having? Holy FREAK. I couldn't talk, breathe, move, nada. I felt like someone was tearing my insides out. It pretty much sucked. So they called the anasthesiologist type people. This nice lady came in and tried to talk to me. I was like - yeah, hi, no time to chat, DRUGS NOW, KAE???

She hooked me up. You know, except where she said (just shortly after 7am) that the drugs should start working around the top of the hour. I knew at that second that our princess wasn't waiting for the top of the hour. And thus I would be delivering without the epidural. Luckily I managed not to hyperventalate or mention this to anyone.

Oh, did I mention how many doctors I've seen since my doc has been out of town? Yeah, the doc on call today I had not met. She came in around the same time as the anasthesiologist, checked me, and was like - oh wow, baby.


And then the nurses and doctor left the room between contractions. Then another contraction came and I turned to Alan and said - just like in the movies - get the doctor back in here now. And being the dutiful husband he is... he did as he was told. Doctor came back in and was like ... HOLY COW BABY!

For those of you who understand baby delivering talk.... in the space of 45 minutes I went from a 6 to a 10 and delivered a baby.

I love my little girl... but OUCH.

So, that sums up what happened to me today between 6:45am and 7:47am. But I think something like this makes all of that worth it:

She is such a cutie and we all love her already. Here she is with her mommy and daddy:

(Don't I look stunning???)

And here is he is with her big brother:

Words can not express how beautiful that moment was right there. Seeing my sweet Soren finally holding his baby sister - finally being a big brother..... ugh. Tears to my eyes. He didn't want to let her go at all - but my mom was there, so he did have to share. But we kept our promise - he was the first non-medical staff type person to hold her after mommy and daddy.

I am now very exhausted. I need to feed our little angel and then try and take a little rest. After they disconnect me from everything, of course. Hoorah! There are more pictures to post and more stories to tell, but that is all from me for now.

Oh, ok... here's one more picture:

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Looks like decisions have actually been made!

I am still in the hospital and will stay here just in case, but as of right now I am behaving and that is making the doctors happy. Our little bean is still looking great each time she goes on the monitor. So, the decision to induce is in full force and, as decided before, they are not letting me go beyond 37 weeks. The doctor scheduled the induction for Monday. Woohoo!

The best news? The nurse just came in a few minutes ago and took out that icky IV junk so I have full use of my hands again! Woohoo! It's one less thing the nurses have to deal with each day (flushing my IV and wrapping it up when I need to shower), so that just makes their job that much easier with me! I feel like a bit of a waste of space here, but I know it's safest for me to be here.

It's nice to have a plan. Of course, nothing ever seems to go as planned in my life - haha - so, we'll see how the plan goes. I am excited, though, that I will get to see my baby boy tomorrow. I haven't seen him since before he went to school on Monday and I miss him and his hugs and kisses and silliness. I can't wait to see him and give him a huge hug and then kick his toosh at Mario Kart. Oh yeah, baby, I am so having Alan bring the Wii on Friday so we can play on Friday night! Woooooot! That means I will have to practice all day so I am ready when the boys show up . . . . hee hee!

So, there it is. This will probably be my last update until our angel is here. Unless, of course, things change. So look forward to pictures! We can't wait to meet her and then proceed to show her off!!!

Oh, and I updated my little baby ticker.... 4 days to go!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still Kickin'

Just wanted to update. I'm still here and our little angel is still tucked safely inside. Or as safe as she can be inside my silly body! My protein levels are up again and things seem to be stable with my liver right now - though that could change at any minute, so we've got to just keep an eye on things. And by we I mean them - the doctors and nurses and all of that.

The most frustrating thing I'm dealing with is the different doctors every day. Monday the doctor I saw wasn't sure what to focus on - the PIH or Choleostasis. Yesterday the doctor was all about the Choleostasis. Today the doctor is focused on the PIH. And where is my normal doctor? Vacation. Until the 17th. And I will have delivered the baby by then. Ugh! So I am a little annoyed about that, but trying to be vocal with what I want and stuff.

I did get to do another 24 hour urine test! Woot! That was super fun. I'm pretty sure I won't have to do it again - thank goodness. I get to have my blood drawn twice a day - though yesterday it was FOUR times! So poked and prodded!

Here's the result of the failed IV from last week:

Pretty, huh? And that's my hospital bracelet. It has a barcode on it. They scan it whenever they take blood, take my vitals, give me meds, or monitor me and the baby. I feel like I belong in the grocery store. Hee hee! I'm guessing our little one will get her own barcode, too! What a way to enter the world!

So that is pretty much it. Tomorrow morning the doctor should have more info for me. Maybe we'll start the induction tomorrow night. Maybe not. As always, you shall be kept informed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I just can't stay away.....

Well, my time at home was short lived. I'm back in the hospital again. Looks like this time it is for good - well at least until I deliver this little cutie pie (who I got to see again today on ultrasound!). She is doing fine, by the way. Quite the trooper while her mom's body is falling apart around her. We have a semi-official diagnosis of cholestasis of pregnancy with a possibility of PIH. The doctor(s) that I saw today are really not sure what to do with me. One of them wanted to induce today. The other says we can hold off until the liver tests come back super yucky. We are going with the 'holding off' doctor. But the longest we can hold off is until Nov. 10th. She won't let things go further than that because if it is cholestasis, that is when it can start causing problems for the baby. Forget mom and the insane itching..... hahaha! No, really - keeping the princess inside for as long as is safe for both of us is the best course.

There's not really much more to say at this point. They'll come in and monitor me again in a couple hours and then take blood again in the morning. If the liver tests come back the same, I hang out another day at the hospital. If they rise again, they could start induction. We'll see what happens. Once again, I'll update when I know more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bed Sweet Bed

There isn't much to say at this point!

I am home. I'm either in my bed or on a makeshift recliner-ish thingie in the family room. There's a TV to watch, a computer to poke around on, books to read.... but no running around for me. And I just keep thinking - how long can I put up with this? Haha! I admire anyone who has kept their sanity while on bed rest. Since I haven't had my sanity for a long time, I figure I am not at risk of losing it. I am anxious to see what the perinatologist says tomorrow so I'm glad my appointment is early in the morning. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted as well!

Now, the purpose of this post is to share pictures of my baby boy! Yeah, I know he's 10. But he'll always be my baby boy. In fact, it is so strange to think of having another baby sometimes because he's been my one and only miracle for so long! And I sure love him. Anyway, even though this week was crazy, we did manage to carve a pumpkin on Monday (yikes! I don't have pictures of our awesome R2D2 pumpkin!! Must get some!!!) and he was able to go to a church Halloween party as well as the normal trick or treating on Halloween night. What did he go as? Why his favorite TV character! Doctor Who!

How many of you just raised your eyebrows in confusion? Or squished your face up in confusion? I know some of you know who Doctor Who is, but I also know a lot of you don't. So here's a quick link to give you some more info. Soren adores this show and has for a few years. Yes, he's a nerd - but we are a family of nerds and proud of it! Woot! So without furthre adieu, I present to you - my baby as the most recent incarnation of Doctor Who!!!

The only thing we were missing was the red converse shoes, which I looked for like crazy, but then ended up in the hospital . . . so never got around to looking more. Well, and the fact that he didn't want to wear his dress shirt. But I'm not going to go there. So, he looked awesome. And I love the suit. Thank you, Goodwill, for providing an amazing suit for $25. And he's already promised to wear it when his little sister is blessed at church. Woot!

Ok, that's about all I have for the today! I will update once there is more to be told! Wish us all luck at the perinatologist tomorrow!