Monday, November 30, 2009

1 month old

connor turned 1 month old today. that is just crazy. this month really went by so fast. connor is looking more like a newborn now. he has lost that preemie look. his face has filled out and he now weighs 6 pounds. he is eating like a champ. now if only he wasn't such a noisy sleeper. he keeps us up all night with his little grunts. i am beginning to wonder if moving the crib into our room was such a good idea.

we took all three kids in for their doctor's checkup today. it was crazy. they said it would be easier if we scheduled all three for the same day. that was so not true. they had us scheduled with 2 different doctors and a nurse. we had to split up and go into two different exam rooms and then go back in the waiting room to be called by the nurse. i was completely exhausted by time we left. i also had to schedule four more appointments. ugh. too many appointments. at least we got all the flu shots done. i really don't want the kids to get the flu.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

lots to be thankful for

we celebrated thanksgiving this year at jen and ray's house. i was so happy to not be hosting. miles and i have hosted thanksgiving for the last seven years. it was nice to take a year off. i was sure i would go into labor again on thanksgiving if i hosted. of course that did not happen but it would have been so hard to prepare for it with our newborn. instead of being stressed out this morning i was in my pajamas sitting at the computer doing some online shopping. i felt so spoiled.

jen and ray did a great job preparing the meal. everything was delicious. the kids had so much fun playing with all of bodhi's toys. the only thing i really missed was the big sleepover that we usually have on thanksgiving. with all our kids we had to come home. connor slept through most of the day. he was very cute. his first thanksgiving and we are very thankful to have him here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

happy birthday dahlia

today is dahlia's real birthday. she is two years old. she is growing up so fast. she is 27 pounds and 35 inches tall. that puts her at 50% for weight and 80% for height. wow. 80% how crazy. i don't know where she gets that from because i am short. she is super smart. she can count to ten, and she speaks in full sentences all the time. i think having mason to chat with helps. they are really sweet together. they play all the time.

we didn't really do anything to celebrate her birthday today since we already had a party for her. we actually went to a friends birthday party. i was going to make a cake, but after having cake at emily's birthday i decided that was enough sugar for the day. it was a fun day though. we all relaxed together at night and watched winnie the pooh's christmas movie. yay. the holiday's are here.

Monday, November 16, 2009


wow. i completely and totally forgot how much work a newborn is. i thought it would be so easy to have connor home. no more running back and forth to the hospital. i forgot about the getting up every three hours during the night to feed and change them. i am so tired. after a week of interrupted sleep i am exhausted. today i do feel a little better. my house, however, has seen better days. what a mess.

i think we are finally settling in on a routine. things have been different with connor than with dahlia and mason. connor sleeps in a crib. yay us. connor is mostly bottle fed. this is a pain and requires me to pump and wash a ton of bottles. we are thinking it will just be until he gains some more weight. if i breast feed him, he never eats enough and just wakes up an hour later being hungry. we like to give him a bottle so we know how much he is eating. he tends to sleep at least three hours after a bottle so that gives us a break. he also requires a bit more attention with his medicine and monitor. we will be happy to get rid of those things. he should only need them for about six weeks.

on a happy note. he is adorable and mason and dahlia seem to really like him. we are all doing well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

he is home

hurray. he is home. they actually let us take him home today. i was so relieved and happy that it is true. he is actually in his crib at home at this very moment. he is so cute. today was a bit busy and crazy. i had to drive mason and dahlia to orange county for my mom to watch them. after that i had to go with miles to take connor home from the hospital. before i could even enjoy him i was back on the road to pick up mason and dahlia from my mom's house. whew. that is about 100 miles of driving. all worth it of course because my family is together now.

dahlia loves her new brother. she helped me feed him a bottle. mason of course seems to not be interested. he did take a look at him before announcing that he needed to go play with his trains. maybe mason will find him more interesting when connor is older and they can interact with each other.

there were five babies that left the nicu today. leaving only ten. the nurses said the babies all decided that today was the day to leave. i wonder who led the movement.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

connor day 12

the hospital played a dirty trick on us today. miles went to visit connor in the morning and spoke with the doctor. he said connor was doing great. he passed his 12 hour sleep test last night. he was eating good. he was back up to his birth weight. everything was great and we could take him home. today. he said to go home, get the car seat, the monitor, his medicine, and a change of clothes for him and we could take him home. i got so excited. even miles got excited this time. we got all his stuff and went back to the nicu. in the elevator we made jokes about how they wouldn't really let us take him home. and sure enough. we were right.

the doctor was there and told us he just looked over connor's bilirubin levels and decided he needed one more day of phototherapy. he said we could either take him home today and bring him back first thing in the morning for a lab test and to be possibly admitted again or to let him stay one more night under the lamp. of course we let him stay there. i would not want to take him home for a night and then bring him back in the morning. what would be the point of that. so of course i started crying again. just a little bit. i am trying to control myself. stupid post-pregnancy hormones are making me nuts.

we went home with our empty car seat. so sad. maybe tomorrow they will let us take him. i have decided that i won't believe it until he is in the car and we are driving away.

Monday, November 9, 2009

connor day 11

i didn't get to visit connor yesterday. miles went with his mother after dahlia's party. i watched mason and dahlia. i was glad she got to see him. it was her first time meeting him. i went this morning. all by myself. i decided that it has been a week and i am going to start driving again. the doctor's instructions said to not drive for two weeks, but i feel fine. i was so happy to drive. i don't like depending on people to take me places. i like to just go when i want to.

connor looked great today. he was so active and alert. he woke up right away for his feeding. the physical therapist fed him. she has put him on all bottle feedings today. we are all hoping that he does good with the feedings. his feeding tube is still in but they aren't using it today. they are going to do another 12 hour sleep test tonight and if he passes then he can go home tomorrow. despite my best efforts not to be, i am really excited. i know he may not come home tomorrow, but he just might and i can't help getting my hopes up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

birthday party for dahlia

we celebrated dahlia's birthday early this year. i was worried that i would go into labor during her real birthday november 22nd, so i planned the party for the 8th. little did i know that i would have already had the baby. it was such a fun day. dahlia loved her party. we had a small group. just the immediate family and some close friends. the same crowd that was at mason's birthday.

dahlia had a scooby doo theme. she loves scooby doo. she is a bit obsessed with it. everyday when it is television time, she says "doo where are you." mason usually wants to watch thomas the train, but dahlia almost always wins and we watch scooby doo. i like scooby doo and don't really get tired watching them over and over.

i decided to give myself a break and order take out. we had italian food. it was still a lot of work to throw a party. i loved it though. i had fun. we also were celebrating my birthday so i treated myself to a glass of champagne. the kids had so much fun playing with all their friends and cousins. it was a great day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

connor day 9

today was much better. miles went to the hospital in the morning by himself. i stayed home and watched mason and dahlia. i didn't want to risk running into nurse ratched again. i decided to visit connor in the evening when she would be gone. it was a good thing i stayed home because she was there again today. miles said he didn't speak to her much. she now has connor on 2 tube feedings and then 1 bottle feeding. he is getting lots of rest that way. he is doing better. he gained 3 ounces yesterday. he is now 4 pounds 14 ounces. so close to his birth weight.

i went to visit him in the evening with miles. christina was nice enough to watch the kids for us. when we got there they had his incubator open and the bilirubin light turned off. yay. that is the first time i have seen his incubator open. it was so cute to see him sleeping without this big plastic bubble over him. i got to hold him and feed him a bottle. he is just so adorable.

Friday, November 6, 2009

connor day 8

we had a bad day today at the hospital. i really hated connor's nurse today. i hope she is not there tomorrow. she was so negative. i did not want her anywhere near my son. she put connor back on his feeding tube. she said that he is getting too tired while eating. he is falling asleep before he finishes his bottle. she said his weight gain is terrible. that really pissed me off because all the other nurses said his weight gain was fine. he lost some weight at the beginning and has slowly been gaining a little back. he is still 4 pounds 11 ounces. he was gaining an ounce and then losing an ounce. no dramatic weight loss. she was just so negative. she said he is really small. that we should not be expecting to take him home anytime soon. i just hate all the conflicting opinions that the different nurses have. she was super conservative. wanting connor to stay in the hospital for a very long time while other nurses have said he is fine and can go home any day. she was saying how he is not meant to be born yet. he should still be inside me just relaxing and we are making him work too hard. expecting him to eat.

she just made me feel like complete crap. i just feel like it is my fault that he is in the hospital. i should have relaxed more during my pregnancy. i was completely bawling when we left the nicu to get some lunch. it really sucked because we ended up having to spend four hours there. we had our monitor training with a very nice man that the evil nurse was also rude to. i was so happy that when it was time for connor's feeding it was the very nice physical therapist that fed him and not the evil nurse. during his feeding i was saying hi connor. mommy is here and the evil nurse scolded me for distracting him from his bottle. she told me that he can not multitask and i needed to let him focus on eating only. she was horrible. she wouldn't let us hold him or barely touch him. i hate her. ugh. he has had really nice nurses for the most part. they have all been really encouraging and positive. this one was just horrible. i am going to make sure i write that in my evaluation. the hospital just sent me an evaluation form to fill out. it is not that i disagree with her treatment i just think her bedside manner is crap. there is a nice way to talk to people. especially parents who have a newborn in the hospital and are already very sensitive. ugh. it was a bad day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

connor day 6

well connor failed his 12 hour test. i am so bummed. miles and i went to the hospital this morning to visit him. i was so sure he was going home with us today. i had his little take home outfit with us and everything. miles said i shouldn't have gotten my hopes up so much. the nurse told us that during the 12 hour test his breathing stopped five times for more than 16 seconds. how scary. they are putting him on some kind of medication and then he should be able to come home on friday. we have to have him on a monitor at home that will alert us if he stops breathing. we are going to the hospital tomorrow to meet with the technician who will show us how to use the machine. how crazy. it really scares me to hear this news. i don't want to have him at home and then he stops breathing. i am going to be a wreck. talk about paranoid. i really didn't think there was anything wrong with him. i guess his lungs are just not quite ready. poor baby.

he did pass his car seat test, and his bilirubin test. that is good news. well it is good that they are so thorough with all the testing. miles got to hold him today. it was sweet to see them together.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

connor day 5

today is my birthday. it was such a busy day. miles dropped me off at the hospital this morning so i could visit connor. he is doing great. he is off the iv, but they still have him under the phototherapy lamp for jaundice. they are hoping to take it off of him this evening. they will test his bilirubin level later today to see if it is low enough. if he passes that test then they will open his incubator and give him a 12 hour test. during the 12 hour test they hook him up to all kinds of monitors and see how he does in an open environment. testing his breathing, heart rate, body temperature, etc. if he passes the 12 hour test then there is a one hour car seat test to pass. during the car seat test they put him in his car seat and see if his breathing and heart rate remain stable while in the seat. if he passes this test then he can go home! oh my gosh. i am so excited. he could possibly be coming home tomorrow. the nurse seemed pretty optimistic that he could come home. hurray. she took him out of his incubator so that i could breastfeed him. it was so great to get to hold him. this is only the third time i have been allowed to hold him.

miles picked me up after an hour of visiting and then we took the other kids to disneyland. i know i am crazy. i just gave birth 4 days ago and went to disneyland. i wanted to go on my birthday so i could get my $72.00 gift card. i already have an annual pass so they give you a merchandise gift card for the value of a one day ticket. i am a sucker for a good deal. also it will most likely be a while before we all get to go to disneyland together again. i am sure i will be stuck at home with connor for a while. we didn't go for very long. mason and dahlia were so excited to be out. i think they have been feeling a bit neglected. it was fun to spend time with them.

when i got home i spent the evening washing connor's bedding and bottles. i can't believe he might be home tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

birth story

here is the full story.

i woke up around 1:45 am on friday morning thinking i felt a funny release of water. sure enough when i went to the bathroom there was a gush of water and then later more trickles. i knew my bag of waters had broken. i was completely freaked out. i was only 34 weeks pregnant. this was too early. i called miles in the office/garage and asked him to come inside the house because i thought my water had broken. i was in such denial. i kept thinking no, this is wrong. this can't be right. it is too early. the baby can't come yet. i was so scared. it took me a while to get my thoughts together enough to pack my bag for the hospital. miles had rushed inside and called my doctor. my doctor said to go to the hospital right away. i asked him if i should wait to see if more water came out and be sure that it really broke and he said "no, you should go to labor and delivery right away." i called my mom and asked her and christina to come get mason and dahlia. i knew it would take her an hour to get here. i wasn't feeling any contractions like with dahlia so i knew i had some time.

mom and christina came and took the kids around 3:00 am. miles and i left 10 minutes later and checked into the hospital around 3:30 am. they admitted me right away and got me into a bed. when they checked me i was 3 cm. dilated. they hooked me up to an iv with fluids and antibiotics. then they gave me a steroid shot to help the babies lungs develop. the shot takes 24 hours to be effective and a full 48 hours to really be effective. it needs at least 12 hours to do much at all. the doctor wanted to slow down or stop my labor long enough for the steroid to work. he had them give me a shot of terbutaline. this drug is a muscle relaxer that should slow the contractions. it makes you feel really jittery like you just had 3 shots of espresso. they kept telling miles and i that if they could stop the labor i could stay here in that room for a week until the baby was 35 weeks. giving the baby more time to develop. we were so surprised. we thought that once your water would break that you only had 24 hours to deliver. we never even thought that the doctor would want to stop the labor. i remember thinking. oh my god am i going to have to stay in this bed in pain with water dripping out of me for a whole week. i couldn't even imagine making it to 48 hours.

i was feeling guilty because i was thinking "he's fine. just let him be born. i don't want to sit here for a week." i am terrible. so selfish. the terbutaline didn't do anything and i continued to have contractions about 6 minutes apart. they gave me another shot of the same drug and we waited to see if it would work. they told me to try to sleep, but there was no way i could sleep. my contractions did slow down for a while, but then picked up again. they were getting closer and stronger. they decided the next thing to try was to put me on magnesium sulfate. this drug is much stronger than the terbutaline. they put it my iv. it burns like hell when it goes into your veins. it makes you feel very hot, like you are laying on a heating pad. my face got flushed. it is supposed to relax you. they also had to put a catheter in me at that time because i would not be allowed out of bed. this whole process just sucked. i really just wanted to be able to have the baby. i hated all the drugs they had pumping through me. the worst part was that none of it was working. my contractions kept getting stronger and closer and i just knew that i wasn't going to last long. i think sometime around 9 am. i asked for some pain medication. i did not want an epidural, i just wanted something that could take the edge off the pain. they took a long time getting me something. the nurse wanted to check me first to see how dilated i was, but my doctor didn't want her to. she gave me demerol. it was so nice. it doesn't stop the pain of the contractions but it does make you feel better in between.

miles was so great during all of this. he held my hand during the contractions and told me to breath. i really did do the breathing techniques this time. they worked. they really did help. i was surprised. i broke down and started crying at around 11 am. i just couldn't take it any more. i was in so much pain and it didn't seem like it was leading to anything. they were all trying to prolong the labor and it felt like i was being tortured. my nurse was so sweet. she came in and saw me crying and decide she was going to check me even if my doctor didn't want her to. she thought i was ready. sure enough i was 9 cm. dialated. she called the doctor and started getting everything ready for me to give birth. thank god. i was so relieved. soon my doctor came in and there was a whole team of NICU nurses and doctors that all came in for the birth. there were at least 6 or 7 people in there. i don't remember any of them, but miles, my nurse, and my doctor. i had my eyes closed for most of it. i was trying to focus on pushing. i kept thinking of my sister jen. when she was giving birth she was so good about not swearing or making a big scene. i was trying to stay in control. i did so much better this time than with dahlia. i did not swear at all. i did yell out that i was dying and it was killing me. the babies head was stuck right at the opening and it was burning like crazy. it only took about 5 contractions of pushing to get him out. he was born at 12:04 pm. 5 pounds 1 ounce. 17 inches long. my doctor said "open your eyes sherry. look at your baby." he looked perfect. he started crying right away. thank god. they let me hold him for about 30 seconds before they rushed him away. he was making a wheezing noise and they were worried about his lungs. they said he was in distress. miles said later that he was fine. he just had a little fluid in his lungs that he was trying to get out. i was so shocked to find out that i didn't need an episiotomy this time. i didn't even tear. hurray. the baby looked much better than i thought he would. he looked like a perfect full term baby, only smaller. he ended up getting 8 hours of exposure to the steroid so i guess it was good that the doctor slowed down my labor.

wow. birth is such a crazy experience. it really is like an emotional roller coaster. you just feel shocked for days. i am finally starting to feel like myself again today. i am sure the hormones only add to the confusion. well. there it is. the birth story of our last baby. such drama this boy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

connor day 3

christina watched the kids for us this morning so miles and i could go visit connor again. they said he has jaundice now. they had him closed up in his incubator with a light on. they are doing phototherapy. we couldn't hold him today. i was bummed. we could just stick our hands in his incubator and touch his hands and feet. he did look cute with his funny shades. just laying there sunbathing. he seemed very content. he has lost a little weight. he is down to 4 pounds 11 ounces. they said that was fine. he is doing good and they keep increasing his feedings. soon he should be off the iv.

christina took me back to visit again later in the evening. she finally got to meet him. i needed to go to drop off milk and use the pump they have there. i won't be able to rent an electric one until tomorrow. i am just using a little manual one at home and it doesn't do a really good job. i can't wait to have a real pump.

connor day 2

before i checked out of the hospital yesterday, miles and i went to visit connor in the NICU. this visit was so much better than the night before. his nurse was super nice. she even let miles and i hold him. i was so happy. he is just so cute. it was a little bit scary holding him. he seems so fragile. and while i can't wait to take him home with us, i think i would be completely freaked out if he was here now. he is doing so good though. they took his feeding tube out while we were there. she gave him his first taste of breast milk. i need to get to work pumping.