Wednesday, July 30, 2008

10 days old

a rare time while Quinn is awake (prior to being put on oxygen)
Quinn "looks" so much bigger in the pictures we've taken than he actually is, here is Brian's hand

Quinn's oxygen requirements have been improving since my last post (thankfully), he's now just on a bit over room air (the oxygen level that you breathe when not on a nasal cannula), he doesn't much like his cannula and has spent a lot of the day trying to pull it out.

I'm very happy on this front.

During our visit today, he slept almost he entire time and only nippled about 5mls of milk. It's so frustrating. This is exactly what Kaitlyn used to do and it's so hard not to make comparisons. Quinn was born so much "older" gestationally, but boy is it hard to not get worried.

Still abosutley no idea when he'll be coming home to us. He's 10 days old today and still under his birth weight. He's lost weight the last 3 nights.

I'm still not able to drive (c-section) or lift Kaitlyn so Brian and I are attached at the hip whenever I n eed to go anywhere. Yesterday Brian and I walked to lunch from the NICU, but I paid the price for my increased activity as I had some bleeding and cramping last night

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quinn's birth story and update

Quinn’s Birth Story:

Stepping back a bit, I think you all know I was admitted back to the hospital again on Monday, July 14th. While I was in OB triage, Brian arrived and said to me that we had better name our son at this point. My front runner name was Cooper. Brian hasn’t been really hip on the name Cooper. He was on his way to play hockey in the fireman’s Olympics down in San Jose and his friend was driving him when I called and said I was bleeding and that he had better come in. His friend Paul G. suggested the name Quinn to Brian. When he told me I said it softly to myself and I really liked the name. It rhymed with Corinne. It sounded very nice to say my children’s names are Kaitlyn and Quinn and their angel sister Corinne. Quinn is an Irish name (even though I am 80% German and Brian is about 35% Irish), McCarthy is obviously a very Irish name and our children have Irish blood in them. So thank you Paul for our son’s wonderful name.

At about 5:00 am on Monday, July 21st, I noticed bright red blood when I got up to go the bathroom. It wasn’t a lot, but I had only seen bright red blood a week earlier when I was admitted to the hospital. I let my night nurse know and got back into bed. It happened again over the next few hours (bright red blood every time I got up to go to the bathroom). The nurse felt then that it was time for the nurse to reinsert my IV (I had so many IV issues before that I was currently IV-less). The nurses contacted my doctor (who was in the hospital about to do a C-section) and she wanted me moved back up stairs to active L&D.

At that point it was around 6:30 or so that I called Brian (I woke up his dorm room at the fire department). And told him what was going on. It still wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was definitely much more than I had seen to date and it was fresh.

A few hours later, after being wheeled upstairs in a gurney (no wheel chair for me this time), both my OB and one of the high-risk Perinatologists came to see me. They felt that this was so different than I had ever seen before, (sort of constant active red-blood) that they felt the best situation was to deliver me today. If I had been earlier in my pregnancy (28weeks or so) they would have let it go as it wasn’t a hemorrhage. The other option would be to take a chance and let it go, and nothing might happen. But the fear was at this point it could start to hemorrhage at any time, which might be in the middle of the night and it would require an emergency c-section.

So I called Brian back and said it was time and that he needed to come in right away. I asked the docs if I had time for my mom to fly up from Los Angeles and they said no, they’d rather do it immediately. I called my mom at that point and still told her to come right away (which she did) but didn’t make it up until later that afternoon.

At least the date wasn’t July 26th, which was the day I told the doctors in no terms did I want to be delivered. July 26th 2005 was the date that I had my fateful amnio and my life changed forever. It is in a way the day I think of loosing Corinne, even though she stayed with me for 3 more months. Her fate was sealed on July 26th and that was not a good date for me.

The tears started coming then! I was 34weeks 4 days and I had so wanted to make it to 36 weeks. This was feeling so much like last time around (when I was 26 weeks 6 days) even thought I KNEW how much further along I was. I just wanted to keep the little guy out of the NICU and I knew at this point that wouldn’t likely be possible. I was prepped for surgery, Brian arrived and away they whisked me to the operating room. I was crying, my OB gave me a big hug and said it was going to be ok this time around. That he was so much further. I was a mess.

I had wanted a nice-uneventful planned c-section this time around. I wanted my family to be waiting with joy in the waiting room waiting to see the baby in the well-baby nursery. Why was this happening again to me?

Brian was holding my hand and was able to take some pictures. As the c-section commenced (I was shaking like a leaf and kept getting nauseous from the pain medicine) my OB commented that there was a lot of uterus scar tissue and that it was very, very good that this wasn’t an emergency c-section. She also indicated that the Placentia was directly under the incision area and was very glad to have the time to do it slowly.

Eventually (which seemed like an eternity) they got the part of going to get our son. We had named him just a week earlier when I was admitted to the hospital. I felt a lot of painful tugging and pulling.

I didn’t hear anything as they took him out of me and brought him over to the table. He then started crying. Really crying, I started sobbing, really, really sobbing. Brian was with Quinn at the time and I can’t tell you how hard I sobbed and how incredibly joyous I felt at hearing my son cry. I never heard my daughters utter a peep. I had dreamed about this moment since my girls came into this world silently almost 3 years ago. Brian and I spoke about it while I was pregnant, wondering if I’d get to hear out son cry.

I did, and it was the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard.

They cleaned him up a bit and brought him over to me. The nurses held him right close to my face so I could kiss him and feel his breath. I was sobbing, he was so beautiful. I had wanted this so badly I ached for this moment of joy that I was robbed of before.

Quinn Edward McCarthy was born at 10:31 on Monday July 21st

They did take him away to the NICU at that point and the docs worked on closing me up. Which hurt again and took some time. I remember hearing the doc ask for towels or something like that. I became very nauseous again and couldn’t stop shaking/trembling. The anesthesiologist was great and pressed on some pressure points on my write to try to keep the nausea away. (Afterwards Brian mentioned to me that he was a bit freaked out as he saw a lot of blood squirting out of me onto the floor and the day after we found out from my doc that I had a post-hemorrhage and that I lost over a liter of blood).

Brian asked if he could go with Quinn and I said absolutely! I was wheeled into recovery which panicked me a bit (brought back horrible memories). I was extremely thankful that I was placed in a different corner in the recovery room as I so clearly remember being in recovery with my twins when our NICU doc came in and told us the grim news that Corinne wasn’t doing very well and wouldn’t likely survive.

Brian came to me after a bit and said Quinn was doing great. Not on oxygen, (that was so joyous to hear) and that his APGAR scores were 9 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes! Wow!

In comparison:
Kaitlyn’s APGAR scores were 5 at 1 minute and 8 at 5 minutes.
Corinne’s APGAR scores were 5 at 1 minute and 6 at 5 minutes, 7 at 10 minutes

A score of 7-10 is considered normal, while 4-7 might require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with apgars of 3 and below requires immediate resuscitation.

In recovery I started itching horribly (a side-effect of the morphine). This itching lasted a full 24 hours and kept me from getting any sleep the night of the delivery. My good friend Lisa B came in (she has been a god-send to me while I was in-patient and was going to deliver clean-laundry to me that morning, when I called her to say I was going to deliver). Lisa spent 9 months in-patient hospital bed-rest for her first set up twins (she was extremely ill and almost didn’t make it) and then was also on bedrest for her 2nd set of twins.

She is a Doctor herself and it was reassuring to talk to her about Quinn and ask her why I was itching. She had already been in the NICU to see Quinn and said he was doing great. I felt so happy (but very out-of-it coming out of surgery).

I’m not sure how much longer it was, but they eventually wheeled me into the NICU on the recovery gurney (boy, did I have freak-out flash backs of this. The view while on my back, brought me right back to when I was wheeled in on a gurney – I couldn’t believe I was back in the NICU again, but this time I was brought to my son (in a different place in the NICU thankfully – I had actually known the baby in the spot before from 2005, it was our “twin” friend Ethyn).

I was able to hold him! I started sobbing again. I put him on my chest and put him to my breast. I felt so much incredible joy! I NEVER was able to do this before. (Remember I held Corinne as she passed away the day of their birth and then couldn’t hold Kaitlyn for 6 full weeks after she was born). I don’t remember how long I stayed there holding him. It was incredible. (I was itching like crazy the whole time which was horrible).

A few hours later in my Post Partum room I started pumping, everything caused me to say, “wow, remember how horrible this was last time around, I had just said good-by to my daughter and was now having to learn to breast pump.)

Tuesday: Quinn was nippling a bit of his feeds (a few drops of my colostrum) and formula. The rest of the feeds he was still being gavaged via an oral feeding tube. I took my first shower. Visits to Quinn where in a wheel chair. My mom was staying at home with Kaitlyn with some help from our nanny in the feeding department. All 3 of them came to visit me and Kaitlyn got to “meet” baby Quinn for the first time. That was such a strange experience, to have Kaitlyn be in the place where she spent the first four months of her life.

Wednesday: Quinn continued to only nipple a bit of each feed and was gavaged the majority of his feeds. He just didn’t wake up much at all. Quinn was transferred to the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) which is for healthier preemies, which meant things were indeed really good. This unit was right near my post-partum room so I was able to walk for the first time and not have to use a wheel-chair. Even though it was around the corner, it was exhausting.

Thursday: I was exhausted today and slept a lot of the day. My milk really started coming in and was able to provide Quinn full breast-milk feeds. He was upped to 40ml (a bit over an ounce) per feed. The hospital provides a “Celebration Dinner” on your last night in-patient. I had about had it with hospital food at this point. Memories kept flooding back of our last “Celebration Dinner” 3 years ago when we had just held our dying daughter in our hands, our surviving daughter needed a heart surgery and I was septic and being packed in ice. I wasn’t feeling all that great, but it was nice to chuckle at the horrible food they served and feel things were so much better this time around that although we weren’t really celebrating, we certainly were in much better spirits than last time around.

Friday: For the morning feed his oxygen saturation really decreased and the nurse put a blow-by oxygen mask in front of him which really helped the saturation levels. Today was the day I was to be released. By the next feed they had put a nasal cannula on Quinn. I started freaking out. How in the world could he be saturating at 99 and 100% for the first 3 days of his life and now needed oxygen? He was supposed to be awake more and wanting to eat. Instead he continued to sleep through most of his feeds which were fed via oral feeding tube.

He has lost ½ a pound by this point.

Brian and I were both super down and depressed. We packed up my belongings (from being in the hospital for 2 weeks), flowers, “It’s a boy balloon” and got ready to leave. I was told I didn’t need to be wheeled out of the hospital and was ok to leave on our own. Normally they have to confirm that the baby is going to be in a car seat, which obviously wasn’t necessary in our case.

I got really depressed and started crying as we made the walk towards the elevators. I can’t believe that I was once again making my departure from the hospital without my baby. I so wanted this to be a wonderful experience that I missed out on almost 3 years ago. Now it was feeling so similar. The feelings were so similar, even though I knew Quinn was in such better shape this time around. I couldn’t hold it together at all and started sobbing, carrying my “It’s a boy” balloon out the door. This sucked!

Saturday – Sunday:

Quinn’s oxygen needs kept increasing every day. Sunday while we were in the NICU, the docs decided to give Quinn a chest x-ray, as they too are concerned and think he may have a pneumothorax (a whole in his lung). We left the NICU (very sad and worried) went home and when I called to check on the results of his x-ray, was told the needed a 2nd x-ray, which made me really worried. The phone rang and I heard the docs voice (not the nurse who told me she’d call me back) then I became really worried! He said that the first x-ray wasn’t as clear as they liked so they wanted a different angle. The x-rays did s how some RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) or immature lungs. (Which of course is what Kaitlyn had/has a severe case of), but no pnemothorax, thankfully.

He really was puzzled why his oxygen needs have continued to go up the last few days, especially after not needing any oxygen for his first few days. At least he has started gaining a bit of weight, they are now supplementing his feed with a fortifier to make my breast milk more caloric.

Oh and when I left the NICU earlier that day I was back in the main “pump room” (it had been out of commission for a few days). I spent a lot of time in the “pump room” where NICU moms pump communally for breast milk. It actually was a somewhat comforting place for me, as helping to talk to others is helpful to me. It’s where I spent a lot of time with my friend Jenny (Ethyn’s mom) who also lost a twin and whose surviving son was a 24 weeker and was quite ill). We shared a lot of tears of the nicu up and downs together.

But it was also very surreal to be back there. This time I felt like a stranger in the room. So many memories. I’m having a rough time. When I walked out of the main NICU unit I saw a mom being wheeled in on a wheelchair in a hospital ground. I had been told by our NICU doc that she had been up all night taking care of an extremely ill baby, and I had seen many doctors over the isolette. I could tell it was a micro preemie. This preemie was in Kaitlyn’s spot when she was first delivered, the spot next to Corinne where I said my good-byes to her. My heart thumped in my chest as the memories flooded back and I became so worried for that mom.

Today I sadly heard that they had lost a baby yesterday and I know it was that baby that I saw, and was filled with the grief and loss that I know the mom must be consumed with.

I started crying at home trying to go to sleep. This sucks!! I can’t believe I’m going through all of this again. Why isn’t my baby home with me? Why can’t I have a “normal” newborn experience?

The NICU docs are still stumped as to what is going on. They decidedt o give him some Lasix (a diuretic drug that Kaitlyn received a lot of) if there is fluid in Quinn’s lungs, the Lasix will help eliminate it from his body. His urine output will increase a lot and will likely loose some more weight. Monday night when I called in to see how he was doing the night nurse told me that she was able to get in a whole feed (40ml’s – 10 mls’s over an ounce) into him orally! Wow, the only time he’d taken anything was a max of 15 up till this point. She said he vomited it up afterwards in his bed, but was really pleased! I’m starting to feel a bit of hope at this point. His oxygen needs have also started decreasing a bit.

I think the NICU roller-coaster ride and having a preemie ride is like this: just when you really start to worry that there is something seriously wrong with your child (I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to Kaitlyn while she was in the NICU and continues to happen since she’s been home) they suddenly start improving.

Every day I go back to the NICU I see more of the nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists that took care of Kaitlyn. They all know me and remember Kaitlyn and it is nice to be in a “familiar” place, as much as I wish I wasn’t there.

Here I had been afraid that I didn’t know how to tend to a “newborn”, I didn’t’ know how to take care of umbilical stumps and all that stuff. Now I had the most expensive type of nurses doing it all for me again.

Crossing my fingers tomorrow will be better still.

He nippled some ½ feeds (25 mls) which is again better than up till this point. His oxygen requirements were down. Of course when Brian and I were there he was very very sleepy and had to be tube fed the entire feed. I’m still hoping that he will be more awake and want/be able to nipple more.

Once again, I seem to be a good breast milk producer and I don’t need to bring any milk in for a day or two at this point. At least I’ve got that going for me. I continue to be really tired and I’m waking up in the middle of the night to pump (which is very sad, that I have an intimate relationship with my breast pump and not my baby) but at least I know I’m doing something really great for my little fella.

Kaitlyn is very very happy to have her mom home. She doesn’t really like visiting her baby brother in the hospital. I think she’d be very happy if he never came home at this point, but is still upset that mom can’t really take care of her at this point. We are getting into the swing of my pumping, Brian driving us to the NICU every day, with or without Kaitlyn.

Well I think that gets you caught up with where we are now. I’ll post more pictures soon. When I look at the pictures we’ve taken Quinn looks so “big” but when we are there in person his head is dwarfed by my hand. He still is so much bigger than Kaitlyn was, but he’s still a very tiny, little fella.

quick update

2 days after birth (the red bruise on his hand is from blood draws)


Things haven't been all that great, I am working on a long post and will hope to have it up sometime later tonight.

Quinn continued to be very sleepy the days post delivery and most of his feeds had to be gavaged by an oral feeding tube. (which of course makes me FREAK out with Kaitlyn's history).

During Quinn's feed on Friday (the day I was to be released) his saturation levels started decreasing (how much oxygen is in his blood). They put a blow-by mask near him and it went back up. I was released. They eventually put a nasal cannula on him.

I made the trip out of the hospital in complete tears, once again I was watching all the joyous parents with their car-seats leaving the hospital, while we were on the other hand leaving without our child. I sooo wanted this to be different this time around. I cried and cried all the way to the car and home.

Also knowing know that Quinn was being put on oxygen. He had been doing so well Oxygen wise. The last few days his oxygen requirements (how much O2 is being given to him) has increased. They decided to do some chest xrays, which showed immature lungs (thankfully not a whole in his lung).
First picture on oxygen

We have no idea when we'll be bringing him home. It's been very hard on me emotionally. YES it's so much better then with Kaitlyn, but I didn't want this to be my story again.

I'm anemic (with all the blood I lost) and very tired.

More later...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Pictures

Kaitlyn's first visit with Little Brother Quinn
a minute after birth

Liz, Brian and Quinn in NICU, Liz just wheeled out on gurney from surgery post-op

Hi everyone, here is link to pictures for you:

I'll post more details letter,

I'm tired, Quinn still isn't eating much, but he's doing great!

And we have more exciting news, Brian's sister, Elissa, just delivered her 2nd daughter today (on the east coast), please welcome Madeline, weighing in at double Quinn's weight, at 8lbs 16 ounces!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Introducing Quinn McCarthy!

Liz has had contractions over the last couple of days, and after some bleeding this morning she consulted with several of her doctors. They decided to go ahead and deliver the baby by c-section, it was not an emergency surgery but they felt it was the best way to proceed. Quinn Edward McCarthy was born at 10:31 am, weighs 4 lbs 14 oz, is 18 1/2 inches long, and was crying at birth. He does have some blood sugar issues and has not yet been able to eat normally, but he is not on supplemental oxygen which is a tremendous thing. The next 48 hours will be an important period, as is typical with premature babies. For those keeping track at home, he was born 34 weeks 5 days.

Mom and dad are both well, mom is in post-op recovery and is both exhausted and excited.

-- Liz's brother Gary

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Drugs and update

Today I'm 34w4days
I thought this was a fitting title for today's blog.

I recall thinking this same thing the last time I was in the hospital on bedrest: Here you go your entire pregnancy trying to be so healthy for your unborn child and be free of anything that could be harmful for them . But once you find yourself in the hospital every thing changes:

-Lets see, when I was admitted at 30weeks I was given to doses of Bethamethasone (to help speed up the babies lung development).

-Being in the hospital is so crappy that you NEVER get any sleep so they give you Ambien to help you sleep. (everything from the uncomfortable bed (with rubber mattress that I ask the nurses to cover in multiple layers) to the constant interruptions (blood pressure, contraction monitoring, heart rate monitoring, temp, time for meds, etc)

-Because you are never moving you become extremely constipated so you get Colase to help soften your stools.

-Because I'm having conctrations, I'm getting: Nipedifine which is giving me horrendous headaches, and lowers your blood pressure (not as bad as when I was on Magneisum sulfate prior pregnancy) but not good, supposedly the headaches are supposed to get better..

-To combat the Nipedifine headaches I'm taking Tylenol.

-The artificial environment/air conditioning is making my nose super dry and bleed and giving me allergies, so I'm taking Claratin.
-The 24/7 monitors on my belly give me a horrible, itchy rash on my belly, so I'm putting hydrocortisone on my belly.


Kaitlyn at home 2 days before I was hospitalized. Such cute pictures I had to post them.

She LOVES her blue twin backpack that my friend Lisa (with 2 sets of twins) gave her as a gift
When Brian and Kaitlyn come to visit, we "tour" around the hospital in a wheel-chair, which is the only time I leave the confines of my 4 walls in my room. Last time, we went up to visit the NICU, this was taken right in front of the NICU.Here is one of our favorite NICU nurses (Mary) in front of the NICU. She was there when my girls were delivered and was amazed to see Kaitlyn and how blonde her hair is. Remember in the NICU at birth Kaitlyn's hair was very, very dark
Back in my room, Dad feeding Kaitlyn. 2 nights ago she had such a huge vomit, dad was amazing though as he caught it in his hands!
Looking for anything to entertain Kaitlyn, here she is playing with rubber gloves.

Finally belly shots. These were taken at 34w1d. See the red rash on my lower belly. Once again the monitors give me a horrible rash.

Look at that beautiful 34w1d belly! Wish I was out and about enjoying my beautiful pregnant belly. Nope it's just me and my 4 walls (and my blog readers of course!)

Pregnancy Updates:

Well, my contractions have been increasing, so they've increased my dose of Nipedifine, to keep the contractions at bay. The last 2 nights the nurse has come into wake me up to make me empty my bladder, hoping that would decrease my contractions. Last night when I did that I had a small bleed, which of course made me a nervous wreck, thinking "this is it", so I could hardly sleep, but thankfully it seems to have stopped once again.

The goal now is still to try to get me to 37 weeks, (a minimum of 36 weeks), it all depends on my placentia behaving. Hopefully Baby Boy McCarthy will stay off it as that will help as well as keeping the contractions at bay. They are non-painful contractions, but they can still lead to more bleeding so it's important they ate stopped.

I've had to have a continuous IV port (hep-lock) in my arm just in case I start to hemorrhage and have to go for an emergency c-section. However, they've had some problems, and my poor veins are about all used up. I begged and pleaded and am now hep-lock free, so last night when I started bleeding I of course was a bit freaked that I didn't have my IV port in and that I should possibly call to have them put one in if I was going to start to hemorrhage. The issue I guess is that if i do hemorrhage, it makes all your veins really tough to access (as you are loosing too much blood). I'm just hoping at this point that it's not going to happen.

2 days ago a fellow hospital "inmate" was rushed up to an emergency cesction due to bleeding from a previa. I never met her (you never meet the other women who are as lonely as you are, which is ridiculous). She and baby are ok I heard, but it hit home that this is where I'm supposed to be for the safety of both me and baby.

I'm going stir-crazy, am tired of the food and some days am really down, but basically I"m just trying to count the days and knowing how much better things are this time around really helps a lot. Just knowing that I'm going to hear Baby Boy McCarthy scream when he comes out does a lot to help!

Bed-rest is hard. Hospital bed-rest is really hard. If you know ANYONE going through it, just stop by for a visit. having someone to talk to from the outside world really helps pass the time. My friend Lisa has been awsome. She actually spent 9 months in the hospital with her first set of twins, YES, 9 months and yes she has 2 sets of twins. If she could do it I can, she's been by so many times to visit, as she knows how hard it is. Thank you Lisa! You are my sanity savior!

We do have a name picked out finally! As I was in the OB triage on Monday and Brian got here we figured it was time to name Baby Boy McCarthy. But that's a secret until his arrival. sorry you'll just have to wait!

When Kaitlyn leaves she breaks down crying (remember that Kaitlyn hardly ever cries). It just tears my heart out. She doesn't understand why mom can't come home with her. It's breaking my heart that I can't take care of my own child. It's been a month now. My nanny and husband are doing all the work. I feel helpless and sad. But I'm just trying to let the "worry" go and take things a day at a time, as there is nothing I can do about it and I know Kaitlyn is in really good hands.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back in hosptial again..

It's monday night, and I've been readmitted to the hospital. as I've said, Placentia Previa can change at any time, even after my good doctor report from Friday, I started bleeding (a lot ) this morning, so immediately went to the hospital, knowing that I'd be admitted for the duration, which is indeed the case.

No bleeding since, so it's status quo again at this point.

Today I'm 33w5days, so am feeling a lot more "comfortable" than I was at 30w, (and obviously so much better than with the twins a million times over), but I still really wanted a full-termer, regular experience.

See, I just heard a baby cry down the hall as typed the above (I'm in Labor and Delivery obviously), that's not to be my experience.....

But I'm in good spirits (better than this morning of course) and just hoping that I can last 2+ weeks more at this point.

Kaitlyn isn't very happy mom's not home of course, and it's complicated, but I feel that it's for a much shorter time now than before and that I can do this (we can do it).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

33 weeks and Counting!!

Today I'm 33 weeks and counting, seem to be doing well, haven't had ANY bleeding (not even dark spotting) for about 5 days now!!

On the 5th of July we went to the County Fair, it was So wonderful to get out of the house and to spend some time with Kaitlyn, Brian, my brother Gary and his girlfriend. I was all smiles all day!
We are now battling about 100+ temperatures, really tough when you are pregnant, house-bound and don't have air conditioning...but all-in-all I'm really feeling great and so happy to be 33 weeks. For some reason 33 weeks seems so much better to me. At the longest I'll have 4 more weeks to go, but I think it's likely they want me to deliver at 36 weeks. That's only 3 weeks away! wowee, I don't feel ready for the little guy to come yet!
Doctor (high-risk) doc visit tomorow, so maybe we'll have a plan at that point. and will get to find out how much the little guy weighs. I'm looking forward to it, and am going to drive for the first time since hospitalized....really looking forward to that too!
My sister-in-law (back east) is due to go into labor any day now, with her 2nd little girl! Wish for everything to go well for her!
I just realized that my blog is nearing 1/4 of a million visits since it's inception! woweee! That's crazy.

Kaitlyn enjoying the car ride at the Fair

Mom, Brother Gary and his girlfriend Jayme. Not sure how much fun they had pushing me and a toddler around!

The McCarthys in front of the cows

Kaitlyn was a bit small to go on the swings with dad, you can hardly see her behind him she's so tiny. When she stood in front of the height line, she stood on her tippy-toes (without dad even asking her) it was very cute.

Dad and Kaitlyn on the Merry-go-round (no rides for mom)
Kaitlyn petting a baby cow

Gary, Jayme in front of the ferris-wheel, waiting for fireworks to start (note the wheel-chair behind them!) I was sitting/laying on the blanket
Some of Kaitlyn's "weird" behavior, for about 45 minutes she stuffed hay and whatever else she could collect into the windows of her car. 45 minutes. At least she did answer to her name when I spoke to her, but this is some of the "strange" behavior I mentioned in my last post.
Kaitlyn was VERY afraid during the fireworks, as sad as I was for her, I think this was literally the very first time she clung on to me for anything. She gripped my shirt and had her head in my chest. She did watch withe fireworks with one eye, and the other burrowed in me. She did quite well all things considered, we were very close to the show and it was loud. Now she talks about it, "pretty, scary fireworks; stars with lots of colors"

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th of July

The 4th of July holiday is one of my favorites. Typically I've always spent it in the mountains, enjoying all of the small mountain towns have to offer in the summer. This year, we obviously won't be going anywhere.

I had a LOT of contractions 2 nights ago and was worried, but things seem to have settled down. I did end up going into see my peri yesterday, did a non-stress test of the baby, and he's doing fine, (as I thought as he's moving like crazy, which is reassuring during all those contractions), but they obviously don't want me contracting a lot due to the previa. I was given some pill form of Terbulatine in case I have a lot of contractions again.

I'm sleeping horribly, between contractions, worrying about bleeding every time I get up to pee, mccarthy baby boy kicking his mamma like crazy but mainly mental stress and worry. 2 nights ago I think I slept about 3 hours all night (i read 2 books!)

I had another dark bleeding episode over the last 4 days or so (I think I mentioned) but it seems to have also quieted down, so just taking things day by day.

I turned 32 weeks yesterday, and my belly is really finally growing!

I've had a bit of reflux (not too bad), which I laugh at as I never had that before with my first (short) pregnancy! I welcome all of the uncomfortable 3rd trimester pregnancy pains, to me (and all the micro preemie moms I know), they are wonderful! You'll never hear me complain about being too big and uncomfortable with pregnancy!

Here's a belly picture at 32 weeks! (I haven't done any belly pictures as Brian hasn't been home, so I finally did a self-portrait today). Nice circles under my eyes, huh?

I'm going a bit stir crazy (I was soooo happy to leave the house and go in the car yesterday to the doctor's office in SF). Brian has been working a lot (5 days this week, 24 hr shifts) so once again, my life-saving nanny has helped us out and is working 11 hour shifts. Kaitlyn is having a rough time of it, she doesn't like mom not being able to bathe or feed her. She seems to be acting about a bit, but I think is a lot happier having mom home at least.

Moms in my community have been amazing: I've had about 6 friends/neighbors/twin club members bring me meals. Sometimes they've even purchased other items that I'm out of (soap for Kaitlyn, wipes) as I'm not taking care of her and run out of things before I realize it (and I can't get to the store and Brian is working so much). Without the meals I think I'd be living off of frozen dinners. Thank you thank you everyone, you guys are an amazing life-saver, and makes me realize how much moms stick together and really help out others in need.

Kaitlyn updates:

Feeding: We are letting her eat something more toddler specific with every meal. Her chewing still isn't all that great, and if this was all we fed her she would never get any calories in. (like a bit of pizza, waffle, chicken) It takes her a LONG time to chew. She's vomiting now about 1x every 2 days on average. She's still on periactin (our life saver drug of choice). The Pghlem monster seems to be totally under control with this drug. We have an allergist appt in a few more weeks (hopefully I'll be able to take her and won't be in the hospital). We'll have to go off the periactin a week before the appointment and that is worrisome! She is battling us when it comes to drinking milk. It's really, really tough to get the 3 ounces we get in her with each meal, but boy-oh-boy it's a battle. I thought kids were supposed to like milk. We've resorted to strawberry and/or chocolate, with little difference in her willingness to drink it. One meal a day we substitute V8-Fusion juice (which has veggies in it too) and she drinks it with no problem.

She is not liking wearing her glasses suddenly and continues to look out the top of them when reading close up (or holds things super close without our without her glasses). We have an eye appt for her in 2 weeks.

The last 3 days in a row she's refused to nap. After about an hour or so we (or my nanny) takes her out. she at least is falling asleep promptly at 8pm, otherwise, she'll stay awake until 10pm. I guess her little body just needs 12 hours of sleep, maybe we are done with a nap? oh no!~

We are holding off potty training again until the little guy comes. With my being out of commission and not knowing how she'll react once he comes, figured it was better to just let things be for the time being. We try on the potty (she's willing to sit and TOTALLY understands the concept, but basically refuses to poo/pee on the potty at this point). So it's going to have to be a cold-turkey, no more diapers session, tough to manage for me at this point on modified bedrest.

I'm concerned about her developmentally/socially. As she is getting older I'm really starting to notice more and more differences between her and similar aged children (even taking into account her adjusted age vs chronological age). I'm worried. Her therapists say she's def not autistic....we'll see how things go once I go through the IEP for school (after age 3 when she's finished with regional center).

Everyone says, "oh she looks so great" which is tough to hear sometimes, as I know she's behind and they may or may not see it too, but they are comparing her with where she's been (a 1.5 lb baby). Yes, I know she's doing well, for how sick she WAS, but damn-it, I want her to be "normal" now....(I know what is "normal"). I know she's going to have lasting effects from her extreme prematurity her whole life and it breaks my heart.

She will be starting preschool in Sept (a very small class size (8 - 10 kids) 2.5 hours 3 days a week, within walking distance to our house). I think it will be very good for her and will really be interesting to see how she does. Here are some of my observations that I think are a bit "strange" or out of the ordinary:

1. She doesn't like to make eye contact (still)
2. When other kids try to grab her hand and play with her she pulls her hand back and says, no, no no. And plays by herself.
3. She focuses on objects instead of people. She's always interested in what someone is carrying, not the person.
4. She doesn't like to be held
5. She rolls around on the couch/floor trying to get sensory input
6. She repeats a lot of what we say verbatim (and remembers it to), but doesn't come up with many of her own sentences
7. She's pulling out her hair and putting it in her mouth (loves eating hair, threads, etc).
8. She really likes having something in her mouth most of the time (her blankie, her hands, bites her nails, a toy) and can get upset when we take her hands out of her mouth. With her blankie she likes to tear it to threads so she can eat the threads

Hmm, that's all I can think of now on top of my head.

Happy 4th of July to everyone! My brother is coming for a visit (last time he was here when I was on bedrest I ended up in the hospital and delivered 2 weeks later, so let's hope he doesn't bring me that "luck" again!) I MAY go to the county fair, (we borrowed a wheel chair from Kaitlyn's Easter Seals), it's close to our house so I'm really hoping all will be ok and I can "live" a little (and watch Katilyn's joy at the animals and rides).