Friday, January 28, 2011

Conversations with Jellybean

Mom, there's some kid staring at me!
Jellybean sweetie - that's you in the mirror!
 Hmm - really? That's what I look like?
 I'm not sure if I believe you, Mom!
Mom - he looked at me funny!
Jellybean - that's you baby! Remember?
Whoa Mom - this mirror thing is trippy! I like it!

Check me out Mom! I'm dancing!

Get your groove on Jellybean! Get your groove on!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Boobs Do Tricks - need your advice mom's!

No really they do! And any Mom who has breastfed knows what I mean. These girls now have a mind of their own and I have stopped trying to have any control over them. Somewhere in this post i am asking for your advice/help too so keep reading! :)

When it comes to T and A - I have always had the A thanks to gymnastics but never much of the T. Wait you're confused? Come on now - tell me you've heard those expressions before? If not - I'm talking about Tits and Ass. Luckily the hubby was always an ass man anyway so I lucked out with him since my B cup boobs weren't turning any heads. My boobs grew exponentially while pregnant and I kept hearing - just wait until your milk comes in...

OH MY WORD! My milk came in like gangbusters. I spent two weeks ENGORGED. My boobs got wider, fuller, and expanded in every way possible. I could totally get a gig at the strip club down the road right now that's how ginormous they are. I'm talking DD's here ladies. (Which ironically were my initials before I married the hubby) When I say engorged - I was pumping 6oz a session no problem. I learned to combat that by pumping about every two hours or as soon as they started to get a little painful. Its helping - some. I have so much milk in my freezer though that I am going to have to have the hubby drop some off at Jellybean's daycare way early since I am running out of room in there!

So as anyone who has dealt with engorgement knows - engorged boobies make it hard to latch on. It makes the nipple flat and baby can't suck on it. I've been counteracting that by pumping for a minute or two before we nurse and it seems like it is helping some. The only thing is that Jellybean still always seems hungry after we nurse. He can spend an hour on there and yet after he comes off I can tell he isn't full. He latches on great and I can tell he is getting milk but its like my milk doesn't fill him up. We rarely have that problem when he gets a bottle of expressed milk though. I can also still pump out at least an ounce on each side after he nurses.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice?

Oh and one more thing - How freaky is it how GINORMOUS your nipples are after pumping? Seriously - it's like a little smokie coming off the end of my boob!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wait - I have a blog?

ummmmm......Hello? Anybody out there? (clears throat)

That's right...my blog is woefully neglected nowadays...as is my blog reading, commenting and my life in general.

Oh - you don't believe me. This is what I am still wearing at 11:15am -
Those stains you see on the lower right...that's where I leaked on myself while feeding Jellybean a bottle. I guess my boob was jealous. I haven't brushed my hair yet or my teeth. I'm considering just wearing this all day since we aren't allowed to go anywhere with Jellybean yet so no one will see me anyway. (Except for whoever decides to read this since I decided to share my HOT look with all of bloggy world! OOPS!)

Despite not being allowed to take the Jellybean out for anything other than Doctor's appointments my days seem to have too much to do and not enough time in them. There are chores to do, pets to take care of, boobs to pump and oh one of my most important tasks of all - watching and listening to this when I should be doing something else -

How can I be expected to get anything done when I have that cuteness to contend with? Then there are diapers to change, mouths to feed, bellies to kiss and tickle, screams to quiet and babies to cheer on during tummy time. (Side note - he can lift his head and turn it from side to side during tummy time!)

So no - I'm not on here very much. I also realize that as much as I love to write about my son and how in love I am with him - the rest of you have lives that don't revolve around him and may be a little sick of reading about him. Unfortunately for you - I don't have anything else going on in my life right now thanks to this lock down.

I mean I could fill you in on the latest happenings on House Hunters, Teen Mom 2 (seriously Janelle - why did you ever spread your legs? Vomit at her "mothering!"), or Top Chef if that tickles your fancy? Or maybe I should bitch and moan about how the hubby doesn't do nearly his share in the waking up in the middle of the night or in the taking care of baby realm? but that is pretty much par for the course with most men so I don't.

I could complain about the bitter blogger whose comment I had to delete because it just pissed me off. But what pissed me off worse is that they are the cowardly type who don't have an email attached to their name so I couldn't even call them out on it. Hey bitch - I'm running on 3 hours of sleep a night - don't cross me! :)

But I'm not going to do any of that. Instead - I'm sorry for my absence on here. Jellybean really is much more important than anything I could write here. I only have 8 weeks left at home with him (unless I get that winning lottery ticket!) so I'm going to soak up every second I can. I'm still reading blogs here and there and will try to keep up with all of you. I hope you can all ride this out with me until I have the time for this space again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Conversations with Jellybean

 Hey Mom! What's so funny?

Well Buddy - you seem to have a bit of a problem there!

I noticed! I think I can get it though....

Just a little to the left...

Stupid carseat! Totally cramps my style!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I was nursing Jellybean yesterday when I heard a loud noise come from the bathroom. I chose to ignore it.
The cat has some explaining to do!

I'm linking up with Aleks from Busy Working Mama. You should too!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

God Prepared Me For This

First off - I am slowly trying to comment back on your blogs here and there. I'm a new mommy so my time is nonexistent so if I don't get to you sorry! Bear with me and I promise I'll get to that awesome post of yours by the time Jellybean is 3 or so.

Second - Just to give you a visual - I'm typing this as I have a heating pad on my boobs since I'm preparing to pump and the heat helps those aching boobies. Oh and can we say engorged? This would be my second time pumping in as many hours!

Third - Will someone please send me a winning lottery ticket or inheritance so I can be a Stay At Home Mommy? I don't ever want to leave my Jellybean!

On to my actual post -

Its taken me a minute to realize this but I think God may have been preparing me for Jellybean being a preemie. I no longer think that all of my Dad's medical issues and drama in 2010 was just pure coincidence. I now realize that God was toughening me up and making sure I was ready to be strong for Jellybean.

When I was going through the possibility of losing my Dad, his surgeries and uncertainty I was certain I would fall apart. The anxiety and worry were overwhelming and I was kicked out of his hospital room on more than one occasion. Everyone was certain I was heading for a nervous breakdown. In the end though God prevailed as he always does and my Dad was just fine. As an added bonus my sister has been a master negotiator and has managed to get all of his bills either written off completely or vastly reduced so even the financial burden no longer looms over them.

Fast forward to Jellybean coming into the world fast and furious and spending two weeks in the NICU, followed by his poor congested nose over the weekend. Had I not gone through all the stress and trials with my Daddy in 2010 I don't think I would have been as strong and resilient during Jellybean's hospital stay. I'm sure as his Mom I would have muddled through somehow but I probably would have had more breakdowns along the way. Shed a few more tears and not been able to be grateful for the simple fact that he is here with us. Instead I learned to suck it up. Do what I could for him - whether it was a diaper change, kangaroo care or that blasted pumping. I learned to be his Mommy around the doctor's and nurses care. I was able to ask intelligent questions and make sure he was getting everything he needed to thrive. I would call during the night and see how his feedings went. I could rattle off his bilirubin and hemotocrit levels and I even knew what that meant. I knew to insist he receive the RSV vaccine before we left the hospital.

Now I am thankful that God took the time to prepare me. Jellybean is still going to need special care for awhile. That means we are held hostage in our house for awhile which can get old quickly. I currently feel like I am stuck in that movie Groundhog Day as each day follows the same pattern. You know those instructions on shampoo bottles - "Wash, Rinse, Repeat" - there is alot of that around here.

Diaper Change
Feed the Jellybean
Lay Jellybean Down or Play with Him
Wash and Sterilize Pump parts
Do Laundry (He peed through 3 outfits yesterday!)

Even with the monotony - I wouldn't change a thing about it. I love how excited he gets when he sees me or Joey. The frustration and enthusiasm when he nurses. The sweet little sounds he makes. Especially when he falls asleep in my arms after nursing.

I would go through every terrifying second of it all over again as long as it meant that we still got our sweet little Jellybean.

Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosts - Pour Your Heart Out. It is a place to just get whatever is weighing on your heart out. Please be kind to all of the posters.

Friday, January 14, 2011

We're Home!!

Jellybean was discharged yesterday! For the first time since I've been with Joey he drove home like a normal person. I didn't feel the need to ask for a racing suit to ride in the back with our Jellybean. He had a little meltdown as we strapped him in and I couldn't find his pacifier. Luckily we had a spare and he sucked on that thing the whole way home - hasn't wanted it since though! We are slowly getting our house back in order and figuring out a schedule. I barely got any sleep last night between my cold, feedings and pumping. I think both my MIL and my parents are coming over today/tonight though so I am going to nap while they tackle the house and baby and Joey goes grocery shopping. (My fridge was like a science experiment with us being gone for two weeks - eww is all I will say!)

Jellybean's future day care teacher is also being awesome. She is going to be dropping off a bassinet, bouncer, baby monitor, infant carrier, stroller net, crib sheets and some toys. He's not even starting daycare til late March/early April! How amazing is that?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This wasn't how I planned it

I waited until this evening to write this post because I needed to be in a better place in order to get it out without sounding bitter.

I spent much of last night crying my eyes out and that melancholy carried a bit over into today.

You see the whole time I was pregnant with Jellybean I pictured the perfect scenarios. I never even let myself consider anything going wrong. I mean we had tried so hard to get pregnant with him and 2010 was already such a medical rollercoaster that I just KNEW I was going to have an easy pregnancy. And it was - right up until 34 weeks and 6 days. At that visit the nurse weighed me and it showed I had lost 4 lbs since two weeks before...over the holidays. Then my fundal height was off too. That earned me an ultrasound the next day. Which showed I had no amniotic fluid and that Jellybean was measuring 3-4 weeks behind. Which earned me a trip to the hospital and another u/s along with a very painful vaginal check with a dry swab to see if I was leaking fluid. Which I wasn't. My first ultrasound was at 11am. The second was around 4pm. At 6:09pm Jellybean was born. I saw him for about 10 seconds in the operating room and then he was whisked off to the nursery. From there it was decided he would be transferred to another hospital which had a NICU while I was stuck at the hospital I delivered at. The transport team brought him into my room for another minute and then I spent the next two days apart from my son - which was devastating for me. Little did I know the next twelve days would be even harder.

It's been two weeks since I've been home. I miss my house and my pets. I'm tired of only having a room to stay in rather than the house I own. I'm upset that I have yet to ever have a moment alone with just my son or just my husband and my son. I hate that I have had to sit there and watch my husband rock our son while tears stream down his face because he too just wants to bring him home. I know deep down that I should be grateful. Jellybean is doing amazing for a preemie. He is way ahead of schedule and will most likely be discharged this week. There are people who are still looking at months in the NICU. My little guy has been on room air since birth.He transitioned into a crib at 8 days old and his feeding tube came out two days later. All he has been working on since is gaining weight and as of yesterday he was 3 lbs and 10 oz - so yes we are lucky to have such an exceptional child.

Still we feel cheated. Nurses have spent more time with him then we have. I didn't get to give him his first bath. I don't get to be the one to comfort him in the middle of the night. This wasn't what I imagined at all.

I was hoping my followup visit at the Ob would give me some answers. He had sent my placenta off for analysis and I wanted an AHA! moment of this is what went wrong. Instead we found a perfectly normal placenta. So we are still left thinking - maybe I was preeclamptic maybe not. But we did nothing wrong at least.

Now I just want my baby to come home. I want to hold him, rock him and love on him in the privacy of my own home. I want to be the one soothing his cries. I want to nurse him without a screen around me. Most of all though I just want him to be healthy - so if that means more time in the NICU - then I guess I need to embrace the fact that life doesn't go according to plan.

Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosts - Pour Your Heart Out. It is a place to just get whatever is weighing on your heart out. Please be kind to all of the posters.

Free Sample of Cool Diaps

I just signed up for this for Jellybean and I thought I would share it with all of you!

This is not a sponsored post, I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I never saw this one coming...

So since everything went down with Jellybean I haven't been back home at all and Joey has only spent a few nights there. So that is 10 days since anyone has really been home at all. I mentioned before that our wonderful neighbors and friends have been holding the fort down for us and tending to our pets.

That means for 10 days Blue and Cadillac have pretty much been on their own. These two are so attached to me that when I take a bath they both have to be in the bathroom with me. They follow me from room to room at all times. If I am sitting on the couch Cadillac is above my head and Blue is either at my feet or next to me. So 10 days without Mom has been devastating to them. Joey said that they both slept right next to him the other night and Cadillac insisted on being rubbed all night long.

Now Cadillac and Blue have always had a tenuous relationship. At our old house Cadillac learned how to open the sliding glass door and would pry it open to let the dog out in hopes that Blue wouldn't return. He would also wait for the dog to fall asleep and then jump on the couch and swat the daylights out of Blue's face. There are times in our home where the interactions between these two were like a day at the OK Corral. So you can understand my shock when Joey called me Saturday morning to say that Cadillac was rubbing all against Blue and they were now cleaning each other. WAIT? WHAT HAPPENED? After 4 years our pets finally learned to like each other? If I had known all it took to get those two to stop fighting was two weeks alone together I would have done it a long time ago!

This is also great news since needless to say when Jellybean comes home Cadillac and Blue will no longer be treated to the same amount of attention they are used to. Luckily - I already stocked up on treats to make it up to them. I'm not too proud to resort to bribery with my pets!

As for Jellybean news - His NG tube is out. He has done the last 6 bottles by mouth and completed his full feeds. 2 more feeds and he will have passed his last big test. Then we will look at another 24 hours of him eating ad lib (as desired) so they can be sure that he is taking in enough food and we should be heading home as long as nothing else comes up. He passed both his hearing and car seat tests. He is regulating his body temperature without any issues. I am so amazed and thrilled with our little boy. Joey fed him last night and afterward he just cooed and smiled at us. It was the cutest thing - every time we would laugh he would smile even bigger! I also had a blast picking up a few more preemie outfits for him today. I'm not going crazy on those since he is growing like a weed - up to 17inches and 3 lb 7oz. So hopefully in the next day or two I'll be writing you to say - We're Free!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Humbled and Blessed

First a quick Jellybean update since that is what my world revolves around now!  

Looks like Jellybean may need an extra day - he's tuckered out from going to full feeds and trying to stay warm without the incubator so we've had to do his last two feeds with the ng tube. Perfectly normal and ok. We were expecting a lot out of him and knew he may push back on something. He's still quite the trooper and way ahead of schedule! He did start learning to go to breast yesterday and had a great latch at 9pm and even got a few good tugs in. It took him a few trys since his mouth is so little but after that there was no stopping him. His nurse said he did get his whole midnight bottle down by mouth. I don't know about his 3am or 6am yet. I'll find out about those later this morning. So we are slowly getting there. His car seat and baby bag are ready for him whenever he is! He has also porked up to 3lb 6oz now!

It feels odd to be writing this but I have to say that I am somewhat thankful to have gone through this experience. We have definitely been humbled and blessed by it. When the doctor first told me we were doing an emergency C-section and my little Jellybean would be transferred to another hospital I was overwhelmed and terrified. It wasn't time yet, we weren't ready! How were we going to manage? Where would we stay? Would  Joey be stuck driving all over Central Florida to take care of me, the baby, our house and our pets?

Then God answered in a big way that we really needed! I haven't beaten around the bush about some of the struggles we have had in our marriage. There were times I wondered whether Joey would ever grow up and step up. Well on December 30 at 6:09pm - HE DID! That man has been amazing since all of this happened. While I was in the hospital he was back and forth between me, the baby and taking care of his son who was still down here for Christmas. He spent New Years sleeping on a couch in the waiting room just so someone would be close by the baby. Poor guy didn't even get to crack a beer for New Year's. He shuttled back to the house to get clothing for us and to clean up. He coordinated with neighbors to get our car's retrieved from the hospital I delivered at to Jellybean's hospital. He has cleaned the whole house and shampooed the carpets and cleaned my car out. Coordinated with neighbors again on taking care of our pets while we are gone. And the rest of the time he is either at work or at the hospital with me and Jellybean. It's been quite the turnaround in a week and I am so thankful for it.

We are also humbled and blessed by the generosity and support of others. I'll start with those neighbors. We have a set of neighbors who live at the end of our street. We had hung out with them exactly once prior to all this happening - you know everyone is busy with their own lives, blah, blah, blah. Since they found out what we are going through  - first they drove 45 minutes each way to help Joey out with our car situation. This entailed 3 people to coordinate 3 cars all done late at night. Then they have been looking after our pets ever since then - no easy feat when your house is a veritable zoo of the dog, cat, bunny and bearded dragon. But everyday they show up to walk Blue and feed Cadillac and Phebes. They didn't have to do any of this - I mean we barely knew them. It was humbling to say the least to have someone see your need and just fulfill it from the goodness of their heart. I don't think we will ever be able to repay that. Our other neighbors have been praying for us around the clock and have people all over the world praying too - I know its working with all the progress little Jellybean is making. When Joey and I decided to buy our home we felt like we were moving into a real neighborhood when we saw all the people out walking their dogs and stopping to chat along the way. I am so glad we made that choice because I have to say we are surrounded by some of the best people in the world.

We are also humbled and blessed by the love and support of our family and friends. My sister was at the hospital before Joey even made it. She has been my rock through all of this. Having had 4 kids and 2 emergency C-sections herself - she knew exactly what I was going through. I don't think I could have done any of this without her. From posting facebook updates,to watching Joey's son for us or to picking up socks and groceries for us - she has gone above and beyond in every way possible. I know we are so lucky to have her here for us. My parents have been such a good support team too and get so excited with every update. They drove out to our house one day this week to walk the dog, clean out the litter box and clean up for us. Joey's family has been diligent with prayers and support too. His mom was in Mississippi when all this happened and then had to go back to work when she got to Florida but she called me while I was waiting to see what would happen on Jellybean's big day and talks to Joey daily. His dad happened to be down here for a day and made it a point to visit his newest grandson! 

Our friends have to be the greatest ever too - as soon as the news went up on Facebook it has been support central for us with prayers, advice and encouragement every step of the way. Sometimes that is the only thing that gets me through these long days of walking back and forth to the hospital, pumping, trying to nap and just generally being a zombie. Its amazing how quickly that "pregnancy glow" turns into the frazzled new mommy look! Our friends also quickly answered the call when the paypal link went up and we are so grateful for that. It is one burden off our shoulders figuring out how we would pay for the Ronald McDonald house on top of our other bills. I'm including all of our bloggy and SK friends in this category too - I don't differentiate based on how you became a friend - you are still near and dear to us!

Finally - Thank God for the Ronald McDonald house! I wouldn't be able to make it through this without it. I love being a 5 minute walk from my Jellybean. I can be there for every feeding and diaper change and manage to walk back to try to catch a quick nap here and there. They provide dinner every night which allows Joey and I a chance to catch up and feel like humans again if only for a minute. Everyone staying here has such a sense of graciousness for the gift of being close to your child when they are in need. Its like being part of this family that you never had any intention if joining but are part of no matter what now. I know that once Jellybean is released we will become huge supporters of the Ronald McDonald house from the Share-A-Meal program to the Share-A-Night program - we will be indebted to them forever!

So to everyone we have to say once again - Thank you for just being there for us - whether it's kind words, prayers, a paypal donation or a visit - we appreciate it every step of the way!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Early Parole for Jellybean?

Jellybean is a week old today. I never imagined I would be writing that on the 6th of January while I was pregnant with him. I have to say - my little boy is amazing and such an overachiever. [Must take after his momma! :) ] {Love you hubby...smooches!} As of 9am this morning he took his first full feed bottle of 1 oz and guzzled it down. It was his 9th or 10th bottle overall. His next task is to take 7 more bottles at full feeds. He will also go to breast again today to practice for when we get home. Speaking of going home - that may happen as early as tomorrow. Joey is running to the house tonight to pick up his car seat just in case.

His other big thing he needs to be able to do is maintain his temperature outside the incubator. he is moving to a crib today and they will be monitoring him to see how he does. His iv fluids will also be discontinued today and his ng tube is coming out. They originally told me to expect him to be in the hospital until his due date. I guess my little boy had other plans once he got to be held by Mommy and Daddy. He has his hearing test this afternoon and then we wait and see if he can maintain his temperature while taking full feeds. Either way it looks like Sunday would probably be the latest we would get out. Not too shabby for a 35 weeker!

We are hoping and praying that he keeps being the little fighter he has been all along and that our next update will be written from home! Love you all and so appreciate all the support!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Conversations with Jellybean and an update

I promised a conversation with Jellybean last week but lo and behold he decided to come out and join the world on the day I was going to post it so for some reason I never got around to it. I also still haven't done my birth story and I probably won't get to that until he comes home.

Now what is better than our traditional Conversations with Jellybean? Why Jellybean LIVE!!

On to the update - he is doing AMAZING! Our little porker is up to 3lbs 5 oz and is taking a bottle at every other feed. They are going to work on increasing the amount of his feeds to sooner than every 9 hours today since the poor guy has been getting super hungry at that rate. The nurse has also requested that he be able to start attempting to breastfeed and for lactation to come and meet with me. We don't want the poor guy coming home and wondering why there is a boob in his face and not knowing what to do with it! The best news of all is that he is graduating down to the Level 2 NICU as soon as a bed opens up! He is just too darn healthy for level 3. Level 3 is nice because of the private rooms but Level 2 is one step closer to coming home! He needs to get to 4 lbs before he can come home so only 11 oz to go. At the rate he is gaining that could be in 5 or 6 days! What a blessing!

My milk has come in and so far we haven't had any supply issues. I am having to force myself to take care of me. Its hard to tear yourself away and go take that nap but it was starting to catch up with me. I even gave myself a 4 hour stretch of sleep last night between pumpings and boy did I need it!

Joey and I are both madly in love with our little man and have fallen in love with each other in a whole new way too. Whoever said it was right - having children changes everything. Luckily that applies in the best way possible!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

This is love

He has stolen my heart!

Baby Jellybean update

Jellybean and I are both doing well. They released me from the hospital yesterday morning after my blood pressure finally came down and stabilized. After surgery my platelets were low and one of my liver enzymes was elevated while my blood pressure was staying high. We're now thinking that I was preeclamptic and that caused Jellybean's IUGR and the lack of amniotic fluid.

Jellybean is definitely feisty and oh so adorable. He has started on breastmilk and seems to be tolerating it well. He hasn't had a bowel movement in the last three diaper changes though so they may end up giving him a suppository to get him moving. He also needs to have more bowel movements since he is slightly jaundiced and the bm help clear that out of the system. He's doing light therapy now to get his levels down. He has been breathing room air since birth and has a very healthy set of lungs on him.

They let me do Kangaroo care with him at least twice a day which he and I both love. He gets very upset that he isn't actually allowed to nurse yet and spends all his time sucking on my skin instead. The Kangaroo care definitely has been helping with my supply though and I am trying to pump every 3 hours so he can get the nutrition he needs. Its one of the few things I can do for him right now. He needs to get up to 4lbs and pass a few more hurdles before he can come home. We were told to expect at least 3 weeks in NICU.

Joey has been amazing through all this even though I am sure he feels run ragged. He had his wife in one hospital, his son in another, his other son down here and none of this close to home. He must have driven at least 5 hours around town yesterday coordinating everything. He spent New Years at the hospital with Dominik just so our little man wouldn't be alone. Last night we checked into the Ronald McDonald house which is here on the campus of the hospital - its $15 per night but we are going to worry about that later. It will allow me to stay close to Dominik the entire time while Joey is going to try to juggle between our home and the hospital since we still have our pets and everything to take care of. I'm usually not one to ask for handouts but this whole situation is going to be very taxing for us financially with me out of work much sooner and for longer than expected and who knows how much the NICU and everything else will be costing us so I am going to put this out there and if anyone feels compelled - we will greatly appreciate and donations that will be made. I'm just going to use the money to pay for the Ronald McDonald house. The hospital is about 40 miles away from our home and I just can't bear being that far away from my baby.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and love - we appreciate it all!


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