Thursday, November 21, 2013

Little Piglet

No one in either the Gleaton or Deaner clans have ever been accused of being a dainty eater.  Charlotte is not going to be the exception to this rule.  After three consecutive days of weight loss (completely normal just like any newborn) she appears to have turned the corner.  She was born at 3 pounds 12 ounces or 1700g.  After day one she lost 50g or 1.7 ounces, the second day 20g or .7 ounces and day three a loss of 10g/.35 ounces more, weighing in at approximately 3 pounds 9 ounces.  As of today she was back up to 1680g or 3 pounds 11.2 ounces.  I think by tomorrow, knock on wood, she will be back up to her birth weight.
Above is the first time that Deaner and I got to watch her take a bottle.  I am pretty sure it was on Tuesday night but honestly all my days are blurring together right now.  I couldn't believe that she took the whole thing but she did, and I was impressed.  The NICU nurses told us that they feed her from a bottle every time she is wide awake but that she gets milk through her feeding tube if she is drowsy or sleeping.  I've been pumping and while I'm not producing much at all, I think she started to get my milk today.  Since she is under 33 weeks my milk has to be frozen for 24 hours before she can have it.  
I don't think that Charlotte has that alien look that many preemie babies but seeing her next to Deaner's hands sort of gives an idea of just how small she is.  It always surprises me when they lift her out of her "carrying case" for me to hold, just how tiny she is.  Those are preemie diapers that practically wrap around her twice.
 The preemie binky practically takes up her entire face.  It's a huge difference from having an almost eight and a half pound chunker the first go around.
Here is her scary live long and prosper greeting.  Evans was very concerned that the picture was blue but it was just the light from someone else's bilirubin light.  We have been trying to make it up the hospital twice a day on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays when Evans has school but Tuesdays and Thursday we take one long visit.  Imagine Deaner's surprise when our across the street neighbors came through the hospital doors this afternoon while we were there visiting.  He initially thought perhaps they were there to see us (though this didn't make any sense since no one but us can see Charlotte) but it turns out that their three year old had a Lego stuck in his nose.  Pretty comical (probably not as much for them).  

We are looking forward to seeing if Miss C gained any weight tomorrow morning and getting to snuggle with her the best we can.  It's sad to leave her there every night but at this point, I would be way too scared to bring her home even if that was an option.  For now we will just keep having positive weight gaining hopes for Charlotte!!  I'll post more when we have some more updates! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Well That Was Interesting

Well, someone was a little bit impatient about making her entrance into the world.  Oh what a whirlwind the past few days have been.  I've gone from crying that I have to stay in the hospital for 3 weeks to keep this baby in, I've cried because I supposedly had the worst gas pain known to man, I cried because no one believed that I was in as much pain as I was claiming to be and FINALLY I cried when the third doctor actually announced that I was in fact in labor, had been in labor and that I was going to need a c-section immediately!  Nothing is ever routine in this family, that is for sure.  It all started on Friday night when Richard and Evans were about to leave for the evening.  I told them that I was having some weird pains in my stomach but we wrote it off as gas pain.  The pain continued through the night until I finally called a nurse at 5:30am.  These so called gas pains were coming every 5-8 minutes yet no one seemed concerned because no contractions were registering on the fetal heart monitor.  I saw the monitor myself and the contractions were a flat line.  This story is way too long to type as I sit here waiting for Deaner to pick me up at the hospital to go home but the bottom line is that two doctors were completely dumbfounded that I appeared to be having contractions but not on paper.  Thank god the third doctor made the swift decision that I was going to have the baby, and have her immediately.  Deaner had already left the house WITH Evans in tow to come visit me.  It was a FRANTIC ten minutes of calling neighbors and friends to take Evans so Richard could make it up to the hospital in time.  I feel badly for the people that I actually spoke to on the phone because I was in such blinding pain at that point I was yelling at everyone.  Our savior neighbor Nina was able to grab Evans as Deaner dumped him off in their driveway and speed to the hospital at the speed of light.  I was on the OR table about to get an epidural when I finally heard his voice that he has made it.  Charlotte arrived about 12 minutes later.  Whew.  I am out of breath just typing that.  I saw her in a blur of them rushing her to the nicu doctor and couldn't believe how small she was.  She weighed in at 3 pounds 12 oz and 16 inches long.  I don't need to point out that this is less than HALF the size of her 8 pound 4 oz and 21.7 inch long big brother however, this size is fairly remarkable for a 30 week 5 day old baby girl.  She is perfect in every way and has been doing wonderfully.  She has been breathing on her own since birth and has a pretty spunky personality for such a tiny baby.
This birth, while FAR more dramatic than the last one, has been 100% easier for me.  I don't know what the difference is between this c-section and the last one but I have not once felt like I was going to die from the pain this time around.  Perhaps it was better doctors perhaps it was my mindset but I was up and walking on Saturday evening and by Sunday I was feeling like a million bucks.  I'm sitting here waiting for Deaner to pick me up now because I have been released from the hospital.  I can't wait to be in my own house with my two boys.

Charlotte won't be so lucky and we are looking at several weeks in the NICU you, at least.  We are looking forward to watching her grow and get stronger and are praying that we have her home with us by Christmas.  Poor Evans can't see her and this whole baby thing has been sort of anti climatic for him since we are talking about this baby who he hasn't even been able to see yet.  I feel badly for him but hopefully she will be worth the wait!  I'll have more updates as we get them and I have plenty of pictures to post.  Keep us all in your prayers.  We are going to need them!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unexpected Events

To say that we have really been gearing up and getting ready for baby Charlotte to make her entrance into the world after the New Year would be an understatement.  I've put the finishing touches on the nursery, including my friend finding this awesome rug that works perfectly with the colors we already had, bought diapers in bulk and purchased new Dr. Brown's bottles etc.  I've had several people laugh at me and comment on my OCD but it doesn't really bother me, better to be safe than sorry, right?

I was pretty pumped to find out that in Germany I would be able to schedule a repeat c-section at 38 weeks instead of 39 like in the States.  When you are 30.5 weeks pregnant things start to become significantly more uncomfortable with each passing day and a week early sounds like a dream come true.

I saw my doctor two weeks ago and Charlotte looked great weighing in at 3.5 pounds already!  WHAT?  I started to freak out a little that I might give birth the first 18 pound child ever on earth.  What would I do with such a giant baby??  She better not come out too big for all those precious gowns I've been stock piling!  After fretting for a few days and basically getting over my fear of a huge baby, imagine my surprise when I woke up yesterday morning, got up to pee for the 8th time that night, and felt my water immediately break.

This couldn't be right.  All I could think over and over was that I was only 30 weeks and this is way too early.  After I decided that this was not something that could be ignored I was able to rouse Deaner awake after only a short conversation about how I was not trying to tell him "his clock was broken" but that in fact, my "water had broken" and yes we did need to go ahead and get up.  This shot him into action.  A quick call to my doctor confirmed that I needed to go by ambulance to the hospital immediately.  A little dramatic for me, and I would have preferred the paramedics not track mud inside and all over my rugs, but what. ever.  Evans was shipped to the neighbors and we were off to the ER.

To make a very long story shorter, it was confirmed that my water did break.  Not the news we were hoping for but Charlotte was looking good.  The docs explained that we have several goals over the next few weeks.  Thankfully my cervix is still closed and I was not having contractions.  They immediately started the steroid shots to help develop her lungs so she can breath on her own when she does decide to come.  Keeping her inside for the next 72 hours will allow those drugs to take full effect.  The next goal is to stay infection free until 34 weeks when they will deliver her no matter what.  This gets tricky since my water has already broken so I'm on an antibiotic drip for the duration.  They said there is a small chance that the membrane will repair itself and my fluids will replenish.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I personally don't think that is likely.  I am also not a medical professional.

So, here I am.  Lying in a hospital bed.  Peeing in a pot because I'm not even allowed to get up to use the bathroom.  Missing my hair appointment this afternoon and fantasizing about how my hair will look when my highlights grow out to my ears.  This thought is second only to how bad my hair must currently look after not being washed for two days and just how much worse it will look it is going to look if they seriously don't let me shower for a week.  I honestly can't imagine anything worse.  Except the prospect of being here for three weeks with hospital food for three meals, crappy wi-fi, and no husband or son.  Sigh.  Things are rough right now.  The silver lining is that Charlotte is still a little piggy and weighed in yesterday at over four pounds, so if she does decide to grace us with her presence sooner rather than later, she at least will be a decent size for a 10 week premature baby.  I'm still hoping to hold out until 34 weeks AND keep my sanity but............we will see.  I should have plenty of time on my hands to blog and I'm taking any and all book suggestions right now.  I may set a record for reading more in 2013 than ever before!  Keep us in your prayers!