Monday, September 28, 2009

Picture of the Day

I have a post in progress but since I know I won't be finishing it tonight I thought I would at least give you a cute picture of the girl today!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Sorry not to update it has been a busy week. It is great to be home with Ella. Here is an overview of our last few days.

Pick up at the hospital was smooth except that Ella spelled about 10 min before we left. She didn't have apnea and Shazam saw her choke on her spit so it was we were cleared to go by the doctor. I almost puked and started bawling at the same time. I think the few minutes it took to figure out what was going to happen aged me about a decade. To be so close to going home and think it may be snatched away was horrible. Our day primary nurse came in to say goodbye and walk us out. It was so awesome. I don't know what we would have done without our awesome primary nurse team and it meant so much to us that Traci came and said goodbye on her day off.

After saying goodbye to everyone we loaded into the family truckster and were on our way home. Surprisingly I was not a complete mess leaving. I had been crying saying goodbye to all our nurses for the past few days so everyone was expecting me to loose it on the last day. I think I was just so happy that we were all going home that I didn't have time to be sad about leaving all those great people behind.

We arrived home and the animals greeted us at the door. Both the cat and the dog were initially really curious about Ella and we have a cute video of the whole thing. I will post it when I figure out how the hell to get it off the new video camera.

We are both exhausted but I wouldn't trade this for anything. Ella is sleeping during the day great but not so much at night. She isn't so keen on her pack n play and tends to wake up many times between feedings in it. She does well in her bouncy seat so we put it in the pnp at night and seems to do much better but she likes to be bounced in it and well that is not all that conducive to sleep for her mommies. She is also having a little bit of reflux which makes putting her back down after eating not a great idea. We actually bought a swing yesterday so she could sleep in the swing if need be. She has used it some but she doesn't really sleep long in it yet. I think it moves too fast for her. I would guess as she puts on some more weight the swing will slow a bit. She looks a little like she is on a carnival ride when she is swinging...happy but about to puke.

Tuesday night may have been a bit of a break through. We had been putting her in a sleep sack with a swaddle and I just don't think she liked it. So we went old school and swaddled her in in a receiving blanket. She slept from about 10 to 2 in the pnp! This was real progress. After the 2 am feed she was refluxing so Shazam put her in the bouncy. She ate like a little piggy 3 oz! and actually slept until 7:30 Wednesday morning. She is pretty much sticking to her every four hour schedule.

We have been taking walks with the stroller and a few friends from school stopped by yesterday. I may even sneak out to grab dinner with friends tomorrow night (tonight since it is 5 am) since it is back to school night and everyone will be around to grab dinner before hand.

So things here are good. We are happy to be home and starting to settle in. I have some posts brewing about our NICU experience and preemie parenting but need some more time to process my feelings. Now I should go back to sleep since I will be needing to get up in a few hours to feed the little one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


In a short few hours Shazam and I will be leaving to pick Ella up. I can hardly believe that this day has finally come. We have come such a long way in the last 68 days. My little 30 weeker is now almost 6lbs. She was such a skinny feisty little thing when she was born, now she is a chubby baby with two chins and rolls on her legs. I will write more later perhaps we will have a guest blogger this afternoon. Thanks to all who have been on this ride with us. I am excited beyond words and want to get into the car now even though we don't leave for 2.5 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Due Date

Today is my due date. I have been pretty much dreading this day since it reminds me of what could have been. Today I should be bitching about still being pregnant or cuddling with my new baby on the couch while we watch the Patriots season opener. But we all know that is not the case. I am happily surprised that this day has not been as bad as it could have been. Yes Ella is still in the hospital but the end is near my friends and I think that has helped balance me out.

It has been a real roller coaster of a week though. Ella had a transfusion last week and did really well and was so pink the day after (I guess we didn't know how pale she was) and I thought we were good to go for Saturday. Then she got her 2 month shots and all went to shit! She was spelling like crazy and was once again spelling in her sleep. She had not done this in weeks and I lost it. For one of the first times in this whole thing I broke down and cried in the NICU. Don't get me wrong there have been plenty of tears shed in the last 2 plus months but I generally held it together while I was in the hospital. I was just so done with being there, sick of that bloody alarm going off, sad my baby was still in the hospital, and just tired from the whole experience. One of our primary nursed was there handed me a box of tissues and told me that Ella was going to be ok and would go home soon. I was ordered to go out and have some fun and relax a bit so we met Ella's former doctor and her bf out for drinks and to watch some football. I felt much better the next day and so did Ella.

Things since then have improved and it seems that Ella may be home on Wednesday morning!!!! She has a doctors appointment on Thursday with her pediatrician, visiting nurse will be coming on Friday and she has an appointment for an eye exam as an outpatient next week. Her car seat is sitting next to her crib in the hospital and will do her car seat test tomorrow night. We are due to arrive at the hospital to pick her up at 10:30 am on Wednesday! I of course will not feel confident about this until the girl is in the car and we are driving away!

People keep asking us if we are ready for Ella to be home, and boy are we ready. I can't wait to just be home and not have to go anywhere. I look forward to being able to walk around with her and not be tethered to a monitor, I can't wait to be able to breastfeed with only Ella and Shazam in the room, I want to give my baby a bath in her tubby in the sink and not have to peel off her lead stickers, I want to watch tv with her and try to catch her up on top chef and project runway, and I want to blog while I try to keep her happy in her bouncy seat. So yeah I am ready for her to be home.

We are ready and so is she. She's come along way. Its been hell, but it is so worth it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Since Ella is now over 60 days it was time for Ella to get her 2 month shots. It actually wasn't that bad. I think since Ella has been poked quite a bit in her short life she didn't seem all that phased by it. She did do the open mouthed not sound cry for a few seconds but calmed down quite quickly. They also give her a little packet of sucrose right before they do any needle sticks. This seems to make them pretty happy. Do they do that the regular doctors office? If not I think I may steal some of these little packets to bring for her future shots. She calmed right down nursed for a little bit. They gave her some tyleno'l and she really seemed to like the grape flavor. She had this look of surprise and then contentment when they put it in her mouth. Let's hope she didn't get a fever since because a fever can mean infection if she gets a fever they will have to do a whole work up on her and that means a whole lot of sticks and prods. I think she will be fine since she was doing well when we left yesterday and I didn't get a call last night.

Speaking of shots Shazam and I need to get some shots too. The doctors recommend that we get the standard flu shot. Our doctor wants to wait on the H1N1 shot to see if there are any bad reactions. Poor Shazam will also need to get the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine since babies are not fully protected with the first shot. This is something for other parents and care givers to think about. They now recommend a pertussis booster to be given since the effectiveness wears off over time. I escape that one since I had pertussis a few years ago (thanks to my students).

I remember reading on someones blog the break down of her hospital costs and I thought it might be interesting to see how much an emergency c-section with complications costs. All I have to say is thank god I have good insurance. So here it is.

Semi private obstetrics $17,346.00 ( I have know idea what this means)
Pharmacy $709.62
IV therapy $906.00
Medical/Surgical supplies $185.00
Lab Services $4564.00
Chem Lab $2578.00
Hematology Lab $256.00
Operating Room Services $5051.00
Anesthesia $1769.00
Ultrasound $1334.00
Recovery Room $1476.00
Labor Room $6970.00

Total $43145.62!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our cost is $150.00...but Ella is worth every penny!

So that is 6 days of charges for me. I look forward to seeing Ella's bill. At 63 days and counting I think we will be talking in the hundreds of thousands! Thank god for insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quick Update

I was up pumping so I thought I would give a quick update on the girl. She finished her transfusion a little bit ago and did great. She was a trooper for her IV and Barb got it in with one stick. She had no reaction to the blood and is doing great. She will get a dose of lasix (sp?) when she wakes up to balance her fluid levels. Basically she will pee out a volume equal to the transfusion. We will have to wait and see what this does for Miss Ella. Her nurse Janice reported that she took her midnight bottle like a champ. I'll let you all know if she is crawling down the hallway when we get there in the morning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ready Set...Start Again

So Ella has made some real progress in the last few days. In fact so much that there has been lots of talk of going home. Ella has been eating on her own for days now and when she pulled her feeding tube out the other day they just didn't put it back in. She has done really well and was on a spell count (where they start counting spell free days and can go home after 5 days). Today would have been the first day she was eligible to go home. Since Shazam and I are at home watching tv without the little bubbers tonight you can conclude that that didn't happen. Ella had a spell yesterday when sleeping and two today when getting burped. This has reset her count and the earliest she can go home is Saturday.

Ella also had some trouble with her 12:30 bottle today. She was obviously hungry and would take a few sucks on the bottle and then cry and not swallow. She was a frustrated mess. Shazam and I were a frustrated mess. We tried burping, we tried a new nipple, we switched moms. It didn't seem to matter Ella, was not happy. We were very worried. She had a spell and her heart rate was all over the place. We got 40 ml of the 60 ml into Ella but it took almost 45 min. After that Ella took a nap and Shazam and I went for lunch. We all needed to regroup.

Another issue Ella has been having is a low crit level (low red blood cell count). She has been to this point asymptomatic but with her spells the last few day and with her problem feeding today the Drs wanted to do something about it. She has been in the mid 20s for about 3 weeks (she should be in the mid 30s) and they were hoping to see a jump. She had a good number of immature red blood cells the last few weeks. This morning blood test showed that number had dropped again so they decided that Ella needed a transfusion. I was going to be a directed donor but it takes 5 days to process the blood and the Drs didn't want to wait so Ella is getting bank blood. While there is some risk with this but Shazam and I feel that the blood supply is safe and the Drs and nurses put my worries to rest. With the blood Ella should be a new woman (or at least that is what the nurses are saying) tomorrow. This could really put Ella over the hump and get her home quicker. Let's hope so! The attending keeps telling me that Ella is on the launching pad. I want the rockets ignited and the rocket launched already. But as always Ella is in charge. We just have to be patient.

I just spoke with Ella's nurse and she seems to think that the bottle problem may be solved. When she was trying to feed her at 8:30 tonight she did the same thing that she did with us earlier. She noticed that the milk she was using was frozen milk. She has noticed that some kids don't like the frozen stuff so she did a little experiment. She heated an ounce of fresh milk for her and Ella drank it down like a champ. So we have now learned that our daughter is a bit of a milk snob! Fresh only for Miss Ella thank you! Janice said that if you heat the frozen milk up well enough that most babies will take it. Let's hope so since my freezer is full of frozen milk and the NICU freezer also is full to the brim. If this kid won't take my frozen stock I don't know what I am going to do!

Last week Ella decided to scare the crap out of us by loosing weight and getting the whole staff and her parents in a tissy. After much discussion and changes in her feeding schedule the girl decided to gain 80 grams the next day and 75 the next! So I am hoping that Ella is just messing with us again. Her transfusion will start at midnight tonight. I will be calling through out the night to check on the girl. If all goes well Ella will be packing up her diapers and saying good bye to her NICU friends by the end of the week.

My hope is that Ella will be watching the Patriot's season opener on the couch with us on Monday...her original due date!