Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday (10/4) Update

Today went very well. We ended up having to stay another day/night since Nathan didn't pass the carseat test. I think it ended up being a good thing since we have nurses bringing us food, meds, and help 24/7. Nathan is doing great. He is feeding every 3 hours. We breastfeed for about 15 minutes and then he gets 20mL of pumped breastmilk in a bottle. Then I pump for about 15 minutes and store his next feeding plus extra in the fridge. My milk is really coming in now and I get more at each pumping session. I am happy about that because if I produce 2-3 times what Nathan needs at a feeding, we can start a nice stockpile of milk for later down the road.

I am starting to feel so much better. I am still taking the pain meds because I don't want the pain to get out of control, but my pain is probably no more than a 2 or 3 on a scale of 10 (mostly 0-1). I am physically healing perfectly.

As far as emotionally, I have had some rough moments. There are things that just get me going and I can't stop (which everyone says is good and I should get it out whenever I need to). I am sure I will post more on this later, but for now we are just dealing with things as they come.

We are looking forward to going home tomorrow, even though we will miss the hospital. We've had the best nurses, lactation consultants, and doctors.

Tonight I handled a feeding all by myself without waking Lee up. I got everything setup (Boppy, bottle of breastmilk, and pumping supplies), woke Nathan up, changed Nathan's diaper, nursed him for 15 minutes (great nursing session), fed him his bottle, got him swaddled, pumped for 15 minutes, made bottles for the next feeding sessions, and cleaned up all the bottles/supplies. I am really proud of myself.

I am off to bed. Goodnight! :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Update on Ashley and Nathan

Yesterday went really well. I am doing really good considering I had a c-section roughly 30 hours ago. I have gotten off of the catheter (YAY for going to the bathroom), off of my IVs (YAY for not having a huge thing to push around and tubes all over the place), and off of the liquid diet (YAY for real food). I am on pain meds as I know from experience that they are necessary. I am able to get up, stand up, sit in a chair, walk around, and basically can do most things. I am planning to take a real shower tomorrow (Sunday) and put on some of my cute post partum PJs. It will feel nice to feel even more human.

Nathan had a great day. He has been eating every 3 hours. We worked with a lactation consultant to get my started pumping and to get Nathan started nursing. He had a few good nursing sessions today (YAY!). We are basically nursing him for about 15 minutes on one side, giving him about 15ml of formula, and then I pump to help get that supply going. It's going really well. I am hoping that soon my milk will come in and he can mainly take that (eventually only take that).

He is just beautiful and so sweet. I am so thankful for how well he is doing considering he was only 35 weeks. I am enjoying every minute of holding him, singing to him, rocking him, feeding him, and just loving on him.

Tomorrow (Sunday), will be our last full day at the hospital and we will all come home on Monday. I am so thankful for the awesome nursing staff. They have taken such amazing care of me and Nathan. They have also been so sweet and sensitive to everything going on with our loss of Alexis. We couldn't ask for a better set of doctors and nurses.

Our family and friends have been amazing, whether here in person, over the phone, and/or over the Internet. It has been so awesome knowing that there are tons of people praying for us, sharing their messages of comfort and excitement for us, and just loving on us. We are truly blessed.

And of course, God is there always. He never leaves us or forsakes us. I know that He has a perfect plan for everything and that is probably the only thing that has kept me going. Lee and I (and our family) have had our joys and excitement over Nathan and our sadness and pain over Alexis. It comes in waves. I plan to write more about how I am doing with Alexis' loss, but I don't have the words to put together an articulate post right now. I'll just say that it is hard, and sometimes I completely lose it, but through it all we have God, our family, and friends and that makes it bearable.

Thank you all!

Arrival of Our Twins & Departure of Our Sweet Baby Girl Alexis

As most of you know, we went in for our routine 35 week ultrasound Friday. Everything looked great for our son, Nathan. He measured big and had a great heartbeat. When we went to check our daughter, Alexis, she was measuring smaller than we expected and we didn't measure a heartbeat. We thought that was strange but the ultrasound technician sent us to a room without telling us anything (they have to wait for the doctor to do that).

As we waited I had this overwhelming feeling that something wasn't right as we have always seen and heard a heartbeat. I immediately prayed that whatever news we heard, God would be there to comfort us. I really just thought that maybe she wasn't growing as good and that we might have to have them early since we had discussed possible things that can warrant earlier delivery. When the doctor came in, she said, "I have some bad news." Immediately my heart sank. She said, "Baby B doesn't have a heartbeat and has passed away." At first they said it was Nathan, but I knew Baby B was Alexis. We were in limbo for a minute, but we found out it was definitely Alexis.

I immediately cried uncontrollably. I was completely overwhelmed with grief. I have to say that in the 9 years I have known Lee, I have maybe seen him shed a few tears a handful of times. To say he was overcome with grief is an understatement. We discussed going ahead and delivering Nathan. I will say that even though I was overwhelmed and my heart ached, I knew that God had His hands on Nathan and that everything would be great with him. Lee and I called our family and wept in the room until we could compose ourselves enough to leave and head home to get our stuff so we could head to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and they monitored Nathan and he was doing great - great heartbeat, very active. They scheduled my c-section for roughly 5:00pm since I had something to eat at 9:00am. The c-section went beautifully. I kept focusing on Scriptures that were encouraging. It took a while since I have had a c-section before and had a good amount of scar tissue, but at 5:45pm I heard the greatest sound in the world, Nathan crying. Immediately came the tears. At that point I was still hoping and praying that maybe the tech was wrong and I would hear my precious Alexis cry. Needless to say, I didn't. The nurse came and told me that Alexis was beautiful and looked just like Nathan. Lee brought Nathan over to me and I got to love and kiss on him. He is so beautiful and I believe he looks just like Daddy's baby pictures. I opted not to see Alexis at that time as I knew that would be too much to handle while still finishing up my c-section.

We got everything finished up and I went to my room under the impression that Nathan would be in the NICU until 10:00pm (4 hours for observation). Well, he was doing so great that he came out in about an hour. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to hold and kiss him. Lee and I had some time with him and then Luke came in and then family came in in groups. It was amazing having this precious heathy baby boy and enjoying him with our family.

Lee and I wanted to see Alexis and hold her and let our family have some time with her before we sent her to the morgue, but she didn't look good and it was too much for me to take, so I only saw her for a quick second and they went ahead and took her. I want to remember her from the sweet ultrasound pictures and active kicks in my belly for the past 35 weeks. They did give us a box with her footprints and some of her special items (blanket, hat, bracelets). I know we will cherish it forever.

That night went really well. We had Nathan go to the nursery for a few hours so we could sleep and he could be well taken care of. He was eating about every 3 hours (he was taking formula). We are working on nursing, pumping, making bottles, and giving him formula. He is doing really well. He had an APGAR of 9 and the only thing he has had a tough time with was his body temperature regulation, but we got that under control. He is so beautiful. I can't stop looking at him.

I am doing great. This c-section is nothing compared to the last one I had with Luke (I think not laboring for 26 hours might be part of that). I have been able to get up and sit in a chair. I got all the hospitally stuff off (IVs, etc). I was on a liquid diet until last night, but I got to have a yummy dinner tonight.

We are just so thankful for our God, our family, and our friends. God is everpresent and will take us through this. Our family is amazing and is always here for us. Our friends are incredible and their messages have been so encouraging. We appreciate all the prayers, comments, and support. We can't express it enough.

Here is the Scripture I've been meditating on (thanks Krisanne!)

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." - Isaiah 43:2