Monday, October 31, 2011

A trick and some treats

Today is Liam's first Halloween! Check out the picture that the NICU nurses printed out and decorated.

Clint and I went to the NICU early today before Noah's Halloween party at school.

I was asked if I wanted to hold him and I said of course!

While I was holding Liam his oxygen kept on dropping so they had to adjust the settings which made me a bit nervous but it's pretty common in preemies so I didn't think much of it. I held him for a few minutes and then his heart rate started dropping.

His heart rate is usually in the 160s and it dropped to the 50s. The monitors started flashing bright red and I about had a heart attack. He was having a bradycardia episode where his heart rate drops. He bounced back very quickly but it scared me so much. I guess Liam wanted to give me a scare on Halloween!

After we left the NICU, we headed to Noah's Halloween party at school. It was really cute. They had a pizza party and then they sang all of their Halloween songs. Noah had a great time and it was great to see him interact with his friends.

Noah was SO excited to go trick or treating. We went around our neighborhood then we went to trunk or treat at my nieces school. He had a great time but was exhausted by the end of the night, he had a very busy day!

Candy coma!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween photo shoot!

Today Clint went to the NICU early and I went later in the afternoon with Monique and my mom.

It is always good to have visitors, it means a lot when people come with us to see Liam. I think in a way people are scared or nervous to come see him but as long as you are well and sick free, please ask us to come visit!

Anyway, since it was the day before Halloween all of the nurses had on some cute little witch hats and everyone was in the spirit of the holiday. I dropped off some yummy petit fours for the nurses as a yummy treat.

The nurses were doing little photo shoots with all the babies! I wasn't sure if Liam would be able to participate as he is much smaller than all of the babies there currently. The bigger babies were so cute stuffed in that little bucket with mini candies all around them!

They asked if I wanted to hold Liam, so we cuddled for quite a while. My mom was in there and I could tell she was getting very emotional. This was the first time she has seen Liam be out of his isolette and the first time she saw me holding him. I could tell at times she was about to cry, which then made me very emotional!

My mom was VERY nervous. When you aren't used to it (and I wasn't either the first few visits) the monitors beep constantly. Some beeps are of course serious but more often than not they aren't anything to be nervous about. For example, when the isolette is left open when I'm holding him it beeps every few minutes saying "baby cold" b/c it's left open...but nothing is wrong.

After a few beeps my mom started asking for nurses to come and help because she thought poor Liam was in danger. Don't fear, nothing was wrong it was just the beep from the isolette being open. My mom is a worried grandma for sure!

The nurses asked if I wanted Liam to have his picture taken in the bucket for Halloween. At first I said no but he was tolerating being held so I said why not. I'm so thankful I did because check out his adorable photo shoot!

I'm so glad I was there at that time to take pictures with Liam for his 1st Halloween pictures!

One of the nurses is so funny, she started measuring mini snickers on the scale to see how many snickers make a Liam! It was making me giggle. All of the nurses are just so great, encouraging and supportive in the NICU.

While I was driving home with my mom she started crying. I can't see my mom cry about Liam without being choked up myself, so usually I say "stop it mom, please don't make me cry!". It made me realize how much of a roller coaster this has been for her knowing that her baby (me) has been through so much and her lucky no.7 grandchild. I can't wait to look back on this NICU journey and hopefully say the time flew by and cry happy tears with her. Hopefully it's sooner than later!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Busy Day

Today was busy...BUSY! I was beat by the end of the day.

It started off with of course waking up very early to start pumping. Today was one of our fundraisers for the VLW scholarship. We were lucky enough to have Chez Clay let us have a fundraiser there again. It was a really good time raising money in honor of Vanessa, I still can't believe this year is 5 years of her passing.

It was also good to be out of the house and see my friends. It the first time I've seen most of them since Liam was born, so it was nice to catch up with everyone.

Painting pottery is always fun in my opinion! I made a really cute Christmas bowl and can't wait to see how it turns out. Everyone painted really cute things. Thanks to all who came out for it!

After we decided to take Noah to Barnes and Noble for a Halloween book reading and to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog. I felt really terrible not being able to take Noah to Boo at the Zoo this year with everything going on, so I found this activity and dressed him up. He wanted to go as Spiderman and had a great time meeting Clifford.

After we went to Barnes and Noble we headed to the pumpkin patch. Noah was on the search for the perfect pumpkin and we spent a good amount of time looking for pumpkins. Noah thought most of them were too wrinkly!

After the pumpkin patch, we then dropped Noah off with his GG so we could go to the NICU or as Noah calls it the "Nick room", haha. We had a good visit with little Liam.

This picture was taken the day before but I just wanted to share how adorable it is!

We did a lot of running around today and we are all BEAT! Hopefully Noah let's us sleep in tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mommy time with Liam

This morning was the first time I went and visited Liam in the NICU alone. Usually Clint and I go after work but since I was just given the ability to drive again I decided to go to the NICU after I dropped Noah off at school.

I was kind of upset b/c they took forever to round so I wasn't able to see him immediately when I got to the hospital. I had all of my pumping gear so I went to pump and then they were open for visitors, yahoo!

The nurse was so sweet and I feel bad for not knowing all of their names yet but she was just great. She asked if I wanted to hold him and of course I said yes! At first his oxygen kept on dropping, so I told her that it really scares me and if she thinks he needs to go back do it automatically and that I can hold him another time. Well his oxygen was fine and we actually cuddled for almost an hour! It was amazing. I could have actually held him longer but I had to go and get Noah from school.

While I was holding him I could feel his heart beat against my chest. For being so tiny I was amazed of how much I could feel his heart beating against mine. I just loved it. I just look down and can't believe how amazing he is. I already love him so much and can't imagine my life without him. He is just the sweetest thing.

While I was there she gave me a pumpkin hat to take him and wash for him. For some reason...this got me so excited! I had laundry to do for Liam! What!!! I then went to Target to get some dreft and to do Liam's first load of laundry. I wanted it completed before I went back to the NICU that afternoon with Clint.

OH and guess what? I also got to change his diaper! This is a first for me and it was a poopy diaper. His little butt is still so tiny. I'm so glad when I'm there to do all the "mommy" things.

I actually washed his pumpkin hat, another preemie hat, some receiving blankets my aunt gave me and another blanket from the NICU. After picking Noah up from school I rushed home to put the load in the dryer so it would be done by later in the afternoon.

When we went back to the NICU I was dying to put the pumpkin hat on Liam, look how cute!

Liam is doing just great. Nothing every grew on his culture so he is off antibiotics and is just doing awesome. They are now fortifying his feedings so he will be gaining weight slowly but surely!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kanga and Roo

First off, Happy 2 week birthday Liam!

Today we had an early visit with Liam. Usually we go once Clint is off of work but today I had a doctors appointment so we were able to go visit Liam right after.

It was nice because he seemed much more alert earlier in the day. I was able to kangaroo care with him today and he did SO well! He didn't tolerate it well on Sunday so we didn't hold him Monday or Tuesday but today I was itching to hold him and I'm glad I did.

He did let out a few cries at first as we were getting adjusted but after that we were so comfy. He was looking all around and responding to our voices, it was just great! Sometimes it's hard to believe all that has happened in two weeks until I see how much of a miracle Liam is, at times it can take my breath away. My sister Robin and Clint have nick named Liam and I, Kanga and Roo.

The visit today was so so so good but in a way it made me sad. I wish I could just live at the NICU with him and not miss a second but that's hard to do with having a 3 year old. I was cleared to drive today at my doctors appointment so I hope that helps and I can visit more frequently. My hope is to drop Noah off at preschool and then go to the NICU while he is there and then go back in the afternoon with Clint.

Health wise nothing has grown on his culture from yesterday which is good. However, he did have another blood transfusion today. I feel like every day there is new news and sometimes it's a step forward and other times it's a step back. Either way, spending time with Liam is the best.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Possible step back

We have been told that you will essentially take 1 step forward and 3 steps back during our NICU stay. Thankfully, Liam has been doing so well we haven't had to go backwards yet.

Today we were told that due to his blood counts they think he may be developing another infection. However, we were told it was super common due to the lines coming out of his belly button. They decided it was best to move forward with antibiotics just in case and we will see if the culture grows anything. I hope everything turns out just fine like it did when we had an infection shortly after delivery.

Due to the possible infection, Clint and I decided it was best that we don't hold him today just to play it safe. Liam was still adorable as ever today, I can't wait till the next time I get to hold him.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Today when we visited Liam we declined to do any kangaroo care since he didn't tolerate it too well yesterday. So instead we just touched him through his isolette. He was SO snugly, don't you agree?

I love how the nurses can make him look so comfy in his bed. The nurses have been so great so far that I feel so confident when I leave him that all is OK, it's so comforting.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kangaroo Loving and Diaper Changes

Well today was a very surprising day!

My sister Robin and her husband Scott came in town and were able to visit with sweet Liam. My other brother in law Brian came to visit Liam for the first time as well.

Since we had so many visitors we went in shifts and I let Clint and Robin go visit Liam first while I went to pump (that's a whole other story...breast feeding). Well turns out that this new breast feeding mommy forgot a pump part so I wasn't able to pump at the hospital.

I went back to the waiting room with my brother in laws while Robin came out and told me to go in next. This wasn't our "schedule" so I of course thought something was wrong because that's what mothers do...worry and freak out!

Well it was a GOOD surprise! I walk in and Clint has Liam up against his chest. What! I didn't know we were starting kangaroo care today! I got so excited when it was my turn to hold precious Liam skin to skin for the first time.

It didn't last very long because his oxygen was dropping (they think he was just over stimulated) but the few minutes I had were priceless. I can't wait to hold him again.

Also, during my failed attempt to pump at the hospital Clint had the pleasure of changing not one but TWO diapers! He even got peed on...teehee. I have to admit I'm a bit jealous, even of the part about being peed on!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pacifiers and High Fives


Today Liam was lucky to have many visitors! In addition to his mommy and daddy he had his Gigi, Aunt Mo and his Aunt Eileen visit today.

Since only Clint or I and 1 guest is allowed in the NICU at a time it can become challenging. We've found that it's best if we all go together and then we just keep on floating visitors in and out. Poor Noah and Abigail had to wait in the waiting room, no kids are allowed.

Lately every day I go there is something new. Today Liam had a pacifier in his isolette. I asked if I could see if he would use it and the nurse told me they just have to stand there and hold it in his mouth but he does suck! I placed it in his mouth but since he is to little I couldn't tell if he was sucking or not but it was still fun to try.

We were able to take the top off of the isolette today so I was able to touch him today. I love being able to touch him but at times he doesn't like it so much. I always tell the nurses I want it to be for his benefit and not mine, I don't want to be selfish for my own needs if he doesn't like it.

I have to admit though just being able to touch him really makes things more real for me, it creates such a good connection.

During one of the pictures it's like he was either waving or trying to give a high five to the camera, check it out!

Liam is now tolerating feedings. They tried to feed him last week but he didn't take to it well but he is now doing great. In no time he will be packing on the pounds or should I say ounces! He has now broken one pound and today his nurse told me he gained 30 grams (which is a teeny bit more than an ounce) so he is gaining well!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Eyes, Cries and Ventillators

Today was the first time I saw Liam with his eyes WIDE open. I even asked the nurse the day before "do preemies this early open their eyes yet?" and she went on to tell me he had them open for hours earlier. Doh! I missed it! So, I was so happy that I saw him with his eyes open today.

They were the cutest little eyes I've ever seen. Seeing him looking at me just made me feel so happy inside. I finally got to lock eyes with my little bitty baby. It was so awesome.

Another first was...hearing him cry! When he was delivered I heard 2 small squeaks but I never heard him cry. To really hear it I had to open the isolette but it was the smallest cry I've ever heard. It resembled a kitten. It was so sad to hear him cry but then again I was happy to "hear" him!

And the biggest news of all...Liam is OFF the ventilator! Amazing! I had no idea within a week of his birth he would be breathing on his own. He is really a miracle. Every day I go I fall more and more in love with him.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Papa Smurf

One of the nurses that was in the OR when Liam was delivered refers to him as "Papa Smurf", since he was blueish in color and had tons of hair all over him.

Since Noah was obsessed with Smurfs about a month ago I was telling him how the nurse called Liam Papa Smurf. I was hesitant to tell him because I was afraid he would be upset knowing his baby brother was blue but he asked another question instead.

"The baby had a BEARD?" he asked. My mom, Clint and I all began to laugh so hard...which isn't good when you just had a c section mind you! I replied that no he didn't have a beard when he was born.

"Well, he grew a beard and has a beard now? Babies can have beards?" he asked and again we all just laughed and laughed. It's so funny he was more worried about Liam having a beard than being blue. It's crazy how a 3 year old brain works.

Do you see a resemblance?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shades, Kisses and Hugs

I was happy to see that Liam was without shades today! His billirubin levels are now back to normal, so he was able to have some time without the tanning lights. Hehe. I kept on telling him this is the only time he was allowed to tan under lights. ;)

His isolette was also not as warm (I called it a rainforest because at times it was so humid there was water all over isolette) so I was able to see him much better. Liams nurse that day was awesome, she let us HOLD HIM! Yes, hold him!

It wasn't a skin to skin hold but we were able to life him in his little blankets and give him a few kisses, it was amazing!

We were able to get some great pictures today and the kisses were just an added bonus.

To get a perspective of just how little Liam is, here he is compared to a pencil. For being so tiny he is so incredibly strong!

Right before we left I offered my finger to Liam and usually he is pretty jerky (very common for preemies) and just moves his fingers away but not today, he actually held my finger. It was so incredibly sweet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Liam!

I really didn't think that on October 12th that Liam would be born.

Call me naive but I really thought I had more time to keep on cooking baby Liam. I was nervous every appointment with my high risk doctor but I just really thought I'd make it to 32 weeks. Boy, was I ever so wrong.

I woke up on October 12th like any other day, it was actually picture day for Noah at preschool. So I picked out a cute little outfit for him to wear and Clint took him to school. Clint then went to work as I woke up and began to get ready for my 11:45 appointment.

The whole night I was up tossing and turning and praying constantly to have a great appointment. While getting ready I was jittery and nervous but was positive that today wasn't the day.

During the ultrasound I just kept on praying Hail Marys constantly in my head over and over. I barely even glanced at the screen because I was so deep in hopes to send myself positive thoughts. I was only 27w6d...I still had tons of time to go. His due date was January 5th, he wasn't supposed to be an October baby.

Our appointment was for 11:45 and a little after 12 our doctor decided it was best to deliver today. Well, I thought I had some time. I mean...not everyone was ready RIGHT NOW, right? WRONG! I thought it took time to rally up an anesthesiologist, my OB, a neonatologist, etc...again I was so wrong.

When my doctor walked out to call my OB to tell her it was time, I started crying and shaking with fear. Now? They are going to take the baby now? Like today? I kept on thinking I'm not ready...I'm not ready. The baby isn't ready, this can't be happening today. I then began to think, oh gosh can I say no? Can I scream like a crazy person and say "I object!"? Of course, I didn't do either and just went with the flow while I was crying and shaking like a crazy person.

My high risk doctor came over and gave me a hug and sent me with a nurse over to labor and delivery. "Today is your baby's birthday!" the nurse said all excited while I just walked slowly in fear while holding back my tears. I glanced at the clock and it was 12:20.

Once in the room it was attack of the green people, I kid you not. I had one nurse hooking me up to a fetal monitor, the other one taking my blood pressure, another nurse making me sign TONS of releases, a nurse taking my blood and the anesthesiologist explaining to me he was going to have to knock me out for the entire procedure. was all so hard to digest and I was the most scared I have ever been. Here I am signing my life away and then a NICU nurse practitioner came in explaining everything about what he would do after delivery. I think I caught 1/10th of what he was saying while another nurse poked and prodded me a million times to find a vein and ended up in my hand again (just like with Noah and it sucked!).

Thankfully I didn't have to be completely knocked out and the plan was to give me a spinal. I was then rolled into the OR to get the spinal, Clint had to stay outside. I remember just being scared and hopeless. It took a good amount of time and I kept on thinking, why is this taking so long? Well come to find out I had an epdiural and a spinal and I still don't know why I had to have both. The back pain in the days to come from both of them was miserable. OUCH!

After that was done, Clint was brought in and then my OB. I felt like the whole procedure lasted forever. I felt that by the time Liam was delivered an eternity passed by. Once he was born at 1:11, we heard a few tiny teeny squeaks! It was the best sound. I didn't get to see him and they just whisked him away to the NICU. It was one of the best and saddest times of my life in the sense that he was born squeaking but that I didn't even get a glance of my new baby.

The whole procedure felt like a lifetime. I just wanted to get up, walk out and go check on my baby. My mind kept on racing and thinking about him while I felt my insides being pulled around (worst feeling I tell you!). I even asked a few times "Are we done yet?", I wasn't very patient.

When they were finally finished I was rolled into my recovery room and my parents, sister and mother in law were all in there. Phew, it felt good to see my family. Everyone was very worried about Liam and nobody had any answers. Thankfully, the NICU came by and gave updates that he was stable and explained that they were doing. I felt a bit more relieved.

My sister and brother in law then arrived from driving in from Mississippi. I was soon brought into my room that I would stay at for the remainder of my stay. It was good to have my sister Robin there because I was expected to start pumping immediately. She was able to help me with it, which was great.

I felt like the rest of the night was a blur. I was so sad to be on the regular delivery floor because I heard random cries from newborns which would just take my breath away. I so badly wanted to hold Liam and to hear him cry, so that was really tough. Luckily Clint was able to visit the NICU and get a picture.

Here is a picture of Liam on his birthday.

Liam born 10/12/11 at 1:11PM weighing in at 15oz and 11 inches.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I want time to just stop, I don't want next week to come.

I have another appointment tomorrow and I was told that any day I go could be the day. This is absolutely terrifying to me.

I've been in such a haze the whole weekend in a terrible mood. The only thing other than the movie Hall Pass that has taken my mind off of everything is Noah.

I can't sleep and toss and turn every few hours while praying and having terrible thoughts.

Please continue your prayers!

Friday, October 7, 2011


What a relief, no c section today! Halleluiah!

The appointment wasn't great but just having the weekend to digest the fact that I may have a baby next week is greatly appreciated.

In the ultrasound today we noticed reversed blood flow in some parts of the cord, which isn't good. My doctor thinks we will deliver some time next week. I was told to not eat 8 hours before any of my appointments (I go Monday, Wednesday and Friday) just in case of a c section. I'm beyond nervous and I really hope for a miracle and that this baby has gained weight, my fluids are the same or better, the blood flow is good and we can stall a delivery a bit longer.

At the appointment I asked if I could speak to any staff from the NICU. My doctor was very accommodating and called a NICU nurse practitioner. I can't even being to explain how sweet this lady was. She answered EVERY question we had (and boy did I have a lot) and explained it in the most understanding terms.

Was I scared? Heck yeah. I asked her about his weight with survival and she said it's not so much focused on weight, which made me feel a bit better since he is still measuring under a pound. If we deliver closer to Wednesday/Friday he will be about 28 weeks which are great odds. She did say that with a baby that small that we can expect a very long NICU stay. She said in her experience she has seen a baby born around the same weight as mine stayed for over 140 days.

I have to say if the other staff is half as nice as this nurse was I'll be in great hands. She really made me feel more at ease about everything. I did get sad when she said that Noah would never be able to visit him while in the NICU. I'm not sure how Noah will understand why Mommy/Daddy are going to the hospital every day and he can't go.

Hopefully my appointment on Monday goes fine. My doctor is out that day so I am seeing her partner and I'm pretty sure my OB is also out so I really hope that Monday isn't "the day". Facing a delivery without either of my doctors scares me too much!

As usual, please continue to pray for us! We definitely need a miracle in every sense of the word.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday Again

Ahh, Wednesday came again yesterday.

At my appointment we didn't receive the most ideal news. The baby only gained 2oz in 2 weeks, making him only 15oz at 27 weeks. He is teeny tiny. At this point he should weigh 1.93lbs and he isn't even a lb yet.

My doctor decided to do a follow up appointment on Friday and told me if things are worse and not improving, I will have a c section that afternoon. "WHAT?" was the first thought that came through my mind.

Friday? As in like 2 days away, Friday? All of a sudden I had a huge fear come over me. She even wanted to schedule me earlier in the day just in case of surgery.

I didn't sleep at all Wednesday night and today I have guzzled down water like crazy. That's another thing, my fluids are low so I'm knocking back bottled waters like they are going out of style.

I rested all day after the appointment yesterday and again today. I've never been so scared in my life.

Please keep up those prayers for us, we really need them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Surviving Bed Rest, 2 weeks down

While I was looking for tips to stay sane on bed rest, I actually came across a website labeled Bed Rest is Hell. I couldn't help to laugh and agree with the funny title.

I was on bed rest with Noah but I was much further along. This go 'round of going on bed rest at 24 weeks is pretty scary. Before you think bed rest is all fun and games, think again.

You always have something to worry about, you aren't on bed rest just for any reason. You are on bed rest for your baby so you always have the thought in your head that you are either doing too much or too little and maybe this is hurting the baby. Every twitch, ache, pain you have you think "Uh Oh! Did I cause that?".

Not to mention the guilt and frustration of relying on everybody else to do just about everything for you. Laundry, cleaning, cooking and driving are all things I've had to give up lately. Luckily, I was given the green light to at least make myself a sandwich or something quick "anything less than 5 minutes on your feet" per doctors orders. I have to say it's been pretty weird only leaving the house twice in 2 weeks.

Just not being at work for 2 weeks has been so bizarre, I have to say I miss it. I miss being productive and being at work. I also miss my lunch dates with Ann, a Cheesecake lunch date is much needed once I return back to work.

Below are a list of things that have kept me sane over the past 2 weeks:

Facebook: I can chat and keep myself up to date with friends and family. The chat feature is great and I love how I can keep in touch with people.

Pintrest: I've become obsessed with Pintrest. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. I've found a lot of recipes on there (and Clint has made 2 this week!), adorable craft ideas and fun things to do with Noah during the holidays. I spend way too much time on it daily.

The Bump: An online community with message boards where I go daily to read posts about all things pregnancy and/or baby related.

Netflix: I've recently started watching the series Greek. I'm not sure where I was to have never seen this show before. I've been giving recommendations to start up Weeds next. Being able to watch seasons without commercials is really amazing.

DVR: I've basically DVR'd every show that just started this season. I watch just about everything and again, watching it without commercials is just great.

Books: I'm not a big reader of books, I mostly read magazines. However, I've started a book that I read every night that I look forward to reading. It helps pass the time and I'm anxious to see what's next (it's a mystery, oooo!).

Noah: I've been able to spend a lot of time with Noah over the past 2 weeks. He has been a great helper getting me waters out of the fridge and learning to fully dress himself (minus me helping him with shoes). We've spent much more time together over the past 2 weeks and that makes me happy.

A thing I've realized while on bed rest is that someone always has it worse off. I'm lucky that I'm on bed rest at home and not in the hospital. I'm staying positive for the most part and can't wait to get past my "goals" and to have this precious baby boy. He just needs to keep on baking...till I at least finish a series or two on Netflix. :)