One Year Ago


My water broke around 2:45 a.m. on June 7, 2012 when I was 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  I thought I had to pee, so I went to the bathroom.  Climbing back into bed, I realized that I was still peeing myself.  Duh!  Not pee.

That was the beginning of my crazy journey.  You can read the whole story, starting here.

The last year has been the longest, emotional roller coaster I have ever been on.  I don’t see it ending anytime soon but I do see it getting better with the highs being higher and sticking around for longer.

The end result was luckily a healthy and happy baby (for the most part) and we are so incredibly lucky and grateful for the support and care we received in the antepartum and NICU at the hospital.  If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure where we would be today.

I’m feeling particularly emotional and alone these days.  To think back on how much life has changed is surreal.  I know that having a baby is life changing but I don’t know what it’s like to have a full-term baby and I’m starting to really see the differences between Roo and her friends in our mommy group.  It’s hard to see.

I’m jealous.  It makes the past year even more bittersweet as I watch them start to walk and run, say mama and dada.  I know that Roo is making huge progress but the differences are greater and greater each day and I feel we are being left behind in the dust.

I wish that my water hadn’t broken last year on this day.  I wish she could have stayed inside of me until 40 weeks.  I wish.  I wish.  I wish.  But, it is what it is.

I need to celebrate what we have and accept what happened.  I think until I can wrap my brain around the surreal reality of a year ago that I can start to move on and be at peace.  Until then, I give myself permission to be sad and mourn what could have been.

In two weeks, we will celebrate our little girl’s first birthday.  I can’t wait!  She is the light of my life these days and to watch her dive into her cake will bring a great big smile to my face and lighten my heart.

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Therapy


I’ve started to see an individual therapist.  I’ve been feeling incredibly depressed lately and it has gotten pretty bad.  I feel completely unmotivated, angry, sad.  I don’t feel like myself and I decided it was time to do something about it.  A friend told me about her experience on antidepressants and how it helped to lift the fog of negativity so she could start to feel like herself again.  I haven’t broached the topic of antidepressants yet but I think I will soon.

I LOVE my therapist.  From the moment I met her and started to share with her (just my background and family history), I felt like she “got me.”  She even was able to articulate some feelings and put a label on them when I’ve been struggling for some time to do so.  As you know, I’ve been struggling a lot with MH and I brought up my “issues” with him.  She said that she wants to work with me on those because I’m committed to working on those but first I need to deal with the TRAUMA (she defined my experience as trauma) of the miscarriage, leading to a difficult pregnancy, leading to bed rest, leading to premature birth, etc.  She believes that when I’ve dealt with the emotions of the trauma of one emotionally challenging thing to another that I will better be able to work on my relationship with my husband.  I love it – I just wish I could speed up time so I feel better faster.

One of the homework assignments was for me to put down on paper each individual experience as a fact and then write about how I felt then and how I feel about it now. I think that I’m able to upload it for you to read (sorry it is so tiny).  These are deeply personal feelings and thoughts and I hope that you will be respectful if you choose to comment about what I’ve written.

Therapy Writing

I realize when looking at the whole picture that I was depressed through most of the last two years.  That I have felt very alone, scared and overwhelmed through the miscarriage, feeling so ill with my pregnancy with Roo, my water breaking, the hospital stay and even now dealing with the ongoing appointments with occupational therapists, nutritionists, etc.  I should probably write about it more here.  I just don’t have the time and I’m exhausted (and depressed, which doesn’t help).

So, maybe some of you feel the same way as I do, even if you haven’t been down the exact same path as me.  Please share with me.  I know I’m not entirely alone here.

xo

Birth plans and birthing classes


I had started to think about a birth plan and was excited for our upcoming birthing class when my water broke early in the morning 8 weeks before my due date. When we got to the hospital and I thought I might have to deliver that morning, I was terrified because I didn’t know what to expect for labor and delivery. My awesome nurse that morning reassured me that she would walk me through the process as it happened and to not worry. I didn’t deliver that morning but did two weeks later and I had no more concrete knowledge on June 21 than I did on June 7.

The truth is though that I didn’t need the knowledge. Somehow or other my body did what it needed to do. My labor and delivery nurse on June 21 was amazing and walked me through everything I needed to know and do and while Roo’s birth wasn’t the experience I dreamed about, it was totally fine.

I think that if we had taken the classes and I had come up with a plan that I would have mentally prepared myself for something and would have been very disappointed.

I learned a valuable lesson that things don’t work out how you plan them to and it is ok. Ha!! It’s a lesson I’ve been learning throughout his entire experience. From my miscarriage to our infertility struggles to our surprise natural pregnancy to my water breaking early and now in dealing with a preemie.

I’m glad that the my birth plan was chosen for me. It removed one less burden for me to worry about. My one piece of advice for expectant mothers is to let go of your plan. Your body is going to react to labor in ways you cannot predict. Go with the labor flow and make your decisions as it happens. It’s nearly impossible to plan for something so out of your control!! Never in my life would I have planned for an epidural but it was the best darn decision I made for myself that day and I don’t regret it at all 🙂

Baby Roo’s Birth Story: Part Four


To catch up on the first part of Roo’s birth, please read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

Around 11am, the attending OB came into my room and said that one of the doctors would be coming in at noon to check and see how far I had progressed.  Another one of the doctors came in shortly after and offered to check me right then.  So he did.  And guess what?!  I was fully dilated to 10 cm and I was 100% effaced.  I was ready to go!  However, they decided to allow the baby to descend further down the birth canal (called laboring down) for another hour.  They would get me ready to push at noon.

MH went to get lunch because we knew that once the baby was born, he would be heading directly to the NICU and what was to come was completely unknown to us.  At 11:45am, the doctor who would deliver Roo arrived and decided to check me once more.  She said that it was time – we couldn’t wait until noon.  Once more, our room turned into a flurry of organized chaos.  The labor room was transformed into a delivery room.  Within 15 minutes time, the doctors and nurses were in their delivery gown outfits, my bed had been transformed into a completely different bed without me even having to get out of it (!), and I was ready to push.

I had no idea what I was doing – having not been through the classes – so my labor nurse (who was amazing) walked me through exactly what I needed to do.  Oddly, I was starting to feel some of the contractions through my epidural.  They were getting that strong.  They weren’t painful but I could feel the pressure of them.  With each contraction, I was told to take a deep breath and push to the count of 8 or ten.  I would do three pushes per contraction.  Exactly at noon I started to push.  Because of the epidural I could not feel if my body was responding to the pushes and I was relying on the doctors and my nurse to tell that I was doing it correctly.  I apparently was pushing really well!

About half way through pushing the doctor asked if I wanted to feel the baby’s head.  I said yes and I reached down and touched Roo’s head for the first time!  It was DISGUSTING!  Her head was squishy and very strange feeling!  I didn’t like it but I was so happy to have actually felt Roo!!

Only a few more pushes and all of a sudden Roo was born!  It was surreal.  I saw her and heard her give a cry.  I was surprised as the doctors warned me repeatedly that she might not cry and she might need various interventions to help her breath.  We were both so happy that she didn’t require any of those interventions.

Ma.deleine L.uciana was born at 12:31pm on June 21 and weighed 3 pounds 14 ounces and was 16 inches long.

She was immediately taken by the NICU team for assessment and before she was whisked up to the NICU, she was brought over to me for a quick kiss.  It was the first time I saw my Roo and she was adorable!

MH went with Roo to the NICU, where they did various tests, inserted her IV and several other tubes and leads into and onto her body.  MH was with her for a couple of hours.  I, on the other hand, was being sewn up in two different places, where I had two tiny tears.  I also ordered lunch and chatted with my labor and delivery nurse, who like many of us, was suffering from infertility.  She has tried IVF twice and both failed.  I shared my story and we talked about what she was planning to do.  We really connected and I was so glad that we were able to talk about our experiences and connect.

Before I was allowed to go to the NICU and meet my baby officially, I had to be able to walk.  I proved myself and was able to see her.  It was so very hard to not be able to hold her.  I was allowed to touch her and hold her hand.  She was so tiny but bigger than I thought.  She also looked more like a a baby than I thought she would and I was relieved.  I thought she would look like an alien baby like many preemies that I had seen on TV or in photos.

Again, the whole day had been so far a flash of surrealism.  It happened too fast.  I’m not sure that I emotionally was able to register that I had a baby.  Luckily later in the evening we were both able to hold Roo in our arms, which made it all much more real and the story of Roo and us really began!

Baby Roo’s Birth Story: Part Three


If you missed Baby Roo’s birth story from the beginning, be sure to read Part One and Part Two!

On Wednesday, June 20, one of the high risk OB’s came into my room and told me that the doctors were impressed that I was doing so well and that they were going to let me choose which date for my induction.  They gave me the option of Friday, June 29 or Monday, July 2.  He told me to choose our date and tell him by the weekend.  MH and I talked it over that night and choose July 2.  We went to bed excited knowing that I could hold out for another week and a few days and that we would be seeing our baby!

On Monday and Tuesday before I spent my days shopping online ordering all of the items that I needed but didn’t receive from our shower or from friends already.  I spent a lot of money but it was needed and I was happy to have done so since we knew that we would have a baby in our arms on July 2!  I went to sleep very excited!

On Thursday, June 21, I woke up around 5am to go to the bathroom.  I felt the urge to poop, which I did (sorry, TMI).  I climbed back into bed and noticed that I was having some contractions – ones that I could actually feel.  I lay in bed quietly waiting to see how frequently they were coming and if I could still feel them.  By the time 6am rolled around, the night nurse did her last rounds with me.  I told her that I was feeling contractions and she put me on the monitors.  I laid there quietly pushing the indicator button each time I felt a contraction start.  In the past, the contractions that I wasn’t feeling but could see on the monitor appeared as a bell curve shape.  This time for some reason, the contractions were appearing as an inverse on the screen.  It was very bizarre.  I told the nurse that I didn’t understand what was happening but the contractions I was feeling were coming more frequently and were more and more painful.

She kept asking me to rate them on the pain scale of one through 10.  I had a hard time doing it because I wasn’t sure what the worst pain I’d ever felt was and my pain tolerance is pretty high.

By 7:30am, the nursing shift had changed and I had a new nurse, one I had never had before and I can’t to this day recall who she was or what she looks like.  But I do remember that the number of medical staff coming into check on me had increased.  I was told that they would do a sterile speculum check to see if I was dilating.  Before it happened, I went to the bathroom once more.  (Sorry TMI again)!  There was a lot of blood.  I knew that something was going on and I got nervous.

The sterile speculum check confirmed that I was indeed in active labor and that I was already 3cm dilated.  Immediately, the team jumped into action and I was moved quickly to labor and delivery.  We didn’t have time to pack any of our things in the room that had become our home over the past two weeks.

Once I was settled into our new room (around 8:30am), MH headed back to our room in the antepartum wing.  I told him to take his time because I could manage my contractions on my own.  Somehow even without having attended a birthing class, my body knew how to breathe through each contraction.  I just did it.  My nurse, who was awesome, helped me through them.  Suddenly, as if a light switch was flipped my contractions became extremely painful and came on top of each other without hardly any pause between them.  I wanted MH.  He needed to come back immediately!

When I first was getting settled into our labor and delivery room, the nurse asked me if I was going to want an epidural.  I told her that I was concerned about epidurals and that I wanted to wait for as long as possible before getting one and that I might want to forgo one, if I could.  She said that was no problem but to be aware that if I wanted one that I would need to be aware that it would take 30 minutes by the time I requested it to when it would start to work.  She kept repeating that to me.

At some point, probably 9am or so, I started talking to the nurse about the epidural.  She answered my questions and in my head I decided that I needed to think it over and talk to MH about it.  But, my mouth had other plans.  I told her to call the anesthesiologist and that I wanted the epidural as soon as possible.  I couldn’t handle it anymore.  As each contraction took over my body the pain I felt was greater each time and the intensity was insane!

MH still hadn’t come back from our other room and I was getting crazy!  I was having trouble breathing through the contractions and I was starting to moan through them.  It was the only way I could handle the pain.  I had never heard myself sound like that before.  Finally the anesthesiologist showed up.  The epidural itself wasn’t painful.  The steroid shots I was given when I was first admitted were more painful.  It was hard though to sit still during the contractions but the doctor was great and held off when I was contracting and waited to do his procedure in the minute or so that I wasn’t contracting.

MH made it back to our room shortly before the epidural was done and held my hand through three or four of them.  It took a few minutes for the epidural to kick in and when it did it was very strange.  They had me shift my body from left to right to make sure the epidural took evenly.  Within 15 minutes, the sweet relief of the epidural was in full effect and I settled in for a nap and MH ordered himself some breakfast.

I napped lightly for a while and woke up to one of the doctors who came in to tell me that she would be back at noon to check to see how far I was coming along – they were still limiting how often they were checking me to prevent infection.  It was 10:30am.  Our nurse told me that she wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t almost fully dilated by the looks of my contractions, which were still coming on as frequently as they had been before the epidural.  I still couldn’t feel them but looking at the monitor at how fast and furious they were appearing I was really happy that I got the epidural.  I would have been a very unhappy camper.

To be continued…

Baby Roo’s Birth Story: Part Two


Two hours later we got word that there were no signs of infection. However, one test came back borderline and so I would be monitored very closely. We would need to settle in for the long haul as I would not be leaving the hospital until the baby arrived.

The high risk OB came back and told us their goals:

1. Get through the next 24 hours without me having a baby or showing signs of an infection, if those developed I would be induced immediately or they would take me for a “crash” c-secrion
2. Get through one week without having a baby
3. Reach 34 weeks and then decide a course of action

Our primary goal for the day was to make it through that first 24 hours without going into active labor or showing any further signs of infection.

I sent MH to work for a couple of hours and to get his computer. He also went home and brought back a bag of things for me. While he was gone, the head of neonatology came by my room and walked me through the various stats based on my current gestational age of 31 weeks and 5 days. The survival stats were hopeful and very positive at nearly 100%! He explained what would happen at delivery, what the different possible procedures could happen at the birth depending in the baby’s vital signs and what to expect once she was in the NICU, where he said for us not to expect her to leave until around her estimated due date, August 4. He warned that it could be a long journey for us but he was confident that given her age that she would do just fine.

And so we held our breath that night and every night the next seven days. I was monitored continuously each day three times a day or more as needed. I had multiple ultrasounds to make sure her head continued to face down and to measure the remaining amniotic fluid, which fluctuated throughout my stay until the last u/s that I had which showed me closer to zero than ever before.

During the time I was in the hospital the staff was amazing. My doctors were super nice and would stop by even if I wasn’t on their rotation just to see how I was doing. The nurses with the exception of one were terrific!

Even though we moved to Seattle not that long ago, the few friends that we have here were amazing – stopping by to bring snacks and magazines and to keep me company. One friend even had a baby while I was there and I got wheel chair privileges to visit them!

Overall, after the exciting and scary start to my hospital stay, the time was uneventful and really boring. Well, boring for the time being…

To be continued…

On Feeding a Preemie


One of the harder parts of having a preemie is feeding one. Depending in the age of the baby when born helps determine the maturity of her suck, swallow, breath coordination. A baby must be able to do all of those in coordination successfully to leave the hospital. Roo did well and that, along with the other things she needed to do, allowed us to leave the hospital when she did.

Before all of this happened, my thought was to exclusively breast feed her. I was super concerned about what type of pump I should buy as a mom who would be at home and would want to pump only enough to be able to leave her for date nights and other fun activities but still nurse her. In the end that mattered very little 🙂

It all changed as soon as Roo was born. Because of her gestational age at birth, 33 weeks and 5 days, Roo’s sucking technique wasn’t fully mature and still isn’t. In the hospital, she had a feeding tube to ensure she received a full feed based in a feeding protocol developed by the NICU team based in her age and weight. She was able to take most of her food from a bottle but would sometimes need some support from the tube.

I wasn’t allowed to nurse her until four days before she left the hospital and even then it was only once a day and for a short period of time. All other feedings were by the bottle using my pumped breast milk and a calorie supplement.

Because I wasn’t allowed to nurse Roo until much later, I was given a hospital grade breast pump to use and take home with me (rented). I was put on an every three hour pump schedule, which means I have to pump for 20 minutes every three hours plus Roo has to eat about every three hours. This is definitely a two person job, which means either my mom or MH has to get up with me in the night.

(don’t get me started on the 2 hour schedule I was on in the beginning to get my milk to come in!)

I’m exhausted. Pumping takes from start to finish about 30 minutes. I have to clean the parts every time to be safe for Roo. I can’t wait until I can just pop Roo onto my breast. I know there can be challenges with nursing but it’ll be so much easier than juggling both pumping and feeding her!!

I go see a location consultant on Tuesday. She is someone a former preemie mom and a March of Dimes volunteer told me about who is apparently a genius when it comes to helping preemies figure out nursing at a premature age. I’m excited!

I’ll also looking into hiring a night nurse to help me get over the anxiety I have with putting Roo down to sleep at night and to help with the middle of the night feedings. Right now I don’t sleep. I just hold her and then I switch off with my mom. I have to admit that I don’t trust MH not to fall asleep with her. That’s terrible isn’t it?

Feeding a preemie, my preemie, is a challenge for me. I know there are many others who have even harder times with feedings so I can’t complain too much but it is hard! It is demanding and it is exhausting. My body can hardly keep up – though one positive is that I look just about like I did when I was only 12 weeks pregnant! I’ve lost a lot of my baby belly that fast because of this demanding pumping schedule.

I love it though! I love the few minutes when Roo does latch on. I love being able to provide for her. I love being a mommy to my baby Roo!

Xo,
Michelle

Baby Roo’s Birth Story: Part One


Early on Thursday, June 7, I woke up and thought that I had wet the bed. I went to the toilet and crawled back into bed to go back to sleep but quickly realized that I was still “peeing” myself. Duh! I wasn’t peeing myself. I phoned the doctor on call who said to put on a pad and if I soaked through it within one hour to meet her at the hospital.

I put on a pad and lay down on the sofa. Within 10 minutes it was soaked through the pad, my underwear and my nightgown. I called my brother, the doctor, and told him what was happening. He said that I should wake up MH and go to the hospital right away.

I woke MH, who was dead asleep, and told him what had happened and he went straight into business mode. He packed himself a bag so he could go to work that morning and we got into the car. I remember talking with him about this being a good practice run for the real deal and that we were lucky that we didn’t have to deal with traffic as it was so early!

Once we arrived at the hospital, I had MH park the car while I asked the front desk where we should go. For some reason, I declined the wheel chair ride to the maternity ward. Looking back, I should have accepted it but I was in denial and walked the long walk.

As soon as we got to maternity, we checked in and they were waiting for us. They took us to a birthing suite and asked me to change into a gown. I had to use the restroom and in doing so I realized that I was also bleeding. As soon as I told the nurse, she said something like “oh your water definitely broke” and I promptly burst into tears.

As soon as I climbed into the bed, they did some sort of litmus test to confirm the fluid exiting my body was amniotic fluid, which it was. Almost immediately, I was asked to sign a number of papers, told we would need to transfer to the hospital that handled high risk pregnancies and had the level 3 NICU and that they were going to do several procedures to me.

The first procedure was to give me an ultrasound to check the position of the baby – she was head down. The second was to hook me up to an IV, where I would be given magnesium sulfate, which would slow any labor down as well as provide the baby with a boost to her brain if I were to deliver her early. The third was to give me a sterile forcep check, which confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid (again) and that I was potentially 1 cm dilated. And the fourth and final step was to give me the first of two steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs mature rapidly.

There is a side effect of magnesium sulfate that gives one hot flashes and makes you feel a little loopy in the head. I was given a push of four bags of magnesium, which means they rapidly pushed the four bags through the IV. I felt and acted a little drunk while this was happening, again, I was in denial and was dealing by being silly.

As soon as the IV push was finished, the ambulance arrived to transport me to the hospital. The nurses wished me good luck and off I went with MH left to fend for himself to find his way to this other hospital.

Once we arrived at the other hospital, I was taken immediately to labor and delivery. Some of the same exams and tests were taken there. A very nice doctor examined me and confirmed that I was one cm dilated and that by all sounds, I could potentially deliver that day. I was hooked up to a machine that I came to know intimately by the time I left. The machine monitored both Roo’s heart rate as well as any contractions that I might be having. At the time, I was contracting every 3-5 minutes but I wasn’t feeling any of them.

The doctor told me that I needed to have an amniocentesis test done immediately to determine if I had an infection. As soon as she said those words, I got scared. She told me though that the risks for the amnio that hold true at 20 weeks also hold true for them except the largest risk is that the needle accidentally breaks the bag of waters, which causes death at 20 weeks, but since my water had already broken on its own that risk was already removed. I consented to the exam and held onto MH’s hand tight. Within three minutes of me consenting to the exam, it was over. I didn’t want to see the needle going in so I have no idea how large or small it was and in fact the “pain” that I felt from the steroid shot was worse than the amnio needle going in.

We were told it would take 2 hours for the results to come back and in the meantime we should eat breakfast and try to relax. Right?! If the results found I had an infection they would induce me immediately and if not then we would talk about what options were relevant. My head was spinning. I was terrified and confused.

I might be having a baby that day? I was 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I wasn’t ready emotionally, physically or literally! We had just moved into our new house.

To be continued…

And, we are home!!


Photo of Roo’s first car ride home from the hospital yesterday afternoon.

I am exhausted from a sleepless night of being so afraid that I’d miss something going wrong. As annoying as the machines and wires were they provided a comfort that cannot be replicated at home!!

A lot more to come in posts to follow. For now, I love being a mommy and I’m trying to take everything in stride. Clearly needing to catch up sleep and breathe from holding it all in over the past month.

Thanks for being on this journey with me! It is just the beginning!

Xox,
Michelle

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A Sunday Night Update


The past few days have been good and bad.  Good in that things are just moving along really well for Roo and bad in that I’m overly tired and emotionally exhausted.

On Friday, I had a serious meltdown.  I was alone at the hospital and I just wanted to sob.  I was tired and Roo was inconsolable for some unknown reason.  She finally stopped crying when I held her tight in a swaddle and patted her back for a couple of hours.  I literally fell asleep with her in my arms and my one hand just kept on patting!  It was nice.  However, I didn’t want to fall apart in the hospital, so I kept it all in until I got home and went up to bed for a nap.  I cried my eyes out and then fell asleep – kind of like Roo did, LOL!  I was just spent and done.  I was exhausted from pumping on a two-three hour schedule.  The lactation consultants have me pumping all the time to get my milk to fully come in.  It has come in but I guess it isn’t increasing as much as they would like it to and I’m frustrated and also exhausted.  It’s too much though I will keep going for the health and well-being of my little girl!

Yesterday was a much better day.  Roo’s picc line (“permanent” IV) was removed from her arm on Friday so she was a happy camper and so was I!  She didn’t have any problems like she had the day before which was nice and made my life a lot happier.  MH and I spent the better part of the day just hanging out with her.  MH left me alone with her for a couple of hours to run some errands and Roo and I just cuddled in the chair together and took a nap.  I love just snuggling with my baby girl.

This morning we arrived to our little Roo sleeping in a big girl crib!  She graduated from being in an isolette (incubator) to an open air crib!  She proved to the nurses and doctors that she can maintain her own body temperature and is now allowed to be in a “normal” crib!  I’m so excited.  She also is allowed to wear her regular clothes.  The nursing staff has been dressing her and they’ve chosen the most adorable outfits!  We had a good day today.  However, I’m still feeling really emotional and moody.  I snapped at both my mom and MH.  I apologize but I can’t help myself.  I’m exhausted.  They don’t need to remind me that I need to get good sleep and they don’t need to ask me how I’m doing.  Agh!  Leave me alone!  I think you know how I feel so don’t ask me!!!

The best news that we received today is that Roo MIGHT be able to go home this week.  I’m not counting on it and we’re keeping this information to ourselves (in other words not broadcasting it over Facebook or any other way – except here of course, heh, heh)!  Roo has to prove herself with her eating.  She’s taking her meals really well and has done some breast-feeding, which is so awesome for me!  She’s up to 4 lbs. 3 oz., which is really awesome.  I’m really excited and trying not to get ahead of myself.  I know that she could have a set back, which would mean she needs to start over and wouldn’t be allowed to come home until she proved herself again.  Fingers crossed!

The other fun news for the day was that I got to give Roo a bath.  She’s gotten a bath before but the nursing staff did it.  I was terrified but I did a great job and Roo loved it!  She was very calm and looked all around while I was giving it to her.  I think when we get home and she’s big enough I will incorporate it into our bedtime routine!

When she does get to come home, MH and I will do one night in the hospital with her and the nurses and they’ll help us figure out how to care for her “special needs” – in other words, we’ll learn how to properly make her formula concoction they mix with my breast milk, etc.  She also needs to pass her car seat test, where they put her in her car seat for 90 minutes to make sure she can breathe properly, etc.  (We need to get her car seat!).  She also will have to have her hearing tested but I’m not concerned – fortunately or unfortunately, she is sensitive to noise!

Well, that’s all the news that I have from here.  I’m quickly learning that having a preemie is no cake walk.  There are many things that are the same as having a full or close to full-term baby but with several additional layers depending on how close to full term your baby was born.  Luckily, Roo hung on for those two additional weeks inside me – otherwise, our uphill battle would be even harder.

Each day that goes by is easier.  I feel more comfortable holding her with her multiple wires and leads that monitor her various vital signs.  The removal of her picc line was a huge step with one less wire coming off of her body.  MH is also more comfortable with her.  He has changed several diapers, including some dirty ones.  Changing a diaper in an isolette through two arm holes is a challenge but he did great!

Each day that goes by is also less scary.  I know that when she comes home the anxiety will go back up again to a different level.  However, I look forward to it!  I know that it’ll be a different challenge having her home without the incredible competence of the nursing staff to support us.  But, I’m excited to be able to nurse her on demand and to not have to drive in and out of the hospital multiple times a day.

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In fun news, my mom has painted Roo’s nursery.  We chose Benjamin Moore paint color French Lilac for her walls.  The large pieces of furniture except the glider have arrived.  We will arrange them tomorrow when the paint has dried.  And, we’ll start to organize her many clothes by size.  The pack-n-play, which will serve as Roo’s bed until we feel ready for her to sleep in her own room is put together and in our room next to my side of the bed.  I LOVE THIS!!  Roo is coming home soon!!

I think of you all often and apologize for not being as attentive to your blogs as I have been in the past.  Let me get past this brief time and I’ll get back on track.  Know though that I think of you!

Thank you again for your ongoing support and Internet love!

xo,

Michelle