Wednesday, March 4, 2015

So much foooooood...

I have small babies. My son was only a week early and weighed 6 lb, 12 oz. Small babies are easy to deliver!

This time around, weight has more significance. Survival rates change with gestational age and weight. Average chance of survival is better when the baby weighs more than the listed average weight. For example, at 24 weeks and 2 days, Penelope has a 59% chance of survival if she weighs around 500g. If she weighs 501-750g, she has a 61% chance.751-1000g, 66% chance. I don't think I'll get a baby to be in the highest weight range, but the more, the better.

So, I am making a conscious effort to eat more. Hard to do when you aren't moving much and don't feel hungry!

However, coworkers sending yummy food has helped.

Monday we had fish with rice and veggies. And my favorite banana pudding (It's made with cream cheese, Paula Deen style, ya'll.)

Yesterday was chicken salad sandwiches.

(Side note: I'm an amateur photographer and it kills me to not have my DSLR here to take better pictures, but also, why bother? That thing is huge and I have limited space.)

The doctor approved me to order two proteins from the cafeteria, but dry bland chicken isn't any better the second time... yuck. (Thank you, honey, for bringing my bottle of Chulula from home.) Also, best feeling ever is the doctor to tell you not to worry about weight gain or anything because you are on bed rest and just try to eat more. How nice!

So, I am using MyFitnessPal to see where my calories come from (hopefully more protein) and telling it I want to gain 1 lb a week... that is fun since I am used to asking it to help me lose weight.

I need to figure out a pre-breakfast snack. I wake up between 5 and 6 usually so I can Skype with my son while he gets ready for school, but breakfast doesn't get delivered here until 7:30. Almond butter and pretzels were good this morning. No more pretzels, though :(

While I'm not concerned about weight gain for me at the moment, being able to move my muscles is a concern. So I did get permission to start some bed rest exercises. Nothing too strenuous, and no abdominal flexing. That said, this 7 minute workout was actually hard work after a week of not moving!

Alright, I'll post more later. Excited to get asked to guest blog for another bed-resting mama later this week. I'll post a link when it's ready.

Monday, March 2, 2015

We have made it to 24 weeks!

Today is our official "aging up" day. Penelope is now 24 weeks. How much she weighs will determine her exact increase in chances of survival, but on average, babies born this week have a 59% chance of survival. It may sound low, but I like to think anything over 50% is awesome.

I had 12 visitors on Saturday! My coworkers and family brought me lots of goodies and my hubby cleaned out my son's work folder at school so I have some lovely artwork to brighten my blue and white room.

This is an older picture of my son's first visit to me on Tuesday. After his initial hesitation, he decided he likes my "rocket bed" with all the buttons.

I took a picture of my breakfast singing the praises of my veggie cheese omelet, but was quickly disappointed by dinner last night. Pulled pork tacos = beef jerky. Haha.

I appreciate all the snacks everyone brings, but I am concerned with getting nutritious food in me first because I need good protein to help Miss P. gain weight. Also, pooping is a huge concern when you are bed ridden. Nothing moves like it is supposed to anymore!
I am also more conscious of what kind of chemicals might hurt her development. The cafeteria allows me to order bacon, etc, but nitrates are not encouraged in preggos. Also, there is NOTHING I would rather have right now for the next 11 weeks than a cold turkey sandwich from Jersey Mike's, but lunch meat has a high risk for listeria. Since we are trying to avoid infections, I think this is probably something I will have to wait on :(

Planning on talking to the doc today about bedrest exercises. The on-call doc yesterday made it clear the chances of me graduating to home bedrest were slim, but again, how tempting it would be to help out around the house if I were there! I did get the IV line out of my hand yesterday, so that was awesome. Hours of entertainment trying to get the sticky tape residue off now...

I am trying to remain upbeat, and I don't want to be a debbie downer, but there are some things that I am trying to deal with unemotionally right now.  If I get business out of the way now, it might be easier to feel what needs to be felt later.

Trying not to end on a sad note, so I'll end with this:

Thank you, friends, family, and total strangers on the internet for your cheers! We love you all and feel so loved.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

pPROM at 23 weeks

pPROM... nope, not "pregnant prom," unfortunately, although I don't know if that would be as entertaining as it sounds... lol

On Tuesday, 2/24, at 3 am, my water broke. Ever the non-believer I insisted that my husband, the testing VP at my school, get me out of a testing classroom that day and into a hall monitor position so that I could be near a bathroom since I clearly couldn't control my bladder.

Luckily, I consulted a message board and was told by over 20 women in 5 minutes that my water had probably broken and I needed to go get checked. (I then verified this with my mother, who agreed, thanks Mom.)

After 4 hours of waiting (which made me think, hey, nothing's wrong!), my amniotic fluid swab came back positive. An ultrasound of my fluid levels put me at a 7.4 AFI (just a seemingly not very scientific random measurement of the "biggest pocket of fluid").

Nobody knows how the rupture happens, I was not at-risk, and my 2.5 year old was born on time.

Before I could even meet with my OB regarding these results, I met with the head of the NICU's neonatologist. She was nice, informative, but perhaps overly so. At 23 weeks, the outcome was not good. 36% chance of survival if born now, with a host of horrible problems that could occur including brain bleeds and heart problems.

What I cling to now, though, is that at 24 weeks (that's Monday, 3/2), Penelope's chance of survival goes up to 59%. Also, being a girl really helps her chances of survival for some reason.

So I am now confined to bed rest at the hospital. I had 48 hours of IV antibiotics to prevent infection (amniotic fluid is the sterile protectant for babies) and 2 shots of steroids to beef up her lungs.

As long as the placenta stays in place (no bleeding) and neither of us gets an infection, she is good to stay in up until she reached 34 weeks. At that time, the risk of infection is too great and she would be delivered and taken to the NICU.

Right now my fluid levels are really low, 2.4. But, apparently anything after 22 weeks gives a good shot at lung development despite low levels.

The NICU at my hospital is almost the highest level the AAP recognizes, so I am confident in their ability to care for our little Penny.

Right now the hardest part is being away from my husband and 2.5 year old. I know there is a lot to do with me not there to help out, but our extended family and friends have been amazing.

So, we are remaining positive, but realistic. Prayers and love are appreciated. <3

Chilling in bed with my "Buzz Lightyear Laser"

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Daycare research

What a pain. Nothing I hate more than being required to listen to somebody try to sell me something. Add the anxiety of my son's well-being being in somebody else's hands after staying home with me for a year, and you've got yourself a party.

My husband pointed out that when we were first married, we looked at over 10 apartments before settling on the first one we saw. Same with buying our house last year. So touring 10 daycare/ learning centers shouldn't be a problem, right? Ugh. Right. I guess. Maybe if I wasn't so OCD about it. I made a flowchart.

Yeah. 2 pages of stuff to fill in. The last tour I went on, the poor girl looked like she was getting grilled on Law & Order. It makes it easier for me to compare the facilities and what they offer, though. It also helps to see a blank flowchart after sifting through a facility's website with millions of pages of information and know they still aren't telling me very much. (You are more than welcome to use my flowchart as is, or edit it for yourself. I did add another column listing the DFPS violations, just FYI.)

I think the initial problem was that some of the criteria I was looking for specifically is actually required by state law. Hah. Oops. So my first tour went like this:
Me: "And is there a television in the 12-24 months room?"
Director: "Oh no! We don't believe in that!"
Me to myself: "Ooooh what great values!"
Come to find out that in Texas child care agencies aren't allowed to show TV to children under a certain age and even then for limited usage and amounts of time.

The great thing is that here in Texas, there is a website specifically for looking into child care facilities (including home care) where you can see if they have any compliance violations discovered at inspection, when they occurred  how serious they are considered and if they were resolved. Awesome, considering the most expensive one I toured has a lot of violations ranked "high." Now I don't have to take it off my list just for pricing reasons. However, I wish I would have looked all of this up before touring 3 different locations. At least now I have the info before I go look at the other 6. I kid you not. Somehow I am supposed to tour 6 more by the end of May, before people take their kids out for summer and regular routines change (while still trying to figure out what the eff we are going to do for N's first bday) AND drag N along; who only wants to get down and play with the kiddos, which I am afraid to oblige in case they try to charge me daycare fees already. Hah!

I just reminded myself of the first time I used this website. Someone posted to a discussion board that she had a home daycare and places newborns on their tummys. I was all over that sh**. (Granted, we placed N tummy down when he was younger because we didn't educate ourselves on why SIDS was such a risk. After that, we were done.) I had a problem with someone doing it to other people's kids. So of course, I Googled her. Oddly enough, even though the discussion board  included moms from all over, this woman was from 5 miles away. It freaked me out that I could have chosen her to watch my son. So I took some screenshots of her post, as well as the webpages that showed her child care license #, etc. and sent it in to CPS. Yep, I'm that crazy mom. The same crazy lady that would stand in driveway yelling at the lady that let her dog sh** in our lawn. True story.

Anyway, I will update when we've chosen one. So many crazy things going on that I need to post about. Just bought N a new carseat (the "big boy" convertible kind), when that comes in from Amazon I will review it here. Also, the big, exciting, dreaded first bday party where kids 10x his size will be running around in our unfinished backyard and people will probably be complaining about our choice of an outdoor party in May in Texas. Whatever. I got a good deal on some party tents, so hopefully that will be enough.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I'm counting sheep, while he sleeps just fine

Wow. So, it's been awhile since I have gotten on.
I'd blame it on the baby, but, you know, raising a kid is super easy.
Did I mention he is mobile now? Yeah, he knows how to climb stairs and I am not as handy with a drill as I thought I was. Hubby has been super busy lately, so his weekends are booked up with baby-proofing the house, while I am holding cabinets shut with my knees while doing dishes, and looking like I think our kitchen is a bathroom while I squat.

Before you read the next part, let's reevaluate the labels I gave myself in my first post. Instead of "attachment parenting," can we just say I parent however allows all of us to feel like we aren't walking piles of poo?

I am kind of superstitious about sleep around here. It seems that every time I start to write a post about my little guy's sleep, it takes another nosedive. (Seriously, I have like 5 saved drafts of "here's how to get your kid to sleep.")

At 9 months old, you'd think he'd be sleeping through the night, since, you know, that's super normal. Hah! Have you ever Googled "my baby won't sleep" at 3 am? Try it, I promise there are millions of others out there.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Let's talk about sleep, baby...

What a great song, am I right? No?
I started this post a month ago, when my mom, pediatrician, and others were "shocked" that my breastfed 4 month old was still waking at night to eat (1-2 times). As a new mom whose support system is mostly made up of "old school" moms and discussion boards on the internet (How did they do it when there were no smartphones!?), I thought I had spoiled my baby beyond repair. As a high school teacher, you can easily picture past students who were "spoiled" and it was terrifying to think of my 4 month old grow into one of these 16 year old pains (which, I'm sure to some extent, they all do eventually).

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fit of different brands of baby clothes

I was so blessed to have not just one, but 4 baby showers before my son was born. My family, my husband's family, and both of our coworkers thought it was very necessary to eat cake and play games in celebration of our little guy. Needless to say, this led to us being inundated with baby clothes. To date, we have not bought our 3.5 month old any clothing. Like I said, we are very blessed with many friends and family who love us!