Archive for May, 2010

21
May
10

Lucy and the exercise ball

While we were in New Jersey, we discovered a new talent of miss Lucy’s…

Watch and be prepared to howl with laughter…

Lucy and the exercise ball

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21
May
10

simply heartbreaking (do not read if you have a weak heart)

Today my heart became very heavy as I read the following story posted on the BabyCenter September 2010 Birth Club site.  They say that at 24 weeks a pregnancy is “viable”, in that a baby has at least a chance (39% or so) of survival.  This couple lost their baby at 23 weeks.  What a heart-wrenching story… I cried and cried when I read this story.  Oh by the way, I am almost at 23 weeks…. keep growing little one!

Posted by: JessRaye62

Baby’s Name: Logan Timothy
Date of Birth: May 16, 2010
Original Due Date: September 12, 2010
Weeks Pregnant: 23
Weight: 1 lb, 2 oz
Height: 12 in

(From Daddy’s point of view.)

Tuesday, May 11
Jessica woke me up around 7 am.  She said she thought she was feeling contractions but didn’t know if they were real or Braxton-Hicks.  She called the doctors office and they said a doctor would call her back in a few minutes.  She went to the bathroom and found blood.  We both started panicking and we quickly got dressed and jumped in the car.  She called the doctor’s office on the way and gave them the updates.  We got to the hostpital around 8:30 or 9.  We were pretty quickly taken from the emergancy waiting room through a door. Our next stop was the triage registration room.  We only spent about 10 minutes there but it felt like an eternity.  We finally got taken back to a room.  The nurses were pretty responsive.  We got them a urine sample and they took some blood.  I don’t remember the order of events but eventually the nurse listened for the baby’s heartbeat.  It took her a minute, but she found it and it was in the normal range.  We both cried so hard.  We thought that meant everything was going to be OK.  Whatever the problem was, we are at one of the best hostpitals in the country for pregnancy care and our baby was alive and well.  We still hadn’t seen a doctor.  The nurses hooked Jessica up to a couple monitors and got an IV for hydration.  A nurse put in a urine cathator to get another sample and asked me to hold a light for her.  I held her hand and tried to comfort her though every test and every emotional moment.  A resident doctor came in at one point and asked us a number or questions.  She left without looking at Jessica.  At some point after 11 am, she came back to do an exam.  A concerned look came over her face and Jessica asked her if it was OK.  She replied that is wasn’t good.  Jessica was 3-4 centimeters dialated.  Our on call doctor from the practice came in shortly after and talked to us.  She performed another exam and told us we’d meet with a high risk team.  She told us this is usually caused by an infection and the high risk doctors would want to run some tests before we actively tried to stop the labor.  But before they came in to see us, she had prescribed and given us some medicine to slow down the contractions.  It noticably hepled.  The high risk doctors explained the seriousness of the situation and that they recommmended they do an amniocentisis to test for infections in the uterus.  In fact, they would not continue to give us medication to stop the labor until they were comfortable that there was not an infection.  We consented and were taken to a labor and delivery room.  On the way we heard a newborn crying in one of the other rooms.  We both cried and Jessica needed a minute before she could bring herself to switch beds.  Jessica’s contractions were milder but still pretty consistent.  Around 5 minutes apart.  It seemed like about a half hour of prep time in the room before they could start the procedure.  They seemed to have a difficult time finding the right needle to extract the fluid, but once they found it they were ready to get started.  Jessica did so great, despite the doctor’s suggestions to think about being at the beach, the vacation that was supposed to begin in just two days.  It probably took less than 5 minutes to get the samples and finish up.  I think that was about 2:15.  They told us they’d run a couple tests in the room and then it would take about an hour for the first set of lab tests to come back.  Our private practice doctor, Dr. Shaheen, checked in with us regularly.  By 6 all the initial results were back and Dr. Shaheen presribed the two recommended drugs to help stop the labor.  One focused on the uterus, one focused on the cervix.  Jessica responed well and the contractions were calming down and getting farther apart that evening.  Before Dr. Shaheen left for the evening, she came in and cried with us.  The nurse with us in the LDR room was so nice.  She answered all of our questions that she could.  We hadn’t eaten all day so we finally ordered some food.  They eventually moved us to a pregnancy monitoring wing where we settled in and went to bed.

Wednesday, May 12 – Friday, May 14
The medicines seemed to be working – the contractions had all but stopped.  We spent the days taking the medicine around the clock, talking, watching TV, praying and crying together.

Saturday, May 15
By late morning Jessica was getting worried.  The contractions were coming back at regular intervals.  The 10 am medicine didn’t stop them and the nurse got us our 12:00 pm medicine a little early.  We got more and more worried as the day went on.  By early afternoon the contractions were uncomfortable and by evening they were painful.  I held out hope that the 6 pm dose of both medicines would calm them down.  It didn’t.  We were both getting very scared.  That evening I crawled into bed with her and held her hand all night.  She’d squeze my hand with every contraction and I’d squeeze back.  It was the only thing I could think to do.  I don’t know about Jessica, but I’d drift to sleep for a couple minutes between contractions and woke up when she squeezed my hand to give her my useless squeeze back.

Sunday, May 16
The high risk doctor came in and advised us she should do a pelvic exam.  We were concerned because we’d been told that the exams could cause problems (more dilation, water breaking, etc.) and Jessica’s bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse.  We asked her to wait.  We were still holding out hope that we could stop it.  We eventually consented to the exam and it seemed extremely painful.  She was now 5 centimeters dialated.  Her bleeding increased the rest of the morning but we didn’t know if it was from the exam or from more dialation.  A couple hours later, a new doctor came in.  She insisted we let her give Jessica an exam.  We pleaded with her that she had just had one but she told us she needed to do it again.  It was even more painful for Jessica.  She ordered morphine but it didn’t seem to help at all.  I felt so terrible that Jessica was in so much pain and I couldn’t do anything to help her.  The new doctor finished the exam only to find that nothing had changed.  But the bleeding got even worse and we couldn’t know what had caused it.  The pain relievers they were giving her didn’t seem to help at all (not even morphine).  By about 2:00 they told us they wanted to move us to a labor and delivery room.  They began hooking up monitors and a doctor handed me a form to fill out before she could give her an epidural.  I filled it out to the best of my knowledge and got stumped by “date of LMP.”  I asked the nurses and they all chimed in as well as Jessica with “Last Menstrual Period.”  I knew it was December but Jessica told me the exact date.  12-6-2009.  I finished the form but no one was paying attention to me.  After a few minutes I spoke up and a doctor took it from me.  She went over the form with Jessica and I was a little relieved.  If I’d made any mistakes they’d come out before it would cause any problems.  I felt like I did a decent job.  There were no big discrepancies.  Soon, a short doctor came in.  It became clear he was an anestesialogist.  I heard him talkinig to his assisting doctor and his accent was thick and his English was a little broken.  He and his assistant prepared some sponges with iodine.  He said “Cleaning the back” in a thick accent.  Jessica said “What?”  I quickly translated and tried to stay as alert as possible to translate as necessary.  I could kind of see what he was doing so I had context to work with.  Luckily, the assistant doctor took over before they got to the dangerous part and Jessica could understand clearly as instructions were given.  The room was still buzzing with activity.  After they finished taping up the epidural, explaining the button, and testing the effects; people started to trickle out of the room.  After laying on one side, Jessica asked if she could roll over.  I misunderstood instructions given earlier and thought she had to lay on one side for about an hour before rolling over.  Jessica corrected me and I learned it was maximum an hour.  Jessica rolled over and shortly after we were alone in the room.  We heard a knock on the door.  We ignored it at first but they knocked again.  I went to the door and there were Tim (Jessica’s dad) and Aunt Janie.  I had no idea if Jessica was up for company so I told them what was going on and asked them to wait in a waiting room.  After a few minutes Jessica said she’d see them.  They came in for a few minutes and then went back to the hall.  Jessica layed on her side I think drifting in and out of sleep after 36+ hours of regular dicomfort and pain.  Since Jessica’s dad new what was going on, I felt guilty that my mom didn’t.  I silently sent my family a text message to inform them.  I also sent Corinne (our best friend) a text message because I thought she might worry if she tried to check in.  I put my phone in one of our bags so I could focus on my family until I was ready to deal with other people.  I carefully watched the clock to police her rolling over schedule.  No one else was with us to do it.  At the hour mark, I asked her to roll over.  As she did, a scared look came over her face.  She told me she felt a gush of fluid.  I hit the call button and she told the person on the other end she thought her water broke.  A nurse came in that we hadn’t met.  She said it looked like we were right and changed a towel between Jessica’s legs.  She left and I don’t think we ever saw her again.  Dr. Hoca came in and didn’t get the report that the water had broken.  She did another exam and I think Jessica was 6 centimeters and could be stretched to 6.5.  She left and I continued my watch as roll over police.  People trickled in and out for the next couple hours.  They checked Jessca again and I think she was 8 centimeters and then a little later she was 10.  The room was bustling again.  At some point they brought in an ultrasound machine to check the position of the baby.  I guess everything looked good.  I hadn’t left her side since the 8 centimeter report.  Jessica said she started to feel pressure and the urge to push.  The nurse Jane told her to breathe through it and not to push.  Dr. Hoca began to prepare.  Another contraction came before she was set and they told Jessica to breathe through it.  Dr. Hoca got into position and one of the nurses picked up one of Jessica’s legs.  Dr. Hoca asked me to do the same.  The contraction started to come and I saw the panic in her face.  She started to say she couldn’t do this.  I had no idea how to help her.  I told her we’d do it together even though I know this part was one sided.  I lied and said “push with me” and I squeezed her hand hard.  She did so great and pushed.  I was so proud of her.  Logan came right out and I saw a little bit in the corner of my eye.  I told her how great she did and she started to panic.  He came out in one push and she was scared about how little he must be.  The NICU doctors took him to a heated table and checked him out and cleaned him up (at this point, they must have determined that he was too small to attempt to save).  Less than two minutes later he was in Jessica’s arms.  She seemed scared to take him but I insisted on her holding him first.  We said our hellos.  She told him how cute he was and talked about his little nose and his little mouth.  She told him he was perfect.  After a few minutes, she let me take him.  He was so cute.  His little nose and little mouth looked so perfect.  At some point I realized that I wanted to make his short time with us as happy as possible.  I did everything I could to hold back the tears and my wavering voice.  I have no idea how I found the strength, but I managed a happy voice.  I told myself to avoid negativity like telling him we were sorry.  Instead I told him how glad we were to meet him and how much we loved him.  I told him how brave his mommy was and how my job was so easy in comparison.  We let Tim, Janie, and the newly arrived Corinne come in to meet Logan.  Jessica saw Corinne and cried.  She hugged her and told her she was the best friend she ever had.  I’m glad I texted her and I think Jessica is too.  Dr. Hoca only wanted them to stay for a moment so we quickly asked them to leave.  2 or 3 times in the first half hour he opened his mouth annd stretched out his arms.  I probably sounded like a broken record using his name and telling him how happy we were that we got to meet him.  I leaned up against Jessica so we both could be close to him.  Jessica’s work wasn’t over yet.  She had to deliver the placenta and Dr. Hoca wanted to check her out more closely.  I took Logan over to the baby bed telling him how brave mommy was and how it wasn’t fair how easy daddy had it.  I told him how great his mommy was and how hard she worked to give him as much time to grow as she could.  As I set him down, some of his blankets started to come undone.  I appoligized I think for the only time in his life.  I said “I’m sorry I’m unswaddling you.  Its just because daddy is inexperienced.”  The nurses took over and I continued to say short happy thoughts that popped into my head.  I could see his little chest rise and fall with his little hearbeats.  As they took his footprints I told him he had to be good now that he was in the system.  No leaving footprints behind at crime scenes.  They moved him away from me for a minute to weigh him.  All I caught was that he was over 1 pound.  I could hear Jessica in pain behind me.  While he was a few feet away busy with the nurses I stepped back to hold Jessica’s hand for a moment.  Again she showed me what a great mother she was by telling me she was OK and that I needed to go back with Logan.  After the weighing, measuring, and hand/foot printing; the nurses started to dress him.  They tried a couple outfits and I tried another attempt at humor.  I told him he’s had more wardrobe changes than daddy had in the past few days.  They dressed him and swaddled him up again and gave him back to me.  I went back to mommy and handed him off to her.  She looked at him lovingly and quoted the book she had gotten him and read to him a few days before in her belly.  We just watched him and used his name often and talked about how little, cute, and perfect he was.  We kissed his head and touched his face.  Fishing for things to tell him, I thought to list his closest family.  I listed his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I told him his mommy was a senior tax accountant and his daddy was a software engineer.  Eventually we asked the nurses to let our family and friend come back and we let them all hold him to say goodbye.  After they all got a chance, they left again and we spent the last few minutes as our little family.  We continued to talk to him and tell him how much we loved him and we were so happy we got a chance to meet him.  They snapped a few more pictures and I said we should start thinking about saying goodbye.  There’s no way to know when he passed away or how much he heard.  We can only hope he felt our love and knew he was never alone.  We said our goodbyes and kissed him a few more times.  The nurses told me to place him in the bed and they would take a few more pictures and take care of him.  We cried and held each other.  It was just the two of us again.  The nurses had brought us drinks at some point and started Jessica on antibiotics (it turns out, some signs of an infection were present at delivery after all).  Jessica complained of a metalic taste in her mouth.  I handed her some ginger ale and they stopped her epidural.  The nurses finished cleaning her up and pulled out the epidural tube.  We sat there and talked about how we couldn’t believe this happened to us and that it was over.  I called my mom.  She asked how he was and I told her he was beautiful and that we lost him.  She couldn’t believe it.  I told her we had prepared for it because he was only 23 weeks.  I told her his name and talked for a moment longer.  I told her that Jessica was in hard labor for over 24 hours.  It was the first time I realized that all that pain and all that work Jessica was doing was labor.  When she heard me say it, I think it was the first time it occurred to her too.  I hung up to get back to Jessica.

Afterward
We will honor our son, Logan Timothy, on Monday, May 24 at a private outdoor service with a balloon release at the end.  He will be buried in a cemetery less than 100 yards from our house.  Our house is visible from the plots that we have purchased (where we will be buried with him someday).  We are comforted to know that he will always be close to us.  We will never forget our little angel.

http://beinhauerfuneralhome.frontrunnerpro.com/runtime/13633/runtime.php?SiteId=13633&NavigatorId=96321&op=tributeObituary&viewOpt=dpaneOnly&ItemId=464437&LinkId=103

Thank you for reading this.  I apologize that it was so long.  Best wishes to all of you and I hope that you all have healthy, happy babies.

18
May
10

Team Pink!!!

Baby’s a SHE!  We found out a week and a half ago, but had to wait to tell all of the family before going public.

Obviously we’re thrilled.  Pete says he “had no preference”, but I don’t believe him.  That little girl is gonna have him wrapped around her little finger…. no doubt!

I was really worried in the days leading up to the gender ultrasound….  I didn’t want to feel disappointed in the event SHE was a HE.  Because that would be too wrong.  I want to say that I’d be happy regardless as long as baby’s healthy, but I truly don’t know how I would feel.  Guess I don’t have to worry about it now!

We had a fun time revealing the gender to my family on Mother’s Day.  I had asked a local bakery to bake a cake with pink frosting inside.  I told everyone the cake would reveal baby’s sex when we cut into it: either blue or pink frosting!  We had Austin do the honors and the first slice was being stubborn (sign of the little one’s personality perhaps?!?!) so it was a suspenseful moment for the family.  Finally the slice came out and my mom practically started jumping up and down with joy!  I wonder what she would have done if it were blue inside?  Hmmm… things I’ll never know.

Last weekend while in NJ visiting Pete’s family, we held the news for a while and let everyone guess.  Most suspected girl, but some were lead to believe we were having a boy (sneaky us!)  Finally we passed out pink “It’s a Girl” mints and everyone was thrilled.  All of the grandbabies on his side are boys… oh and they are all over 18 years old!!

So lots of excitement for Baby D on both sides of the family.

As for Pete and I, we decided that as long as the little girl does not become #1. a Dodger fan #2. a drug addict and #3 a prostitute (in that order!) we will be very happy.

Can’t wait for our little princess to arrive!

05
May
10

Couldn’t resist…

Today in http://www.babyhalfoff.com the deal is super cute infant shorts.

I couldn’t resist — hey $8!  How could I NOT buy them?

04
May
10

The great debate

I haven’t shared any of my stupendously fabulous dreams lately.  Oh the joys of sleeping.

The other day I dreamed Pete and I were in a debate club.  We had to debate whether or not it was right for a landlord of an apartment complex to charge it’s tenants for plumbing repairs (?!?!?)

I recall feeling very nervous, but I thought my position out thoroughly.  Pete said, “I am so excited to get to debate  you!”  I remember looking at him funny.

I took a deep breath and said:

“I feel that in this tough economic landscape, it is well within the right of the landlord to cover costs and charge tenants for repairs.”  I felt like I’d come up with a cure for cancer.

The moderator looked at me and said, “wow, that was fantastic.  And by the way, I am a big fan of your blog, The Final Word.” (?!?!?!)

Last thing I remember, a whole bunch of hands were up, everyone wanted to counter my debate!

Crazy stuff, man.

04
May
10

Halfway!

Our “banana” is half – baked!  Yep, this week BabyCenter tells me my baby is as long as a banana (10 inches!)

Why does it feel like I should be further along?  Man pregnancy is a LONG process.  I’m ready for: no more bloody noses, no more gagging at the smell of my dog, no more having to pee every 15 minutes, no more watching the scale go up up up, no more abstinence and no more anxiety!  I am ready to experience my baby.

Good news is we find out baby’s sex on Friday.  I am counting the seconds.  I can’t wait!  It will be a long ultrasound so they can count toes, fingers, other body parts to make sure everything is anatomically correct.  I’m really just super excited to see our little one, it’s been over 8 weeks!