Thursday, February 20, 2014

NICU, A Home Away From Home

The Day after Houston was born I finally got to meet him! That was a moment I will never forget! Dallin hadn't let anyone the day before hold him, he wanted me to be the first to hold Houston in my arms! (I told you he took good care of me and Houston!) I remember when they placed him in my arms I just lost it! How could such a perfect, tiny, precious, innocent spirit be all mine!? I still can't answer that question, but he is mine, and I couldn't be more grateful for him!

Houston spent 3 weeks and 3 days in the NICU! He was a warrior in there. He never had to be on oxygen. He had a feeding tube and had to be under the lights for a few days and other than that he just needed to grow a little more! 

The first few days I didn't really know what to expect with the NICU and I wasn't really sure how on earth I was going to go home and leave my baby here with strangers! That quickly changed once we met the nurses in the NICU! We don't mean to play favorites but our favorite nurse was Liz! She was so sweet and loved those babies like they were her own grandbabies! She was always nice to us! All the nurses were! It was just another answer to my prayers to have nice people taking care of my baby and I knew he was always in good hands! I think it takes a sweet spirit to work with these precious babies everyday and I was so grateful for our nurses! Heavenly Father knew I needed as much help as possible to make it through these first few weeks and he blessed me with more than I could have ever asked for! I had a healthy premie, a GREAT family support, awesome nurses, and the best husband! 

I only got to stay in the hospital for a few days then I was discharged! Hardest day of my life. Leaving my new baby and not taking him home with me was painful. I cried, and cried, and cried, a lot! I visited Houston everyday three times a day! I couldn't drive so my amazing family would take me to the feedings! I couldn't believe how everyone was so gracious and would always make sure I was taken care of, along with Houston! 

It's easier to share Houston's first month in pictures cause he really makes this experience more than worth it everyday! So prepare yourself for a picture overload, probably more pictures than necessary but they're all so cute I couldn't choose a few! It was 25 days after all!
Houston With his Dad! BFF's

Houston and His Mommy! His biggest fan!
(I still can't believe he was as small as he was! Went from my elbow to my fingertips!)

Houston's Family and supporters!
 (my mom & Grandma Shirl! I love them so much! Great examples of great moms!)

 (Houston's grandpa's who adore him and he already adores them!)

(Uncle Kimball who Houston loves)
We loved to compare Houston to things to see how big he was!
(his elbow to his hand was as big as Dallin's thumb)
(His hand was as big as Dallin's finger tip)
(His head as big as Dallin's palm)
(This one's my favorite, He's smaller than mine and Brooklyn's heads and his sweet cousin Macie colored him this picture and he was smaller than the piece of paper! My sister was there with me and for me every step, pregnancy, birth, recovery, and now motherhood! I love her, she's truly my best friend)

Making "baby" Steps
(Got his feeding tube in and then out!)

 (got his IV moved from hand to his head)
 (made it through the lights! & I love how he's holding his binki!)

 (Made it to 4LBS)

 (made it out of the incubator and into a big boy bed and big boy clothes)

Just Sweet Pictures of Houston

 (his first hat)
 (this is my favorite picture from the NICU, Hugging his pillow! Sweet boy)

 (folding his tiny hands)
(And finally...he got to come HOME!! Sept. 29)

 (the car seat basically swallowed him up)
 Happy day!

In the First 24 (Houston's Birth Story)

The day finally was here! September 5, 2013 A day I had waited for my whole life! I was finally going to be a mommy! We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 A.M and started getting prepped for the C-Section. They went over all the instructions I would need to know about the procedure, how it would feel, how long it would take, and stuff like that. Then they drew my blood for a routine blood test. My anesthesiologist came in and was explaining the spinal block to me. Meanwhile Dallin was getting dressed in his operating room get-up! At this point my mom, dad, and sister had arrived to support us on this big day! Right after the anesthesiologist asked if any of us had any other questions my Dr. walked in and had an awful look on his face. I immediately knew something was wrong. He told me my preeclampsia had turned into HELLP syndrome. (you can read about HELLP syndrome here HELLP Syndrome)

He told me my platelets were low. (Platelets help your blood clot.) He told me that a normal platelet count is between 150-400 and mine was at a 30! He told me if they would have given me my spinal block I would have bled to death within minutes! So I'm very grateful they do a routine blood test before these things!
At this point I'm still not crying and I'm still ok with the C-section and diagnosis. Then they say that I am going to have to have a blood transfusion immediately before they could do anything else! I was starting to get upset because it was just another delay in my precious Houston's arrival!

Then they tell me I will have to be put all the way under and will not be awake for the birth of my baby. Still I am holding it together for all my family who was in the room, and trying not to cry but my eyes were welling up. Then the final blow came, he told us Dallin would no longer be able to be the room either. This is when I lost it and started bawling thinking that Dallin wouldn't be able to see the birth of his first child, his first son!

The blood transfusion was an event all its own! There were like 100 nurses in and out of my room it seemed like and they all had me concerned because it seemed none of them knew what they were doing! At one point one of the nurses turned to my family and said "Sorry this is taking a while, we don't normally do these here, they're normally done in the ICU." I wish someone had a camera in the room to catch all our faces at that point haha! It literally took every nurse on the floor to do my blood transfusion! Even the anesthesiologist got in on the action! But it finally got going and when it was towards the end that's when they came and got me to finally take me to have my baby!

I was on my own for this one! They wheeled me out of the room and Dallin walked with us to the O.R where we gave each other one last kiss! I remember the thought entered my mind that that could be it, I could not wake up from this procedure, but that thought was immediately ran out by the spirit and a comforting thought that everything was going to be ok! and I knew it would be! Once I got into the O.R they transferred me to a new bed and all I remember was them telling me to lay back and I said "I feel weird" and that was that! I was fast asleep!

They said that the procedure start to finish was no longer than 30 minutes and Houston was here! he weighed 3LB 7OZ and was 16.5IN. They immediately took him to the NICU and me to a recovery room until I was coming out of anesthesia. I unfortunately would not be able to meet my baby for the first 24 hours of his life!

The first thing I remember is a nurse saying they were taking me back to my room and I was so confused where I was until they wheeled me around a corner and I saw my mom! That was the best sight to see right then! I felt an over whelming feeling of comfort seeing her waiting for me in the hallway!

For the next 24 hours I was sedated and on a magnesium drip. So I don't remember much. I don't remember most the visitors of that day, or anything that happened around me! I know that Dallin took good care of Houston and me! I'm so grateful for him! Dallin took our family back one by one to meet our baby! He was a proud dad!

I remember that night around midnight I finally started coming to a little more and wanted to see my baby! So I called my nurse and told her I was ready to finally meet my sweet Houston! She was so nice and called some CNA's to help me into a wheel chair. She knew I wouldn't make it but she still tried! I'm sure their convo in the hall was a little something like "This crazy lady wants to see her baby but she's not really all there yet so we'll just pretend there's a chance" haha So they tell me to stand up and lock my knees so I won't fall over and to take a few steps to the wheel chair. My mind was telling my legs to move but nothing was happening haha so they brought the wheel chair as close as they could and turned me around and sat me in it! I can't be sure what happened next but the next thing I remember is being back in my bed! I had blacked out and my attempt of meeting Houston that night was a failure!

Tested Positive

I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant! I was home alone and just couldn't wait the half hour for Dallin to drive home so I took the test and closed my eyes and hoped for the best! When I finally took enough big breaths where I thought I wouldn't pass out from looking at the test I looked and it was POSITIVE! I immediately called Dallin and told him the good news, luckily he didn't crash his car, but he also didn't believe me until he got home and saw the test himself! This is when our amazing journey to parenthood became a reality!
The first twelve weeks were a breeze! I didn't feel any different. Which was nice for keeping it secret! but then literally the day I was twelve weeks I threw up! And never stopped throwing up multiple times a day until 24 weeks! But it was ok with me cause that meant my baby was still in there growing!
At 16 weeks we went in to the Dr. appointment and he said he could tell us the gender! He moved the wand around my belly and finally announced, IT'S A GIRL! We were very excited and couldn't wait to tell our families! (I know you're probably confused right now but don't worry he was always a boy haha) We mad a cake for Dallins family and did a box of balloons for mine!

When my 20 week appointment came around my husband couldn't make it so my mom went with me, (It was the only appointment Dallin missed my whole pregnancy) We went back there and the Dr. started the ultra sound and then paused and said " Oh no" "I've made a big mistake" "This never happens" So at that point I'm thinking my child has three arms or no hand or something! Then he looks and me and my mom and says, "It's not a girl, it's a boy!" I immediately think of Dallin and how sad he'll be that this was the one appointment he missed! But I couldn't stop laughing and smiling cause I always knew it was a boy, ask any of my family or friends, I just knew it! So I had to break the news to Dallin and every other person I knew haha

The next few weeks went by normal. I was in school full time and so the time went by really fast for me until one day at school my feet all the sudden ballooned. Literally just over night I grew cankles and my feet looked like balloons. You could touch them and your finger print would stay indented for a second. It was like a circus act! 

A few days after I basically got elephantiasis, I started feeling weird. Light headed, tired, just not a normal pregnancy sick so I called my Dr. He told me to come in and just get a blood pressure check. My blood pressure was very high and they sent me to labor and delivery. This scared me cause I was only 28 weeks! They eventually sent me home on strict bed rest and diagnosed me with preeclampsia (You can learn about preeclampsia here Preeclampsia) I would then see my Dr. and a perinatologist every other day. So I had a Dr. appointment 5 days a week pretty much! I lived at the hospital basically the last few weeks of my pregnancy! At 29 week my perinatologist told me he thought the time was soon to have my baby but sweet Houston stayed strong and waited a few more weeks. Once 30 weeks hit Houston stopped growing. They said he was growth restricted. So two weeks later the date was set to have a C-Section at 33 weeks! I don't think anything could have prepared me for the big day!