2013 Project 52

Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Brother's Bedtime Stories

Since bringing Alyse home, Calder keeps asking when "Baby Sweetie" is going to open her eyes, and saying things like "Is it Baby Sweetie's naptime again?"  

So, after the older two were in bed last night, Dave and I were just hanging out in our bedroom watching the Oscars.  Alyse had just eaten and was very alert.  Calder walked into our bedroom to tell us he had to use the potty, but he quickly got distracted when he realized Alyse was awake.  He was so excited to see her eyes open, so Dave invited him to come and sit next to her.  Here's what followed:

Dave: Do you want to tell her anything?
Calder:  Yes!
Dave:  Go ahead...
Calder:  Oh, I don't think she'll be too interested.
Dave:  Why don't you try and see?

At this point Calder entered into a 5 minute dialogue about dinosaurs (his latest obsession)!  It was so cute to listen to him talk to her and teach her about dinosaurs.  He then ran to his bedroom to get his favorite dinosaur books and proceeded to show her each page and tell her all about each of the dinosaurs.  She had her eyes open and looking at him the whole time!  It was such a sweet, sweet moment. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


After the longest 27 days of our lives...our precious baby Alyse is finally home!  She passed her carseat challenge on Friday night and met her 3 day requirement of no breathing issues at 3:44am on Saturday.  I seriously would have been there at 3:45 to pick her up...but she had to be examined by the neonatologist one last time before discharge, so the earliest we could pick her up was 8:30 or 9.  So, I called the hospital around 7:45 to make sure everything was still going as planned.  The nurse sounded unsure, and then told me that Alyse had a breathing spell overnight and the doctor had not seen her yet to make a final decision.  My heart dropped and I could barely even finish my conversation with her.  Fortunately, the doctor called me less than 10 minutes later and told me not to worry, that it was not a true breathing spell, and she would still be going home.  Phew!  Regardless, we really weren't allowing ourselves to believe that she was truly coming home until she was actually in the car with us.  Finally, after an hour-long discharge process, they disconnected her from the monitor, loaded us up with lots of hospital freebies and we were out of there!  It is so wonderful to finally have our whole family together!

Goodbye, monitor!

Look, Mom, no wires! 

Adios, hospital crib!

All dressed up in her coming home outfit (from Grandma)!
Calder meets his "Baby Sweetie" for the first time.  We have to be really careful of her getting sick, so we told the kids that she really likes to be kissed on the toes. 
Big Sister's turn.

A happy Grandma!  My mom had been here for 2 1/2 weeks helping us out, and I was worried that she was not going to get to meet Alyse before she had to leave.  In the end, she got to have about 4 or 5 hours with her before her flight left that afternoon. 
Our new family of FIVE!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anxiously Waiting


We've had some amazing weather here lately, it's hard to believe it is February!  Especially after the February we had last year.  Calder still remembers and keeps asking when he'll get to play in the snow mountain in the driveway again.  The good news is that the kids have been able to enjoy some much needed outdoor play time! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

20 Days

Today is the 20th day of Alyse's NICU stay.  I truly never dreamed she would be there this long, which makes the waiting even harder.  It really is just a waiting game at this point.  Around February 7th, she met all of the criteria for coming home except for the one (bradycardia), so we continue to wait for her to get over that one last hurdle.  If I hear one more nurse say that she'll be going home 'soon', I'll probably go ballistic.  (I can't even tell you how many times I have heard this in the last 2 weeks!)  Although her status basically has remained the same every day, each day that passes is actually starting to feel like a major setback because we aren't getting any closer to her coming home.  We got our hopes up earlier this week when she had two long periods of no 'spells' (36 hours and 24 hours), but since she had 4 spells yesterday, we are basically back to square one.  However, the doctor assures us that it's a good sign that her spells are very short and she almost always self-recovers.  But, as he told me yesterday, he can't guarantee that she'll be coming home next week or even the week after that.  And so, we wait...

It's a good thing she is so cute...

First smile caught on camera.  Who cares if it's just gas?

Asleep in Mommy's arms

Ready to eat after being weighed.

Hey, this Daddy guy is pretty cool.

Thinking hard.

A sweet bow for a sweet girl.

She's not so sure about the paci.

Tiny girl.  She's gaining fast though and now weighs 5 lbs 6oz!

All bundled up and ready to sleep!

Sleepy girl.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Wow.  This last week and a half has been such a whirlwind.  Where do I even start? 

How about with this little bundle...?

Yep, our new baby girl, the one with the March 15th due date, has already arrived.  And she is beyond precious.  All four and a half pounds of her. 

It all started on the 27th of January.  Our power had gone out the night before during a snow/ice storm, and we woke up to a cold, dark house.  Daycare and work had been delayed, so we were getting a slow start to the morning.  I was just starting to make Tessa breakfast when I felt it.  My water broke right there in the middle of my kitchen.  I quickly did the math in my head -- 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  Way, way too early for this to be happening...so, naturally, I freaked out.  I called my wonderful friend Neala who lives only a few minutes away to find out if she had power, thinking that we could drop the kids off at her house on our way to the hospital.  She didn't have power either...and I think I really started panicking then.  Amazingly, she was perfectly calm and said "Don't worry, I'm coming right over."  She was at our house in what seemed like only 5 minutes, and after frantically packing my bag in the dark, we were off to the hospital.

Luckily, the roads were not too bad, and we got to the hospital quickly.  After parading through Labor & Delivery with a nurse who kept saying "This lady thinks her water broke", I finally saw my OB who confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken.  Dave and I were both surprised (and relieved) when he informed us that I would not be delivering that day.  Instead, he was admitting me to the High Risk Perinatal unit for a 2-3 week stay.  Oy.  While I was thrilled that it wasn't necessary for me to deliver that day, I was not super excited about spending the rest of my pregnancy on hospital bedrest. But...you do what you have to do.  The plan was to pump me up with antibiotics to avoid infection and try to keep me pregnant until at least 36 weeks.  I was also given a shot of tributalane (sp?) to stop the very mild contractions that I was having and steroid shots to develop the baby's lungs in case I did end up delivering earlier than planned.

Fast forward 3 days and 3 sleepless nights (why, exactly, do nurses and doctors need to come in at 8, 10, 1, 1:30, 4 and 6?)  The family had come to visit that evening and to have dinner with me.  I wasn't feeling bad...but I really didn't have an appetite, so I passed on dinner.  At 7pm, an hour after they had left, I started feeling some cramping that I though might be mild contractions.  I called my nurse, and she hooked me up to the monitor to check.  The contractions were barely registering on the monitor, and the baby wasn't reacting to them.  The resident OB seemed to think it wasn't a big deal, but they decided to give me a fluid rush (i.e. ice cold saline pumping through my IV at a rapid pace) to try to stop the contractions.  That didn't work...and the contractions started becoming more intense.  They called my OB who ordered another shot of tributalane to stop the contractions.  The shot lessened the intensity of one measly contraction, and then they continued full force. At this point, the baby started reacting to the contractions and I was starting to develop a fever, which is a sign of infection.  Dave arrived around 9:15, and they sent me down to Labor & Delivery shortly after, where my OB confirmed that I would be delivering that night.   

And so, on January 30th at 10:55pm, our darling Alyse Claire was born.  She weighed in at a tiny 4lbs. 13 oz. and was 18.5 inches long.  I was most surprised that she looked nothing like her siblings, mostly due to her beautiful dark brown hair!  Since she was so premature (33 weeks, 5 days gestation) she was taken to the NICU shortly after she was born, and she remains there today. 

At just over a week old, she's doing remarkably well.  She's ditched her feeding tube and is eating well.  She's now able to regulate her body temperature outside of a heated isolette, so she was recently moved to an open crib.  Like Calder and Tessa, she was jaundiced at birth, so she also spent a few days under the lights.  Her one remaining issue is something called bradycardia -- which is a common issue for preemies.  Basically, she occasionally 'forgets' to breathe which causes her heart rate to drop.  She almost always self-recovers, which is a really good thing.  From what we've been told, it's something that we just have to wait out.  She'll outgrow it at some point and she should be able to come home about 3-5 days after she stops having the bradycardia 'spells'.  It definitely has not been easy...but there are a lot of very sick babies in the NICU, and it's a reminder of how lucky we are that she is so healthy and just has this one issue to overcome. 

Since it's flu season, only parents are allowed in the NICU.  So, Calder and Tessa are still patiently waiting to meet their little sister.  We can't wait to bring her home!