Monday, January 31, 2011

Touched by the sun

Well, over a week ago we left the confines of the hospital and headed back to the farm on one glorious day. The sun was shining, the Olympic mountains were showing their majestic snow covered peaks and there was a buzz in the air. It was such a wonderful day to be leaving the confines of the hospital life and head back to real life.  But again, once I find the time to write down the whole story of his birth...just not ready or maybe I just need to find the time to do it all.


What struck me waiting in the lobby for the toasty warm car to arrive was that Corbin had never seen the sun in the first week of his life. It was all overhead lights and those dang bililights. While I am quire certain he will never remember that sunless week, the moment the sweet ray touched his bundled up arm, it just touched my heart. It is so interesting what one will remember from an experience. I suspect this moment will be burned into this whole experience.


The first week home has been awesome. First off, Izzy was unsure about this moving and crying little bundle. However she knows it is a baby. After the initial shock of this little thing moving, she has settled down and all she wants to do is beep Corbin's little nose. I really think baby Corbin is going to have her fingerprint on his nose! I am just thankful she stopped (at least for now) touching his eyes. This past week has made her fall more and more in love with this little guy. Both Scott and I think she believes this is HER baby. It is adorable. She never passes up a chance to hold him.


Devon on the other hand is one cool cat. He was excited about the arrival home and was mildly curious, then he went back to playing with his cars within a few minutes. However he is slowly becoming a great big brother. Sometimes this involves being able to watch a cool show or getting a treat.  He "watch" Corbin for me the other day when I went to the basement to change a load for laundry.  The pride in his eyes when I came back to check on him was awesome!



Well, the arrival home was sweet!  And, Grandma and Grandpa were there to welcome us as well.  Both older kids were having so much fun with them here that they barely noticed we were gone.  Lots of books were read, lots of blocks were stacked (and felled) and lots of treats were made.  Who knew the kids were love pudding so much?


My folks were here to pick up the kids for me, help out with dinner, do the dishes, drive me to all the doctor's get the drift.  They were a huge help!!!



Baths are always a fun filled event at the house.  Adding Corbin into the mix makes it a bit more interesting.  I finally think I am going to have to alternate days for baths.  All three in the bathroom was tight and a bit nerve wracking.  Maybe now that his "stump" has fallen off it might be easier?  TANGENT...I totally saved his stump!  It is really cool looking!  Sadly I only got one picture of it up close.



(Izzy looks a bit sad in this picture...I assure you, she was not!)


Corbin's first bath was filled with lots of wiggles and lots of loud squeaking.


But, it made mama proud that we got to do a normal everyday kind of thing at last. 

And for the big kids...we did some coloring!  Izzy is slowly beginning to understand what it is all about.  SLOWLY being the key word.


The Grandparent finally had to make it back home to Chicago.  But not before some photos!



I know that everyone looks bad in this photo, except baby Corbin!  He is so adorable in this shot!

And this one is just too funny!  NO ONE looks good here but it really captures how crazy it is to shoot a posed picture with my kids.



There is something so wonderful about a newborn.  It must be that they are so fresh, so small, so fragile that it is almost irresistible not to want to hold.  Those little limbs are so awkward and unsure of what to do.  They seem to be running just on instinct.  All of the facial features are so new.  Their fingers are just learning how to bend and grab.  I love this stage.  I think that it is just so fleeting that I just want to savior every single stretch.


(This might be my favorite shot of him)

(wait...I spoke too soon)


Well, sorry about the drought in updates.  Once we got home I needed to just adjust to life again.  And, life right now is good.  But really, really, really busy.  Dare I say I was not expecting how busy it would become.  But, I know it will settle down once we get our work flow in line.  Now it is just figuring out that work flow!  I really want it to contain lots of crafts, photos, walks and glue.

Sleep well!  My fingers are crossed my little nuggets does tonight!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Corbin update 1.18.11

We are still here. In Silverdale. At Harrison. In the hospital. Just in case you were curious where I meant. Things are back on the upswing. Little baby Corbin has been under the lights all day. He will graduate to normal light at midnight! Less than four hours away. I am totally stoked. This morning he had another bilirubin test and his numbers were down. So, the doctor decided to keep him on the lights one more day to lower those numbers even more. The lights will extinguish at midnight and then six hours later he will have another blood draw to see if this number rebounded higher. So, we should know by morning what progress he made.

Then the next thing that needs to happen is he needs to be weaned off of the baby warmer. Currently he has it set to 25% heat since he is sitting in his diaper for the bili light. So, our hope is that after he is off the light and dressed the heater can be slowly be turned down. If he maintains his heat, we might be kicked out.

On a personal note, I had a great day. Grandma and Grandpa drove the kids up to the hospital for a visit today. I attempted to run back to the room but ouch...breast feeding hurts in so many ways! LOL. So, we all loaded into the car and went to a park and out to lunch for hamburgers. It was so great to see these kids. I missed them so much. I am going to have to bottle this feeling so when Izzy starts painting yogurt onto the window or when Devon does not share his toys I can just pull out this bottle and smile.

Grandpa and grandma have been such a great help this past week. They have totally been watching the kids and doing everything. I can't even begin to imagine how much more stressed I would have been if they were not here. Thanks!

So, here we sit waiting for our little guy to wake up again to feed. We are about to turn on a movie and try to chill out just a little bit. Wish us luck in the morning!

Oh, and I know we have been at the hospital too long when when I even know the housekeeper. It is so time to get outta here.

Have a great night!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Corbin update 1.17.11

Seriously! I thought we would be home at this point...but we are still here. In the hospital. Without my baby. Without my other babies. Blurgh! I am so over this in so many ways.

Ok, here is the scoop. This morning we had three hurdles to get over before we left.

1. Pass the car seat test. DONE and done! No issues whatsoever.

2. Draw blood to check the bilirubin levels. Well, the first test came back borderline. So, the pediatrician said to wait a few hours and retest to see if the levels were falling or rising. Well, sadly, they were more elevated. Ahhhhhhhh! In the morning, the level was 15 and later in the day they were 15.6. However he had one massive poop right after the test so I really hope that will help with those numbers. And now my little nugget is under the damn blue light. I know it is the best thing for him, but ya know! I really wanted to be home right about now. So, our plan for this is to feed, feed, and feed him. Actually I am not only breast feeing him I am also doing a supplement of some breast milk after his feed. So, I hope that this will poop out all of the yucky yellow junk and we can cross this off the list.

3. His core temperature. He just seems that he can not keep it high enough without the additional radiant heat. It is a low setting, but it is still on a setting. This hurdles a weird and tricky one. I don't think my doctor thinks he needs to be on it but the some of the nurses think he does. So it is a matter of opinion right now in my eyes. I really wish they would just do a rectal temp to truly get an accurate one so that there is no more question about if his pits were cold or not. But, I guess we just need to be calm and wait this out. Obviously I want a child who comes home and never had to be back in the hospital. So waiting is what we will do.

While I am massively disappointed today about what went down, I know it is for the best. Scott made the trip back home today to visit with the kids and put them to bed. I almost went but I really thought I needed to be here with our little guy. The thought of missing one of his feedings was a bit too much for me. So, here I stay. Awaiting the return and the fun stories.

Hopefully in the morning I will know more. Have a good night and kiss those babies for me!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Corbin update 1.16.11

Day 5 of my little mans life. Well I guess it might technically be day 4 but I am going to count his birthday in this math, so day five it is. When the doctor said the situation was going to turn around and turn fast I never thought it would be so dramatic. He is doing so much better right now. He is acting like a baby instead of a preemie. Well, he still might have some "preemie" tendencies like being very, very, sleepy but I am willing to over look that. His IV was taken out earlier today. So, that means both of his hands are free. Free to attempt to rip the other cords off his chest, who cares! It is so great to see all of the hospital bling being removed and my little baby emerging. So that IV hurdle is now in our dust.

His feeding has improved a ton as well. Last night he latched on and had one good feed after another. Actually I can't recall a bad feed today at all. Yet another great and positive step. I think it might help that my milk has arrived and he is actually getting something when he nurses. But, this could not have come at a more perfect time. He was not ready 24 hours ago. So I guess we might just be on the same time clock here.

So another normal hurdle was passed as well today...he passed his newborn hearing test! Yay! He can hear all of my sweet words of encouragement and Scott's cute nicknames for him. I of course was one proud momma when the hearing tech said he was the fastest she had ever seen a child pass! Booyah!

The hurdles we have yet to pass (or even attempt) are small ones, I hope. Since Corbin was on oxygen, our hospital requires him to take a car seat test to verify he can make the trip home ok. All this entails is putting him in the car seat and having some sensors on him to make sure his O2 levels are fine. I expect no issues with that. But, I guess we shall see here tonight.

Keeping his core temp is also something we need to overcome before we go home. This is probably the most challenging hurdle we have yet to face. He was doing well, but has back slid a bit. As of tonight he was back under the heat lamp and it had to be increase to 20%. Urgh! But, the nurse said things could change overnight. So hopefully tonight is that night. She also said that this is a really common problem preemie babies have. So, time will tell.

I think the last hurdle is a blood test in the morning to determine his bilirubin levels. (ie jaundice). He was a bit borderline today but I don't think that would keep us from leaving. Maybe just sitting under some special lights? I think that he is eating so well today should help those numbers.

For me personally, today has been a pretty good day. I have not broken down sobbing at all. Not even a tear splashed out of my eyes. I never once thought things were not going to be 100% ok with the little man. I just really hate being in this situation. I hate that on day five my baby is still not with me in my room as I type this. It feels like someone pressed this big mommy pause button this time and I am just waiting and waiting for my turn. I dislike having to go to a nursery just for a cuddle. Don't get me wrong, I know he needed to be there and these wonderful women have really made a huge difference in our lives. But, I just want it to be normal. So, since I have to face this reality I am choosing to see the good things that have come of this.

My milk was not until four day. Corbin would have been miserable if he was not on the IV waiting for us to both be ready. That made the translation so much easier.
While I miss the two knuckleheads with every bone in my body right now and I can't wait to get home and read them an awesome story about Thomas the Train or A Very Hungry Caterpillar, I have gotten to heal with out any extra distractions. No temptations of lifting or over doing anything. I am not on any narcotics right now and only am taking ibuprofen for the pain. I can walk almost pain free at this point. That is really awesome!
My baby pass the hearing test with flying colors!
Scott and I have gotten to spend a lot of time together this past week. Surely under these circumstances are not ideal, but it was nice to have him here through so much of this yuckiness.

So, that is the update for today. I am off for another feeding in about 10 minutes. Thanks again for all of your support. I will update photos on Facebook tonight as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Corbin update 1.15.11

Great news! Really great news! First off my little man no longer has the oxygen tubes! Nothing is in his nose except the air that is making it's way to his beautiful lungs. He looks so strong and so much better. And, I might add, really adorable. One our great nurses decided to take the leap this morning and he did perfect.

So, the next hurdle to tackle was to get that pesky IV out of his hand. Well to do that entails having three good feeds and then thirty minutes later passing a glucose meter reading. That would then turn down the machine two notches at a time. This morning we started at a level 9. And I am so happy to say that as of 9:00pm, we are at level 5. My fingers, toes and well everything are crossed that the feeding he just had will be good enough to lower it to level 3. The awesome thing about level 3 is that they don't keep the kiddie on level three. They just take the IV out at that point. So....we are anxiously awaiting our next visit to the nursery in about an hour to see if my little guy has shed another tube.

Needless to say, we are over the moon today. This morning we had a small conversation with our pediatrician. He said things are looking good and we should be seeing a quicker turn around at this point. And he even thinks that possibly Monday we might be home.

I am so thankful that he is seemingly getting better.
I am so thankful of all the kind words so many people have shared with us.
I am so thankful for my parents who have been solely watching the two blonde knuckleheads since Wednesday...and even having to stoke the fire on occasion.
I am thankful that Scott is here with me. He has really tried to keep me focused on not only our goal but making sure I am not losing my head.
I am thankful I am healing really nicely this time. While I am tired, I can walk around retilvely pain free at this point.
I am thankful I was able to download photos to Facebook of my little man.
Simply, I am thankful. And I can't wait to bring Corbin home to join the gang!

Late night update...they hep-locked his IV! Double and triple yay for today!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Corbin Ender has arrived! (Update as of 1.14.11)

While there is a wonderful story to tell about the arrival of Mr. Corbin that will need to wait for another day. But, in a nutshell it was beautiful. There were some...interesting aspects of the day but it was just filled with so much amazement and was awe inspiring.

He was born via c-section at 8:32 am on a very snowy but rain soaked day. He was a chunky 7lbs 3oz and a respectable 19.25" tall.

I really wanted to write this very sleepy post to update everyone on what is happening to our little guy. But to do so I will just fill y'all in from the beginning. It makes where is is now sound that much better!

Corbin was born about four weeks early. Hence making him a late term premie. When he was born he was left with some fluid in his lungs. Since he did not get the big squeeze at birth this is always a risk no matter when a baby is born via c-section. So, they took him to the nursery to super what was happening. They did a chest x-ray to take a look. And sure enough, there was a lot of fluid in there. So, he was put on some oxygen to help him out. Right away he was on 100% oxygen with a forced flow of 2 liters. then they tested his blood sugar and it was low. So, they cup fed him some formula to get that number up. After they fed him and tested again, it was fine and dandy.

While they were watching him they observed that he was "grunting and flaring". What that means is he was making grunting noises and flaring his tiny little nose. What that told the nursery team is that he was having trouble breathing. So, all this adds up to little baby Corbin needing so help.

Later on during his birthday they also noticed his respiration rate was a bit too high. So they inserted an IV in this hand to be able to feed him without having to worry about him aspirating any food we would attempt to give him. So that has taken a ton of pressure off of my shoulders about breastfeeding him.

So, the following day Corbin was weaned down to room air (21% oxygen level). He was still having 2L forced though. He still had his IV and his respiration rate was improving. YAY! Later that day (1.13.11) the doctor moved down the forced air rate to 1.5 and he tolerated that pretty well. However his respiration rate was back up a bit too high. So, we we had to wait to attempt to start breast feeding.

Anyway, I could fill you guys in on every little detail but that is boring and to be quite honest my brain is a bit fuzzy from the drugs. So, I will just tell you were we are at right now.

As of 11pm on Friday:
His o2 levels are great!
His respiration rate is still inconsistent but seems to be improving.
His lungs showed improvement after getting a second chest x-ray this afternoon
He still has the IV in his hand but he had two really great feeds today. So that is really encouraging.
I has been discharged from the hospital today. However, I am officially a Boarder here so I get to stick around until Corbin gets released to they need my room.

What Corbin needs to do to be able to be released from the nursery:
Maintain his u2 levels on room air with no tube thing on his noise forcing air in.
Lower is respiration rate to normal and then stay there.
Start feeding himself via formula or breast and then remove the IV from his hand.

That all sounds so easy! So, tomorrow I hope will be a really great day! The doctor told us that at this point it is a waiting game. Most likely the lungs are just a bit under developed. That coupled with the extra fluid there at birth was just a bit too much for our little guy. The doc also said that this should not impact him health wise in the future. So, he will not be at a higher risk for asthma or lung issues.

Ok, now I am literally falling asleep in front of the iPad. So, this might be a good point to end.

On one really happy note, this little guy (I think) is going to have my eyes! Brown. And. Gorgeous!

Please feel free to drop me a line if you have a question. Or leave a comment.

Thanks for all the love! It has really helped me get through this.