Tuesday, November 27, 2007

abigail's first 2 weeks of life

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

i know i'm a day early but tomorrow will be filled with LOTS of activities (including but not limited to the parade!) so i thought i'd go ahead and give my "i'm thankful for..." list now.

I'm Thankful For...

- a wonderful, loving husband who cares about me and takes amazing care of me
- a wonderful mom who still is my best friend
- my beautiful, amazing daughter who is showing us even now that she is a strong fighter
- good doctors and nurses who are extremely diligent in taking care of my daughter
- good insurance so our medical bills don't have to be so scary
- friends who have helped us out along our journey of bedrest and delivery in every way imaginable
- and most importantly, a loving caring heavenly father who takes care of me and my family in the most amazing ways.

Friday, November 16, 2007

How Preemie Moms are Chosen

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit. This year thousands of mothers will give birth to a premature baby. Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instrument for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a great ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew"
"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecilia"
"Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint, give her Gerard, he's used to profanity"

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a premature baby". The angel is curious, "Why this one, God? She is so happy." "Exactly," smiles God, "could I give a premature baby to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel." "But, does she have patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in the sea of self pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it."

"I watched her today, she has that sense of self and independence that are so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect, she has just enough selfishness." The angels gasps, "Selfishness; is that a virtue?" God nods, "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child who comes in a less than perfect way. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied."

"She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says, "Mommy" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When she describes a tree or sunset to her child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations."

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see; ignorance, cruelty, prejudice, and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side." "And about her patron saint," asks the angel, pen poised in mid air. God smiles, "a mirror will suffice."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

i think things are different now. i know, that's an understatement. but in me, like ME, i think things are different. i was trying to explain to robert the other night now i feel just....different now. it didn't work very well - my explainations, that is. and it's true, i don't know how to explain it but something is just different now. the way i feel. the way i think. for (a small) example: those of you who know me, know that i am NOT a morning person and hate getting up period! however, now, i have to get up at 2:30am to pump then start my day at 7:30 pumping. this means that sleeping in is no longer an option. some days i go back to bed for an hour or so after, but i can't really sleep when i do that. this is weird! this isn't like me!!

i know that in general having a baby changes your life and your lifestyle, but i guess i was more expecting the changes to come when abigail got home. but they were pretty much immediate!! just knowing that she is in the world now and is counting on me to sustain her does something to the way i think about everything.

and it's great!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

for some reason i can't figure out how to upload videos to Abigail's site...so here's one from today. she does NOT like to have her temperature taken, which we have to do when we have "hands on" time with her. she definitely makes it known!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Abigail Grace Snelson – Birth Story

After 2 rounds of going into labor and it being stopped, Thursday, Nov 9, 2007 at 12:00am contractions began and this time were accompanied by bloody show. Time to go to the hospital…again! So off we went. We got to the hospital and they quickly began another round of terbutaline but to no avail. The contractions kept coming every 2 -3 minutes. For a few hours they were tolerable. But soon they started coming harder and harder. My entire labor was back labor – which is almost worse than having all the contractions up front (so I’m told…and I believe it!!). At 1:00pm the doctor came to assess me and I was 4 cm 100% effaced. They kept trying everything they could think of to stop my labor from more terbutaline to procardia to narcotics but nothing worked! She was just ready to come!!! Funny insert here: when I was on the narcotics, they dulled the pain just enough so I could nap in between contractions. Apparently when I was “out of it” I began asking to use the bathroom IN FRENCH! I haven’t used my French in about 2 years! Robert also go a kick out of me seeing my IV and pointing very enthusiastically saying “BUBBLES!!!” Finally around 12:30am (Saturday morning) my doctor decided this was going to happen no matter what he did so he ordered the epidural. Thank God!!! My contractions at this point had been VERY hard for 12 hours straight and I was exhausted and completely worn out. Epidural meant relief!!! Once I got the epidural I had progressed to 6 cm 100%, 0 station. I met the anesthesiologist (my new best friend!) and he hooked me up! I screamed at the local anesthetic – he didn’t tell me it would burn (BURN!) and it scared me! But once it was in, the epidural took about 2 minutes to take effect and all my pain was gone. 10 minutes later my doctor came to check me and said “it’s time to push!” so I got into position. Robert held my right leg, my nurse held my left leg, Erin and Mom stood right behind the doctor watching the whole thing from a front row seat! So here I go! I started pushing and couldn’t feel a thing…just pressure. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but apparently I was because my I kept hearing “I see her head!” I pushed for a total of 6 minutes and out she came!!! From the way I was sitting/laying in the bed I could see the entire thing.

She immediately turned pink (THANK GOD!) and cried just a bit. The doctor suctioned her out and quickly passed her off to the NICU team (3 nurses) who took over Abigail’s care. I finished up with the delivery of the placenta and such. But honestly I had no idea at that point what was going on “down there” – I kept my eyes on my baby girl! She seemed so far away from me, but the way the nurse was standing, I could see everything they were doing. She started out breathing on her own but they decided to put a breathing tube in just to help her out a bit. The first try didn’t go so well: Abigail didn’t like it and she coughed it out! (a very good sign!) The second time worked. They put her in an incubator and wheeled her over to me so I could touch her and spend a quick minute with her (through glass) before she went to the NICU. I wasn’t going to see her again for another 5 ½ hours…

I still didn’t know any of her stats: weight, length or anything. That came later.

My first visits with Abigail

If anyone ever tells you that your epidural will wear off in an hour, do not believe them! It took 5 hours for me to feel my legs again! Then again, she was born 20 minutes after getting it. But I couldn’t get up until I could walk and having no feeling in my legs doesn’t make walking very easy! So as soon as I felt strong enough, they moved me to a mother/baby room – but on my way I was allowed to stop in and see my daughter. When I got there, she was hooked up to the breathing tubes and had an IV in her right hand. She also had what looked to me like a gazillion wires coming from every part of her body measuring everything imaginable: heartrate, breaths per minute for both what the machine was doing and what she was doing on her own, body temperature, etc. She looked so small!!! But she was here and the nurse assured me that she was doing quite well. I was told that she weighed in at 3 lbs 10.5 oz and was 15.5 inches long. Apparently that’s quite big for a 31 weeker! (that’s my girl!) I spent about 20 minutes with her then had to head back to my room. It was 6:30 am at this point and I was exhausted! We were told that we would be able to go back in at 8:00am to see her during her “hands on” time. “Hands on” is when Mommy and Daddy (and 4 other previously approved people) can go in and change her diaper, check her temperature, hold her, feed her, and do whatever she can tolerate at the time. The first time we had our “hands on” we were only allowed to touch her. We took about 50 bagillion pictures of her!! She was doing very well – the nurses were very pleased!

The second time we went (12 noon) she was doing so well that we were allowed to hold her for about 15 minutes each. I cannot describe how it felt to hold my daughter for the first time! She was so tiny and beautiful and perfect!!! I kept looking at her thinking “this is MY daughter! WOW!” Robert also held her and to see him with her made me melt! It was even more amazing then the feeling I had of me holding her! Seeing my husband hold my daughter just did something to me that I have no words to describe.

We got a call from the NICU at 2:00pm telling us that Abigail was doing so well they were taking her off the breathing machines. She was able to breathe completely on her own!!! The only thing she had was a nasal canola to keep her oxygen level up – but she was doing all the work herself! We went in again at 3:00 but weren’t allowed to hold her. She got a little stressed by us holding her at noon and I didn’t want to push it. I kept telling her how much I love her and how beautiful she is!!!

On Sunday I went in at 8:00am with Auntie Erin who got to change her diaper! At this point she had had 4 VERY full diapers! Her kidneys seem to be working just fine! At noon JoJo (grandma) got to hold her for the first time and everyone cried! She was completely free of any help and the only machines she was hooked up to were for nourishment! AMAZING!!! I held her again for just a few minutes then put her back. Thankfully, this round of holding her did not stress her out in the slightest!

At 3:00pm we went back for our last visit of the day since I was being discharged from the hospital. Just before we were on our way down, we got a call from the NICU telling me that she was doing so well and was so stable that she was being moved down from the NICU to the Intermediate Nursery!!! Robert and I went to see her and tell her bye and that we would be back tomorrow.

Delivery Pictures

First Moments With Abigail

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

alright. seriously, my child is the most impatient baby EVER! (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but here we go again....)

i was admitted monday after my regular check up for being 4 cm dilated and 50-60% effaced, -2 station and membranes present. and this time they told me i would have to stay until i delivered.....

I contracted every 2 mins for 3 hrs monday with PAINFUL contrax. they expected to see abby tuesday morning. but they were able to stop labor and today has been much better. still contrating but not as bad. the dr won't allow anyone to check me b/c my membranes are RIGHT THERE and she could easily break it with her fingernail if she wanted...so no more cervix checks til I'm in active labor. lovely.they gave me some narcotic monday night for pain and it completely knocked me out. I won't have that again...had I progressed, there would have been no way that I could have pushed.

they completey blind-sided me this morning and let me come home!!!! (i think it's because i freaked out on the nurse last night and completely went ballistic...on accident!) here's the story:i have been having to stay on my back almost completely b/c abby is still too small for the monitors to really keep track of her and the best way is on my back. the problem is that laying on my back constantly HURTS! so at night when i was sleeping, i didn't realize i was turning to my side...until the nurses came in to adjust the monitors. well, last night after about the 25th time (literally) in about 45 minutes i had had it! plus, my IV kept going off every time i got up to go to the bathroom -- which was about every 15 minutes. so i'd have to call to have them silence the stupid thing. we couldn't do it. so finally i had just had enough and i started balling my eyes out and yelling at the nurse (which i later apologized for!) and just couldn't calm down! it was just bad...so this morning when my dr made her rounds she said, "i heard you had a rough night last night!" i felt really bad but she said that IF i wanted to go home, i could. there wasn't anything else they could do to stop the contrax and i could just as easily take both meds (procardia and terbutaline) at home as in the hospital. well, it took me 4 hours to decide that i did, in fact, want to come home. at first i didn't because i felt like i had a better chance at getting the epidural/phenergan quicker if i stayed since i was already hooked up to the IV. but she said that that was going to come out if i decided to stay. and abby is in no danger whatsoever....she's constantly moving and had the hiccups almost the whole time! her heartbeat is good so i feel comfortable with that. so after a 4 hour deliberation with robert,, my mom, my dr, my nurse and erin, i decided to come on home. so here i am!

i got the COOLEST ultrasound on monday when they admitted me....the tech was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sweet and printed me out the pictures i've been dying for my entire pregnancy. i've wanted her face so badly but could never get it. now i have 2!!! and she looks EXACTLY like Robert! it's scary, really! she has his chin, his nose and his forehead! it really isn't fair: we go through all this crap with them then they come out looking like their father! what's up with that!??!
alright, well, i think that's it! i'm hoping that the next time i go to the hospital i'll come home with a baby OUTSIDE of me! i'm nervous about breaking my water...i'm afraid that any sudden movement or anything will break it. apparently it's just kinda hanging RIGHT there.....i have to go to the dr 2 times a week from now on (fun!). my next appt is friday. i have no idea if i'm more dilated from the active labor monday night - they refused to check me until friday. so right now i'm 4 cm, 50-60% effaced, -2 station with membranes present. but i'm fairly certain that the labor and contractions i was having monday did some more dilation....i won't tell you why - just trust me on that one!!!

and on top of all this, NaBloPoMo is completely shot!!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

last night i had severe (and i mean SEVERE) lower back pain. now i know this is a sign up labor so i'm freaking out! when i say severe, i mean like nothing i've ever felt before. and i had a good number of contractions last night about an hour or so before the pain started. this morning i've had some, too, but i can't really tell if they are regular or not. they don't hurt, but i'm still worried.

i hate this whole "not knowing" thing....it sucks.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

i really only have one thing to say today:

I HIT 30 WEEKS!!!!!

now on to my next goal: Thanksgiving Day! (think i can make it?!?!?)

Friday, November 02, 2007

today i have been in tears for a good portion of the day. i know this whole bedrest thing is the best thing for abigail right now, but it's getting so hard!!! what i wouldn't give to go to target for just 5 minutes!!! but i know i can't...

but rather than sit here and give myself a pity party, i will tell you my really good news!!!!!! i need a few more winterish maternity clothes -- not many b/c i can't go outside anyway and i'm hot inside all the time. but i do need stuff for when i have to go to the doctor every week. i was wondering what to buy and what was worth spending the money on...then i came up with this idea!!! i've only gained 8 lbs, right?! maybe i could fit into a few of my pre-pregnancy clothes?? so i sent robert to the attic to get my clothes and lo and behold! THEY FIT!!!! not all of them, of course, but most of my shirts and at least 1 pair of pants! woo hooo!! so i have about 25 long sleeved tshirt that i can now layer and all robert has to buy is one pair of jeans for me! that's awesome!!! i'm so excited!!!! WOOO HOOOOOO!!!

and just for good measure, isn't he the cutest bee ever!?!!?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

so i signed up for the NaBloPoMo deal just to give me one more thing to do while on bedrest!!! so uness abigail decides to make her entrance into the world this month, i'll try my hardest to do this successfully!!!

here's to blogging!!!!