Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kamry Update

Baby Kamry is doing really well. She was taken off the ventilator last week and put on a cpap. I hated seeing her like that. They had to put this little beanie on her head and had to strap it on so they didn't move. Me and Nate decided we hated the cpap more than the ventilator because it looked so sad. The pics below show it really good. Her whole face was taken up by that. They had to put this little beanie on her to be able to attach the hoses to it so they didn't move too much. It was SO SAD! After about 2 days on the cpap, they took it off and put her on just a nasal canula with oxygen. We were so relieved to see that! Here are a couple of pictures to show you just how sad it was.

Here she is squeezing Aunt Deanna's finger

She has been gaining weight pretty good. They told us it could take up to 2 weeks for her to get back to her birth weight. She went from 2 lbs. 3 oz. at birth to 2 lbs. even. She has gained and lost a little but she is still above her birth weight. The nurse was telling me that it's really common for premies to gain and lose a little before they start gaining continuously. She is still so tiny, but seeing her put weight on is great.

Last Saturday (May 22) I got to hold her skin to skin. The nurses were saying it's great for mom & baby because it helps them bond and also helps baby feel closer to mom. I can seriously say that it really does. When I was holding her against my chest she was so relaxed and they had to keep turning her oxygen down. She went from like 45% oxygen to 25% oxygen while I was holding her. She slept on me and was so comfortable. Her little arms were outstretched onto my chest. We were concerned that she might get cold (even though we had a warm blanket over her) and the nurse told us that it's been shown (by research i guess) that when the baby is being held by mom, if she gets cold or hot, moms body will change temperature to make the baby comfortable. Apparently dad's body doesn't do that so they have to pay more attention to if the baby is comfortable. Mom's are so amazing. The things our bodies can do to create children, bring them into the world and then care for them. It's just amazing! Women rule! These are skin to skin pictures from 2 different times I've held her like that.

She almost always has a hand on her face when she sleeps. The nurses were telling me that it means that she is content. It's so cute when she does that!

Our little girl is so amazing. Even though she is so small she is so strong! Compared to some of the other infants in the NICU she is so low-maintenance which is such a good thing! Every time I go in the nurse tells me that there really isn't anything to report. She just uses her oxygen and occasionally has a breathing treatment. They haven't been worried about anything else really since her heart PDA closed up. I know that we're not out of the woods yet, there are still a lot of opportunities for things to happen, but she is so strong and healthy that I cant help but be so greatful that she is so amazing and strong.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hospital Latest

May 13: I officially became a "Boarder" at the hospital. I moved rooms, and am now staying at the hospital as a boarder and not as a patient. What that means is that I get to stay in a hospital room, still get 3 meals a day and be close to Kamry without having to pay for it. It's a service they offer for nursing mothers to be able to keep us close to our babies. The staff does not check on me anymore, and I can come and go from my room as I wish. The other nice thing is that I don't have to pee in that stupid hat anymore. Because I was so swollen and had retained so much water they had to monitor my intake and output to be sure I was releasing the water that I was holding. Well, they told me that it could take a week or two to lose all the water, but in a 24 hours period I pee'd out 4 LITERS! The nurses about died when they told me that and you can only imagine my reaction.

Nate went home for the first time to get a good nights sleep on an actual bed. He said our bed has never been more comfortable. The recliner they had for him in my room did not look comfortable at all! He came back this morning and brought me a few more necessities, you know... clothes, underwear etc... When I got up and showered and actually put clothes on today I felt SO GOOD! I can't believe how nice it is just to be able to get dressed and wear normal clothes. No more hospital gowns! YAY!

May 14: Today was pretty relaxing. Brian and Kelli came to see us and we left the hospital and went to lunch. It was so nice to leave the hospital because I haven't been outside since last Saturday. Well, I guess if you count being loaded into and out of an ambulance as being outside, then it was Sunday. But Nate drove his truck today so I did have the challenge of getting into his huge truck. Luckily he is a thinker and pulled a step ladder out of the back of it and I climbed the ladder to get into his truck. A picture below will depict the humor. If you can't laugh at this, you're dead. I even had to use it to get out of the truck too. I just can't lift myself or stretch my body that much yet since the surgery.

After Brian and Kelli came, my old roomie from ISU Lindi and her mom came to see me too. I haven't seen Lindi for months so it was so nice to see her and be able to take her in to see Kamry. She was just in awe at how tiny she is. The pictures really don't make her look as small as she really is. You definitely get a better picture when you see someone hand or something next to her. Its funny to see people's reactions that have never seen a premie her size. They're just in shock. After Lindi and her mom were here, Brittany Anderson and her husband Jon came. It was funny to see the shock on Brittany's face too. I love the reaction. And it amazes me how everyone just is so drawn to her. Kamry is so sweet, and so tiny that it's impossible not to fall immediately in love with her. It was really nice to see friends today. I've had a lot of visitors this week, and every day it's fun to see people. Tomorrow is going to be much slower so we'll see how the day goes.

We got to go hold Kamry again today (5/14). Here she is peeking at her daddy with one eye open. She loves being held by her daddy. I told Nate that I'm pretty sure she is going to be held way too much when we get her home and he said that if she is sleeping, and he is home, she will be sleeping on his chest. Just the thought of our little girl sleeping on her daddy's chest makes me want to cry. It's such a beautiful image.

First Kiss from Mommy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Terror Continues...

Sunday May 9, 2010

On this morning, I woke up, obviously still in the hospital, but feeling just fine. Dr. Strebble (the on -call doc that was watching over me all weekend) was planning to review my latest labs as soon as they were back and then we would discuss the best plans for me. I decided that I wanted to take a jacuzzi bath to relax but decided to wait until I talked to the doctor. I knew as soon as I got in the tub he would come and want to talk.

In the mean time, Nate's parents arrived to visit and then Nate came up shortly thereafter. Because my labs had been so steady, he decided to sleep at home and get a full nights rest. Well, after just a little bit, Dr. Strebble came in and discussed my labs with me. He felt that the best plan was to transport me to Ogden to McKay Dee Hospital and have them monitor me because my toxemia was not getting any better and my blood platelets were still low. (Normal platelet level is over 200 and I was in the 90's). He wanted to speak with the specialist in Salt Lake City, then also with Dr. Ahlstrom who would be my physician in Ogden. He left momentarily, then came back saying that they had ordered for an ambulance ride to Ogden and I would be on my way within the next few minutes. Me and Nate both had a look of fright in our eyes, but we knew everything would be okay. I knew that if they were tranferring me to Ogden, it was the best thing for me and for Kamry so I had to trust their judgement and know that the doctors know what is best. At this point though, I decided that I'm glad I'm a social work student because it came in handy trying to keep myself calm and not freak out. All the lessons my teachers have taught me over the years really paid off.

When the ambulance guys got there, they were great. Making jokes and keeping a smile on my face. We had a nice ride down (even though you feel like you're riding in the back of a dump truck). Me and the one guy (I think his name was John but I can't remember exactly) sat and chit chatted about my work and the differnt things that I do up at school. He seemed very impressed with my career goals, and the fact that even though I was most likely going to be having a premature baby within the next few days I was keeping very calm. He was relaxing to talk to and it made the trip down really comfortable. All I can say is that I truly appreciate the men and women that are willing to do those jobs because they can really make or break the sitaution and this guy totally made mine.

When I got to Ogden, the nurses that were working were very surprised because apparently they had heard that a 28 week pregnant girl was coming in and they were expecting the worst. They had the NICU team ready to go and were prepared to take me straight into surgery. Much to their surprise, I was smiling and talking to them as if nothing was wrong. About 20 minutes after I got to the hospital, Nate arrived. He drove down seperate so he would have a vehicle, and could stop by the house to get some items for us.

After having even more labs drawn, I asked Dr. Ahlstrom if I could take a shower. He said that would be okay if it was kind of a quick one. That was fine with me, a shower just sounded really good. Nate left to run down to the car to get my shower stuff, and forgot the keys. So he came back in, grabbed the keys and left again. Right after Nate left to go get my shower stuff out of the car, Dr. Ahlstrom came back in and said that they were going to take the baby and to begin preparations for it. I wanted to cry. I asked him if I could still take a shower because I wasn't going to get one for a few days. He said that was okay, but still to make it quick. While waiting for Nate, I got in the shower and began to wash. He came in and helped me with my hair and helped me dry off. We said a quick prayer to ask for strength and for me and the baby to be safe. Then I was loaded onto a bed and began to prep for surgery.

The nurses and sugical tech's were great. They gave me some pills and a "shot" of some grape crap drink to help with nausea from the anesthesia. I've never gotten sick before, but this was a new experience because I've never had an epidural before. As they wheeled me back into the operating room, I suddenly got very hot and just knew I was going to throw up. Luckily I said something fast enough and the speedy tech got me a puke bag. I threw up in it and of course, threw up the nausea medication they had just given me.

I was moved onto the operating table, and was told to lean forward as far as I could while they placed the epidural. Nate sat there with me and held my hand. The first needle just took me off guard because I wasnt expecting him to stick me right then, but as he was preparing the epidural, all the little "local anesthetic" shots is what really started to hurt. Needles normally don't bother me, but this time I was squeezing Nate's hand. He said I wasn't putting any pressure, but I felt like I was squeezing as tight as I possibly could so apparently I was very weak from this whole experience.

They laid me back and put the curtain up so I couldn't see. Nate was seated right by my head and told that they would say "Baby Time" when he could snap a quick picture before they whisked her away. He didn't watch any of the surgery, but we both laughed at the doctors. They had such great humor. One of the nurses had her IPOD in her purse, so they hooked it up and let me choose the genre (country of course). I laughed because when I was getting stuck with the needle for my epidural, the song "Some Beach" by Joe Nichols came on and it was just too ironic.

During the surgery, I felt a lot of pressure right under my chest bone, and the anesthesiologist said that is normal because that is where the epidural begins. But of course, instead of just answering, he told me "oh, the doctor is just taking a break and is leaning on your chest bone for support". They teased about "who brought the 12 pack?" and "i think I'll take a smoke break now and finish this later". It helped keep the mood light and kept me smiling. I think truly talentd doctors know how to make their patients comfortable, and these guys did great.

Directly after surgery right when they were about to wheel me out to recovery, I threw up again. This hurt so unbelieveably bad. The muscles that had just been cut into now felt like they were shredding apart in my belly. Even though I had an epidural and was still numb I couldn't believe how bad it hurt.
Once in recovery, they let my family come see me. I didn't realize that almost my entire family came down when they heard I was being transferred to Ogden. My parents, Brent, Deanna, and Melanie came. Nate's parents, Ben, Cori, Kade and Kallie all came too. So 2 at a time they shipped them back to see me, and then of course the grandparents got to see Kamry. After I was finished in recovery (about an hour later I think) they wheeled me in to see Kam before they took me to my room. I got to see her for a minute, and of course, what happened. I threw up again. This time it hurt even worse! The nurse had told me that I should take a pillow and push down as hard as I could. I didn't have the strength, but luckily my dad came to my rescue and pushed on my belly with a pillow for me. It really did help too so I'm glad he was willing to do it.

All in all this experience is one that of course I will never forget, but I am grateful for at the same time. You love this child so much before they're even born and then once they get here you can't believe how much you love them. Well when they're so fragile and small it seems like your love grows 1000 times more for this child. If you're not a parent yet, you will totally understand when you are, but it is the most amazing feeling in the world and nothing could replace it.

Here are some pictures from her first few minutes of life:
Sunday May 9, 2010
Kamry Ann Lundgreen
2 lbs. 3 oz. 14 1/2" long
Welcome to the world little one!
Proud daddy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

28 Week Terror

On Friday May 7, I went to the doctor for my 28 week appointment. I was all prepared, I drank my glucose orange drink for diabetic testing perfectly, I arrive the 15 minutes early to my appointment like I was supposed to and then I got called back into the office. Everything was going smooth. I had planned to talk to my doctor about swelling because my feet and ankles had been swelling pretty bad, and the past week had been a lot worse than before. So I get weighed, and I gained 11 lbs. from last month!

Let me give you a quick picture, and I'm going to give the actual numbers here so please no judgements. I know I need to lose weight, but at this moment... I don't care. So when I got pregnant, I weighed 212. Then because I was sick in the beginning, I dropped 5 lbs. down to 207. I held steady there for about 3 months. Well, then at my first weight gain appointment in April I put on 7 lbs, so technically now I'm only 2 lbs over my pre-prenancy weight at 214. Well at this appointment, I get weighed and I'm at 225.

So to continue the story... my urine sample came back with higher protein than they like to see, and with the swelling my doctor then proceeded to tell me that she is concerned with toxemia and/or preeclampsia. (here is a good website to learn more about that: http://www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp). So she told me that they would run my labs and if anything was abnormal she would call me. Well, I get up to work and just about an hour later she called and told me that she wanted me t0 go check into the hospital for 24 hour surveillance.

Of course I immediately called Nate. He was headed home from work (this is about 11:30am) for his dad's surprise birthday party we were throwing up at the University (his dad turned 50 on saturday). So I told him the story and just said instead of going to the party, he needed to go the hospital instead. I drove to the hospital and checked myself into labor and delivery. About an hour later, Nate got here and we just got to sit around because they have put me on bed rest. I can get up to go to the bathroom, and shower and thats pretty much it. They are keeping my blood pressure monitored every hour. It was every 15 minutes, then every 30, but now we're down to every hour (which is nice) and they do blood draws every 12 hours, and monitor the baby's heart beat and whether or not I'm having contractions about every 3 hours. Lets just say its a lot of poking, prodding and noisy machinery. I tell you there is nothing better than hearing Kamry's steady heart beat on that monitor though. My favorite is when she kicks it trying to move it off of her (that's what I'm assuming she's doing at least). The little monitor just sits on my belly, and after a couple of minutes of it being there she starts kicking it, then she finally gives up. It's pretty funny. I'm glad my little girl is tough - she gets that from her daddy I think.

On Saturday: When the doctor talked to me on Saturday morning, he has decided that I am officially here in the Logan hospital until Monday, but possibly (most likely) further than that. It all depends on my labs and how my body responds to the bed rest. I'll definitely stay on bed rest until the baby is born, even if I get to go home. They have also officially diagnosed me with toxemia, and they're still monitoring preeclampsia. I asked if there is anything we can do to help with the swelling (like water pills or something) but he said when it's toxemia, the only solution is to deliver the baby - which we obviously don't want to do yet. They're hoping that we can hold off on delivering her until atleast 32 weeks (4 weeks from now), but preferably 34+ weeks. It will all depend on my body and how I respond. I'm really pushing for at least 32 weeks so she is further developed and weighs more. When they did my ultrasound on Friday when I got here, they estimate she currently weighs about 2 lbs. 4 oz. so she is very small. Average for 28 weeks, but still too small to feel good about delivering.

Nate got permission for me to go for a wheelchair ride and the doctor said it was okay for me to go outside. I just couldn't be gone for very long. We were only out for about 10 minutes, but it was a beautiful day and that 10 minutes was fabulous! Nate spent the whole day with me and we napped, watched tv and chatted. It's scary for both of us, but its so nice to have him here with me. Even when we're just sitting doing nothing, it means the world to me that he is here. He stayed through the night on Friday night, but last night we decided he could go home and get a better nights sleep since my labs had stayed pretty consistent.

I'm allowed to have visitors, but I have to keep them limited and I have to keep calm. My blood pressure spikes if there is too much going on, or even when I'm laughing too much so it's pretty solomn in here... but we make it work.

Well that is my current 28 week terror story. I'm trying very hard not to dwell on the thoughts of all the possibilities because I don't want to stress my body into having this baby, but it definitely puts your life in perspective and makes you really think about things. My dad gave me a beautiful blessing on Friday evening, and that made me feel a lot better.

I'm taking a few pictures here and there and will post those soon with updates of what is happening. Pray for the best, and lets just hope that this little girl can come into the world in a few weeks when she is stronger.