Monday, March 10, 2014

Tripp Grows Up - 2 months


Tripp, you are 2 months old!  Here is what you are up to this month!
  • You weigh 8 lbs, 5 oz and are 20.75 inches long!  You have almost doubled your weight!  You are still not on the curve for your age, but when they adjust the curve for your prematurity, you are 43% for height and 33% for weight!  Healthy boy! 
  • You have officially outgrown preemie clothes and wear newborn sized clothes and diapers. 
  • Your eyes are bright blue and your hair is dirty blonde, but in the light I see a little red.  I am hoping your hair gets more strawberry blonde like Mommy's was when she was little.  
  • You are still exclusively getting breast milk, but the big change this month is that you have learned to latch on and get it right from the source!  This makes Mommy SO happy.  Nursing you is such a bonding experience that I will cherish my whole life! You snuggle into me so sweetly when you nurse and it is our special time.  
  • You eat about every 2-3 hours for the most part.  A couple times this month you gave me 4-4.5 hour stretches at night, and that was wonderful for sleeping!  
  • Daddy and Mommy have started a routine with you where Daddy gets up with you on the weekends and lets Mommy sleep in.  You spend about 3-4 hours with Daddy where he gets you changed, fed, and gives you LOTS of love!  It's your father/son bonding time, and it helps Mommy to catch up on sleep.  
  • You are starting to find your voice this month!  You have a little cry/coo noise you make when you are excited from playtime, or just wanting to tell me something before the need gets extreme (like, "hey mom, pick me up!")  
  • You are a STRONG little guy!  You are holding your head up on your own for the most part with just a little assistance from the person holding you.  Your legs are strong too and the nurse who gave you your shots commented how that they are really strong when you push them out.  
  • You like to be carried upright and when you are carried, you like to see who has you.  You push your chest and head away from my body and look at my face and look around the room.  This is so sweet to me. 
  • You love to grab onto mommy when she carries you, picks you up, or nurses you.  It fills my heart with so much happiness to know you know who I am and that you love me.  
  • Your favorite places are still "lamber" and your mamaroo.  You are starting to like laying on the floor to play with your toys too.  Your absolute favorite place is in Mommy's arms!  You are a snuggly boy!   
  • You and I had 2 baby showers this month, and at 1 of them you attended as the guest of honor.  You were given lots of nice gifts!  You are a loved boy who has received SO many gifts from people at showers and in the mail.  You are a lucky little one!  
  • You still love to be sang to, and you love to listen to music!  It calms you instantly!  Mommy sings songs to you daily!  
  • You make the funniest faces!  You are very expressive and your eyes are so bright!  You have given us a few small smiles that I think were social, but you are not full on smiling yet.  
  • You had a bad rash this month that sent us to the doctor a couple times!  It started on your face and Mommy thought it was baby acne, but it spread all down your body and was even in your ears!  Mommy was so worried!  You went to the doctor and they suspected a dairy allergy, so Mommy had to cut out all dairy for a few days.  This didn't help, so back to the doctor we went.  Dr. Stone saw you that day and determined that it was probably sensitive skin, dry skin, and baby acne.  Mommy decided to change out your soaps and this immediately made the rash go away!  You now rotate between Mustela and California Baby Unscented.  There is no rhyme or reason to which we use for you on a given day, but we tried them both and they both work good with your skin so we use them both.  
  • Speaking of bath time, Mommy bought you a Blooming Bath this month and you LOVE it!  You like the coziness of it and since you are able to sit in a little warm water, it makes you enjoy your bath.  I try to only give you a bath every other or every 3rd day, but you would probably love it everyday if I let you!  
  • You met your Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Sara this month!  They came to meet you and we took you to the Lady & Sons, Riverstreet, St. Simons, and Tybee Island during their visit.  You also went to Miyabi with the family to celebrate Mommy's 26th birthday.  
  • You are teaching Mommy and Daddy more about life and love than they ever knew!  You are our everything and make life worth living! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tripp Grows Up - 1 Month

Tripp, you are 1 month old!  Here is what is going on in your little life...
  • You started your life in the Telfair Special Care Nursery, but got discharged after 7 days!  That is a huge feat for such a little guy.  We were told to expect a couple weeks or more, so this was a wonderful surprise! 
  • At your 1 month check up we found out you weigh 5 lbs, 14 oz and are 19 inches long!  That's a lot of growth for our healthy boy! You are in Preemie sized clothes and I think you will be for a few more weeks.  
  • You are drinking breast milk exclusively, but 4 bottles a day are mixed with Neosure powder to make the milk 22 calories instead of 20.  We started trying to nurse, but you had some challenges with being premature.  We decided the best way to get you home as quickly as possible was to use bottles of pumped milk.  Mommy had to work around the clock to mimic your feeding schedule to make sure you had enough milk, but it is worth it for your health! We are continuing to work on nursing now that you are home and mommy is exclusively pumping 95% of the time.  You nurse well with a nipple shield, but it is more of a challenge for you to get enough milk than with a bottle.  We are still going to work on it and see what happens.  When you take your bottles you take about 2.5 oz.  
  • When you were discharged from the hospital, you were on a strict 3 hour feeding schedule and you slept most of the time between feedings.  Throughout this month, your schedule has been switched up at times because you have been more or less hungry or sleepy.  On average you eat every 3 hours around the clock, but occasionally you will let us sleep 4-5 hours at night or as little as 1.5-2.  You really are not awake very often and it is random when you will decide to wake.  
  • We had a very scary week in your life when Daddy got the flu.  This was the number 1 thing we were trying to keep you away from, so we were keeping you close to home.  Who would have thought that the flu would come to us! Mommy was a nervous wreck the entire week that Daddy was sick and quarantined him to our bedroom.  You and I slept on the couch and lived downstairs to keep us healthy!  You did not get the flu, praise the Lord!!!!
  • You absolutely love for Mommy to sing to you.  We sing Tim O'Shay, Baby Mine, A You're Adorable, Rock a Bye Baby, Hush a Bye, and Edelweiss, but your favorite is for Mommy to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  You become so relaxed and smile nonstop when that song plays for you.  You always smile and get content when Mommy sings your songs too.  
  • You started out sleeping in your Pack and Play in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom so that you can be close to us.  You are somewhat restless in it though, and you spit up a lot when you are flat, so Mommy put you in your little lamb Rock and Play and you have slept much better because it keeps you at an incline.  
  • Your favorite places in the house are your little lamb Rock and Play and your Mamaroo swing.  Daddy picks a mode of the day on the Mamaroo for you to enjoy.  I don't think you have a preference quite yet about the modes.  When you are in your Lamber (as Daddy calls the Rock and Play) we like to put you by the window to get sun since you had a little jaundice.  
  • You are a spitter!  You spit up a lot and Mommy changes your clothes about 3-4 times a day.  
  • You average about 15 diapers a day and are wearing preemie sized Pampers Swaddlers.  Huggies do not fit your little body as nicely as the Pampers do.  
  • You do not like baths, but I think it is because you get cold.  Mommy is going to get you a different bath tub for this time period and see if that helps.  
  • You love to go places and ride in your stroller.  The vibrations soothe you and you sleep so good!  
  • You are a noisy baby!  You love to grunt and coo.  You are not a big crier, but you will let us know when it is time to eat!  
  • You are our sweet baby boy and such a blessing in our life!  You will never know how much we love you!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Introducing...


Thomas Casey III, known as Tripp 
January 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM
4 lbs, 8 oz   
16.75 inches

Thank you God for our healthy and beautiful son! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

To my baby

To my darling little son,

I haven't met you yet, but I soon will.  I am so excited to get to see your sweet face and count your fingers and toes.  I have envisioned what you will look like so many times and thought about the fun things we are going to do together, and now it is going to come real.  You are my dream come true.  I have always wanted to be a mom and because of the gift God gave us in you, I will be.  I want everything for your life.  I want you to be smart, and healthy, and happy, and to love God with all your heart.  I want you to have fun and make lots of friends and memories.  I want you to fall in love and get married and have your own family.  I want everything good for your little life.  I have enjoyed getting to carry you in my belly.  I love to feel you move and kick and I like singing to you and reading books to you.  I play lullabies and my favorite songs to you and like to rock in the glider in the nursery and just imagine how awesome it will be when you are actually here in my arms.  They say that you will never imagine how you can love someone so much until you actually have your baby, but I love you so much already.  I can't imagine how I can love you more, but I am excited to see how much more my love grows for you when I get to see your face and kiss you.  I love you my sweet little Tripp and I can't wait to meet you!  You and your daddy are my everything and my sunshine!

Love,
Mommy

Expectations

Throughout my pregnancy, I had a lot of expectations.  I really tried not to have high expectations of what pregnancy entails because so many of my friends and articles I read told me to expect the unexpected.  I guess it is human nature to have a picture in your head somewhat though, so it was only natural.  God really tested my trust in him throughout this pregnancy starting at about 8 weeks when I started bleeding.  I didn't bleed a huge amount, but I had clots, which is usually a really bad sign.  Praise the Lord, the baby was okay!  We never really knew where the bleed  came from, but chalked it up to a subchorionic hemorrhage because it definitely didn't come from the baby.  At that time, the hospital told me that I had a bicornuate uterus and perhaps the bleed was caused by that.  However, it was really difficult to determine if I actually had one with a baby in there (even though he was small) because it distorted the shape of my uterus.  I still don't know it I have that condition and won't until after I get a test this summer most likely.  I had a lot of fear something would go wrong with our baby after that.  I would constantly ask my husband for reassurance that the baby would be fine and that he was healthy.  By about 17-18 weeks, I started to chill out.  I could start to feel his movements, which told me he was in there and that was such a relief for me.  I was pretty much anxiety free until we had our scare with his growth around 23 weeks.  I went to my perinatologist for a follow-up appointment to look at his heart (back story on that in my 33 week post) and we found out his femurs were measuring behind, a few measurements had dropped below the 10% percentile, and we already knew he had a hot spot on his heart.  I think I was more scared than my doctor, but he told me I could have a Harmony test to know for sure if the risk of his having Downs was high or not.  It was a simple blood test, and I wanted to know no matter what the outcome.  It didn't matter in our love for our child, but I just had to know and I wanted to be able to set up all the early interventions and best doctors for him that I could if that was what he needed.  Thank the Lord that his risk came back extremely low (1 in 10,000) for him having Downs.  Although, you can't know with 100% certainty if any baby has a condition like that until they are here, we felt confident that the femurs were just a fluke.  I also want to say that no matter if our child had a chromosomal abnormality or not, we would love him just the same.  It wouldn't have made him broken!  However, no parent expects or sets out to have a child with a disability or special condition and it is a challenge to wrap your head around when you are presented with that possibility.  I surely felt after all that, my pregnancy would be easy!  Symptom wise, I was doing great!  I hadn't gained much weight, I felt the baby move a lot, and I felt wonderful being pregnant in general!  I was (and am) so happy to have this little life in me and get to spend all my moments with him.  Things went wonderfully after that for a while.  I didn't have any issues with baby and his growth jumped back up to normal (minus the femurs which are just short! I think our baby boy will have a short inseam!).  Things were wonderful and we were getting all ready for his arrival.  I researched the best of all the baby things for him because I wanted him to have the best items.  I decorated and sewed items for the room so that he would have the prettiest nursery I could give him.  We scheduled maternity pictures and I had my baby shower dates set.  Pregnancy was really going great!  Then 33 weeks came and I found out we were having a preemie little boy due to low amniotic fluid.  I was and am over the moon to meet my little man early or not, but it is a shock.  It wasn't what I expected!

What I expected and what I was planning to have at least 4-5 more weeks to get ready for him, but probably longer because first time moms usually go late from what I had heard.  I was planning to go to my baby showers.  I was planning to get photos made.  I was planning to go out to eat on a fancy date with my husband one last time.  I was planning to finish the nursery, launder his clothes in Dreft, and get everything just so.  I had closets to clean out and nesting chores to finish.  For goodness sake, my Christmas was down, but had yet to get put back in the attic because I was trying not to I just bought a pretty dress from Seraphine maternity like Kate Middleton to wear to my baby shower, and I still was excited to get some wear out of my maternity dresses and clothes.  I was still planning to go out in public and be that "cute pregnant lady" that gets the oohs and awhs from strangers and gets asked "when are you due" and "what are you having" I was still enjoying feeling my baby move inside and watching my belly grow.  I was NOT expecting that all this was going to be over in a second's notice.  It seems really silly that I am upset that these things are not happening anymore.  Shouldn't the fact that I am having my baby and getting to meet him overshadow the fact that I am sad to give up pregnancy?  Yes, and no...I think this is a normal process when something is taken from you really quickly and you have to adjust your expectations.  I really loved pregnancy despite some of it's bad moments and I wasn't ready to be done.  I am thankful that medical miracles are commonplace now a days and that my baby is coming because that is best for him, but I have to be honest and say I have some sort of grief about not getting to finish out my pregnancy.  I have a lot of friends that are currently pregnant and I have been keeping up with them on Facebook.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I was a tiny bit jealous that they have belly pictures for weeks 34-40.  I KNOW this is silly, but I am human and these are my emotions.  I also had a birth plan.  I really didn't have huge hopes of something crazy, but I wanted a vaginal delivery.  It makes me sad that I don't get to have that and that because of this, I most likely never will.  At the end of the day, the health of my baby is the most important...but it's one of those things that you have to reconcile in yourself.  I am sorting through these emotions as I get ready for my c-section tomorrow and preparing to meet my baby.  It's going to be a tough and exciting few days for us, so please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

33 Weeks - Baby Tripp



Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 33 Weeks - This update really covers a lot of my 34th week too because I didn't have time to write this until well into this week.  
Size of baby: Tripp is about the size of a pineapple (19-22 inches, 4.9 lbs according to What to Expect)
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained 12-14 pounds...it fluctuates from day to day. The belly button is almost all the way out, but the bottom is holding on to staying a innie!
Maternity Clothes: I am 100% in maternity pants. It depends with shirts. 
Gender: It's a BOY!!!!! Thomas III, nicknamed Tripp
Movement: He moves a lot and especially likes to move at night time when I am trying to go to sleep.  It doesn't keep me awake, but it is fun to feel while falling asleep.  His movements feel less like they are kicks and more like they are him stretching his whole body and trying to get comfy.     
Sleep: Sleep has been quite challenging through the last few days because we have been in the L&D unit of the hospital...see below.  
What I miss:  not much really...just being at home in my bed letting this baby cook! 
Cravings: PB&J...anything other than hospital food really! 
Symptoms: Reflux is my biggest symptom, but it hasn't been too terrible this week.  I think the bed at the hospital helps with it.  I'm also expecting a great milk supply with the amount of leaking I have been doing this week!  TMI? Sorry! 
Best Moment this week:  Well, I guess I should say that the best moment this week is learning that our baby is healthy and strong despite some challenges we are facing with his delivery.   

So, Friday was supposed to be my last appointment with my perinatalogist/high risk specialist.  The reason I went to him from the get go was because I took Prozac which can cause a slight chance of heart defects in baby.  This risk is quite small, however, it is a risk and my regular OB wanted me to get extra in-depth checks of Tripp's heart.  I am so thankful that he is such a cautious OB, and was happy to do this.  We started with the perinatologist at 18 weeks and everything was looking great.  We went back a month later, and again the heart was great.  However, his growth dropped off the scales, particularly in his femurs, and that concerned us for a number of reasons, one of which being that it was a marker for Downs in addition to a hot spot on his heart he already had (that we knew about from before but weren't worried about from the get go, but because of the growth it became a concern).  So we had a Harmony test from there to check to see if our baby boy had Downs or one of the other Trisomys.  After 2 long weeks of waiting, we found that his risk rate was extremely low and that indicated that he doesn't have Downs or any other Trisomys.  Praise the Lord!  The next appointment we checked his growth, and he was still a little small in the femurs, but on all his other places he was back on the charts.  Overall he was around the 30% for growth and had been throughout the last few appointments.  The perinatologist felt that although we had had some scares through the pregnancy, the baby was quite healthy and I was doing well and that I really didn't need his care anymore.  I had one last appointment that we scheduled for 6 weeks out just to get one last check and then I was supposed to be released to only going to my regular OB.  I really didn't understand why I needed this last check up with the perinatologist, but my insurance was paying for it, so whatever...I didn't argue.  I am SO SO thankful that my perinatologist is so cautious and had me come in again or who knows where I would be today! So, that last check up was scheduled for last Friday, which was my 33 week day on the dot.  I felt great and I was just going to check his growth and get released. I waited forever and a day in the waiting room because the computers were messed up, dealt with the most terribly behaved children I have ever seen (daddy just played his cell phone while his 3 little boys kicked their umbrella stroller around the waiting room and flipped over the chairs!  and mommy was pregnant again with number 4 it seemed!  They looked all of 23 at the most and had all those kids.  There was a 7-8 year old child sitting next to me with her mom quietly reading magazines and asking her mom how much longer and even she was giving them a look! ha!)  ANYWAY! I had my ultrasound by the tech and sat in the room waiting forever for the doctor to come talk to me about the results.  I figured it was just because of the business of the office that day, but turns out the NP had to call the doctor because they found some major concerns on my ultrasound.  My doctor happened to be out of town that day, but his NP explained to me that I had very low amniotic fluid in my womb.  I believe normal is somewhere around 12-16 cm, and they consider it an emergency to deliver a baby at 5.0 cm.  I was at 5.7 cm that day.  This was a complete shock because I felt wonderful!  I felt the baby move all the time and was just getting ready to enjoy my weekend and finish up the nursery! I was told I had to go straight to L&D to be admitted for monitoring and fluids to hopefully get my amniotic fluid level back up (which should work if dehydration was the problem).  I was in the hospital with my husband all weekend constantly hooked up to monitors and IVs.  The IV fluids kept causing me to swell, so they had to keep lowering the dosage.  This pointed to me not being dehydrated, which would have been shock to me anyway because I drink a lot of fluids in general!  We heard mixed opinions from nursing staff and my doctors throughout the weekend about whether we would be going home, what would have caused this, etc.  The game plan on Monday was to have an ultrasound by my perinatologist himself (not a tech) and let him check the fluid levels  If they went up, great, I would probably go home and have to come to the office for NSTs about 2 times a week and then have my normal appt with my regular OB too (so 3 times a week until delivery).  If the fluid did not go up, I would likely be staying in the hospital and the baby would be coming as soon as that day if the fluid was low enough.  It would just depend on the fluid shots.  Thankfully they gave me the steroid shots to develop his lungs immediately when I got into the hospital, so he was good to go on that end if delivery had to happen quickly.  The ultrasound found that my amniotic fluid changed exactly none! I was still at a 5.7 and that was way too low for the comfort of my doctors.  They recommended a c-section on Friday (34 weeks) for the safety and health of the baby.  His cord is in danger of being compressed, which could hurt his oxygen levels, nutrition, growth, etc.  At this point, he will be healthier to grow on the outside than on the inside.  It was also safer for me to just stay in the hospital and take it easy with the monitors available in case we needed to deliver before Friday.  So our little bundle of joy will be here early at 34 weeks, 6 weeks earlier than we expected!  We haven't had one baby shower, we didn't get to have our maternity photos made, I still have lacking many items...but you know what, God has a plan and we are trusting him.  I won't say I am not a little stressed (and I will probably write a post soon about my feelings on this in general because I need to get them out), but we are trusting God 100%.  We are praying our baby is healthy and chubby and eats well and breaths on his own from the get go!  Our little February baby is now going to be a January baby and we are so excited to meet him and get to hold him!  We love you more than anything already Tripp!