Thursday, December 11, 2008

Joshua's first weeks

So my life these past few weeks has been a sort of roller coaster. I still can't believe he's here! It was really pretty quick and I am grateful for that. A nurse told me that for most first time moms labor is 14 hours from the time they are 4 cm. For me it was 8 hours! I was admitted around 5:30pm at 2-3 cm and he was born 8.5 hours later! The first few days after his birth were the hardest we've had so far. It was really difficult to see him in the NICU even though we knew he would get better. We were very happy to bring him home on Thanksgiving day.

Joshua is a very good baby. We actually get sleep at night! He has his last feeding around 10:30 and we go to bed around 11. Then he will sleep between 4 & 5 hours and then another 2-3 after his 3 or 4 am feeding. During the day he sleeps 3-4 hours at a stretch. Originally we were waking him to feed but we aren't doing that anymore. Yesterday we found out we have no reason to worry about him not getting enough to eat. He is already up to 8lbs 2 oz! They like to see babies get to their original birth weight by 2 weeks. He has surpassed his birth weight by 5 oz!

Unfortunately we found out he does have a blocked tear duct and possibly acid reflux. We noticed his eye was watering and that there was some discharge so we took him in to see the pedi. We found out that he was probably born with this as 6% of all newborns are. We have to massage the area between his eye and nose and put in eye drops 4x daily. He also has a sore throat which may be caused by the blocked duct or acid reflux. We are supposed to keep him upright after eating. We should also try not to make his diaper too tight or overfeed him and we should burp him as much as possible. All of these will help with spitting up and if it gets worse he may be put on baby zantac.

I've already started getting EOBs from the insurance company. I also got two summaries of charges from the hospital, one for me and one for Joshua. It cost $8k for me and $18k for him. They charged $6k for him being in the NICU where he was for only 36 hours! The special care nursery (intermediate ICU) was only $1500 and he was there for 3 days! I sure am glad we have insurance or we would be responsible for all $26k instead of just $3-4k.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Joshua's hospital stay

Basically when he was born he was grunting, not breathing properly and having trouble breathing. They thought there was fluid on his lungs and he was put on the CPAP and oxygen initially. They then figured out that there was an air pocket on one of his lungs and on his heart which prevented him from taking full breaths. So he was put under the oxygen tent. This was Sunday afternoon. They took a new x-ray Monday morning and he was starting to improve so later that day they took the oxygen tent off. Once they did that he was able to breath room air and has been ever since.I initially held him for only about 5 min Sunday morning at 2am right after he was born. I got to hold him the second time Monday afternoon. They then started feeding him through a bottle and I have been pumping since he was born. His feeding tube has been taken out, we have been able to bottle feed and I had a breastfeeding session with the lactation consultant Tuesday and Wednesday. The lactation consultants at the hospital are so wonderful along with all of the staff.

He was put into the special care nursery only 36 hours after birth, it is a step-down from the NICU. Once in there he was taken off of the IV, antibiotics and feeding tube. We got to bottle feed him beginning Tuesday. My milk came in Tuesday and since then I have been pumping like crazy to build up a supply. The hospital wants us to start slowly with breastfeeding and slowly wean off of bottles. He hasn't had any formula since he left the hospital as I have had enough pumped milk to keep up with his feedings.

He has been a very sleepy baby so far. We have to wake him to feed him every 2-3 hours. He also has a wonderful disposition and is a very content baby. We figure with all he went through in his first days of life he needs the sleep and we are still getting a good amount of sleep ourselves so we aren't complaining. It has been such a whirlwind since he was born and I spent my days in the hospital in a daze a lot of the time. He has barely been home for 24 hours and it has only been the 3 of us since this afternoon. Jamie is such a great daddy! I have still been very sore and have gigantic swollen ankles so I am very uncomfortable. He has been doing so much that I don't know what I'd do without him! He loves doing it too, we both enjoy taking care of him but the way Jamie is with him is just beautiful. I really am loving my new life!

Joshua's birth

By now you should have heard that I'm a mommy! Joshua James Brown was born on November 23rd at 1:58 A.M. weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. Here is the story of his birth.

I began having light cramps Friday night into Saturday morning. I got up Saturday morning and was fine until about 10:30 when I started to have cramps again and they started to get stronger. I then figured they must be contractions but figured they were just false labor pains or Braxton-Hicks because they weren't very painful. They began to pick up in both intensity and frequency but were irregular and short, lasting only 30 seconds or less. They would become closer together and then start to become further apart. By the time Jamie got home around 12:30 we decided to call the drs office because they were fairly frequent even though they were short. She told us to go take a walk around the block and that would either make them stronger or make them go away. They definately got stronger. By the time we got back from our walk I had one that was strong enough to make me double over so we decided to call the dr back. She said to go to the hospital to get checked out to see if I was making progress. This was around 5pm.

We went to the hospital and my contractions were pretty strong. They were around 5 min apart but only lasting around 30 seconds. They were also getting stronger with each one. I was brought into a room and was checked. I was already 3 cm dilated! So I was admitted. I got into my room and my contractions began to pick up some more. Not long after I was checked by the dr. I was 5 cm dilated! This was around 7pm. We decided that it was definately time for my epidural as I was in some serious pain. I felt a whole lot better once it kicked in. I spent the next few hours much more comfortable, not feeling a thing. I was dilating pretty quickly, by 11pm I was 9 cm. Around midnight I was complete and feeling a little pressure. The nurse had me attempt a couple of pushes but they didn't move him down so she thought I should wait until I was feeling constant pressure. I felt more when I was laying on my side and around 1 am I started to push. Joshua was born less than an hour later.