Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

I have a lot of catch up posts in the works.  But I thought I just need to keep posting what's happening now.  Otherwise I'm always behind.  So here goes.

We have had a marvelous V-day today.  And we will be celebrating it all weekend.  We started the day off with a yummy hot breakfast of eggs and bacon.  I usually don't make breakfast so this was a special treat :).

Lincoln and I enjoyed our day playing together between my classes and lessons.  We talked to each other saying "bababababa" and "mamamamama".  Lincoln laughed and laughed when the tickle monster showed up.  And he put up with kiss after kiss on those sweet cheeks of his.  Here's the pictures we captured today.

We also made some cards for Daddy.  Lincoln helped draw his heart (well more like chewed on the pen while I drew it for him).  And we put together a treat bag with some chocolate hearts, heart cakes, and yummy Oreo truffles.  Then Daddy got home and surprised me with homemade cards from him and Lincoln and Florence's chocolates.  It's been a good day.

Tomorrow we are going out for our date, but we might just take Lincoln with us.  And Monday we plan to go cross country skiing as is tradition for our valentines day weekends.

I'm so blessed to have my life filled with so much love!  I couldn't be happier or more in love with my boys!  Love you Doug, Lincoln, and Burley!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Life in the NICU: Part 2

In response to my previous commenters, I am 100% grateful for very capable doctors and nurses who made sure my baby was ok.  I feel so blessed to have had them and even though it was so hard for me, would not have wanted Lincolnto have come home a second earlier than it was save for him to do.  This is just a record of how I felt throughout my experience.

So after being told he had to go back in the heat for 2 to 5 days we really didn't know what to do.  I really couldn't live at the hospital anymore and we certainly didn't want to drive back and forth to Idaho Falls every day or a couple times a day.  It was then that the doctor finally mentioned the possibility of transferring him to Rexburg and something about the hospital paying the transfer costs! Could that really be true?

The doctor didn't want to get our hopes up because they usually only did it if the patient would be staying for at least a week more and Lincoln might not need to stay that long.  But he said he'd contact them and do what he could.  This was day 5 in Idaho Falls and even that long was hard to manage when your home is a half hour away.

Meanwhile the social worker/insurance lady came by to talk to us about the financial side of things and what our insurance will and will not cover.  As hard as it was to add financial stress I'm so glad we knew where we stood.  In my opinion it's always better to know than wonder.  She told us there was no way our insurance would pay for a transfer because it was not medically needed.  So we really needed to make a decision without getting our hopes up.  I told her I would talk to Doug about it.

The next thing I knew she was calling me, with this sweet cheerful voice, saying the other hospital will pay!  I was so relieved I just broke down crying.  This was an amazingly huge blessing.  They had already dispatched the ambulance and he would be transferred within a few hours.  Doug was home teaching lessons, so my mom came to pick me up!  We were so happy in the midst of everything bad there had been so much good!  And I think this good news gave me what I needed to get through another few days in the incubator.

The next thing I knew we were at the new hospital settling into a new routine, space, doctor, and nurses.  I was able to come when I needed to do feedings and be home for meals and sleeping.  It felt like heaven to be in my own bed!  But it was still so heartbreaking leaving Lincoln in the hospital over and over.

Still on Day 5, when we arrived they asked about the feeding tube he had in.  I proceeded to tell them about one nurse who insisted on having the feeding tube.  That she had to know how much Lincoln was eating and that I couldn't just trust he was getting enough with nursing.  It was this same nurse who didn't notice his IV had blown in is little arm and tried IVs in both feet and blew one in his head befor finally getting one to take in his head.  It was so traumatizing for us! Luckily I was not there a this all took place, but Doug was.  then once she got the IV in place she put the feeding tube down and did a gavage feeding but was too impatient to wait and just shoved the food through the tube.  This resulted in Lincoln vomiting it all up just seconds after she did it.  Oh my poor baby!  It is a good thing I wasn't there!!  I think they would've had another patient on their hands!  Needless to say we did not see that nurse gain after talking with a supervising nusre.

Anyways, it was the one and only time he used the feeding tube, and we really didn't think he needed it.  All he did was pull on it.  The doctor didn't see a real need in it either so the first order of business was to pull that sucker out!  It has got to be so nice to have something 

Days 5-8 consisted of incubator time, feedings, kangaroo care, and sponge baths.  I think my favorite thing was going in feeding then closing the curtains, dimming the lights and cuddling my little guy skin to skin for a whole hour!   They had a great reclining camp chair thingy from cabelas and it aw some of the best nap time I got!  Lincoln was so tiny he hardly needed to be held.  He would just cuddle up in a ball with his little hand resting on mine or Dougs chest.  Such sweet time that I would probably have missed out on at home.  It was so special and peaceful. for both of us.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Life in the NICU: Part 1

You never expect your child to be in the NICU, and you certainly hope that if they are there, they won't have to stay long. Here are the ups and downs we experienced with Lincoln in the NICU for 13 days.

 For some reason it never crossed my mind that I should be worried for our little guy. When my water broke I didn't once think that anything would be wrong or what a 34 weeker could have problems with. I guess I was just a little naive, braindead,unrealistic....uneducated? I don't know what to call it haha. But I really didn't think to expect anything bad. (I suppose that was a wonderful blessing so I could focus on getting our baby here as relaxed and quickly as possible. If I had been freaking out about how he would be once he got here...well I'm not sure things would've went so well.)

 When the Nurse Practicioner asked me whether I'd like to speak with the pediatricians or the neonatologist I was kind of taken aback. She told us that he would definitely be taken to the NICU and that we had the option to choose who would see our baby. Even then I was kind of in denial that he would need to be there but of course we wanted the best for our baby so let's go with the neonatologist. The neonatologist came to talk to us and even as she was telling us all that we should expect and things that could go wrong I didn't feel any trepidation. I'm so thankful for the spirit and it's guidance in my feelings through this all. I'm not sure how Doug was feeling, but as I think back on it I should have been freaked out!

 When little Lincoln was born he was whisked away very quickly and the next time I saw him he was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and sitting in an incubator. Even so he looked so perfect. The nurses who took care of him were so impressed with the little guy.  He was doing so well they seemed very surprised and of course optimistic.  Here's a little warning for those who have NICU experience n the future.  Ask everyone to be as realistic as possible.  Even downright pessimistic! In my experience being pleasantly surprised its time for you to take your baby home is waaaaay better than the alternative, which is what we experienced.
From the beginning I feel they were too optimistic, too misleading, getting our hopes way too high.  The nurse practitioner was saying things like, "As long as his blood cultures come back fine, you're out of here.  In like 4 days and that's amazing for a 34 weeker!".   That is where I started expecting things.  Where I began putting so much weight on the 'So when do you think he'll go home ' answer.
Looking back, that was the most horrible thing the nurses and doctors could have done for me.  5 times I was told a date he would be out of there.  5 times I was told sorry, not yet. 5 times my heart felt like it was being ripped out because I was leaving the hospital once again without my precious baby.  It was truly the most terrible thing I have ever experienced.
But I must also look for all of the wonderful blessings along the way!  Lincoln  seriously was doing amazing and gave them every reason to be optimistic.  While we were at EIRMC we made the walk every 3 hours to feed him.  He was soo soo good about nursing right from the beginning.  Most 34 weekers or even NICU babies never establish nursing.  By day three the only thing we were waiting for was a good result on his blood cultures.  That means there wasnt a single thing wrong with him at that point.
Well the blood cultures came back looking great, but wouldn't you know it, the jaundice hit hard right before we got the results.  So into the uv lights he went.  Lincon sure rocked those sunshades :) He had a wonderful time hanging out in the lighs for two days.  At the end of day 4 his bilirubin levels were dramatically decreased and he came out of the lights.  I was living at the hospital at this point, while Doug and my mom were back and forth from Rxburg to Idaho Falls.  I just couldn't go home without Lincoln!
Wouldntyou know it!  After spending so much time under the eat of the lights our little guy got a little lazy and stopped regulating his own temperature.  I was devastated at this 2nd time of being told he wouldn't be going home but that he would need to go back in the incubator for anywhere from 2 to 5 days!  It was then that I felt I had reached my breaking point!  Could we really stand even one more day?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Introducing Lincoln Douglas Hansen

*Disclaimer-This post is all for me! It's very long and pretty detailed, so it's there for you to read if you wish, but if you get bored halfway through....I don't blame you :)* 

 Yes, It's true, Lincoln is here. He's been here since June 8th at 3:01 am. Yes, he came 6 weeks early. He was just ready to come I guess :). I was totally not expecting to go early...and especially not 6 weeks early! I definitely wanted to record his birth story much sooner, but due to his time in the NICU this is the first chance I have gotten. So here's the story. 

 Wednesday June 6th I was working on getting the nursery all prepared to be put together. We had finished painting the cubbies, but still needed to seal them. I had sewn 3 of the 5 lines of letters on my alphabet wall hanging, almost finished the crib set, and still hadn't gone through any baby clothes because I had a shower coming up on Saturday. But my sister was flying in for the weekend just to help me make the nursery awesome. So I was doing my best to get things as done as possible.

 I didn't get to bed super early and I didn't sleep very well. I just chalked it up to the anticipation of my sister coming. When I got up for my 5 am potty break, I noticed I felt like I had peed my pants a little. As I laid back down I continued to feel that sensation and realized I couldn't control it. That's when I figured out that I wasn't peeing my pants, but I was leaking amniotic fluid. It was just a tiny leak but continuous.

 I woke Doug up and told him what I thought was going on. He said, "Well lets call the doctor right now if youre worried.". But the doctor office didn't open till 8 am and I knew there wouldn't be much we could do at that point. Plus I didn't feel any sense of urgency or fear. I knew there could be a small tear in the outside membrane and nothing too big, or it could be a big problem. Because I felt ok about it, I didn't worry too much about it. I called the doctors office right at 8 and they told me to come on in. Doug decided to stay home rather than go to Idaho Falls with me. My sisters flight was due to arrive at 8:45 am. So it worked out perfectly! I would pick up Briitany at the airport then swing by the drs. office. Of course Logan wanted to go to pick up Brittany so I stopped to pick him up then we headed out.

 We got Britt and they dropped me off at the Dr. I told them to go to breakfast while I waited to see the Dr. on call (mine had left on Monday for vacation). So I'm sitting in the waiting area with about 4 other pregnant ladies. And as I'm waiting I have the tiniest cramp and then...a gush all down my legs soaking my pants. I'm sure the look of shock on my face was way better than the lady sitting across from me. So I stood up and walked right back through the door to the nurses station just as reality hits me and the tears start to come. "I need to be seen right now! My water just completely broke.". That's all I had to say to get priority service from the nurses :). The Doctor checked me and proceeded to tell my my membranes were completely ruptured and that I needed to go to the hospital right away. All I could think was, "I need to call my husband." 

 So I called Doug while the nurses found some old scrubs to bring to me to put on (as my pants were completely soaked). I told Doug something like, " We are having a baby today, my water completely broke and the Dr. wants me to go to the hospital right now.". All he could say was "Are you serious?". :). Then we continued to talk about getting a bag of stuff together, dropping burley off etc. My next call was to my little brother. I informed him that my water had broke and he needed to take me to the hospital. I'm sure they were so shocked and not expecting to be part of Lincoln's birth at all! So they took me to the hospital, where I got all checked in and comfortable :). At this point I still hadn't had a single contraction so the nurse started talking to me about an IV and pitocin....I just wanted to wait until Doug got there to make any decisions. So he finally showed up and we proceeded with the pitocin. Little did I know I was in for a contraction every 2-3 minutes, Yipee! 

 I had wonderful nurses who respected my desire to use hypnobabies techniques to relax. As things progressed I had wonderful results that allowed my body to really relax. I wouldn't say that hypnosis made it easy or pain free, but my body ws really able to respond naturally to the contractions and stay tense free. Honestly, the hypnobabies was the most mentally exhausting thing I have ever done, but soo worth it. If you ask my husband or brother and sister (who came back to bring Doug dinner and a few things for me) how I looked....haha they actually thought that I was sleeping. HA! I had actually been talking myself through contraction after contraction as they sat there and ate. 

 Fastforward to 11:30 pm. I had been on the pitocin since 10 am and both Doug and I had continuously used the scripts and CDs provided by hypnobabies. We were both so tired and I needed to know where I was at and how much longer I might need to talk myself through more contractions. The nurse didn't act like I should expect to be dilated very far at all, but to her surprise I was at a 4 and completely effaced! It still meant that I could have 5 or 6 hours to go so she offered me my medication options saying an IV med would be very minimally invasive and lasts for 2 hours so I could make my decision on what to do next rather than just jumping to the epidural. So I thought, yeah I just need a little time to relax, rest and regain my focus.

 If you ever think you just want to take the edge off and then get back to laboring....DON'T get the IV meds! That is the worst thing I've ever done! All it did was make my head crazy hyped up on drugs! It did nothing for the pain. It just made me crazy enough that there was no way I would be able to focus through contractions like I had so beautifully been doing. Argh! I wish the nurse would have told me what the medication would really do. So at this point I couldn't relax one bit through contractions and my brain was in la la land between each one. So I just made the best decision for me at the time, which was to get an epidural. Not my first choice....but then again I never expected to be induced 6 weeks early due to my water breaking. Had I not been on pitocin I know things would have been very different. So around midnight the epidural was in, I'll have to dedicate another post to my crazy memories from being on the IV meds :). 

 Just about 2:30 I woke up feeling much more alert and very different, not physically but more like deep down I knew it was time. The epidural had cut off all feeling to the point that I only knew I had contractions by looking at the monitor. I woke Doug up and asked him to say a prayer with me, I just felt different and like it was time. The nurse finally came in and checked me really not expecting too much change. Boy was she surprised again, because she was like, "Call the Doctor NOW". They wheeled us back into the OR around 2:40 and we waited for the Dr. to get there for about 5 or so minutes. 

 By 3:01 am Lincoln was born! I can't imagine trying to push a bigger baby than him out! It would have taken forever but this went so quick! He came out with a beautiful head of hair and looked so beautifully perfect! Even if he was only 4lbs 10 oz. Doug cut the cord just moments after he was born then he was whisked away. It was the hardest thing to be wheeled back to my room to wait until the epidural wore off enough for me to get into a chair. But it was just about an hour and a half and I was holding him in my arms again, taking in his beautiful eyes, his perfect little face counting fingers and toes and even being able to nurse him. Even with all of the probes and wires he was simply perfect! 

 We were so incredibly blessed with such a miracle baby who was so strong from the beginning! His lungs were perfect! No need for respiratory assistance. He established a great latch and had already mastered the suck, swallow, breathe coordination so many preemies have a hard time with. Heck he even was doing well with his temperature regulating. I felt so so blessed and grateful to have him doing well. For coming 6 weeks early Lincoln could not have had a better start! 

 Things don't always go the way you plan or even want them to. I have always wanted to have a natural birthing experience. I had always imagined holding and cherishing my little one during the first hours of his life. I had always thought we would come home happy and healthy just a few days after his birth. None of these things happened, and yet it was still wonderful, empowering, and life changing. Yes it has been the hardest thing I have ever done...Actually, dealing with the NICU stay was the hardest thing I've ever done. It has been worth every moment! I'll post about his NICU stay soon:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2nd Trimester

Ok so my picture taking was horrible the 2nd trimester!!  I really tried but had too many problems with my camera.  It didn't work for a little bit, then I left it up at Doug's  parents and couldn't remember where it was, then it got left in Nevada!  So yes I was horrible.  Here are my few preggo pics I haven't posted yet.
21 Weeks

24 Weeks

Things I want to remember about the 2nd Trimester:
-Tons of energy!!  I didn't think I was all that tired the first trimester, but I definitely have had lots more energy the past few months.
-Big kicks and tons of movement!  I love how the baby had plenty of room to move around and he definitely did lots of somersaults during the 2nd Tri.  I notice now that I'm getting bigger he is staying in one position for longer amounts of times.
-The cute belly.  I love this middle time, where I'm still not too big to feel huge, but my belly is definitely sticking out and looking pregnant.  It was easy to still feel cute in the 2nd trimester.
- Good sleep.  I got a ton of good sleep throughout this last trimester.  Near the end I noticed a lot more awake times where I was uncomfortable and bathroom trips began increasing.  But for the most part I enjoyed easy sleeping!
- Finding out it was a BOY!!  I am so super excited for a Momma's Boy too!  I can't wait and have had so much fun dreaming and planning and doing little projects!
-Getting to start working on the nursery!  I love it and can't wait for it to be finished. 
-The only thing I didn't enjoy was the heartburn I would get once or twice a week.  So not fun, but really so worth it!!
- I guess there's one more thing I haven't enjoyed :) trying to pick out a name that Doug and I can agree on!  So we decided to wait till we meet him and are both happier with that decision!

Getting Ready for Baby!

So after finding out we were having a boy I have been all consumed with finishing little projects, working on the crib set, and accumulating baby stuff.  I must say I'm pretty darn good at finding a great deal on gently used things.  Here's what my baby findings have included:

A beautiful all wood crib, but with a pine finish (my least favorite look!).  Normally it was $400.  I found it on craigslist for much much less (think hundreds less) and my sweet parents bought it for me.  We did a little work to it and this is the finished product, which I love!  Here's your sneak peak of the nursery stuff.

A baby swing, barely used for a few months.  $30 and it is like new!

Baby bouncer for free!!  It was a pretty big mess when I picked it up, but with some stain remover and laundry soap it cleaned up really nice.  I love that it has a net for outside, especially since I'll have the rest of the summer to enjoy!

Baby clothes, gently used and $.25 a piece.  Can I just say I love Mommy n Me!!  I didn't want to go out and buy a ton of clothes before I had a baby shower but I just couldn't handle not picking some things out myself.  I spent $7 total and my Mother-in-law spent $2.25? and here are my spoils!  Pretty Good!!

An Ergobaby backpack carrier for our hiking adventures.  Normally $160, bought new @ $89.  We decided we would really use this much more than a stroller and would rather put our money into the backpack.  And I love it!

Speaking of strollers, I had decided not to worry about getting one.  Well a friend picked up a bunch of free stuff including a stroller.  She decided to buy a new stroller and gave me the free one.  Still needs some clean up but hey, it's FREE!!

A Medela double electric breast pump, normally $300ish.  I found it used for $125 and will just buy new membranes, tubing etc.  It's in great condition and was used for just one child.  And this is my Grandparent's gift.  They love to gift money so that you can just get what you need.  Thanks Grandpa!!  I will definitely need a pump with all of my Let's Play Music classes and piano lessons.

Oh and way back when we were on the adoption list I found a great pack n' play gently used, with the bassinet and mobile for $50? I think?  It was quite some time ago and almost forgot I had that.

So all of these big item things that can really add up have been great finds!  I'm so excited to have actually need baby things!  I can't wait to use them all and am so happy I've kept more money in my pocket.

Man I'm Bad!

Yes I fell off of my good blogging streak.  Can I come up with any excuses?  Most definitely.  Do I think it is sad I only got 3 consecutive weeks in a row?  You bet!  But sadly the time is gone and I can't get it back so I will just start again and try to be more diligent :).

As for my goals, they are still going good.  Not as well as they could go but I'm giving myself a break.  I've had so many things going on I feel good that I'm still very conscious of the kind of exercise I'm getting in, our finances, and I have a to do list every day!  So I'll have a few posts of catch up and try to continue on with my accountability posts :).  We'll see how it goes.