Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life with Lucas {week 1}

We have had quite an interesting week since Lucas was born last Thursday to say the least.

His first week of life is going to look very different than Ella's was, unfortunately. 

When Lucas was just a few hours old, they found his bilirubin levels to be very, very high due to my Rh incompatibility {which I explained a little about here}, so they put him under the lights almost immediately. He looked so cute in his little "tanning bed." 

Ella was into it too.

Over the next few days, we kept getting our hopes up that we would get to leave (I was technically discharged on Saturday, but the hospital let me stay there longer on "guest status," meaning I didn't get any food/room service, but I could sleep in the bed and be with my baby), only to find out Lucas's bilirubin levels kept going up and up...and up, and it would be at least one more day there. 

So, we tried not to go crazy!
We had visitors....

...Ella got a "big sister" hospital bracelet...

...we had photo shoots (when Lucas wasn't under his lights--he could come out for half an hour every 3 hours to eat...and take pictures for Mommy!)...

{oops, totally just took this today, at a week old! close enough, right?!}

...and Lucas got to bond with his dad (aka TWIN)...

...and his big sister, who is totally convinced that he lives at the hospital at this point and is never coming home. 

She is already such a good helper!
Ella also got very educated in the world of hospitals. She loved playing with the gloves...

...and the "murse"'s stethoscope.

And of course, she still thinks she is an only child. She was trying to climb into Lucas's boppy pillow, saying "Wahhh! I'm the baby!" Oh geez.

On Monday night/Tuesday morning, Lucas's bilirubin levels FINALLY went down...low enough that we could go home! I was so excited!!!!! We had been in the hospital for SIX days at that point and I was ready to get the hell out of there! 
Before we could leave though, the doctors wanted to see how Lucas would react to being off the lights. They put him on this biliblanket instead, which is what we were going to have him on at our house, had we brought him home that day. 

Unfortunately, his levels skyrocketed Tuesday night, there was no way the doctors would let him go home. Our sweet, sweet pediatrician sat me down and told me I needed to go home and be with Ella. Trav had been telling me this since Sunday night, but I never listen to him ;) But since our pediatrician said it needed to happen (not to mention the fact that I had not left the hospital since the previous Wednesday and desperately wanted to shower in my own shower and sleep in my own bed...), I left. I left my poor baby in the hospital. It was the hardest thing I think I have ever done in my entire life. I cried and cried and cried and cried. It was so SO awful, and I hope that none of you ever have to experience something like that. 

{Our room for 6 days! If I never see it again, it will be too soon!}

I went home and pumped and cried, and cried and pumped. The next morning (this was yesterday now), I took all of the milk I had pumped up to the hospital, and I also got to visit and nurse Lucas while I was there. 
But while I was there, we found out that Lucas's hemoglobin and hematocrit had dropped massively, causing him to be anemic and needing a blood transfusion. They didn't do these types of things in the regular newborn unit, so he was transferred to the NICU. All of this totally freaked me out, and I spent most of the day balling my eyes out (again). Postpartum hormones certainly didn't help this situation either! 

I went to see Lucas in the NICU for the first time yesterday as he was getting his transfusion. I walked in and totally lost. it

I hope, again, this is something you never have to experience. If you've ever had a baby in the NICU, I have a special place in my heart for you now. It is so scary to see such a little guy hooked up to all of these machines. 

However, Lucas didn't seem to mind, and even gave me a smile when we went to see him last night!

He is definitely handling all of this like a trooper. He is eating great and is a very chill baby. He doesn't even flinch when they prick his heel (which they do twice a day to check his bilirubin levels) and he loves his paci. 

The silver lining is that this whole anemia/jaundice thing is not a lifelong problem. Red blood cells reproduce every 60 days, and that's where this whole issue stems from: my antibodies attacked his red blood cells, which is why he's having all of these problems right now. But, in 60 days (or hopefully sooner!) this will all be behind us because he will have all new red blood cells. And you will never know that he went through all of this! 

We don't know how long Lucas will be in the hospital, but are hopeful that it will be only a week or 2 longer. We are so grateful to everyone who has reached out to help our family and pray for means more than you know!

In the meantime, I'll be balancing life between the hospital and life with my favorite 2 year old (who still thinks she is an only child)! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lucas's Birth Story

I can't believe a week ago today, I was getting ready to get induced and meet our sweet boy.

Yep, that's right. I had a planned induction due to my whole Rh incompatibility issue that I explained a few posts back. I had known for a while that they wanted to induce me at 38 weeks just to be extra safe. That's why I did my bump date a little earlier last week...and had time to straighten my hair before heading to the hospital ;)

So Lucas's journey into this world began last Wednesday, May 18 around 4:00, when I went to my OB's office to get this weird balloon catheter thing to get my body ready for labor. It was really awkward having these cords hanging out of me, but whatever.

When I got home from the doctor's, all 4 grandparents arrived (another bonus to being induced...they all knew when to be in town!) and I grabbed McDonald's for Ella and I before we had to go to the hospital. Not my ideal "last meal," but it was all we had time for!

Saying goodbye to Ella was SO hard! I was sobbing the entire time; you would have thought one of us was dying...I cried all the way to the hospital. 

{hello, swollen eyes from crying!}

We got to the hospital a little after 7 PM and got checked into a room right away. I thought they were going to start the pitocin that night, but they actually weren't going to start it till the next morning. That night, I was really crampy/having some crazy contractions, but the nurse brought me some awesome pain meds that allowed me to get to sleep.

I woke up the next morning and had the WORST pressure on my bladder...but I could. not. pee. because of the balloon catheter (even though it wasn't in my bladder...). It was so awful! As soon as the nurse took it out around 7AM, I was in the bathroom peeing for like 5 minutes straight, ha! I also got to take a shower, which was much needed! 

Around 8 AM, they checked me (I was around 4-5cm dilated!), broke my water and started the pitocin. I got an epidural soon after, and thankfully, the anesthesiologist was much nicer than the one I had with Ella. It was still terrifying and hurt like hell...but at least I didn't have some doctor telling me I was the worst epidural patient ever, like last time. 

So, I didn't have really bad contractions before the epidural (I really just got the epidural because they said I could!), so by the time I started having bad contractions, the epidural had kicked in and it was kind of amazing! I couldn't even feel them! I think I took a little nap and rested some at this point.

Around 11:00, I started having this insane pressure down there. Lucas's head was pushing on some bone or something and it was KILLING me. I was freaking out because I knew it would only get worse when it was time to push and I was not near that stage yet. Trav and my mom tried to push the button to get more of the epidural medicine in me, but it wasn't working! So, my amazing nurse called the anesthesiologist back into the room to give me another small dose of something to help the pain. It started working within a few (long) minutes, thank GOD!

Around 12:30ish, they checked me again and I was at 9/9.5 cm. The doctor said let's plan to push around 1:15. Still operating under the assumption that Lucas is a solid 8.5+ pounds, I start freaking out. I was SO scared to push him out! 

To distract myself, I made Trav and I decide on a name. He said we could name him whatever I I told him my top 3 choices (again) and the only one he liked was Lucas! So that was his name! We just had to decide on a middle name...since Ella's middle name is from my family, I thought Lucas's middle name should be from Trav's family. We actually had to call his mom to consult with her about some good family names, but finally decided on William, which is actually Trav's legal first name, as well as his grandfather's name. Plus it makes a good monogram. :)

Around 1:00, I felt this pressure to push (I remembered the feeling from Ella's labor), so I told the nurse. She had me do a few "practice rounds" of bearing down and pushing before we called the OB in for the real thing. Everything happened so quickly...they started breaking the bed apart, bringing in stuff for the delivery, calling the baby nurse. I really didn't remember most of this stuff happening with Ella! I felt like I was much more alert and aware of what was going on with this labor. 

So I started pushing around 1:10ish. I was mentally preparing myself for another 90 minute pushing session, like I had with Ella. I had a contraction and pushed 3 times, no big deal. The second contraction, I actually felt his head start to come out (omg, sorry if that is too TMI!). The nurse said I could have had him out on that second contraction, but I kinda slacked off at the end. The third contraction (this is seriously after less than 10 minutes of pushing), Lucas was out in the world! 

Unlike with Ella, I actually cried a little bit when I saw him (probably because I wasn't as tired, with only 10 minutes of pushing!). I remember the OB held him up and said, "Oh, he is NOT 8 pounds." Ha! I was so worried about pushing out a 10 pounder and Lucas was only 7 pounds, 6 ounces! An ounce less than Ella. Trav cut the cord, my mom tried to take pictures, and then they handed him to me while cleaning him off. It was so amazing, especially because I didn't get to hold Ella right away like that. We did skin to skin, and he eventually found my boob because, hello, he is a boy. He was a great eater right from the start!

We hung out in the delivery room for a few hours and then they wheeled us down to our recovery room. On the way, we got to hear the lullaby played for Lucas being born, always a special moment. In our new room, we were greeted by all the grandparents and Auntie Caitlin, plus big sister Ella! She was so excited to see Lucas, even though the pictures show otherwise!

We did a little gift exchange between Ella and Lucas. She brought him the Wubbanub she had picked out, and he gave her a special talking Daniel Tiger (she is obsessed with it...good move, Lucas!).

Kathryn also stopped by with Jersey Mike's, wine, cupcakes and a candle to celebrate Lucas's 0 birthday! 

Whew, ok that was a lot to read!
 I'm so glad our sweet boy is here. It's crazy how much of this stuff reminds me of Ella's birth, but is so different all at the same time. 
We have had quite an interesting week since Lucas arrived, but that is another post for another time....stay tuned!

Monday, May 23, 2016

He's Here!

Lucas William joined our family this past Thursday, May 19 at 1:18 PM. 
He weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.
We are all so in love with our sweet boy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bumpdate {weeks 36-38}

Size of baby: A ripe papaya to a spaghetti squash...estimated to weigh around 8 pounds with his stomach in the 99th percentile! 
Weight gain: 40 pounds, according to my scale at home. Woof. +43 pounds according to that dreaded scale at my doctor's office. 
Maternity clothes: UGH.
Gender: It’s a BOY!!!

Movement: Yep, he’s still moving around in there, although I have no clue how he has any room! 
Cravings: Same….Greek stuff, buffalo chicken, pasta and strawberries. And lots of gelato. And SODA. Diet Dr. Pepper = everything.
Symptoms: So. much. peeing. All the time. It’s getting so old. Also having lightening crotch (TMI? Sorry!) pretty much any time I bend over. It is painful and I feel like he’s just going to fall out! I am also drooling a lot in my sleep, super random. Having some contractions but they never amount to anything. And I am just plain uncomfortable 99.9% of the time!
Workouts: Ha.

Sleep: Can’t fall asleep. Ready to go at 6 AM. And the peeing every hour on the hour….blahhhh.
What I miss: Everything…but am trying to soak up these last few moments of being pregnant!
Best moment this week: Seeing baby boy on the ultrasound monitor at the specialist last week. Spending lots of one-on-one time with Ella before she becomes a big sister! Also, all of the baby prep I’ve done over the past week…nursery is done, bags are packed….we are ready!!!

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby hopefully soon!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Baby Prep Weekend

Here's a look at our weekend!

Friday we went to Impact One...

...followed by my 37 week doctor's appointment! I am no where close to being in labor, unfortunately, but Ella did have fun playing with the doctor's "toys."

Also on Friday: I got a new phone! I've been eligible for an upgrade for, oh like a year now...I figured now with a baby on the way, I should probably get the iPhone 6 because it takes much better pictures. Yes, that is the reason I upgraded my phone. For better pictures of the new baby. 

Saturday, Trav and I took Ella to Discovery Place because we hadn't been in a while. 

See?! Aren't these better pictures than with my old phone?!

Kathryn also came over that afternoon to help me finish up the nursery!

It was a small battle to hang those stinking curtains (side note: does anyone actually like hanging curtains?! It's probably my least favorite thing to do ever...right up there with taking my car in for an inspection), but Baby Brother's room is almost totally done now!

The only thing left is to add a big navy monogram above his know, once we actually figure out his name!
I'll be sure to share more pictures of his whole room once it's finally 100% complete!

Yesterday was more baby prep! I started packing my hospital bag(s)...

...and made some little treats to hand out to the nurses.

I am going to laugh when this baby weighs 10 pounds at birth and is not such a "little peanut." 

And what would a weekend be without a Target run?!

And a trip to the playground, of course!

Hope you all had a great weekend too!