Showing posts with label Pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pregnancy. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Peanut Turns 2!

Happy Birthday, Reagan! I know every mom and dad feel this way - but it's difficult to believe that you are already 2 years old!
You have so richly blessed our lives!  We have seen our Peanut's personality emerge more and more these days - from snuggling with mommy to read book after book after book, to enthusiastically kissing us and saying 'wuv you', to wrestling with daddy, and your love of trucks!
Right now, the song "Never Grow Up" sung by Taylor Swift makes me cry and think of you.

"Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything's funny, you got nothing to regret

I'd give all I have, honey, if you could stay like that. 
Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow, just stay this little"

You are as feisty as every - and we wouldn't change you for the world!
Mommy and daddy love you, Peanut!

Read more on her birth and first birthday here!
Photos by Addison Harper Photography - thanks, Ashley!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Half Birthday


Today is my little girl's half birthday. Today, she is 6 months old. It's been an incredible six months. For those of you that are new to my blog, you can click HERE to read about Reagan's birth story. Needless to say, it was not how we imagined the birth of our child. But it was beautiful, incredible, and strong in every possible way.

This is the first picture of Reagan ever!


Over the last six months, we have learned a lot together...Reagan, Edmund, and myself!

1 month:
Reagan learned how to breathe, eat, and to regulate her body temperature.
Mommy learned that it is the hardest thing you'll ever to do to leave your child every day in the hospital.

2 months:
Reagan learned how to bottle feed on her own.
Mommy learned what it meant to be sleep deprived.

3 months:
Reagan learned how to roll from her tummy to her back.
Mommy learned the importance of getting out of the house.

4 months:
Reagan learned how to roll from her back to her tummy.
Mommy learned that you can do anything once you get to sleep for more than 3 hours at a time.

5 months:
Reagan learned how to hold things in her hands.
Mommy learned that it is possible to move a baby and a dog from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, even when your husband is only partially there.

6 months:
Reagan learned how to smile and laugh.
Mommy learned how your heart melts every time your child smiles at you in the morning.

Reagan has grown from 2 pounds 4 ounces to 14 pounds and 6 ounces. She was 15 inches long when she was born, and is now almost 26 inches long!

Throughout the past six months, my life has been more richly blessed than I ever imagined. I love to see my Edmund with Reagan....to see them play and hold each other. I love to spend time together as a family, just to be.

We've come a far way together. I cannot even begin to fathom where God will take us over the next six months, and the six months after that, and even further down the road. But I know that His hand guides the three of us (and Shelby!) together, as a family. And I am confident that His hand is directly on my little girl, Reagan, as she grows every day.

Happy half Birthday, baby girl! Mommy loves you!!




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Due Date Reflections

Today, my little Reagan is 40 weeks, is full term. We have been blessed to have had her with us for 74 days. What a journey it has been. I can say that while I would have loved to have carried her to full term, the past two and a half months have been incredible. I wouldn't change a thing.... I think.

It's a wonderful thing to be Reagan's mommy, and every day, I am so grateful for her. But, as I reflect on the last 74 days, it's a bittersweet feeling. I look at friends who are having babies or who have recently had babies, and I envy their normal full term healthy deliveries. I envy how they think that their pregnancy experience is similar to mine. I envy how they can blithely go through each day without realizing just how much of a miracle every part of a baby is. (For my friends who are reading this who have recently had or are going to have babies...please please PLEASE don't take offense at what I'm saying--- I'm so thrilled for each and every one of you, and adore your babies!). I envy that they get to feel what it's like to be HUGE with a baby, to wonder if this is going to be the day that your baby makes their appearance. I envy that they go to experience the third trimester.
Reagan on her birthday, Jan. 8th, 2012
You see, I didn't get to do all of those things. My pregnancy experience was so very different from the "normal" experience that one reads about in "What To Expect When You're Expecting". No one ever thinks that their pregnancy is going to be complicated or end early. You're too filled with hopes and dreams for the little one that grows inside of you, that you don't even think about the dangers that exist. After all, those kinds of things don't happen to me, right?
Wrong. After Reagan's birth, I heard from so many friends and friends of friends that had or knew someone who had difficult pregnancy and/or early delivery. It's a hard road. It's a lonely road. It's a road that makes you so thankful for every little thing.
Most new moms don't think twice about their babies' ability to eat on their own or breathe on their own. I didn't. When Reagan was born, she was able to breathe on her own right away, which mean she did not have to be intubated. However, she did go on two different breathing machines. These allowed her to spend her energy growing rather than breathing. The day that she moved to breathing on her own without a machine was a HUGE day for us. I'll never take for granted the fact that my daughter can breathe.
Reagan in February, with her feeding tube.
For the first three weeks of her life, Reagan ate primarily through a feeding tube. Initially, this tube was through her mouth, and as she learned to bottle feed, it was moved to her nose. It's a hard thing to watch your child eat through a little orange tube every three hours from a machine. After about three and half weeks, I got to try putting Reagan to breast. I always imagined breast feeding my child, and to give up this dream was a hard thing. I'll always be grateful to the NICU nurses for letting me have the opportunity to at least feel what that would have been like, and to have that experience, however small, with Reagan. As she grew, Reagan's ability to suck, swallow, and breathe developed, and she was able to feed through a bottle. When she transitioned to a hundred percent bottled fed, we were thrilled. No more feeding tubes. Most new parents never imagine that their child would have difficulty feeding. I'll never take for granted the fact that my daughter can eat on her own now.
In the NICU, I would be able to hear babies from down the hall screaming and crying at the top of their lungs. It was such a sound... but it made my heart ache, just a little tiny bit. When Reagan was first born, and for the first few weeks, she couldn't cry or make loud sounds. They were teeny tiny little sounds that only hinted at what could be. I couldn't wait to hear her cry loudly, because I knew that healthy babies are able to cry at a normal volume. Now, when she cries in the middle of the night, yes, it drives me crazy. But, I'm thankful that she can cry, that's she is physically able to cry.
Most people, when they're getting ready for their baby, hear that babies need one more layer of clothing than grown ups. So, new moms and dads think a little bit about their child's body temperature. Most never imagine that their child's ability to regulate their OWN body temperature is a huge gift. Reagan spent the first five and a half weeks in a isolette in the NICU. Initially, the isolette was set to adjust to her body temperature, regulating her warmth for her. After a few weeks, it was changed to stay at a set temperature, gradually allowing Reagan's body to take over the regulation. It wasn't until she was less than a week away from coming home that she moved to a crib, at room temperature. This was so exciting and huge. For over a month, we had to reach through two arm holes into the isolette to hold her hand, or wait until she was feeding to get to hold her outside of the isolette. When she moved to the crib, we were able to touch and hold Reagan however much we wanted. Moms and dads never imagine that they have to wait until they are told to hold their child. We certainly never imagined that. It's the hardest thing, to ask permission to touch and participate in your own child's life and care. I will never stop treasuring the ability to hold my daughter.
Reagan on Monday, March 19th! Happy girl!
Today, she is a full term healthy baby. Yesterday, she had her "two month" well baby check. She now weighs 6 pounds and 14 ounces, and is 20 inches long. She's healthy, happy, and well adjusted to being at home. My husband and I look at her every day, and think, what a miracle. Yes, all babies are  miracles and blessings. Our Reagan, well, she's an extra special miracle.
Happy due date, my angel!! :) I love you!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Special Miracle

Happy New Year!!! Oops... I know, I'm a little late with that greeting! It's been an incredible year so far in our household. BIG changes to our lives. If you read on, (and I apologize in advance for the length of this post) I'm sure you'll agree that my absence is excusable, and that we have had our own special miracle.

We had a WONDERFUL Christmas holiday with our families.... a couple days with the hubby's family, then drove up to my family for a couple days. We headed home for a few days over New Years by ourselves, before returning the daily grind. On our trip down South, I experienced a little bit of swelling in my feet and some mild headaches. As yall know, those are not abnormal things in pregnancy, so I just assumed that they were right on track with being at the beginning of my third trimester. We got home, and the swelling was awful!! My sweet husband made me sit with my feet up for two days---I did nothing unless it was something I could do seated with my feet propped up. But, work calls, and school started back on Tuesday. I was excited to see my coworkers and students, but feeling very much like the Philsbury Dough Boy--my swelling had extended from my feet and ankles all the way up past my knees, to my hands and wrists, and all over my face. Not fun. Getting dressed for work at 29 weeks of pregnancy, completely swollen in the beginning of January is QUITE a challenge, let me assure you. The clincher came when the single pair of shoes that would go on my feet were my black Uggs. Tuesday came and passed, and I had a lot of coworkers asking if I was okay. By Wednesday at lunch, a couple lovely teachers urged me to have my blood pressure taken by our school nurse. They told me that something didn't seem right. They were correct. My blood pressure was 164/113 which is very very high. I texted it to my mom, and she texted me back to call my doctor....it was in all caps, which I knew meant it was important. So, I got my fabulous aide to cover my class, and went and called the doctors office. They immediately asked me how far away I was, and after hearing that I was 10 minutes away, asked me to get in my car and start driving to the hospital. Needless to say, this freaked me out a little.
My principal was very understanding, and my aide covered my class for me. I headed over the hospital, calling my husband and then my mom on the way. Got the hospital, and checked in at the maternity triage unit. They took me back right away, and put me on a blood pressure monitor. It was consistently high. The hospital and doctor decided to keep me overnight for observation. Things kind of starting rolling then, but the gist of it was that I was diagnosed with a pregnancy condition called pre-eclampsia. Turns out, pre-eclampsia is when your body can't handle being pregnant...it's similar to your body thinking that its being attacked by the pregnancy, and so it tries to counteract things. It impacts 6 to 8% of pregnant women, usually in the last trimester. Some of the classic symptoms are excessive swelling of the entire body, extremely high blood pressure, headaches, and eventually, protein the urine, blood platelette count decreasing, kidney failure, etc. In severe cases, it can lead to even more serious problems. We won't get into those. It either impacts the mother's body or the baby's body. In my case, it mostly impacted my body. The biggest impact that we found on the baby is that my uterus was leaking ambiotic fluid, so that level was lower than what it should've been.
Needless to say, I was hospitalized on Wednesday, January 4th. Initially, it was just overnight, but turned into bedrest. The doctors wanted to keep me pregnant as long as possible without putting me into distress or the baby in distress. So that was the plan for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. My E.R. nurse mom flew up Friday mid-day, and stayed with me Friday night at the hospital so my husband could go home and get some rest. I was given 2 rounds of steroid shots to help develop the baby's lungs in case we had to deliver prematurely.
Right before delivery!
Saturday morning all hell broke lose. I had a lot of difficulty sleeping on Friday night.... more so than what I had been experiencing. My back was so achy, I couldn't get comfortable, and I was getting up all the time. By about 5:30am, something in my body started to hurt. And kept coming and going. I told my mom (because I really wasn't sure what was going on) but at that point, the pain started to really hurt. She buzzed the nurses (of course this was during shift change), and come to find out, I was having some contractions. They called up the resident (who I really like), and she checked me out...my cervix was not dilated or anything but I was having labor pains. She called E and I'm pretty sure he sped all the way to the hospital, and made it up just as they were moving me. I got moved to the high risk unit (kind of like an ICU for pregnant ladies), and was put on IV medications, specifically magnesium which slows down and stops labor. The fun part of this is that I got to have 2 IVS, NO FOOD or drink, and IV liquids for 24 hours. The goal was to keep me there for 24 hours, make sure that we had stopped all the labor, and see if I could go back to regular hospital bedrest on Sunday morning. The doctors checked my blood work, urine, and blood pressure regularly over the 24 hour period. My brother drove up from South Carolina on Saturday, too.
On Saturday, my blood pressure started to get controlled as they had put me on medication for that, and by Sunday morning, around 8am, the doctors thought that I would probably get to go back up to the regular floor. I was dreaming about food like CRAZY! I was so HUNGRY and out of it all. The magnesium really drains you.  The doctors were just waiting on my bloodwork to come back before they could make the call to send me back to the floor. Well, less than an hour later, my blood work came back, and with it, the resident. My blood platelettes had dropped dangerously low to 75. They are usually in the hundreds. The only option at this point was to deliver the baby because my body was in distress.

Now, I will confess to you a couple things here. When the resident told me that they were going to deliver me at 29 weeks by a c-section, I burst into tears. I also had NO IDEA what a c-section involved. Mom had kinda of mentioned it the night before, but just very very simply. I kept saying that I hadn't read that chapter yet in the book (What to Expect When You Are Expecting). I was terrified but I also didn't realize how risky it all was at that point. I didn't realize until a couple days later that they could've lost both me and the baby.
At this point, my mom called me dad to book a flight up there. A whole bunch of nurses etc started to prep me for the c-section, and I met with the anesthesiologist about the c-section. Luckily, I got to have a spinal instead of general, so E got to be in there with me! About 30 minutes later, they wheeled me into surgery, and forty five minutes later, we had a baby. I could go into lots of detail about the c-section part, but I won't because even now, I still don't know that much about that part. And I'm quite happy with it that way. All I will say is that the resident delivered me (with the attending supervising), and she was wonderful. She held me while they administered the spinal (because E was scrubbing in at that point), and was very calm about the whole thing. The doctors joked throughout it, and E held my hand and kept me calm and distracted!

Reagan holding her daddy's hands for the very first time!!
We had a little girl. She was 2 lbs and 4.3 oz at birth, and was 15 inches long. At 29 weeks, she is very premature but we have been so incredibly lucky.  Her name is Reagan Sophia Booth. She came out breathing on her own (which is practically unheard of at 29 weeks). In surgery, they neonatology team rolled her bed over to me so I could see her for a moment before they whisked her away to ICU. I got to go back to the high risk ward for another 24 hours on magnesium and IVs as I was still not out of the woods yet. Once back in high risk, I sent my hubby over to the NICU to be with Reagan and had my mom come in to stay with me. It was the most frustrating 24 hours of my life because all I wanted to see my baby girl....but obviously, I couldn't go down to the NICU until I was moved back up the regular floor, which didn't happen until late Monday afternoon. Everyone else in my family (with the exception of my father-in-law) got to see and spend time with Reagan before me.

Prior to all this, when I was just on bedrest, we met with the neonatologist team (who handle preemies and the NICU) about the risks and odds of delivering at 29 weeks.  Some of the big risks are brain bleeds, breathing problems, heart problems, along with other growth and development problems. Thankfully, Reagan has no brain bleeds, no breathing problems, and no heart problems!!

We are so blessed to have a healthy baby girl. She is still in the NICU but she is growing and developing every day. We are anxiously waiting for the day when we get to bring her home.

In the meantime, I'm a proud mama with lots of pictures to share of my beautiful Reagan!




Her favorite way to sleep!!

 As of today, Reagan weighs 3 lbs 6 1/2 ounces, and is 16 and 1/2 inches long. She has put on over 1 pound in four weeks, and has grown 1 inch in four weeks. She is no longer on any oxygen assistance, and gets to wear clothes! Her bed (which is temperature controlled) used to adjust automatically based on her temperature, and now it is at a stable temperature. The doctors are getting her ready to be on room air all the time. She is eating every three hours through a feeding tube, but took her first bottle last night. They'll continue to increase how many times a day she gets a bottle until she is entirely bottle fed. She's eating an ounce every feeding now, and this will also get increased.





Basically, she's strong, feisty, and flat out amazing. We love her so much and can't wait to bring her home!
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