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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Baby Livie is 1 Month Old Today!

1 month ago today I gave birth to this little miracle! Happy 1 month birthday Livie!!! Mommy, Daddy, and Big Sister Love YOU!
Current Stats: 3 pounds 6 oz
Drank 21ml out of 30ml from a bottle which is a huge milestone for a preemie!
28 days in the NICU so far


Monday, May 28, 2012

1 Month Old Tomorrow!!

Our beautiful baby girl almost 1 month old.  Every time I look at this picture my heart flutters!  I'm so in love.  I can't wait to be able to take some nice Big Sis/Little Sis pics soon!

I can't believe Livie is going to be 1 month old tomorrow.  Today she weighs 3 pounds 5 oz. and continues to gain weight each day.  As I was holding her yesterday she was showing signs of "routing" which means she was looking to nipple.  The nurses say they will start introducing the bottle any day now. I can't wait!  I also can't wait for her to get moved to the open air crib.  Most of all I can't wait for her to come home!  Life is Good!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stats at 17 Days Old

May 16th 2012
Today Livie weighs 2 pounds 11oz and is 15 inches long

A little perspective as to how tiny her feet were at birth

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Livie Update 5-14-12

Yesterday was a fantastic day!  The NICU called me and asked if I wanted to give Livie her first swaddle bath.  I was super excited!  It was so nice to do something for her other than the usual: take her temp, change her diaper, and wipe her eyes.  She slept through the whole thing and didn't get cranky until we took her out of the water and put her clean diaper on.  Since she is now at the 32 week mark (where I would have been in my pregnancy) they are going to start taking off the top of her incubator during the day to see how she tolerates more light exposure and the open environment.  This is one little step closer to being in an open air crib.  I can't wait for us to reach that milestone!

As of 5-14-12
Weight: 2 pounds 9 oz
Feed: 23ml

Livie's first swaddle bath!

cute little hat made by one of our nurse's moms

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Livie- 2 weeks old 14 days in the NICU so far......

Livie Marie 2 weeks old (5/13/12)

Today is Mother's Day and I would have been almost 32 weeks pregnant had we made it that far. I'm still in a lot of pain from my C section.  I find it hard to walk still and had to hitch a ride in the wheelchair up to the NICU today because it was just too much.  It's hard to believe that 2 weeks ago I gave birth to this amazing and tiny baby.

Livie is 2 weeks old today.  Her weight has fluctuated in the past few days.  First she was down, then went up, then stayed the same.  Today she is 2 pounds 8 oz.  She is tolerating her feeds and up to 23ml.  It's amazing she started at 2ml!  Everyday is a challenge.  Walking into that hospital and leaving without my baby is gut wrenching.  Today, as I walked the NICU hallway, I ran into a mom who was about to take her baby girl home.  She had been on bed rest since January and gave birth at 29 weeks 4 days. (almost the same as me- we were 29 weeks 5 days).  Her daughter weighed a little more than Livie when she was born and is now over 5 pounds!  She spent 7 weeks in the NICU.  I look at Livie right now and wonder how she is going to look in 5 more weeks.  I can't wait for the day when she is 5 pounds.  At that weight she will look like a  chunky monkey to us.

I find myself sitting here wondering what I could have done to prevent this from happening.  I know I shouldn't do that and the answer is nothing.  There is nothing I could have done.  I looked up what causes waterbags to rupture early and there are 3 things that cause it.  
1. Smoking (I'm not and have never been a smoker so that isn't why)
2. Infection
3. Contractions

I will probably never know why this happened and why it occurred so early.  I don't think my body is too fond of pregnancy given my history. 

Next Saturday is my baby shower.  It was already planned for May 19th before all of this happened.  We decided to move forward with it even though Livie isn't home yet.  There was always 1 game I envisioned we'd play at my shower.  The one where people guess the size of your belly with a string.  Mom and I had already bought the ribbon to play the game and now it will never be used.  I've never been one to like playing games at showers but that was the one game I was looking forward to.

I look in the mirror and miss my belly.  I guess I feel this way right now because I don't have my belly or my baby home with me.  I am only allowed to hold her once a day for an hour.  Now tell me how fair that is.  It's like "here is your precious amazing gift BUT you can only touch it once a day."  I know it is for her own health that I can't hold her when I want but it frustrates me.  This isn't how it was supposed to go.  I always envisioned myself giving that final push and the doctor handing me my baby with tears of happiness streaming down my face.  Guess I'm just really bitter right now.  I'm angry that I can't snuggle with my baby or experience the joy of giving her the first feed, her first bath.  I'm angry at the situation.  I am so thankful that this happened when it did and not any earlier.  I'm thankful she is doing so well and it is just a matter of growing and getting bigger.  I am thankful for being blessed with 2 amazing little girls who are my world.  I just wish Livie didn't have to fight so hard.  It breaks my heart to see her with so many wires attached to her and to be in that tiny incubator.  To touch my daughter through 4 little holes-It's just not fair.  No parent should ever have to endure this.

Is it too much to ask God to speed time up a bit so we can bring our little Livie home? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Livie Update 5-9-12

Livie: 10 days old

Here is a Livie update:

11 days in the NICU
She continues to gain weight and is currently 2 pounds 7oz
Up to 22ml on her feeds
Brain scan was normal

The nurses tell us she is a perfect little preemie.  Just needs to gain more weight and grow so we can take her home. 

Kayla has been able to see her sister about 5 times and was very excited to see Livie out of her incubator and in my arms. 

Life is challenging right now for us.  Between my 13 day hospital stay, recovering from my C section, loss of pay from my job, the bills piling up, raising our 3 year old, coping with a preemie in the hospital, and my postpartum depression and anxiety life is very overwhelming. 

Every time I walk in the hospital to see Livie I am reminded of everything I went through to get her here on this earth.  Almost everyday, without fail, I am forced to watch another family load up their car and take their babies home.  It breaks my heart because I want that to be us so badly.  I know our time will come but it just hurts to see everyone else leave with their babies while ours is still in the NICU.  My pregnancy and birth experience was anything but normal and not what I expected.  I thought I would be a happy pregnant women who carried to term, had her baby, and left 2-4 days later as a family of 4. 

Now I get anxiety walking the hospital hallways. I pass by my room everyday and remember all of the scary moments I experienced in there.  Watching the monitors constantly for contractions and heart rate.  The excessive bleeding and stress of wondering how much longer I could keep her in me while keeping both of us safe.  I am just so thankful she is okay and doing well in the NICU. 

I'm having a rough time dealing with the trauma of her birth, postpartum depression and anxiety.  I can't wait for the day when I feel like myself again.  The day when we are a family of 4 under 1 roof and things go back to normal. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

April 29th 2012- My Birth Story

Early Sunday morning I awoke in my hospital bed to bright red bleeding much like the week prior.  I was really surprised because for 2 days I had virtually no spotting and was just losing the usual amniotic fluid all week.  The nurses immediately put me on the monitor so we could check baby's heartbeat and contractions. That morning lasted forever.  They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything until the doctors assessed the situation.  By noon I was passing clots and my contractions were 1-2 minutes apart.  I was so scared.  I did a lot of crying and my anxiety level was through the roof.   The high risk OB came in and told me that after looking at my chart, the contractions and the baby's heart rate it was going to be "birthday time."  Within an hour I was prepped and wheeled off to the operating room for my C-section at 29 weeks 5 days. 

I didn't get a choice as to how my birth plan would go.  That was decided for me when my waterbag ruptured on April 20th.  Because she was breech and there wasn't much fluid left a C section was the only option.  I didn't really know what I wanted until the option was taken away from me but I really didn' think at the time I would have been able to push and go through hours of labor after all of the stress I had been through in the days leading up to the birth of our daughter.

They brought me in to the operating room and when they had me turn around to get on the operating table I saw the incubator in the corner and totally lost it.  I was crying so hard because I was so scared.  Scared for the operation, scared for my daughter's safety, just scared of the entire situation.  Here it was, April 29th and I wasn't due until July 10th!

The staff in the operating room were amazing.  I don't know how I would have survived without their support and sense of calmness.  Of course they were calm, they do this everyday!

After the epidural was put in I finally calmed down.  Maybe it was the anticipation of the needle in my back that sent me into panic mode but once that was done and they brought my husband in I finally calmed down.  I'm so glad they didn't tell me when they were starting.  I am amazed at the pictures my husband took of my open belly and of our daughter coming into the world.  They are truly amazing although I obviously won't be posting them on here or on Facebook.  (LOL)

They pulled our daughter out and I started to panic because she wasn't crying.  Then about 2 seconds later I heard a big wail and I watched as they lifted her over the sheet for my husband and I to see.  Livie Marie Watson was born at 2:54pm on April 29th 2012 weighing 2 pounds 4 ounces.

They whisked her off to the NICU team in the corner of the operating room and my husband got to cut the cord.  After that everything was pretty much a blur.  They were stitching me up and sending me to recovery.  The meds they gave me made me so groggy that I barely remember being in the recovery room let alone being there for 2 hours.

Once it was time to go to my room they brought us to the nurse's desk to push the lullaby button.  This is the button the entire hospital hears when a baby is born and finally, after 7 1/2 years, we got to push it.  I'm really excited because we have it all on video.

My birth experience was pretty frightening but when I look at our baby girl I am still amazed that she is here and that , after 8 pregnancy losses I finally did it.  Although I didn't carry a pregnancy to term I got pretty close and I finally gave birth.  Livie is our second miracle baby (Kayla of course being our first through adoption).  I pray she gets to come home from the NICU soon and we can be home together as a family. 

I've learned a lot from this experience.  The love for my husband and my 2 daughters is that much stronger.  I will no longer take the simple things for granted.  The support and love from my family and friends has truly been amazing.  I know that I really am blessed and continue to trust that God will complete this journey with a happy ending.