Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gage is 1!

My baby is a year old!  He is my last baby and has been treated as such.  I have loved every single minute of holding him, rocking him to sleep, spoiling him rotten.  He will never doubt how much he is loved.  His daddy, brother, sister and all of our family make sure of that too.  He is the sweetest, most precious baby, and we adore him!

At a year he is right at 18 pounds and 28 inches.  8th percentile for weight and 3rd for height.  It took us 6 months just to get on the chart, so we're happy with those percentiles.  He sits well now and army crawls.  He waves hey and bye, gives kisses, plays party cake, claps, gives high fives, and plays "so big!"  He says dada, bye, mama, yay!, nah-nah (no no), and ball.  He thinks Cooper and Ella hung the moon and laughs more at them than anything else.  He loves to snuggle and be held.  He likes to feed himself and loves to eat!

I can't believe he's a year old!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tomorrow Gage will be one year old.  Tomorrow will be a day for celebrating him.  One year ago today though was the scariest day of my life.  It started out great.  I went to the doctor, was released from bed rest, and that night Chris and I worked in the nursery.  Then I woke up about 2:00 in the morning to bleeding.  Lots, and lots, and lots of bleeding.  More blood than I have ever seen in my life.  I knew what that meant and how serious it was.  Of the many things to be thankful for that night,   one was that my doctor, Dr. Richardson, was on call.  He knew all about my situation and didn't have to be filled in.   He knew to take me seriously when I said it was a lot of blood.  He had his entire surgical team on the way to the hospital as soon as he hung up the phone after Chris called to tell him what was going on.  He had already ordered blood for me and had it waiting on me when I got there. He met us at the entrance to the hospital, rode up in the elevator with us, stayed with me every second.  As soon as he heard the heartbeat on the doppler, I saw the relief on his face that mirrored the relief I felt.  The whole way to the hospital I prayed.  The closer we got and the more I felt like I might pass out, I prayed in time with the emergency flashers - please God, please God, please God.  I figured God knew what I was begging, for Gage to be okay, for me to make it through everything to be there for all three of my babies.  Gage had always moved constantly in my belly, but he never moved once from the time I woke up until after Dr. R found his heartbeat with the doppler.  I can't explain how I felt when I heard his heartbeat.  It was a relief of course, but more than that I could feel God's peace and His reassurance that he was with me and Gage and everything was going to be okay.  After that I was totally at peace through everything.  The preparations for the c-section, the first spinal not working and having to get a second one, Gage being whisked away so quickly after birth, being moved to another hospital, even through his month long nicu stay.  I felt that peace and reassurance.  There are many things that lined up perfectly in our favor that night.  In Dr. Richardson's words - Gage is a miracle who shouldn't even be here.  I hope and pray that I will always remember that and be thankful for the blessing that Gage is to us, and that he will grow up to feel a close connection with our God and allow Him to guide his life as he so obviously guided him into this world.

Monday, September 21, 2015

No dairy or soy :(

We found out three weeks ago that Gage has a milk/soy protein allergy like Ella had.  Since I'm breastfeeding, that means I have to eliminate all dairy and soy from my diet.  Ella outgrew hers at 9 months, so I am crossing my fingers Gage outgrows his sooner rather than later.  ðŸ˜

We had a doctor appointment today to check his weight since three weeks ago when he was diagnosed we were still giving him bottles of pumped milk supplemented with neosure formula about half the time.  We needed to be sure that he would continue to gain weight well after moving exclusively to breastfeeding and taking away the supplemental formula that increased the calories of my milk.  He weighed 9 pounds!  He's gained more than an ounce a day since that appointment three weeks ago.  He's also grown 3/4 of an inch!  The doctor said she could not be more pleased with his weight gain, and she was super impressed he was doing so well with breastfeeding.  She said preemies usually have such a hard time with breastfeeding and to be completely off supplemental bottles at this point is awesome.  I told her I've been worried about making breastfeeding work since we first started feeds in the hospital with bottles.  I've prayed about it and tried not to worry too much, and Gage is now breastfeeding like a champ.  It is his favorite thing to do.  ðŸ˜‰

12 weeks old, 3 weeks adjusted and he's doubled his birth weight.  Grow Gage grow!  ðŸ˜Š

Thursday, August 6, 2015

We're home!

Gage came home on July 29 at 35 weeks 3 days and 1 day shy of being one month old.  He weighed 5 lb 10.5 oz and was 18 1/4 inches when he was discharged.

He and I both had follow up appointments the following Friday (2 days later).  Dr. H (his pediatrician) was pleasantly surprised at how well Gage had done during his nicu stay.  Only on the vent for a little more than 24 hours, cpap for 1 day, nasal cannula for 1 day, no Bradys or apnea, no brain bleeds, and no concerns with eye development.  We go back in two weeks for a weight check.  We've gotten used to knowing his weight gain every day so we're adjusting to just trusting that he's gaining weight since he's eating well.

I had my follow up incision check with Dr. Richardson the same day.  He made me cry twice!  He said usually when someone has bleeding like mine, he's not able to walk away with both mom and baby.  So I cried and said how blessed we felt and how grateful we were.  Then he said, oh just wait, his whole life whatever he does you'll think - well you're just a miracle; you're not even supposed to be here.  And I cried again.  :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Big day for Gage!

Today was a big day for Gage!  He's been doing well regulating his body temperature, so this morning they moved him from his isolette into a regular bed!

The other exciting news from today was that he took his first (tiny bit of a) bottle last night in the middle of the night.  The doctors and nurses had told us that babies usually begin showing cues to eat around 33-34 weeks.  The doctor wrote in his orders Monday morning that we could begin feeding whenever we saw cues from Gage that he was ready.  Last night while Chris and I were at the hospital, he was turning his head like he was rooting around, and he sucked on the pacifier for awhile.  So the night nurse tried a bottle at his 11:00 PM feeding and he did pretty well!  He took 25 ml.  Have I mentioned night time is his wide awake time?  Just like when he was in my tummy.  :)  This morning he was just too sleepy to try again, but this afternoon we gave him a bath and he was wide awake.  His nurse Tara started his feeding and showed me how to give him a bottle the easiest way for him (lying on his side, slightly elevated) and then let me try.  That time he took 10 ml.  Tara and I were both so excited though because this was such a huge change from yesterday him not being interested at all or showing any cues to today actually trying to figure out how to suck, swallow and still breath.   He is really changing every day and getting this feeding thing down pat is our last step to coming home!

The board in his room where his night nurse wrote that he had his first bottle.

Fresh and clean after his bath!

His nurse Tara showing me the best way to give him a bottle. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Baby Gage is growing!

Yesterday, July 13, Gage weighed 4 lb 5 oz!  Back to his birthweight!

Today he's 2 weeks old, or 33 weeks 2 days.  He's growing well.  We're just waiting on him to show cues that he's ready to nipple feed (rooting, sucking on his hands, etc.).  Once he shows us he's ready to try, we'll start with one bottle feeding a day and slowly add more feedings from a bottle as he gets better at bottle feeding.  Once he has that mastered we'll begin working on breastfeeding.  Then he can come home!  :)

(July 10 - 4 lb 2 oz, July 12 - 4 lb 4 oz)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gage is here!

Gage Christopher was born June 30 at 3:04 AM.  He weighed 4 pounds, 5 ounces.  At Frye, he was quickly weighed and measured.  They said he was 17 inches long, but after being transferred to Catawba he was measured again at 16 1/2 inches.  He was born at 31 weeks, 2 days.  

Friday, June 19th I had some bleeding and spent the day at the hospital being monitored.  Everything looked great with Gage, his heartbeat was nice and strong.  The doctor on call (Dr. Goins) found a clot on the placenta and said I needed to be on bed rest for a week to ensure whatever caused the bleeding had a chance to heal.  This meant I missed both Cooper and Ella's all-star baseball and softball games that weekend.  :(  A week later, on the 26th, I went to see my doctor (Dr. Richardson). He said judging from the ultrasounds done at the hospital, he thought my placenta, which was anterior, was low - not on my cervix like placenta previa - but close to my c-section scar, and perhaps wasn't getting adequate blood supply, so that part of my placenta broke away causing the bleeding.  He wanted me to continue bed rest through the weekend and come in Monday for another ultrasound.  

Monday, June 29th I went to the doctor, had the ultrasound, everything looked fantastic.  Gage was measuring a week to two weeks ahead on all measurements, and we scheduled my c-section for August 25th, the second day of school (so I wouldn't miss Cooper and Ella's first day) and when I would have been 39 weeks and 1 day.  He freed me from bed rest, but said any bleeding, any pain, anything strange, head to the hospital.  He told us that if my placenta completely abrupted suddenly there would be very little he could do.  He said once he happened to be in a patient's hospital room when hers abrupted, had an OR available, grabbed an anesthesiologist from the hall, and had the baby out in two minutes from the time her placenta abrupted.  He said if it had taken three he would have lost them both.   So needless to say I was thrilled my placenta looked good and praying it stayed that way.

Monday night - well really around 1:30 Tuesday morning I woke up to lots of bleeding.  Lots and lots of bleeding.   Chris called my doctors office and thank God my doctor was the one on call.  He of course said come to the hospital.  On the way down the road (Mom came to stay with the kids) I called him back to let him know this was much worse than the last time.  He said get to the hospital as fast as we could.   I said it would take us 30 minutes or more and he said, get here faster than that. He said to bring the kids, someone would watch them for us at the hospital.  I explained my mom was staying with them and said we would do our best.  Chris made it there in 20.  :)  Dr. Richardson met us at the door to labor and delivery and rode up in the elevator with us.  As soon as we walked in the room there were people everywhere.  The first thing he did once I was in a gown was to listen for Gage's heartbeat.   Once he found it, he took a deep breath and said okay, we're taking this baby.  My placenta had abrupted.  After riding all the way to Frye terrified I had already lost Gage, I was ready for him to be out and safe.  Everything moved really fast after that.  The first spinal block they gave me didn't take (déjà vu from my c-section with Cooper), but Gage's heartbeat still sounded good so Dr. Richardson let them give me another one instead of putting me under general anesthesia.  

Gage was born at 3:04 AM on June 30, Cooper's due date.  He was head down when Dr. Richardson started, but flipped breach and went way up under my ribs when he tried to get him out.  Dr. Richardson ended up cutting me vertically as well as horizontally to get him out.  He had a lot of bruising from his rough delivery, including two black eyes.  When they took Gage out he made a little coughing sound and the nurse said that's him, that's your baby.  That's when I went from begging God for Gage to make it through this to thanking 
him that he was here safe and sound.  He cried right away and had apgar scores of 8 and 9.  Since he was a 31 week preemie, he was transferred to Catawba to their level 3 nursery.  I was able to see him quickly in the OR and again in my room before they took him away.   

The next morning, Wednesday, July 1, I was discharged and we headed to Catawba to be with Gage.  At that time he was on the ventilator, had an IV in his arm as well as his belly button, a feeding tube in his nose.  During the day Wednedsay, the vent tube was removed, and he was placed on the cpap machine.  They began feeds - 5 ml every 3 hours, and I was able to hold him for the first time!

Thursday, July 2 - taken off cpap and breathing completely on his own.  He had his IV removed and was under the lights for jaundice.
Friday July 3 - nasal cannula back in, just to make breathing easier for him, still constipated, having issues with reflux and residuals left after feedings.
Saturday July 4 - the best day!  No residuals from feedings, had a big poop, Chris held him for the first time.
Sunday, July 5 - nasal cannula removed again 
Monday, July 6 - upping feed amounts every 12 hours
Tuesday, July 7 - added fortifier to breastmilk, gained 2 oz since yesterday - 3 lb 14 oz, cranial ultrasound looked good
Wednesday, July 8 - removed umbilical IV, only receiving breastmilk and fortifier, feeding tube only wire other than sensors, weight back up to 4 pounds!  He was wearing a onesie when Chris and I got to the hospital tonight.  First time wearing clothes!
Thursday, July 9 - Cooper and Ella were able to hold Gage for the first time!