Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5 Week Stats

Thursday was Reese's first pediatrician's appointment. As I was driving her there I was wondering if she missed the doctor. She did get seen by one several times a day for the first month of her life. 

We started the day with her first at home bath. Yeah. Not a fan. At first.

She's not a fan of being strapped in a car seat either. Thankfully she did well once we were on the road. 
I pride myself on not being a nervous, worrying mom, but I was nervous driving her though... I guess a month in the NICU will do that to even the most go-with-the-flow person. (Remember that being in a car seat is the most stressful thing a baby can do). Thank goodness she's loud, it gave me peace of mind knowing she was still breathing.

"Ok. I can do this." 
Anyway, she did well. Dr. Goldberg said she was absolutely perfect (I didn't need a doctor to tell me that!) She weighs 6 lbs 0 oz and is 19 3/4 inches long! I don't think she actually grew 3 inches in a month though. That seems like an awful lot to me, but what do I know?

Look at the chunky belly!

6 pounds on the dot.
So I am totally confused about her age. She is technically 5 weeks, but when the nurse gave me her stats and info sheet she wrote she was 2 weeks. Is that because she's a preemie and she would be 2 weeks had she gone full term (36 weeks)? Right now she is 38 weeks gestational age. Maybe someone can clear this up (Ami... you have first hand preemie experience). Ok, back to the topic at hand... her percentiles. 
Compared to a normal 2 week old baby (see my confusion)...
Weight - 6 lbs 0 oz - 1st percentile
Height - 19 3/4 in - 5th percentile
Head - 35 cm - 6th percentile

On the preemie chart...
Weight - 50th percentile
Height - 90th percentile
Head - 90th percentile

Yup, I make tall, big headed children. Jaxon had the same exact stats.

We go back next week for another weight check. Gotta make sure our Peesey is growing!

We ended our day with a relaxing night in front of the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bye Bye NICU

After 31 days, on December 20, we said good-bye to TMC's NICU. 
We started the day like all other 31 days. Brian & I planned who was going to visit Reese when and where Jaxon would go. On this day, we had to pick up Brian's car from the dealership so we decided to leave Jaxon with my mom, get Brian's car, leave my car for an oil change, visit Reese together then go our separate ways. Brian had a work meeting & I had to do a bit of Christmas shopping. 
Now, the past few days we had been readyng ourselves for the fact that Reese would not be home for Christmas. If you remember, she had to be episode free for 3-5 days. For the past few days she'd been having 1-2 episodes a day. It was pretty heartbreaking. Especially since they seemed pretty insignificant. Her heart rate has to be between 80 and 200. Well, she would drop down to 70, 76, 78 and it would count against her. So frustrating! Needless to say, we didn't think she'd be meeting our Christmas deadline.
Tuesday morning, Brian & I walk into the NICU and run into one of the neonatologists, Dr. Riddix. When he sees us he says, "I have your baby today and I was on my way to see her. What do you think about taking her home today?" WHAT! Are you serious?" "Like a heart attack." he said. I cried. I didn't in a million years think I would hear those words ever, much less that day. We were both wondering about the episodes and Dr. Riddix explained that Reese was such a healthy baby there was no reason for her to be in the NICU anymore. He said that if you were to put a monitor on every baby in the regular nursery, they too would register episodes. Apparently it is fairly normal in newborn babies.
We were reeling. All she had to do was pass the car seat test. Thank goodness things happened the way they did that day, because the car seat was in Brian's car and guess whose car we were in? Finally, things were working out for us. I think Brian sprinted to the parking lot for the car seat!
We fed her before the test so that she'd have a nice full belly, which the nurse said would help her cause. 

Last pictures in the family room

She is clearly bursting with excitement
She may be blase, but I sure am happy!

Now time for the test... Would she pass?

In order to pass the test, she must be strapped into her seat for an hour without having any episodes. Apparently, riding in a car seat in one of the most stressful things a baby can do.

All hooked up ready to ace this thing!

We left to to do her thing and made arrangements for coming back to get her. I had to get my car, go home to get a cute outfit for her to come home in, have my mom take Jaxon to Ami's house and drop me off at the hospital where I would meet Brian.
Our backstage pass to the NICU. Soon to be cut off. Well, I've kept mine.
Back at the hospital the nurse, Cynthia, gave us a "teaching" on what to do with her when he got her home... bathing, sleeping, and the all important DO NOT TAKE HER OUT OF THE HOUSE! Yeah. It's RSV season and she's a preemie which means she can't go anywhere for awhile and visitors are very limited. One of the nurses even said I should consider not going back to work until RSV season is over! That's not until April! 
After all this it was time for another feeding. Off to the family room for the very last time we went!

In her go home outfit There were quite a few options, but all were too big for her.
Add caption

Strapping her in. Can't believe this is happening!
As we walk out, all of the nurses came to say good bye. And yes. I cried. Funny how much I wanted to go home, but I knew I would miss these ladies that took such good care of my baby for 31 days. I would also miss the other babies and cheering them on. I was supposed to take pictures of her nurses, but I forgot. Plus, there was a mom whose baby was born the same day as Reesey and her baby wasn't going home soon and I just didn't want to make a big fuss in front of her. I know how heart breaking it is to see a baby go home while you have no idea when you will be. Rosanna, Margie, Leslie, Donna... we will miss you! Thank you so much for loving our girl and helping her grow enough to go home.

FINALLY going home!

He's sooo happy to see his baby sister in the car!
My attempt at getting a picture of my kids (can't get over that. Kids. Plural)

That blob in the middle is Lucy trying to figure what what all the fuss is about.
Attempt #2

Snug as a bug in her own house. Doesn't she look happy?
We accumulated a lot of stuff in a month

As I'm trying to make dinner on our first night home, Jaxon decides he wants to make Reindeer food for Santa's reindeer. I could sense he was starting to feel a little displaced so I gave in. It wasn't as "special" as I wanted it to be, but he was happy.

I have to say that Jaxon has been an amazing brother to Reese! He checks on her constantly, sings to her if she starts to fuss, shows her toys, tells her stories. He's been great with her. He always wants to include her in everything he does.
Jaxon wanted Reese to listen to a bedtime story too.
While the 3 of us were cuddling on his bed he says to me, "Mama, let's give her back to the people she really belongs to. They miss her and it's sad to miss your baby."  So much for brotherly love.
He has also told me he is "NOT impressed with Reese & her crying."
But my absolute favorite Jaxon quote about Reese to date? He likes to watch me change her diaper and one day he says, "Mom. Where's her vagina? Why does she have one long butt?" OH.My.Goodness. Can he be any funnier?

Daddy catches up on emails and cuddling
Loving me some Reesey Peesey.

All is finally right in the Pearson world. It's been a rough 2011 for many reasons, but having Reese home and healthy made it all worthwhile.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Weekend

The Pearsons are getting ready for Christmas! 
For the first time in 5 years I was allowed to get a real Christmas tree! Yes, you read correctly, I was allowed. You see, Brian boycotted buying a real tree because we were never home for Christmas. We always came to Tucson for the 2 week Christmas break and he saw no reason to spend money on a live tree. Every year I would ask for a tree and every year he would say, "If we ever move back to Tucson I'll buy you a real tree." Thankfully he kept his word! There would have been hell to pay if he told me no. Well, it did help that his friend Duhon threw out our fake tree when he helped us move into our new house.  Duhon, works at a Christmas tree lot and won't allow friends to say the "F" word, much less own one.

 We headed to Duhon's lot on Friday night and picked out our tree. It's beautiful and the house smells great. Which reminds me, I better water it, it's been a few days. Oops. I've never been accused of having a green thumb.

Looking for the perfect tree
Jax was really into decorating the tree.

He took it upon himself to get the step stool.

He was so proud of himself!

Saturday morning we headed to the mall to visit Santa. Jaxon was looking forward to telling Santa what he wanted. He had it all planned. He was going to tell Santa he wanted a Batman with a black cape and a Bat Mobile. Yes, he's very specific. When we got there he was able to make a Christmas wish. His wish? For Reesey to come home for Christmas. :) 
When it came time, Jaxon sat on Santa's lap like a champ! No crying, screaming or hesitation. He went right over, climbed on his lap and told Santa what he wanted. He is getting to be so big. Sniff. Sniff.

Reese knew it was a Christmas Weekend so she wore her Christmas jammies! 

Sunday night we took a little trip to Winterhaven. Winterhaven is a neighborhood here in town that hosts a festival of lights. Many of the houses in the neighborhood decorate their houses with holiday displays. We have never taken Jaxon and thought this was a perfect year to do so. The weather was perfect for a stroll in the midtown neighborhood. We had a little hot chocolate and enjoyed the beautiful lights.

Jaxon's favorite display was the very first house we saw.

The Christmas Polar Bear
Not sure which animal is behind him.

Christmas Rhino and Christmas Giraffe
The hot chocolate had a bit too much chocolate I think. Jax was WIRED!
This house was clever! The 12 days of Christmas. My favorite was "8 Maids A Milkin'" Ami, Nicole & Mary... this made me think of you guys :)

Where's Waldo? this made me chuckle. 

This house doesn't look like much, but it was my favorite. They had a water & light show set to music! Think the Bellagio in Vegas. It's amazing what people can do! I have a video, but am not sure how to upload it with my Mac. 

Watching the water show

Horse drawn wagons were in full force on Sunday

It certainly was a busy weekend... taking turns going to the hospital and staying with Jaxon, trying to make things normal for him and not wanting him to feel as if he's been abandoned for his baby sister. Needless to say, we are ready to be a family of four, under one roof. We are ready to stay home for days at a time with nowhere to go. We are NOT ready for sleepless night, however! 

A Reese update....
She is holding her own body temperature. YAY!
She is gainly weight steadily. She weighs 5 lbs 8 oz! Whoot Whoot!
Her formula intake is up to 60 cc's (2 oz) She has to drink 30 cc's in order to be considered a "successful" bottle feeding. 
She has not be gavaged (tube fed) in the last 2 days. Yipee!
She is now on her own feeding schedule instead of a set schedule. She will now dictate when she eats. Which they say is a step closer to being home. 
She still has about 3 episodes (low heart rate & forgetting to breath) a day. As of 2:30 pm today, she hadn't had an episode since last night.
She is wearing some newborn onesies and some of her preemie onesies are too small. 

Today was a good day in the NICU world. I'm hoping things keep looking up and we can all be home again.

She is seriously the sweetest baby

Notice the tape residue from her pulse ox monitor

Those 3 leads (wires) monitor her heart rate.