Sunday, December 30, 2012

A bit of an update

I've been seriously MIA lately.  Life has been crazy busy!! Let's see...I don't know that I can even do this update in chronological order, so here goes this will be seriously random.

I quit my job, I couldn't stand that my in-laws were spending more quality time with Pierce than I was.  So, we're going to make sacrifices for a while until I can find something with better hours.
I couldn't have quit at a better time!  I ended up having surgery the Thursday before Christmas.Read about why, here
Not working enabled me to take Pierce to see my family in Mississippi who had never seen him.  That was great!  My mom drove our car down, since we left on Saturday and I needed the extra recovery time.  We came home Christmas Eve to spend our first Christmas as a family with J.
The Tuesday before surgery, I had to go to the doctor for an ear and sinus infection.  I was starting to feel a little better Wednesday.  Thursday, in pre-op, I started coughing and the pre-op nurse found my temperature to be 99, rechecked 101, and again another check 102.2.  They still did my surgery, but we didn't know what in the world was going on.  J and I chalked it up to a possible infection from the Mirena.
We have figured it out, I caught RSV...yes, the virus that babies/toddlers get.  I showed symptoms Thursday, and Pierce started coughing Friday.  I called his doctor and he said to just watch him since all it was at the time was a dry cough.  It just progressed, for both of us, over the weekend.  I was going to take him to the doctor Wednesday morning, but we didn't wait that long.
Pierce spent his first Christmas morning in the ER!  Little man has RSV, and an ear infection.  Let me tell you, it's been fun times in this house!  Pierce and I sent his daddy on to my in-laws to spend Christmas day with them.  He brought back bags upon bags of gifts for Pierce!  Wow.  What a blessed, loved baby!
We kept him home until his follow-up appointment on Friday.  The doctor sent him home with a nebulizer.  While that worked well, we watched him yesterday (Saturday) & decided to bring him back to the ER.  After a few hours of observation, they decided to keep him.  What was started as a one night observation has turned into 2.  Last night, the little bit he slept, his oxygen saturations dipped to 88 and stayed for a while.  When I would try to make him stir, he would only correct it to 91.  His pulmonologist likes for it to be 92 or higher for 24 hours.  So, off J went back to the house and is packing up more stuff for me and Pierce.

I got about an hour and a half worth of sleep last night, so when J got here I passed out for 3ish hours!  There's only room for one of us, so I'm staying.  Poor J though, he's going back and forth, guessing what I want brought back lol.
Pierce isn't on an IV, only connected to a pulse oximeter.  The doctor explained to us that he doesn't see this case of RSV being a precursor to asthma.  So, we're really hoping we can keep him from getting another infection that will possibly cause asthma.

Maybe he'll sleep some tonight!!  I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Whatever you do, do NOT get a Mirena IUD

I wrote this the day of surgery (12/20/12)...and apparently was too loopy to hit publish lol  so...here ya go.  Me in all my goofy glory

After having Pierce, I knew I wanted to get on some sort of birth control.  Goodness knows, I didn't want to end up with an Ooops Baby just months after Pierce was born.  I'm not even 100% sure that I want another child.  Pierce is more than I deserve to begin with.
In the past I have taken The Pill, but that makes me bat sh*t crazy!  And I'm not even kidding.  I'll be happy and fine one minute, then next I'd be boohooing, sobbing.  J would ask what in the world was wrong with me, "I doooont knoooowwww" between sobs.  My already sensitive temper was heightened.  Nope, no longer want to be on The Pill.
Before J, I had Mirena.  I LOVED it.  No period, none, not even spotting, nothing to remember every day, nothing to "check".  Birth Control you don't have to think about?  It was awesome!
I tried NuvaRing.  Without getting too graphic on the blog, let's just say that thing doesn't come with an applicator, you have to check it often to make sure it's still there.  And, ahem, um...it falls out at the MOST inopportune times.  Add all that to the cost of the dang thing, and $80/month was a no go.
Then, we decided to start trying for a baby.  So, I went about a year with out any birth control at all.  Found out I have very regular cycles.  Not bad cramps, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

When it came time to talk to my Doctor about Birth Control, I had my choice!  I wanted Mirena back.  Up to 5 years of birth control, that would for sure be enough time to get Pierce out of diapers and be ready for another, should we chose.
I went to the Dr around 10/11 weeks postpartum.  Placing the Mirena was painful.  Longest 5 minutes of my life.  My doctor even admitted it was difficult to place.  I almost gave up!  I was about to throw in the towel and say, "STOP" when he finally placed it.  I had some cramping, which I remembered as normal from the last time I had it.  A little spotting, again, remembered that from last time.
Some doctors leave the strings on the end of the Mirena so that the patient can feel it, make sure it's still there where it's supposed to be.  My doctor trims the strings really short, and has you come in for an ultrasound to check it's proper placement 4 weeks after.
Four weeks rolled around, and I had to cancel my appointment for the ultrasound because I was having a very heavy period.  I thought, "Wow, how do I have this luck?!  Mirena and breastfeeding, and I still get a period?  And a heavy one at that?!"  I knew that was odd, because in my experience with Mirena the first time, I had a light first period, spotted for the second, and after that I had nothing.  But, I just had a baby, right?  Women's bodies are different after having a baby.  I chalked the heavy, 8 day period up to just being postpartum.
Two weeks later, I was scheduled for a Pap Smear.  Suddenly, I was bleeding again.  Had to cancel that appointment too.  Only, this time, I talked to a nurse.  This is strange, something is going on here that shouldn't be.
The nurse made me an appointment for the ultrasound and an exam.  Monday I went to my appointment at 2:30.  Ultrasound tech got me back, and started The Hunt.  Five or so minutes into the ultrasound, I could tell something wasn't right.  Then, she says, "Are you sure you didn't pass it?"  Um, I wouldn't be sitting here letting you do a vaginal ultrasound had I passed it!  Only, I was polite, "Does that mean you can't find it?!"  She left to go get my Dr.  He did an ultrasound, then had her do an abdominal ultrasound.  He kept asking me if I was sure I didn't pass it.  Have you seen a Mirena?  It's a one inch long T-shaped piece of plastic.  I would like to think I would notice something like that "passing" through my hooha!
Since it couldn't be found via ultrasound, I was sent to the hospital next door to get a CT Scan.
The CT tech said he wouldn't be able to tell me what was found, that my doctor would have to call me.  When the scan was over, the tech came back in and said, "Well, we're done, I guess they'll be calling you to see what they want to do with it"  I knew he was telling me he found it.  Because he then covered himself and said, "The results, they'll call you with the results"
I didn't leave the hospital until 530 that night.  3 hour ordeal to find a one inch piece of plastic in my guts...ugh
The next morning, I woke up sick as a dog, I'd been fighting off something since Thursday, and couldn't take it any more.  I went to the sick-doctor.  Sinus AND ear infection.  Antibiotics, rest.
At 11am, my OB/GYN called...found the IUD, it had perforated my uterine wall and was to the right of my uterus.  Surgery Thursday to remove it.  Ugh, ok.  I wasn't nervous, this would make my 10th or 11th surgery in my life.  I'm a pro at this surgery game!
Thursday morning rolled around, had to be at the hospital at 1030, for surgery at 1230.  Dropped Pierce off with my dear friend, Brittney so he could play with her little boy who's 10 weeks younger.  He had the best time!! First time being babysat by someone other than family and we weren't just minutes away.
Got to the hospital, got registered, and brought back for pre-surgery prep.  The nurse started taking my vitals, blood pressure is good, on to temperature.  Oral thermometer beeped at 99.7.  Odd, I didn't feel bad.  I've had these infections, but I actually felt better that day than I had since getting sick.  She checked it again, we watched it climb to 101, then 102.2.  What in the world is going on?!  My chest was flush with a red "rash" my face was just a flush and red as it could be...I was really concerned that they weren't going to do the surgery.  The anesthesiologist came in and checked me out.  Said he would do the surgery up to a temp of 103.  Listened to my lungs, said I sounded great.  He was a go on his end.  My doctor was notified of the issue and said it's still a go.  Off I went for surgery.
Thankfully, it was a simple in and out procedure.  It could have been SO much worse.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why we're choosing to "wait"...

Wait for what? Food.  
The newest thing we keep hearing is, "When are you going to feed him?" 
"It's time for him to get cereal"
"I fed (my baby) at x-months"

Whelp, folks...Pierce will get fed on his own time, his own schedule, and when he's ready...he isn't your kid. I've done a lot of research on when to feed him, what his first food should be, what it shouldn't be and why.  I'm not saying that if you chose to start feeding your kid at 12 weeks old that you're wrong.  Whatever works for you.  I just ask you, "Why?"  Just like I'm asked "Why" we chose to wait, if I don't have solid answers for family and friends, I'm just looked at as kooky...so, I look at you like you're kooky if you can't give me solid reasons why you feed your baby early! 

Pierce is 17 weeks old, and as it sits, he has zero interest in food.  He still eats anywhere from 5-6 ounces every 2.5-3 hours and is very pleased with that.  He's gaining and growing, he's meeting milestones.  He is a happy boy with just his Mommy Milk, so we're happy parents giving him just that.  
**Mommy Milk is nutritionally complete until 6 months of age, if he is "steadily gaining weight and seems content with milk feeds alone".  The current recommendation - from medical authorities such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, UK Department of Health, World Health Organization and UNICEF - is to wait until 6 months of age before introducing solids. (cite) (cite)
Pierce still has infant tongue thrust " Tongue thrust aids feeding from the breast or bottle but not solid foods....a tongue thrust is a sign that your baby is not ready to eat solid foods" I've learned that he still has tongue thrust when he's been given Tylenol recently (swollen gums); as soon as you stick the syringe in his mouth the tongue starts working, pushing the medicine right out of his mouth.  He also has a chewer that's shaped like a tiny baby mouth guard...it goes in his mouth, and here comes the tongue thrust!  (more info
Also, I've read, in several locations, that Pierce should be sitting up well, supported of course.  But, needing no neck support.  It keeps babies from choking on their food.
*Start solids when he can sit up, open his mouth when he sees something coming, and close his lips over the spoon cite (cite)
Pierce shows no interest in food.  He is watching everything, but doesn't fixate on food yet.  He really could care less.  No, I haven't even brought food near his mouth, but he's sat at the table in our laps while we're eating.  He will watch our movements from plate to mouth, but just as he finds that interesting, he watches the dog moving...I don't think he wants to eat the dog, so I'm going to continue to think that he is also just watching our movements. lol (cite)

Why no cereal?  No grains at all?  Because of a little enzyme named amylase.  Bambinos don't produce enough amylase to break down the grains in cereal/oatmeal/rice until their molars come in.  Until then, the grains just sit in their guts, and some research suggests that the grains can cause food allergies, "Undigested grains wreak havoc on your baby’s intestinal lining. It can throw off the balance of bacteria in their gut and lead to lots of complications as they age including: food allergies, behavioral problems, mood issues, and more." (cite)
Pierce will start on something else, something bland like avocados.  And we'll just go from there.     

We want nothing but the best for our son, and this is what we feel is best!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Women Connect 2012



I know I'm late to the link up, but I've been putting a lot of thought into my post.

I want to open up to friends I've made through blogging, tell more of my story.  More of the story that makes me, me.  I hope to offer support to anyone who has been through anything similar to me.

I have mentioned before on my blog that I've had rough patches in my adulthood, but never wanted to expound on it until I started reading one blog I found through this link up...Tamara talks about something not talked about much in Blogland.  It took much courage.
Divorce
No, J & I aren't getting divorced, we're fine.
But this post is to talk about my life before Jared.  B.J. if you will lol.  Actually, that sounds really bad, so we won't be calling it that lol.  

I dated a guy from my Junior year (16 years old) through graduation, moved out of my parents house shortly after graduation, and into our first apartment.  We got married a year or so later.  Without great detail since it was nearly a decade ago, it was a relationship that never should have been.  I repeat...never.  We were married about 2 years, just shy of it.  I had no proof, but 2+2 brought me to the answer as to why we were divorcing...he cheated.
Married at 19, divorced at 21.  Not the way I planned my life...at all.  I stayed in my townhouse, I had a good job, especially for a 21 year old with no college degree.  I stayed in a town with no family, few friends.  Any family I had, I lost with the divorce.  You see, my extended family is scattered across the southeast, my parents and brother had moved to Kentucky just a year prior to my divorce.  I had to make a choice.  Stay where I was, in my townhouse, pick myself up by my boot straps and keep going forward; or pack up everything, leave my job where I had time invested, good friends, good pay, benefits, security, and move to my parents basement in Kentucky.  I probably would have found a part time job, gone back to college, and who knows where my life would have taken me.

Fast forward
Remarried at 24.  Prior to getting married, cheated on...again.  For some reason, instead of leaving, I thought I had forgiven him...come to find out looking back on it, I didn't.  Again, another relationship that never should have been.
Just shy of 3 years later, I was miserable.
I am woman enough to admit, I flirted with other men.  While married.  This is unacceptable.  Now I consider it cheating.  When you stray from your marriage and invest emotion into someone else, to me it's the same as physically cheating.  You're still seeking something from someone not your spouse.
Divorced.

Don't fast forward too quickly...J and I took a friendship and turned it into what it is today in just a few short months.  And if you've been following, you know we've been through a LOT.
Married
Army boot camp, J was sent home because of heart defects...yes, plural.
Lived on one income, thankfully his grandmother is an amazing woman and let us live with her for a year.
J has a good job, funny enough, he is now working a job I had, and I'm working a job he had.
Pierce came
We became NICU veterans.
And here we are.  Strong.  Together.  Different people than we were when we met.  But, we've grown together, so that's what matters.

I had a normal, mostly sheltered childhood.  I have anxiety, nothing I'd go to a psych about to be diagnosed, but I know it's there.  A bit of OCD?  There are things that I MUST do certain ways or I just can't stand it.  But, it's not so severe that life stops.

I have learned that no matter what, each person is an individual and must be treated as such.  Just because my trust has been broken by men, doesn't mean that every man will break my trust.  Trust is earned, like respect.  Always treat your spouse exactly how you would like to be treated, especially when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.  Should you talk to that man?  Would you want your husband to have this same conversation with another woman?  If not?  Don't.
If you feel the need to hide a relationship from your spouse (or boyfriend), you shouldn't have this relationship.  No excuses.

So...there's my story.  The story I haven't told...until now.  Maybe I won't lose any followers, but if I do I'm not sorry.  This is me.  Everything in my life has shaped me to be who I am now.

Amanda

Friday, November 23, 2012

Savings finds!!! And some babbling

Until this year!!  I'm in full shopping spirit...online that is.  Forget getting out and dealing with crowds of people.  Plus, I have to work.  Law enforcement doesn't stop, 24/7/365!
So, while you folks were miserably stuffed yesterday with your turkey dinners, I was at work...and shopping online.
First, if you're doing the same, don't be silly, go through Ebates to do your shopping.  Not only are most retailers giving uh-may-zing discounts and having fantastic sales, if you go through Ebates you can get cash back!

For instance?  Today I got Pierce several shirts and shirt/pant sets from JCP, through Ebates of course.  I saved $20 on just JCP sales...free shipping through Cyber Monday (11/26) with NO code necessary, no spending limit!  If you go through Ebates to shop the amazing JCP sales, you get 10% cash back!

I'm kicking myself for not signing up for Ebates sooner, I did a LOT of shopping yesterday!  Kohl's has some rocking sales!  I'm done with gifts for one family member (can't say who, lol, we're playing secret Santa and drew names), should have cost a total of $85 but I kept it in the family-set budget of $30!  Mega savings right there!  We got Pierce a gift for half of what it cost at a big baby retail store, and a few other Christmas gifts.  In all?  My total was $55!  Free shipping if you spend over $50, used the promo code BLACKFRI to get 15% off, and? I got $15 Kohl's cash to use 11/26-12/3, so I'll use that to get another gift, making it free to me!  Had I gone through Ebates, I would have gotten 6% cash back.  Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up.
Another stupid move?  Seriously stupid because I spent the MOST money here?  American Eagle  Only my FAVORITE place to shop.  Should have cost me $201, instead with tax and again, FREE SHIPPING, only $111.  Ebates? 2% cash back.  But, important here, shop AE, they have 40% off, and free shipping, the code is on the top of the page!  It doesn't get any easier than that, they GIVE you the code.  Very few things don't qualify for the 40% off.  I believe that amazing deal is through Monday 11/26...GET ON IT.
Oh, and what else did I do?  Took advantage of Old Navy sales, and they had a promo online for 30% off (ended yesterday, sorry), free shipping if you spend over $50, which I did...until the 30% off!  Still got free shipping!
We're done.  DONE, with 2 people on our list and it feels uhmayzing.  Almost done with Pierce, because let's face it, he doesn't need much, won't understand the first thing about what's going on.  He'll be a whopping 4.5 months old.  So, I'm trying to buy him gifts that will grow with him, that he can use while sitting still through walking and I've found some great ones!
source
source
Any other ideas mommies?

Any one else know any fabulous deals I can't miss?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pierce's first Thanksgiving

Since Pierce is only 3 months old, he got to enjoy a few Thanksgiving bottles.  But, he also was stinking adorable!!

I'll let the pictures do the talking!

His hat has been hanging above his changing table for 3 months now, waiting on that noggin to be big enough

Loving this picture of Doodle & Mommy


I can't get over this pic!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
From our family to your's

Monday, November 19, 2012

Show some love

Hey y'all, go check out this BRAND NEW blog:
jsjourney815.blogspot.com
It's my darling's blog, he is wanting to flex his writing muscle.

Thanks lovelies!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mommie Milk

From early in pregnancy I knew I wanted to at least pump, for  my baby to have breast milk exclusively.  I did all the research, I was prepared.  
I could bore you with facts, but instead...I'll give you the lighter side of why I am SO glad I chose breast vs formula!

  • My boobies are always with me.  I have yet to nurse in public, but I've nursed at family's houses.  If we stay longer than anticipated and don't have enough bottles...I have the boobies!
  • The only time we have to warm milk is when it's been in the refrigerator, otherwise it's always ready.  Pierce will take fresh pumped milk, or room temperature milk...it doesn't matter to him!
  • If he doesn't drink all of his bottle, it can wait a while.  No tossing unused milk out if he hasn't finished it within the hour like formula
  • I've read that your body makes "morning milk" and "night milk", morning of course to wake up Baby, and night to help them sleep.  Well, I think my boobies have their days and nights mixed up...it seems I make night milk in the mornings because when he nurses in bed with me he sleeps better than when he night-night nurses lol
  • Since going back to work, I started nursing more on days I work...less bottles to wash lol
  • Nursing=no burping!  
  • I *can't* diet, if I cut out calories I'll lose milk supply.  I enjoy my 2500 calories...though when I stop breastfeeding, it's going to be a bummer.  Though, let's be honest, I could eat a healthier 2500
  • To keep my supply up, I drink *ONE* dark beer a night after Pierce has nursed and gone to bed (something about the hops in dark beer helps)

I have recently found a few facts about breast feeding that I didn't know previously, that make me even more happy that I've chosen this route for my family
(All facts found through this source, the author has them cited as well)
  • You’ve probably heard the delicious fact that breastfeeding uses up the fat stores you laid down in pregnancy. The greatest weight loss is seen in the three to six month period. You’ve just hit the start of this uber fat-burning period.  
  • By breastfeeding for at least 3 months you have given your baby a 27 percent reduction in the risk of asthma if you have no family history of asthma and a 40 percent reduction if you have a family history of asthma
  • By this stage you have also given your baby between a 19 and 27 percent reduction in incidence of childhood Type 1 Diabetes
Also, I know I promised ya'll that I was going to do a giveaway of What to Expect books, I'm doing my reading so that I can properly give my opinions!  Soon, I promise!


Conundrum

I'm stuck in a bit of a conundrum.  Today is World Prematurity Day and I want to "celebrate" for Pierce's sake.  However, most people don't see that he was/is a preemie.  I look everywhere and find that "37 weeks is considered full term".  Heck, I thought he was "full term" and I let that put my mind at ease when we were told we would have to deliver at 37 weeks 3 days.  Mistake!  I let the fact that I had an "easy" pregnancy put my mind at ease.  Mistake!
If you're new, or missed it, read Pierce's birth story here. And his NICU journey herehere, here, here, here,   here, here, and finally here.

Pierce was pre-term.  Term is 40 weeks.  End of story.  Yes, PLENTY babies are born earlier than 40 weeks and are healthy as can be, nothing wrong.  But, 1 in 8 babies are born premature.  Pierce would have been considered full-term, had he been healthy.
So, my 7 pound 3 ounce 19 inch baby boy was labeled preemie.  The first time I heard a NICU nurse call him preemie, I cried.  I don't know why, looking back, I blame stress and hormones.

I hear so many people wanting to induce early, yes 37/38 weeks is "full term" but unless it's causing Mommy or Baby harm to continue the pregnancy, please please let Mother Nature run her course.  My early delivery was NOT planned, at all.  My plan was to go until labor started, have a totally natural birth with no drugs.  My darling husband was pushing for an epidural, but...lol.  Read about my battle with what happened vs my plan here.
For all my pregnant friends, let Baby lead the way.  I know those of you who are in the 30+ week area are miserable.  I remember.  I had amazing days, and horrible days.  It won't last forever!  Do anything you can to go as far as possible with Baby in the best place, your womb.  God, Mother Nature, your body, Baby, they know how long Baby needs to be in there.

So, I still go back and forth, but ultimately, my "big" 7 pound 3 ounce 37 week gestation boy was premature.  He's developing right on track with 3 month mile markers, only rarely do we see things that are 3 weeks behind.  Like, he's not grabbing things regularly, he doesn't hold objects other than our fingers yet...little things, nothing big that will affect him much longer.  In just a few months, the little things will be a distant memory.
My boy is 13 weeks, but his "adjusted age" is 10 weeks.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How has it been 3 months already?

I'll be honest, I've been known to roll my eyes when I've read other bloggers say how fast time flies with their babies, or when people told me while I was pregnant that time was going to fly.
Now?
I understand.  Wow.  It doesn't seem like it's been 3 whole months since August 15th.
But it really has.

All 3 of my boys

 Pierce and I enjoyed my last few weeks of maternity leave.  His little personality is really starting to shine

 Pierce will let me lay him down in his crib for about 15 minutes or so, long enough to get a few things done and keep him happy.  He'll talk to the picture that hangs over his crib, or his mobile.  He's turned into quite the chatty boy!

 He's sitting up well (when VERY supported obviously) & manages to keep himself up for a good 5 minutes.
 We didn't do anything for Halloween...obviously he's far too young.  And, this Mommy took the instruction "keep him out of crowds, and away from people touching him" VERY seriously!  We have to get through this first cold/flu/RSV season without him getting sick.
Daddy put his tie on him and declared that he was a Chippendale for Halloween!
 Pierce has started enjoying sitting up with us on the couch, watching things in the room, "watching tv", and is obviously wanting to do more on his own, but his physical development isn't quite there yet.  So, he gets pretty fussy sometimes.  We just change his environment, if we're holding him we'll try his bouncey chair, if that doesn't work, usually laying him on his blanket facing the fireplace/mantel and talks to the clock (I'm sure it's the pendulum) and the crosses.  Smiles and laughs.  He loves laying there while we shake his rattle, which is a great excuse to exercise his neck/head movement following things from side to side.
His little laugh is too cute, it's less of a laugh and more of a hiccup sound lol.  But, we know what it is! He's always a happy smiling boy when he wakes up in the mornings (afternoons, I've lucked up and my baby sleeps till noon!  Works for this 2nd shift Mama).
My favorite men watching football

 The other day he was sitting up, babbling at me and slowly started falling over...I let him, he was safe.  When he finally fell, he must have thought it was hilarious...
 Pierce had his first "booboo".  He's too small for the jumperoo thing, but I wanted to work on his head control and give him something interesting to do, so I was right there helping him stay up.  He figured out that he could kick his legs (which don't touch the ground lol) and he would bounce.  He did that for a while, and kept his head up pretty well.  In a split second, he lost his head control and WHAM, whacked his eye.  Right below his eyebrow.  Tough Stuff didn't cry, he looked at me and said, "Waah!" and that was it.  I got him out and immediately nursed him because I know nursing is a form of immediate pain control.  While I was nursing him, I watched it turn pink and get a little puffy.  Called my mom, knowing I couldn't keep an ice pack on a 10 week old's face lol.  She told me to use a cool, damp wash cloth and put it on his face.  I laid him down, because he didn't want to nurse any more, and laid the cloth on his eye.  He was such a happy boy and laid there with it over his eye.  In 5 minutes or so, the puffiness was gone.  His daddy got home 10 minutes later and the pink was gone!  Mommy fail, but Mommy fixed it!  lol.  He hasn't been back in the jumperoo yet!

J says I harass Pierce...I guess this last picture proves it.  He's just too cute to not harass!!

Pierce is in a mix of 0-3 & 3-6 month clothing.  Size 2 diapers.  His last visit to the Doctor on November 2, he was 13 pounds 5 ounces!
He has seen a Pediatric Pulmonologist for a follow-up on his lungs/pulmonary hypertension and they cleared him, said there's no reason for him to see them again!\
He'll see the Pediatric cardiologist in December, again for a follow-up on the pulmonary hypertension.
And, he sees a Pediatric Neurologist in January as a "precaution" I guess from the possible side effects of using the nitric oxide while on the ventilator in the NICU.  We don't see any neurological issues, so we're not terribly concerned about this visit.  I'm more concerned about the cardiology visit because of his Daddy's heart issues.  So, please keep Pierce in your prayers still.  I pray we ge through these specialist visits and can just see his regular doctor for Well-Baby checks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm still here

I've been MIA, not because I don't love ya'll!
I went back to work Tuesday, and to be honest, I hate leaving Pierce.  I spent the morning getting myself ready to go back to work for the first time in 12 weeks, getting him ready to be away from me for more than an hour or so for the first time since he came home from the NICU.  He was being watched by my in-laws, in capable hands so I didn't cry when I went to work the first day, but I cried when I got home and was nursing him to sleep. You see, I get off at 11pm, he goes to bed at midnight.  The first night he was asleep in my arms at 1130.  I just sat there and cried, held him until midnight.  I was so sad that I only saw him for half an hour before he went to sleep.  The next day, I spent a little more time with him before work, but not that much more.  Again, I cried when I got home and nursed him to sleep.
I don't get much time with him in the mornings because he sleeps 12+ hours.  Yup, my baby sleeps! He doesn't nap though, so don't call me lucky yet lol.  He may take 15-30 minute naps most days.  Except today, he slept 3 hours in my arms.  But, today was my first off day and first chance to soak up all the time I could with him, so you know I wasn't complaining!  I just stared at him and enjoyed it.
Pierce is doing just fine with his grandparents, he seems to enjoy spending time with them.  I'm glad to know that....but I hate that he has to be watched by anyone other than J or myself.

I'm trying to balance being a wife, mother, working woman, and housewife...and failing!  If anyone has any tips on how to balance it all, PLEASE, HELP!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The day my son wore a gown...

This weekend was great, we had family gather and all went to church.  It was All Saint's Sunday, one of the big days our church uses to baptize babies.  Of course we had our Pierce baptized!
We are Episcopalian, so we believe in baptizing/christening babies.  Why?  I found this answer to be best

it is through baptism that faith is created in the infant's heart. Baptism, far from being the empty symbolism that many imagine it to be, is the visible Gospel, a powerful means of grace. According to Scripture, baptism "washes away sin" (Acts 22:16), "saves" (1 Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16), causes one to "die to sin, to be buried, and raised up with Christ" (Romans 6:3-4) causes one to be "clothed with Christ" (Galatians 3:27), and to be a member of the body of Christ: "for by one Spirit, were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13). It bears repeating: baptism is a special means of God's grace by which He gives faith, forgiveness, and salvation to the infant.

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it" (Luke 18:15-17)

"Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church.  The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble"
Book of Common Prayer pg 298
"We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins"
Nicene Creed, BCP pg 326

Baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace

Ok, enough of my preaching.  I just know I get a LOT of questions from people who aren't Anglican about why we baptize babies.  So...there you have it in a bit of a nutshell

The Episcopal Church doesn't allow photography during services, so you'll just have to see the pictures we took after!
Pierce is wearing my brother's Christening gown that he wore 25 years ago.  The gown was hand made by my grandmother and mother (I had one too, and my mom brought it as an option for Pierce, but I vetoed it because it was really girly! lol  I also vetoed the bonnet...my baby BOY was already wearing a "dress" for tradition's sake lol).  My mom also brought, and gave to him, my baby cross that I wore when I was baptized 29 years ago (I don't think I've ever stated my actual age on here...yup, there ya have it).  My grandmother had the cross blessed by a bishop either before or shortly after I wore it.  
Pierce slept through the first half of church, then slept through being walked down the aisle to the baptismal font.  Even slept through me handing him to the priest.  He only woke up and grunted after she poured the Holy Water over his head lol.  He was even still so sweet that she carried him back to the front of the church for all of the congregation to get to see!  
I have to admit, I got teary several times through the service.  
Our Pierce Eamon is a gift from God to us, and we have now accepted our roles as Christian mentors and leaders for him.  



Pierce's amazing godparents


us and my parents, Pierce's Nana & Popi

us and J's parents, Pierce's Nonnie & Grandpa JimJim

Pierce's paternal great grandmothers

3 of 4 of Pierce's great grandmothers, and one great Uncle

Believe it or not, these young folks are Pierce's great Aunt and Uncle lol

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Battles....

I've been writing this blog in my head over and over again for several weeks.  I don't know how well it will flow, how much sense it will make...but I'm going to try.


I had a pretty easy pregnancy, no real complaints other than kidney issues at 24 weeks.  My blood pressure was normal the whole time...until around 32 weeks.  It started creeping up.  34 weeks the nurse told me I needed to watch my sodium intake, drink more water, be careful.  36 weeks, higher...still not pre-eclampsia levels, but high nonetheless.

August 13, 2012--37 week appointment, 37 weeks exactly.  Blood pressure of 150/90.  No progress down there, couldn't find his head.  One quick ultrasound later, J and I see our precious baby boy, but learn that he's breech, low amniotic fluid, but he's ok.  No contractions, no stress for Pierce.  Dr doesn't like blood pressure and says that Pierce is too big to move himself into proper position and he wants to do a c-section on Thursday (August 16).

C-section?  The entire 9 months leading up to this point I was absolutely NOT going to have a c-section.  I was going to have completely natural childbirth, no epidural.  I was going to do it all on my own, I was passionate about this!
Cue anxiety.  My dear husband sat next to me in the doctor's office and just told me it would all be ok.  Pierce will be here, we'll have our baby, everything will all be fine.
Put on STRICT bedrest until the c-section because my blood pressure went up to 150/120.  I haven't even had time to nest.  His nursery hadn't had all of the little touches put on it.  I hadn't gotten in there yet, I kept thinking I still had 3 weeks.  I had time.  No rush.  We had just moved, I was getting the rest of the house settled, then was getting to his room.  Getting things settled when you're waddling around 9 months pregnant is a slow process, BTW.
Next thing we know, due to scheduling conflicts, we get 24 hours yanked out from under us and we're told to be at the hospital Wednesday, August 15 at 6am.
Cue more anxiety

This entire time everyone says it'll all be just fine, including J and I, after all 37 weeks is considered full-term. Turns out, for Pierce, it's not.  Pierce was born 3 weeks premature.  He was considered a preemie.

My baby?  Is a preemie?  He weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces...19 inches long.  How is he a preemie?

Every pregnant woman dreams of the day she meets her baby for the fist time.
First sight of baby.
First time to touch baby.
First time to kiss baby.
First family photos.
You guys know what I'm talking about.  All of those expectations, because that's what everyone gets to do. Everyone has that sweet, amazing first family photo of a screaming slimy baby on mom's chest with dad leaned over, kissing mom's forehead.

This is the part that makes me cry when I think about it.  I haven't figured out why...until tonight.

I'm in mourning over that beautiful birth story.  That story book delivery, complete with beautiful pictures.  I'm hoping that writing it down, letting it out, will help.

The entire story, written in the hospital, found here

The first time we heard the word "NICU" was during surgery prep with the labor and delivery nurses.  At no point in nearly 10 months had the thought, "NICU", entered my brain.  Never.  Not once.
J and I were left alone for a few minutes and tears welled up in my eyes.
"What's wrong baby?  Nerves?"
"NICU?"
"It's ok baby"
Only, I knew he was just as concerned over hearing NICU.
J puts on a great front, holds himself strong, shows no fear.  I can see right through it all.  I allowed myself to focus on my anxiety of the surgery and the spinal.  I was scared sh*tless of the spinal...a driving factor in my desire to have a drug free natural delivery!
I started to shake, all over, just shiver.  I couldn't control it.  When I was wheeled into the OR the shaking got worse.  I somehow controlled myself enough to get the spinal.  FYI, the spinal wasn't bad.  Actually, the IV was the absolute worst part of the whole c-section.

I remember hearing my doctor say something along the lines of "he took a large gulp", and hearing cries that just weren't right.  Tears started welling up because I could hear my son.  I still couldn't see him, but watched J looking at him.  While I could see love in his whole body; pride expanding in his chest.  I knew something wasn't right because of the concern coming across his face.
I've learned more in the past month or so, as J feels more comfortable telling me things that occurred that I either didn't see, wasn't there for (recovery, pain meds, couldn't physically go to the NICU the first 24 hours), or just plain don't remember.
J saw that his coloring wasn't right.  Pierce wasn't changing colors the way J knew he should.
I laid there waiting to hear baby screams.  I could hear people saying things around me, I could feel the tension in the whole room.
I saw the nurses suctioning Pierce, bagging him, it just wasn't right.  I laid helpless strapped on the OR bed, looking to J for guidance.
The nurses wrapped Pierce up, brought him to me and said, "We have to hurry mom, give him a quick kiss"



I don't remember what my son looked like in that moment.
I don't remember that moment.
Worry and fear have erased that moment.

They took Pierce and J.  I was left in the OR, being sewn up by the doctor.  The nurse anesthetist was sweet.  He kept telling me that they take babies to the NICU to be checked...that they hold them there and usually let them go within 4 hours.

I was wheeled into recovery.  I remember just staring off into space.  I knew that J was with our son.  I knew that the whole time I was pregnant, I told J if for some reason I can't be with Pierce that he wasn't to leave his side.  If Pierce couldn't have Mommie, he needed Daddy.

Daddy didn't leave his side.

I was wheeled back from recovery to the NICU to see Pierce.  I got to touch his little legs and his little arms...I rubbed his chubby little cheek.  I could see that his chest was pumping so very hard, trying to breathe.

I didn't get to hold my son the day he was born.  Or the next, or the next.

I don't remember when I got to kiss his cheek.  I am sure it's in a blog post.  I haven't had the courage to go back and read through them.  One day, I will. 

It wasn't until Pierce's 7th day on this earth that we got to hold him.  His one week birthday present was to come off of the ventilator.  We got to hold this tiny creature, wrapped in his blanket, tubes and IV lines coming off of him.  We got that first family picture.
best picture of our lives
Pierce stayed in the NICU for a total of 20 days.  
He came home the day after his due date
September 4, 2012
from that
to this....
October 22, 2012 10 weeks old
I may be mourning the story book delivery and all of our delayed firsts
But I remind myself that, while delayed, we brought him home healthy
We had our first night home
We have taken our first family photos
Pierce got his first professional pictures made

Our firsts were delayed, but we had them

We have our son.
We have a bond and a strength as a family that not everyone has.

Pierce has his own story, no one shares his story.
I have to remember these things.
I remember that my son is a FIGHTER, and STRONG.  

Maybe one day I'll stop mourning the story book delivery
Until then, I look down as my sleeping son in my arms, being nourished by my body, growing, thriving, and remember how far he's come and how blessed, how very blessed we are.

Monday, October 29, 2012

How I met your father

I've never joined the Show and Tell link up because I usually don't have the pictures to go along with the link up!  This time I do!!



1. Tell us about how and when you met your love and what attracted you most to him.
I saw J the first time when I walked in to work the day before my first day (confusing, I know, but I had to get a work badge so I could get in the building).  I saw him and thought, "wow, they finally hired a damn good looking guy!" (side note, we work in law enforcement and it's a consolidated center of 911 and police/fire/ambulance dispatch, and I had worked for 911 for 5 years prior to starting my job as dispatch and knew all too well that there was NO good eye candy lol)
Physically what attracted me to him were his dark eyes, dark hair, nice boo-tay, and his build.  He has a fabulous build.  Also, I've never been a tattoo person, at all, but I really liked his tattoos...and still do.  If I were on my laptop and not being lazy in bed on the netbook I'd put pics up lol.  But,  J has 2 large tattoos one on each bicep, his right arm has HONOR running vertically the length of his tricep, and a beautiful cross with angel wings & Psalm 23 on his left forearm.  He has more, but they're covered, so of course I didn't see those for a bit ;) lol
But, we have a chemistry   Something undeniable.  The first time we talked, we clicked.  We didn't shut up for the entire 8 hour shift.  Same thing the next day, and the next, and the next.  Then he text me, and that was all she wrote. We were eventually put on different shifts when I was finished with my training, I would stay awake literally all day texting him (I worked 3rd shift), and he would stay up all night texting me (he worked 2nd).  We would take overtime on each other's shifts just to work together and see each other.  
I don't really think either of us can pinpoint exactly what it is that causes the chemistry, other than a mutual respect for each other.  Past that, I think it's all in God's hands because our relationship is just that natural.

2. Show us the very first {or one of the first} pictures you guys ever took together. {Feel free to show us more than one}
our first picture together, I'm not a fan of it lol  Maybe it's the makeup? It's bad lol
We had been together about 3 weeks, living together 2.5 weeks, true story

3. Tell us some of your favorite memories that you two had together.
We've been through it all, the highest highs and lowest lows, but no matter what we always laugh together.  There hasn't been a day go by that we don't make the other smile.  
We don't have the best birth story for our son, since he was rushed to the NICU less than 5 minutes after he was born, but I have to say my favorite memory ever is seeing my husband standing by our son's NICU bedside.  Most people think my husband is this tough, serious, no nonsense man with a heart of steel.  To see him with our very sick son, praying over him when my husband isn't one to let people see him pray, talking to him, crying over him, smiling at him, I will never forget those moments.  
My favorite memory of the two of us....the day we were allowed to hold our son, he was 7 days old and had finally come off of his ventilator.  He was still so so sick, and on a CPAP, but we still got to hold him.  I cried, J just smiled at me and wiped away my tears.  Then I finally let J hold Pierce, I cried more.  Seeing him with our son, holding our son for the first time, there are no words.  J is truly my hero, I couldn't have made it through 20 days in the NICU with out my rock.
4. Tell us your favorite qualities about this man, what makes him "the one."
J is strong, mentally and physically.  He pushes himself to the limit, he's not happy if he only goes part way, he has to have it all or nothing.  He loves with his whole heart.  He doesnt back down.  He has strong morals and convictions.  He supports me, no matter what.  He wants me happy, no matter what it takes, he would go to the ends of the earth for me.  
And now that we have Pierce...I can't even begin to tell you what makes him "the one".  I knew J would be a great father, but I couldn't fathom just how great of a father he is.  He makes Pierce smile and coo when even I can't.  He can get Pierce quieted and happy when even I can't.  As much as J loves and adores me, he loves and adores his son 100 times more...just the way it should be
5. Tell us what your "date nights" typically look like.
We're laid back, easy going.  Date night consists of dinner and a walk around somewhere.  Last night was Red Robin (I finally earned my free entree with their rewards), with Pierce sleeping in his car seat on top of the table (because of where we had to sit, instead of waiting for a different table), then walking around the open air mall and then back home.  J works full time and goes to school full time, our date nights are very low key and very much all about us and quality family time together.  Which works for me, I'm happy with dinner and great conversation.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Family photos!

We haven't been able to have most of the "normal" family experiences, simply because of the way Pierce made his way into this world and how long we had to wait for him to come home.  We're just now getting comfortable putting him into certain situations.  So, yesterday he got his first professional photos (that we bought...hospital did some, but we didn't particularly like them.  At least not well enough to spend money on them), we got our first professional photos as a family, and J and I got photos as a couple.  We had a few maternity photos made, but I hated them.  Hated them so badly that I still haven't been to Olan Mills to pick them up.  LOL  They may just stay there forever.

So...here they are:









Thursday, October 25, 2012

10 Weeks!

I'm beside myself, I can't believe Pierce is already 10 weeks old!  Wow.

Dr's appointment Friday (Oct 19), he is doing really well.  Got two of 4 required vaccines spend the weekend cranky and extra sleepy.  Luckily, his doctor only gives 2 vax at a time and I think that kept him from getting a fever.  So, we go back again next Friday and have another sleepy cranky weekend...the same weekend he has family coming in to see him get baptized!


Born: 7lb 3oz 25-50th percentile
19" 25th percentile
Left hospital (20 days): 6lb 14oz 10-25th percentile
First Dr appt (3 weeks): 7lb 1oz 25-50th percentile
Second Dr appt (5wks 2 days): 8lb 4oz 5th percentile
Home scale (family's house: 7wks 4days): 10lb 25-50th percentile (not so tiny!)
Third Dr appt (9wks 3 days): 11lb 12 oz 37th percentile
23.5" 77th percentile

Pierce is still grinning up a storm, he's started laughing some too.
  • He's found his thumb...much to my dismay, I didn't want a thumb sucker I figured you can take a paci away but that thumb stays lol.  Oh well, he's figured out how to comfort himself with it, so I'm happy!  
  • Still in size 1s, but when we buy diapers today, I'm going to get a case of size 2s.  He's on the bottom end of 2s, so why not just be economical and get 2s?  
  • Still wearing newborn pants lol.  He's just so skinny through his waist!  They're too short, but 0-3 is too long, and too big all over lol!  But, he's starting to chunk up...just yesterday I was noticing that he's getting chunky arms and over night he's gaining weight!
  • He's grabbing more, and using his hands more.  He held a ring today for quite a while.  Tried to figure it out, but just couldn't...getting there
  • He is eating, a ton.  We'll make 5oz bottles and he'll be screaming in an hour for more, or he'll be happy with it...so we've started making 6oz bottles, often he eats it all.  Piggie lol.  Which, brings me back to a supply issue.  I was keeping up with him on 4 and 5oz feedings.  Pass the Fenugreek!
  • We think he might be starting the teething process.  He gets really fussy...and has started to drool when he's asleep.  I mean puddles of it.  He'll fall asleep after nursing, using me as a pillow, and I'll usually let him if I don't have any time constraints, and we'll move him with the biggest puddle of drool.  It's pretty funny now, ask me again in 3 years if I think it's so funny then. LOL
  • He's been sitting in his bumbo a few minutes a day.  His head control isn't good enough yet to sit longer, but we're working on that.  He lasts for about 5 minutes before his neck just can't hold his big 80thpercentile head lol.
I go back to work all too soon, in less than 2 weeks.  I could cry.  I have cried.  We could make it on just J's check, but any small hiccup would sink us.  We're just not willing to do that.  

look at the chunk he's getting!!

Thank you Alabama weather, he went from wearing this one day...

To this the very next day

He tries so hard to get to that thumb

then finds it!!


This may be the last weekly post, I think we can go to monthly now lol.