Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yarn Along 2016 {two}

Over the weekend I cast on another Ericka scarf. I knit two last year, and I love them (check them out here and here). I probably should not have cast on a new project, as I am already knitting a shawl for myself and a baby blanket for Mary Rose (you can read the details of Mary Rose's birth here if you like that sort of thing). The truth is that I have not been able to sit long enough with my hands-free to make it through one or two rows at a time of either of those projects. I want to knit, but I need a smaller, simpler project to focus on right now, and I also had this beautiful new yarn from Willow Tree Yarn that I was anxious to knit with, so I finally settled on knitting another Ericka scarf. 

After reading about it from several women that I trust, I started reading Hold On to Your Kids. I thought I was done reading parenting books, but having a baby reminded me that I am not too old to up my parenting game. I am enjoying it so far. The ideas that it presents about attachment and peer orientation are fascinating. My sister-in-law and a couple of friends are reading the book, too. I know that we will have a great discussion about it soon. 

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I am not pregnant anymore! {7QT}

1. After almost two weeks on modified bed rest and then full bed rest at home, I delivered Mary Rose Elizabeth at 34 weeks and six days on October 11th by c-section at 8:09 in the morning. She weighed 6 pounds and 7.5 ounces. It was my fourth c-section, and it was by far my hardest to get through. My blood pressure kept fluctuating, which made me feel nauseated, and I ended up vomiting four times.

October 11, 2016, 5:15 am
Mary Rose Elizabeth arrived at 8:09 am

She weighed 6 lbs 7.5 oz and was 19" long

2. After Mary Rose was born, she had trouble breathing, so she had to go to the NICU. She was my first baby to go to the NICU, and it was very hard for me emotionally. Physically, I was out of bed within 9 hours after surgery and visiting Mary Rose in the NICU. According to the nurse grapevine, I was a show-off, insisting on walking to the NICU instead of being pushed in a wheelchair.

3. For two days Mary Rose was on a CPAP machine. On October 13th she came off of the CPAP machine, and she was put on forced air to help her breathing. Mary Rose was off of all air support on October 15th.

4. On October 14th, I was able to start nursing her. It did not go well at first, so I was encouraged to use shields to help her latch. I am a nurse on demand mama, but the NICU put us on a nurse every three-hour schedule because they wanted to monitor Mary Rose's blood glucose levels. I was told that once she passed twelve blood sugar checks in a row, they would start the discharge process. Well, most of the three-hour feedings would get pushed to three and a half or four-hour spacing because the nurse was not available right away to check Mary Rose's blood sugar. There were many times that Mary Rose and I sat together, both of us frustrated, watching the clock tick away the minutes. Despite the delayed feedings, Mary Rose did eventually pass twelve blood glucose checks in a row. About those shields I mentioned, they did help her to latch on correctly, but my certified lactation consultant mother-in-law made sure I knew it would be difficult to break Mary Rose of her need for the shields. It was difficult to get her to latch on without the shields, but every day I continued to try to nurse her without them. I am happy to say that two days before Mary Rose reached four weeks old, we were finally done with the shields!

5. Also on October 14th I was discharged from the hospital late in the afternoon. I didn't go home. I spent two nights in one of the Ronald McDonald rooms at the hospital. I am very thankful for the Ronald rooms. It was important to me to stay close to Mary Rose and be available for every feeding. Then our last night in the hospital Mary Rose and I spent the night together in what the hospital called a transition room.

6. We were finally home by 7:30 pm on October 17th. It took me advocating for myself with the NICU doctor to let us go home that Monday. She wanted Mary Rose to stay for another 48 hours because Mary Rose had one low blood sugar reading after passing the required twelve. I insisted it was because the nurses were not letting me feed her on demand. I explained to the doctor how the feedings were getting pushed well past the three-hour mark. I looked her in the eye and said, "Mary Rose has passed every hurdle you have asked her to pass. I have done everything you have asked me to do. I put my trust in you, and now you need to trust me. We need to be home so that we both can continue to heal and bond." I watched the look on her face change, and then she said she agreed with me. Then nine extra hours and several tests more, we were on the road home. I am very thankful for the all of the doctors and nurses that work in the NICU. It was apparent to me that they care for their patients a lot. Despite my gratitude, I can't help but look back on our time in the NICU as a sort of short-term prison sentence.

Waiting in the transition room.

Finally home!

7. Mary Rose is six weeks old now, and she weighs 7 pounds and 12 ounces. She is still little, but I think she is starting to look like a little butterball. Speaking of turkey, here is a picture of her in her Thanksgiving dress. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your family had an excellent Thanksgiving!

Joining the 7 Quick Takes Crew over at Kelly's.
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