Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Evening Update

So, we're attempting to get back to some semblance of normalcy, while at the same time walking down memory lane.  Rebecca came home yesterday and is recovering well.  She's tired, but excited to be home and to not be nearly as beat up as the C Section 3 years ago.  Pumping every 3 hours is not helping catching up on sleep,

We've also started the twice daily trips to the NICU, which is thankfully relatively close.  William is doing really well.  They've doubled his feeding amount and taken him off of the oxygen.  We've seen lots of the same faces from the NICU staff that were there the last time and its been a little surreal going through this again.  There isn't as much anxiety as the first time and I certainly don't want to make light of the fact that William is in an Intensive Care Unit, but he's in much better shape than Thomas was when he was there and to this point has been relatively trouble free for the NICU staff.  He is a fighter though, if you mess with him, he'll start kicking and flailing his arms.  He seems to already have some strong opinions on what is ok and what isn't.  For instance, IV?  Not cool, I'm just going to pull that out.  So now it is in his foot rather than his arm and subsequently a shield has been placed over thatto prevent further tampering.  Also not that cool, the feeding tube stuck in his mouth.  He's tolerating it, but he has managed to remove it a few times.  But again, relatively speaking, he's an easy patient, which is always good, as there are other patients that need a little more attention. 

That was the thing that really struck me and took me back when we first started visiting the NICU again.  You can see it right away in certain parents' faces, its the helplessness and complete lack of comfort that they are experiencing.  The NICU is a scary place if you haven't been there before.  The machines that they hook your child up to are huge, they beep incessantly and the whole set up is about taking care of the babies. The parents are just bystanders and the NICU staff doesn't have time or the right to tell them that things are going to be ok, because unfortunately, sometimes they aren't.  Every time I see that look though, I want to tell them about Thomas and let them know that it can be alright.  Not really allowed to do that though.  I'm certainly not an outgoing person in that manner and its also a very personal and private ordeal that you can't intrude on without being invited in.  Anyway, that's what I don't like about the NICU.

Tonight I visited William for a good amount of time whole Rebecca rested.  Took his temperature and changed his diaper.  He weighs 3 lbs, 12 ounces, which always happens, they lose a little bit.  Then I did kangaroo care with him, which if you will recall from 3 years ago is the process of teaching him how to box like an Australian.  I might have gotten that wrong, it has been a while.  You do hold the child against your skin to allow him to stay warm with your body heat and connect with you.  He woke up and stared at me for a while and then settled in and slept on my chest for about an hour.  When I put him back in the plastic box, he let me know he was not happy about it.  I'll be curious who gets their way between William and Thomas.  I think we're in for some battles.

I know there are people that are more interested in pics than my ramblings, so I'll post some more in the morning.

Thomas meets William


Monday, July 30, 2012

Quick Update - Going Home

Sorry I haven't updated, or returned phone calls.  It appears that the first thing that shuts down when I get really tired is my ability/willingness to talk on the phone. Anyway, I got some sleep finally last night, as did Rebecca, and the doctor told her that she is good to go home.  Thomas is really excited about seeing mommy, so we're all going to go up there and Thomas might get to meet William.  We both visited William several times yesterday.  I will post more about returning to the NICU later on, but here are some pics. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

He Camed Out!

Its 10 am.  Rebecca and I have both had a luxurious 2 hours of sleep, and the parade of nations has come through the room.  Breakfast for Rebecca, various nurses, lactating specialist.  We're also taking calls and emails from those of you that aren't slacking this Sunday morning.  Wake up!  Both my parents and Rebecca's found out second hand from someone else who had read email or the blog, so the joy of William's arrival hass overshadowed being out of the loop.

After I posted the blog this morning, we went up to the NICU to see William and "learn" about the NICU.  Very little has changed, other than nurses sadly.  Thomas' primary from 3 years ago is at the McKinney Baylor now.  Other than that, everything is the same, the layout, the smells, the sounds. 

He looked great, as the picture below shows.  He's on a C pap to help keep his lungs inflated, but he's basically breathing on his own.  He looks huge compared to many of the babies in there and what Thomas looked like.  I do remember being incredulous (and possibly slightly jealous) at how big some of the other preemies were compared to Thomas.  The Cpap looks so small on William, I decided to go back and look at Thomas when he first got his Cpap.  The link to some of the pics is here.  http://thomaselliot.blogspot.com/2009/02/article-from-hollywood-insider.html

William will be in the NICU for probably about 3 to 4 weeks.  They need to make sure he's growing, breathing and eating; the big 3. 

Finally, we called Thomas and Mimi showed Thomas a picture of William while Rebecca told him was a big brother.  Thomas' exact quote was "Baby William! He camed out!"

Um...well...that didn't go as planned

 At 2:54am William Michael Elliot was born weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces.
So, yeah, about that last post.  Scratch all that.  Rebecca started having contractions around 10pm.  The nurses did a number of tricks to try and stem the tide (including sock puppets, magic and juggling), but the contractions got worse and closer together.  Rebecca was in extreme pain to the point where they talked her into taking some pain medication, which hates doing.  The on call resident came in and determined that we weren't going to put off this particular pregnancy any longer.  So, we were quickly wheeled down to labor and delivery and they tried to find a room while they found the doctor and an operating room.  We got in there and Rebecca was really hurting, so they sent me to get some scrubs.  We then realized that the baby wasn't going wait for the OR and everyone started piling into our room. 
It got very crowded very quick.  We also realized that there would be no need for the anaesthesiologist, or a C section, or my witty humor (so I had to issue all of my jokes in my head.  I was hilarious).  The baby was coming so quick that Rebecca had a natural child birth.  And we didn't have to go dumb old Lamaze classes (Pay attention men, its a scam, all I had to do was stand next to Rebecca and hold a fan near her face).  The whole thing took about 30 minutes.  The NICU staff was right there and after weighing him and doing some kodak moments, they whisked William away. 

Now we're waiting to go back up to our closet/room.  The pain meds that Rebecca took earlier are starting to kick in.  She's pretty wiped out, but ok.  Its now 4am, so it doesn't look like I'll be getting any sleep, because the olympics kick up again in 2 hours and I'm not going miss that.  Too bad.  This convertable chair is like sleeping on a cloud.

I think Rebecca will be here for a couple more days.  Not sure about William.  We'll be visiting the NICU in the morning at some point. 
That's all for now I suppose. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

From the basement to the penthouse?

They took Rebecca off of the magnesium at 2 and everything went really well.  Rebecca stopped having contractions.  She got to eat a couple saltines and then that mystic slice of pizza she'd been craving, so things are looking up.  Turns out that the early water breaking and contractions is most likely just dumb luck, could've happened to anybody and doesn't have anything to do with Rebecca's pre-existing conditions.  Still sucks, but I suppose we can take comfort in normalcy and random chance. 

Now we just wait and see how long Rebecca can hold out.  That will probably effect if/how long William might get to visit the NICU. 

So Rebecca got upgraded to the anti-pardum floor on the 7th floor of the hospital.  Much like New York apartments, there is always a tradeoff.  Where as in the first room, we had no windows and were on the first floor, it had lots of space.  They even rolled in a cabinet that I could use to do some work.  This room however, is a wee bit smaller, an efficiency if you will.  It has a large window, which affords a majestic view of another building, but there is just room on one wall for Rebecca's bed and a sink.  The chairs(that I will be trying to sneak out of here to upgrade my house with) only fit on the opposite wall underneath the tv, which does not afford a view of said tv.  The only thing missing is a hot plate.  There is a larger room on this floor, that we were able to get the last time around when were a bit more of a major issue.  We've been added to the waiting list for it, but its doubtful that we'll get that.

In some ways, this is a good thing because our situation isn't a big deal in the greater scheme of things.  I think the threshold for panic and all hand on deck is 29 weeks.  Since Rebecca is sitting at 32, the consensus is that everything should be ok. 

The toughest thing so far this time around is not spending time with Thomas.  Rebecca has to be especially frustrated by this.  We've brought him up to the hospital both days for short visits, but Thomas doesn't like mommy not getting up and is just too inquisitive and busy to keep him up here long.  Fortunately Mimi is here to take care of him, but I don't like the extended amount of time that we're both away from him.  Hopefully things will settle down and we'll both get to hang witth Thomas more. 

Overall Rebecca feels much better than even this morning.   That's it for now.  I'm fairly tired and not feeling remotely clever. 

Waking up, again and again and again...

Long night.  Tough to get into a rhythm when someone walks into your room every hour.  I don't think Rebecca slept well either.  Ha.  The magnesium made Rebecca sick in the middle if the night.  We're still in a wait mode.  Contractions are still there, but further apart.  So we're going to stay on the magnesium til 2:00 and then see what happens.  She'll either get to move out of labor and delivery and into the anti-pardum wing with the other expectant mothers, or she'll have the baby.  On the bright side, there are lots of Olympics on tv.

Friday, July 27, 2012

8PM. I'm where all the cool people hang out

We're semi-winding down our day here at Labor and Delivery in the Baylor Hospital.  Rebecca has already gone stir crazy not being able to get out of her bed, so I think the next 2 weeks look really promising for her temprement.  Complaint #1 from the peanut gallery that can get up and do what he wants, eat what he wants (Rebecca's on a liquid diet), exercise, go outside and feel the sun, etc.  In the 3 and a half years since we were last here, the Baylor IT staff has blocked Slingbox, so we're at the mercy of the channels provided by the hospital. 

Speaking of liquid diets, she's craving pizza quite badly.  They have her on magnesium to slow the contractions, which were at 6 minutes, but are now around 10-12.  The magnesium also makes her a little loopy and she has hot and cold flashes, so I'm enjoying moving the thermostat 10 degrees every half hour or so. 

Rebecca's mom drove over from Shreveport which gave me the opportunity to go home, pick up a few things and bring Thomas back up to the hospital.  You'd think they'd do a slightly better job of child-proofing a room in the labor and delivery wing, but Thomas found lots to do.  Mimi has taken Thomas home so that Rebecca could relax a little.  She's dozing right now, so hopefully she'll get some rest, until the next nurse walks in, which is about every 30 minutes. 

True or False
1.  This was the only way I could think to relaunch this blog
2.  I'm not ready for the triathlon and this seemed a better plan than admitting it.
3.  This isn't how all pregnancies work?
4.  We like being the center of attention.
5.  I wanted to spend more time indoors.
6.  Rebecca is simply a lazy person by nature.  Two weeks of bed rest?  Yes please!
7.  The hospital chair is actually really good for your back. 
8.  A slightly sedated wife that slips in and out of consciousness and sometimes babbles is the best kind of wife. 

Good news, all of the sounds of the monitoring machines sould exactly the same as they did the last time...

Here We Go Again

Sorry for the mass email, but I haven't even had time to decide on creating a new blog or just continuing the old one. So let me just get right to it. It apppears that another cool thing that I wanted to do is being thwarted by my offspring. Three and a half years ago I was dressed to the nines in red and blue, ready to go support Ole Miss at the Cotton Bowl. I still have those tickets and a charming little boy to boot. In one week I'm supposed to travel to Shreveport to do a triathlon. Well this morning at 5am, Rebecca's water broke. She is at 32 weeks, so were not supposed to be here yet. The picture attached suggests otherwise. We re back at Baylor Hospital again, starting the process of prolonging this pregnancy as long ass possible. According to the doctor, the ideal situation will be to keep the baby from showing up until Rebecca reaches 34 weeks. One way or another, we'll be here for the duration. There is a suspicion of mild contractions, so we'll see. They are going to start steroids, antibiotics and potentially magnesium to slow things down. We had an sonogram Monday and everything was good, so this is completely out of left field. Rebecca is doing ok, all things considered.

I'll probably start posting again to the blog. thomas.elliot@blogspot.com. I'll let you know what's going on.

Signing off for now,
Michael Elliot

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I growed up

So my wife’s uncle is visiting this week and much like some other folks, has gotten on to me about writing again.  I feel bad because there is so much that I’d like to write about.  I enjoy writing, but life has a way of stealing the time I’d otherwise set aside for this blog.  It has also stolen the time I would otherwise set aside for watching cartoons, playing video games, or mindlessly chewing bubblegum.  Oh well.  I will once again try though, to set aside and hour a week and see where that goes (so, I want to thank you for reading what will likely be my last blog entry…). 

As you may or may not know, Rebecca is having another boy, who she has named William Michael, despite all of my protests and demands that we go with Gunther.  Anyway, the unnamed child is showing up in September and we need to use the crib that Thomas currently occupies.  So Rebecca’s dad had graciously and expertly built Thomas his first big boy bed.  I picked said bed on Thursday and brought it back.  Rebecca and Thomas stayed in Shreveport and returned today (with Uncle Bill of course).  So I moved the crib to its new home and Thomas’ bed in his room.  We’ve been discussing it with him for weeks and the excitement was certainly building (along with a fair amount of trepidation on our part.  Thomas is not what you would call a sedentary individual.)  So everyone rolled in this evening and the big unveiling occurred.  Thomas immediately jumped on the bed and almost as quickly asked to see his old bed.  This gave us pause and concern for the first night. 

Then the moment that only a parent would be bothered by arrived.  As Rebecca was getting Thomas unpacked and prepped for bed, he sat in his new bed and said to her, “I growed up.”  Pretty much heartbreaking.  Really not sure how they keep tricking people into having kids. 

Day 2.  Thomas slept through the night quite well, but woke up at 5:30 and mommy went in to get him resettled.  After some patient rocking, she told him he had to go back to bed.  He begrudgingly climbed in the bed, but was not happy.  She shut the door, waited and heard the pitter patter of little footsteps.  She opened the door back up and caught Thomas at his book case holding a book.  He was “deer in the headlights”, but quickly recovered his poise and walked over to the rocking chair in his room and pushed it back and forth as he began singing rock-a-by-baby.  (Some day, historians will look back on this blog to trace the first indications of his evil genius) So he was herded back into the bed and fell asleep finally.  When he woke up this morning he immediately asked to sleep in his bed again.  So we’re off to a good start.