Monday, May 31, 2010

We enjoyed a visit from "Aunt Brookie" today. Debbie is on her way over with some dinner for us. She made salmon of our favorites! We will need to keep Levi in for several weeks and are not really passing him around to be held much yet, but it is so nice to have people here to visit.

I had a good nap when we got back from the doctor's office. Now Wes is resting. We must have looked tired this morning b/c when we left, the receptionist told us she hoped we both could get naps today. Little Levi has had a good day and has been sleeping well between his feedings, which make me think I'll be up with him again a lot tonight.

I am pretty sore today. One of the first things I did when I got home Sat. was pick Adam up. I know...duh!? I should have known better. I didn't even think about it, just reached for him and remembered I shouldn't be picking him up as soon as I got him on my hip. My head cold feels a little better. Being congested just makes me feel even more tired so I'll be glad when it clears up.

Dr. Appt.

We had a good report at the doctor's office. Levi's bilirubin was the same, which actually is good b/c there is a plateau before it drops down. We have to go back tomorrow to have it checked again. Poor little Levi is going to run out of places to be stuck! They really have to torture him and squeeze quite a bit out from the heel prick to get enough for the test.

The other good news is that he gained 2 oz. since yesterday morning! That is good news for me, too b/c now I can stop supplementing his feedings! He has been nursing so much better, and I couldn't be happier about it!

I am missing my Adam so much but am grateful for the time to nap today. He is in Ohio with his Grams & Grandpa for a family get-together. Connie said he had been entertaining them on the road trip with his singing and had been shouting "touchdown" while riding in the car seat. He and Daddy played football yesterday, so he must have been reminiscing about it!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

What a wonderful feeling to be home! We got in around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Connie, Randy & Adam were waiting outside for us when we pulled up. Brooke decorated with signs, balloons & sidewalk chalk, and Meredith stopped by (bearing many gifts) soon after we arrived. Adam adores his baby brother. He was crawling into the car to see him before we could even get Levi out! He just kept smiling, kissing him, and putting his cheek next to his baby brother's. So sweet. When Adam first saw Levi this morning, he was the same way.

We had a doctor's appt. this morning to get Levi's bilirubin checked. It was a little higher (maybe 12 or 13- can't remember) but not high enough to do anything about. The whites of his eyes are yellow, but you can't see any signs of jaundice on his skin. We have to go back in the morning for another heel prick to check it out. If it gets too high, we'll have to bring a light home to put on him.

The doctor said Levi's heart sounds good & he doesn't even have a murmur. We heard the same thing in the hospital yesterday before we left, but it was good to hear that again. About 50% of kids with Downs have heart problems, and we am very concerned about that possibility.

Levi's body temp in the hospital was low several times & we'd just have to bundle him up or hold him skin to skin to raise it. I've been checking since we've been home every so often & it was good until just a few hours ago. It was even lower than when we were in the hospital. We have been on the phone with a nurse from the pediatrician's office and just now got it back up to 97.8, which is great. This is something that should just improve itself over time as he gains weight & is able to regulate his own body temperature. I am so thankful for a doctor's office with on-call nurses to answer questions any time of day and to have office hours on weekends and holidays. Tomorrow is Memorial Day & we have an appt and went in today, on a Sunday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 3- Going home today!

I started to get really discouraged last night when Levi had a few disappointing nursing sessions. I would then pump, but during that time he would cry b/c he was hungry (and he has rarely cried at all since his birth). I just felt so bad for him. At his 4am feeding, I asked the nurse for some suggestions, and Levi latched on and ate for 10 min. with no problem. He even burped afterward. I still had to pump & feed him that through the syringe, but he slept peacefully right beside me while waiting. I was so pleased.

I haven't really slept since then. Either a cold or allergies are making it hard to breathe. A shower helped a lot. A cold makes me feel so tired, so this is really not what I need at this time, but I will manage.

We are supposed to go home today, but don't really have an idea of when. I miss Adam so much but am afraid I am going to break down when I see him. I'm getting teared up just thinking about it. I hope I have the energy to have some normal playtime with him today and to give him my full attention for awhile.

Hoping today that my brain does less thinking and more doing. My goal is to be in the moment and enjoy each step of this new journey as it comes. I keep looking at Levi and seeing him as a thirty year old man that needs my help getting ready in the mornings rather than the beautiful baby he is. I keep wondering if he is going to have heart problems or how I can help him develop good speech or if he'll get sick a lot. Gotta start looking at the here and now. So here's to a new day...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 2

Levi had his hospital baby pictures taken today. You can view them at You can log in by using our customer number: 10381299111087.For the password, you put in the customer number again. They turned out really cute. His eyes look red b/c he had to have some ointment in them. His eyes had been getting goopy so they ran a culture but we won't hear back for a couple days. Hopefully it isn't an infection. Adam's tear duct was blocked when he was a baby, and it cleared up quickly thru massage and drops.

Levi is really working to nurse, and we've made progress today. For these first few weeks, I have to make sure my milk supply is up, so I let him nurse, then pump, then give him whatever I pump thru a syringe. He is likely to be weak when it comes to nursing, but nursing is supposed to be really helpful for the development of his mouth muscles. I hope and pray that we will be successful, and that he will be able to nurse well. I will do all I can to make it work.

This morning he was circumcised, had his blood drawn for his chromosome test, and was seen by the pediatrician all about the same time. We kept waiting and waiting and it got so far past his feeding time that I was in tears. The lactation nurse stopped by to visit, asked what was wrong, and went running to get him for us.

I was really weepy most of the day. Was thankful to get a visit from the Coopers tonight. Last night the Fraleighs came to visit for awhile. I am ready to get home, get a game plan going, and start this adventure with our newest addition. I know he will be a lot of fun and will make our lives full. The unknown is scary, and I just pray that he will have minimal health issues. Heart problems and susceptibility to infection are very common with his condition.

I have worked so hard to learn and know what to give Adam each step of the way in his development. I was just starting to feel like I am figuring things out, and he is becoming such a smart, obedient, and polite little boy. I am overwhelmed with the thought of starting all over trying to figure out how to work with Levi. I am already tired just thinking about all the books, websites, and other resources I know I will be delving into soon. There is so much to learn.

Speaking of tired, I've got to rest! Time is flying by! Feeding time will be here soon!!

Day 1

When the pediatrician came to see us Thursday (around 7:30am), he seemed so nervous. Levi has some symptoms of having Down's Syndrome, but there is no way to know for sure without a blood test to check his chromosomes. He has only one crease going horizontally across the palm of his hand, where most people have two. (I know, you had to pause and look at your palm, we did, too :) He also has extra skin around the back of his neck. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I do see a thickness to the back of his neck that is noticeably different. He also just isn't really strong.

Throughout the day, I just kept looking at Levi and wondering. I looked online a little at physical characteristics and for a while would think he didn't have enough characteristics. I'd look at him and think he looked just like Adam. I'd look at him later and think, he must have Downs. As the day went on, I thought more and more that the doctor is probably right. After Levi was born, Wes & I kept wondering if something was wrong from little things we'd noticed.

Wes' parents have been staying at our house with Adam. His mom stayed with us the whole week before Levi came, knowing that it could be anytime. She was able to be there with us for the birth, too. They brought Adam up to meet his baby brother yesterday. Adam really seemed to understand who he was and would just smile and pat him on his tummy really gently. It was so sweet, and I'm glad he did so well. He will be a great big brother.

When the doctor stopped back by last night after seeing Levi again, he said that they couldn't get enough blood to do the test (which we already know from the nurses) and that they'd try again today. Before leaving, he said, "In my heart of hearts, I think we need to continue with the testing." I guess that was his way of saying that he is pretty sure that the test will come back positive.

the delivery

So...I started having regular contractions about 6pm Wed night that were noticeably stronger than any others I'd had. I still kept wondering if they'd slow down like all the other times, but they were about 10 min apart and stayed strong. We arrived at the hospital around 8:30pm. I got in my room, answered the usual health questions while the nurse put my info in the computer and she said, "I guess I'll just check you while I'm here." She was so shocked and said something about how she wanted to cuss but knew it wasn't professional to do so. Then she told us, "You're NINE cm."

All the sudden the mood changed. Wes said she literally RAN out of the room. Going through the paperwork was hilarious b/c the nurse couldn't talk fast enough. Someone else was getting the delivery table ready, and there was a buzz of activity. I considered not having an epidural and was taking the contractions well. The nurses were amazed, but I didn't know what to think. I asked what they thought about an epidural and they just laughed and said, "Most people get them at 4 cm." I talked to Wes' mom (who was in the room with us) and decided it would be a better experience if I did get the epidural. I was getting to the point where each contraction was so strong that it was all I could take. It would pass, but I didn't think I'd handle it well once there was little or no time between contractions. Just a few more contractions after the epidural, it was time to start pushing. I pushed for about an hour. The strange thing was that my contractions didn't get closer than 5 minutes apart. Not what I expected. It was so calm and quiet and peaceful...not at all what I expected.

Levi was born at 1:22am. 6 lbs 13oz and 19 in long. He seemed quiet and calm to me. Beautiful, beautiful baby boy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The doctor stripped my membrane yesterday afternoon, which usually starts labor within 12-24 hours. I was almost 5 cm. They let me come home b/c the procedure doesn't come with a guarantee. We stayed close to the hospital for awhile b/c I was having contractions 10 min. apart soon after we left, but they fizzled out. They just kept coming and going all through the night. I'd have an hour of contractions 10 min. apart then nothing for 30 minutes, but they weren't real strong...just strong enough to keep me from getting any sleep! This morning they were stronger and got regular a few times but just not enough to go to the hospital. Now our 24 hour window is hear, and I've only had about 3 contractions in the last hour and a half. I guess Levi is going to keep us guessing. comes another contraction...he must have sensed I was talking about him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I had contractions off and on all night but none were strong enough or regular enough to go into the hospital. Feeling achy and tired today. I am kind of hoping nothing happens until the appt with Dr. O'Nan tomorrow so that I will be right there at the hospital with her. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I have felt really good all day today, just a little uncomfortable tonight, but nothing to complain about.

I am panicking because I just sat down to do thank you cards for the baby shower at Wes' school & can't find the list!!! I sure hope it is around here somewhere!! I have had it right here on the desk!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Well, if I had to make a guess about what the doctor would say today, for some reason I would've guessed I was dilated 4 cm. It still really shocked me when I found out it was true! Before the exam, she jokingly asked if this baby was gonna wait until June 1st. I said. "Everyone is betting against us." After checking me, she said she agreed.

I really respect Dr. O'Nan and the extra-cautious approach she took with Adam. After doing an ultrasound, she said I am a good candidate for a VBAC but that she'd never push a decision on anyone. I never thought I'd want anything but a C-section this time, but Levi is only about 6 lbs. 7 oz. & I am already progressing well, so at this point, I think I would go ahead and have a VBAC if I start having regular contractions or my water breaks.

It is so weird not knowing what those contraction pains are going to feel like, yet knowing that they could come at any time. Of course, I may not go into labor for 2 more weeks. Who knows?

Levi's car seat is in the car & his bag (along with most of my things) are on the dining room table, so I guess we are about as ready as we are going to get. Now we wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I had a good doctor's appt. yesterday. I am 1-2 cm. dilated & starting to thin out. The doctor could actually feel Levi's head during the exam, which surprised me. His heartbeat and measurements are good, and everything is right on schedule. I can hardly believe he'll be here in less than 3 weeks.

Adam & his grandpa enjoyed the play area & a little shopping at the mall while Connie joined me for the doctor's appt. We met back up at the mall, and I got a snack & walked around by myself for awhile before heading out to meet my girlfriends for dinner. Jamie called & said she needed to go to Babies-R-Us & I was excited b/c I wanted to go there, too. I asked if she'd just meet me there before dinner. She greeted me at the door with a gift card for me! What a sweet friend! I got Levi a cute little outfit and stocked up on supplies for his bottles.

Monday, May 10, 2010

This morning at 4:30 am I felt what I think was my first Braxton Hicks contraction. I had contractions when I was in the hospital with Adam but this morning I was wondering how they could've shown up on the monitors b/c they were NOTHING compared to this! I almost woke Wes up but decided instead to write down the time and only wake him up if it was something to be concerned about. I couldn't fall back to sleep b/c I was waiting for the next one, but I never had any more (and am very happy about that!).

I have another doctor's appt. tomorrow. It will be the first of 3 weekly appointments where I will be examined to see if I am progressing towards labor. The following Tuesday is the day the C-section is scheduled. In some ways, I hope nothing happens until the scheduled time, but I also would love to get this behind me and have little Levi in my arms!

I am anxious about all the upcoming changes in our household...especially how Adam will handle things, and how I will handle having a newborn AND a toddler in the house.

Wes prepared two very sweet gifts for me for Mother's Day. I took pictures and will try to get them posted here tomorrow.

Adam & I are going to meet Connie at the play area at Fayette Mall tomorrow. She is coming with me to my doctor's appt. & will keep Adam overnight. Since he will be staying there while I am in the hospital, we thought it would be good for him to stay a few times this month. He is used to staying several times every month, and even though I am not going out of town this month, we want to make it easy on him when it is time to stay for a few days in a row.

Tomorrow night I am going to dinner with a few girlfriends from church. We try to get together every few months, but I wasn't able to go last time. I told them this would probably be the last time I'd be able to enjoy a girls' night out for quite a while! I am looking forward to it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I finally got my movie theater popcorn & Twizzlers last weekend. I've been dreaming about having some for weeks! Wes waited for me in the car while I went in. My mouth was watering as I watched the guy layer the butter over every few inches of popcorn. When he handed me my $8 tub of yumminess, he said, "Enjoy the show." I just laughed, "I'm not here for a movie, just fulfilling a craving."

Insomnia strikes again tonight. In a few weeks, when I am up in the middle of the night, I'll have a sweet baby boy in my arms! I am so ready. I have a doctor's appt. on Tues and am anxious to see if I am progressing any. Two Tuesday appts. after that one, then Levi's arrival the Tues. after that. It will be here in the blink of an eye!

I have a night out with some girlfriends planned for Tues. evening. Looking forward to that. It will probably be quite some time before I have the energy to do something like that again. Connie (my wonderful mother-in-law) is coming with me to my appt. & will take Adam home with her to spend the night, so I even get to sleep in on Wed. morning! That may even be better than the girls' night out!!!

The teacher's at Wes' school had a baby shower for us last Thurs. It was wonderful. I didn't expect them to do anything for us, since this is our second child, but they really went out of their way to welcome little Levi into the world. Someone made iced cookies and decorated them with little cursive "L"s and baby footprints. Soooo cute. We got LOTS of diapers and wipes, some clothes, and the double-jogging stroller I had my heart set on. I am really excited about it! I finally found one that will take his car seat carrier. That way I can use it as soon as I am up and at 'em after the C-section! Yeah! Several people got Adam gifts, too, which is so thoughtful. He got a book about being a big brother, a hand made cloth book about animals, some sidewalk chalk and a bubble maker. All he has to do is press a button and millions of tiny bubbles shoot out. He LOVES it!