His 2 week old picture. This was right after we did kangaroo care today. I was having a hard time getting a good picture of him and he HATES the flash so this was the best I could get. I love that his eyes are open - he is just too cute! :)
This picture was taken a few days ago right after they took him off they nasal cannula. You can see that he still had the IV in this picture because of all the tape on his arm.
Just like last year, Charlie was convinced that we were at the patch so that we could eat the pumpkins. Luckily, he did not throw a huge fit this time when I told him we were just supposed to pick one and take it home with us. He was not very into it though - all the pumpkins were either too dirty or prickly (the stems). Now we can't wait to decorate them. I think we are going to skip carving this year, I don't think he is up for all the mess quite yet.
This is usually what his isolette looks like when we get there. They keep it covered with a blanket most of the day so it is darker and more comfortable for him.
His one week old portrait. He just LOVES being on his belly. Every once in a while he pushes up on his feet and sticks his bum way up in the air. I thought he was going to roll himself over the other day he was pushed up so high. They have put little clear stickers over his knees to protect the skin since he rubs them on the blanket so much.
We are just so proud of our little guy and could not be happier with all the progress he has made in his first week.
Doing kangaroo care tonight. The tube you see draped across my hand is his feeding tube. They hook the syringe up to it and then let the milk flow down into his belly. They usually give him his pacifier at the same time so he can associate the sucking with a full belly.
Thank-you for your continued prayers for Cannon and Charlie. Charlie is feeling much better today. His fever is down and he is taking antibiotics. Today was a much better day!
Cannon has had a great few days. Yesterday as my mom and I were waiting for them to get all the release paperwork done, we ran up to the NICU to visit him and they were just getting ready to take out the intubation tube. His breathing had improved enough that he could go back on the high flow nasal cannula. We got to watch the respiratory therapist take out the tube which was both exciting and hard at the same time. He was trying to cry, but his voice was pretty much gone due to the tube being in his throat for a while. He just scrunched up his face and wiggled around as they took the tape off his face. So hard to see him in pain. She was very quick and he seemed very happy to be back on his tummy all snuggled up when she was done. They started the breastmilk feedings through his gavage tube yesterday. They are giving him 2cc's every 3 hours. He is tolerating the feedings very well. They decided not to increase his feedings today because he is retaining some water. He is getting a diuretic called Lasix to help with that. He got his chest scan yesterday and the medicine did the job - his PDA valve was closed! He also got his IV removed from his belly button and put into his arm. They put the IV all the way up into his arm up to his chest near his heart. So, it is a small surgical procedure but the doctor said he did great especially since he was still on the breathing tube at that time. He is also off of the phototherapy lights for now.
These pictures hopefully put his size into perspective a bit:
I got to hold him for the first time last night. We did Kangaroo Care, which is where you hold him skin to skin. That way my body will keep his temperature up. It is supposed to be very good for the baby and of course I loved it! I got to hold him for about 30 minutes and he was awake for most of it. So cute to see him open up his tiny little eyes and look around. We can continue with the Kangaroo Care once a day.
On another note, please keep Charlie in your prayers. He got a cold over a week ago and was starting to feel better, but now he is sick again and it is much worse. He has had a fever of 102 all day and tonight his breathing is pretty labored. We are going to take him to the doctor in the morning. Also please pray that Eric and I do not get sick. There is just so much going on right now, I just don't think I could handle it.
Here you can see the breathing tube and his eye shades.
I am doing pretty well after surgery. I had a tubal ligation as well so I have some pain from that in addition to the c-section, but it is tolerable. (that's right, we are NEVER doing this again!) Emotionally, I am up and down - I am sure that is normal. I am thrilled to say that I am not feeling that distance from Cannon that I did before he was born. As I laid in the recovery room my eyes just filled with tears as I realized that all those fears had completely disappeared the minute that I heard my sweet baby cry.
I received this beautiful (and Delicious!) fruit arrangement from all my wonderful friends at Archiver's:If you ever thought of sending one of these to somebody, do it! It was great. Thank-you gals, you are all very sweet.
They will be doing the brain scan tomorrow to look for any brain bleeds. They do not expect to find anything since he has not shown any signs of problems in this area. They also will scan his heart to see if the PDA valve has closed on it's own. This valve is supposed to close automatically at birth but sometimes in preemies it doesn't. They can give him medicine that will usually close it.
Everything has been pretty familiar to us so far. I think that has made it a tiny bit easier. This morning he had a pacifier and looked so cute sucking away on it.
After the excitement of the c-section yesterday and the situation was evaluated, all the doctors were very happy with the decision to deliver. Dr. B. said that my placenta looked terrible. It was very thin and calcified. She said he had pretty much gotten all the nutrients out of it that he was going to. After evaluating Cannon, Dr. Merchant (the NICU doctor) also agreed that it was good timing. Even though he is looking great, his head is large and his body is pretty thin showing that he was doing what he was supposed to by feeding his brain and crucial organs, but he would not have been able to do that much longer before his condition would have started to deteriorate.
We took these pictures last night when he was still curled up on his belly. We also took a little video but I am having a hard time loading it because the internet is pretty unpredictable at the hospital. I will try to post in when I get home.
arrived at 12:47pm
a little disclaimer: You have probably already noticed that I pretty much write whatever I want on this blog. I know I have a lot of new visitors that are checking for baby updates and sometimes I feel like I need to edit what I say because I do not want to be too emotional or make anybody uncomfortable. I am just going to be honest because I feel like I need to get some of this out, for me. I don't mind at all that you all are reading it, just know that you are forewarned there is mushy stuff ahead :)
I feel like each day I am slowly falling into a deeper slump. Even though I am an emotional basketcase today I feel okay about it because we should have some answers tomorrow. Either the baby will be here, or there will be a new plan in place. (even though it may just be more waiting!) At least we will be past this big "Wednesday" milestone we have been trying to reach for what seems like eternity. The guilt has set in big time. I don't necessarily blame myself or think I could have done anything different, but I do feel guilty for being so incredibly miserable in this hospital. Even sometimes wishing that they would just do the surgery so that I can get out of here. The only thing I can do for this baby right now is sit in this bed and at times I do not feel like I can do even that for him. I am feeling a little disconnected from him. I remember feeling that way with Charlie as well, but I always thought that was because I was a first time mom with him and had no idea what I should be feeling. I thought I would feel differently this time since I know what that bond between mother and child feels like now. I am sure it has to do with knowing what we are in for - not being able to hold him after he is born, not being able to take him home, not being his primary caretaker. Just trying to protect myself from the pain I guess.
I know that God can change this. He can heal my baby and he can turn this pregnancy right around. Even though it sounds like I have already given up, I have not. I am standing on his word and his plan. I do forget to pray for myself and my own strength. It is so easy to keep the focus on the baby.
Either Eric or I will try our best to keep the blog updated tomorrow. Thanks as always for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.
Today has been a tough one. It is so weird being here. I can be in good spirits, reminding myself to just take it one day at a time and then all of a sudden I feel like I just smack into a brick wall. Eric and Charlie stopped by for a few minutes this morning before Charlie went to spend the day with grandma P and I just fell apart. I tried to hold it back because I know that is probably the last thing that Eric needs to see right now, but I think he just knew that it was a matter of time. It was the same last time I was here with Charlie. I did get to take a shower after that so I am feeling much better now - it is the little things that make a big difference around here! :)
I wanted to say "HI!" and thank-you to all the sweet gals from Archiver's. I have received many sweet e-mails and well wishes from them and it has really made me smile. I also received a very nice visit from our friend/neighbor Jen yesterday - thank-you so much for the care package. I used the lotion last night and you are right, it works great!
The daily ultrasounds are going to continue and if things are still looking good on Wednesday they are going to measure his growth and compare it to his size from 3 weeks ago. If he has shown some good growth, I might be able to go home! Of course I would still have to be on very strict bedrest but I was surprised to hear her say those words this morning! The doctors are always very cautious about what they say because they do not want to give any false hope, so it made me so excited to think that he must really be doing great if they would consider letting me go.
Everything else is going good. My blood pressure and labs are normal and I am on the monitor for 2 hours on and 4 hours off. I have had lots of visitors and uplifting e-mails so my spirits are staying high. My parents brought me some scrapbooking magazines and Eric even brought in the wii last night and we played The Price is Right for a while. I do not deserve to be so spoiled! :)
I had a much better night sleep last night and am feeling like a new person today. My nurse for the day is also awesome - so sweet and she was definitely fighting for me to get a few of the extra privileges today. Eric is going back to work today. I don't think he really wants to but there really isn't much for him to do around here. I did not get to see Charlie yesterday so I miss the little squirt. Eric said he was asking a lot of questions about me and the hospital last night so he is going to be sure he gets to come by and see me today. I wonder what he must be thinking about all this?
I know I just can't say it enough - your thoughts and prayers are working miracles. Thank-you.
On one of my monitoring breaks today I took some time to take some pictures of my surroundings. This room is almost identicle to the room I had with Charlie. I am loving the wall paper border and eighties curtains. :)
The beautiful flowers that I have received. The colorful ones on the left are from my great friends Heidi and Holly. The bright orange color you see are fall leaves mixed in with the flowers. Very cute. The azalea plant is from Rodger and Anita. Thank-you guys - they are brightening up the room today since it has been a very dreary day, it even snowed this afternoon, crazy!
The soap. Boy does this stuff bring back memories. Anytime I have smelled this over the past three years I am immediately taken back to our days in the NICU with Charlie. This is some strong stuff that starts to just eat up your skin once you use it enough. Looks like I may need to get out my Mary Kay Satin Hands lotion set again.
My home away from home. Eric's home away from home.
Ahh, the monitors. I have a love/ hate relationship with these things. But they help us keep tabs on the little guys, so the hassle is worth it allMy bracelets. The middle one is for the baby...seems a little ridiculous to me. I would show you my other hand, the one with the IV, but it is pretty gross looking.
The entrance from my point of view. Love seeing visitors walk through that door :)
The nurse just talked to my dr. and she is going to require that I have the monitor on for 2 hours and then I get a 3 hour break off of it throughout the evening. That is way better that what I had to go though last night...so I am very happy for some relief! Sleep, here I come!
Anyway, as you can see, your prayers are working! I can't say thanks enough.
The early morning was a little rough for me today. My room is right outside the nurses station so I heard a lot of noise all night (despite the Ambien they gave me, how is that possible?). For the past few weeks the little guy has been up like clockwork at 7:00am and moves around like crazy for about 20-30 minutes. I usually just lay in bed and enjoy the moment. I didn't think much of it at first and then I realized that this may be one of the last mornings that I will feel him moving around inside of me...our special little time together. Luckily, the good news at the u/s helped to cheer me up. Eric came by after he dropped Charlie off at preschool. He is being so strong and helpful as I am stuck in this bed. I know it is hard for him because he wants to be here with me, but he needs to take care of Charlie and also all the other daily responsibilities that cannot be ignored for too long. Eric's mom and my mom took Charlie for the afternoon so it was nice to have some time alone with Eric as we embark on this journey again together. The NICU has been completely expanded and remodeled since we were here last time. They asked if we would like to take the tour so we would be prepared for when the baby came. Boy, I was not prepared for that. As she took us around and showed us all the familiar equipment I got very sad. I thought I was ready for this, but I guess I am not as strong as I thought I was. All the monitors, the smells, the sounds, it was all a little bit too overwhelming. When we got back to my room I asked Eric how he was doing and he felt the exact same way as I did. I think we both felt a little bit better after talking about it, but I still get emotional thinking about it again. I keep reminding myself that the Lord is not going to give us anymore than we can handle. This baby is perfectly and wonderfully made and he is going to be exactly who he is supposed to be despite all my preconceived expectations.
Charlie seems to be handling everything pretty well. He has been such a light around this hospital. I know that my heart smiles when he walks through the door each visit. All the nurses love him and get very excited when he comes around. He actually achieved a very special milestone in his class today. Once the kids know all their letters, the sounds they make, the 5 vowels and the 2 sounds that each of the vowels make they go to the headmasters office to recite it all to her. If they can do it they receive an Alphabet Crown. He looked so cute marching in today very pround of his crown and happy that Miss Karen had time to see him today. (He was supposed to do it on Tuesday but Miss Karen got too busy - he was very perturbed that she was too busy for him, how dare her, right?) Of course our camera battery was dead this morning so Eric could not take any pictues but I hope we will be able to take some pictures in his crown in the next few days. He just looks too cute in it to pass that up.
I have received many wonderful and caring e-mails today and I just want to say thank-you to each and every one of you that are praying for us. Our hearts are overflowing by all the love and support that we have received from our friends and family. Thank-you times a million. :)
If I do not get rushed off to surgery in the morning I will be sure to post an update of how the ultrasound goes tomorrow! Good night.
I plan to update everyday because I did not document any of this stuff with Charlie and always wished I had. So, feel free to stop by for updates. Who knows, maybe I can share some photos of my beautiful hospital gown or the 50 plastic bracelets that have me wearing on my left arm.
As always, I would appreciate your prayers during this time :) I also have some extra time on my hands now, so feel free to drop me a line if you would like. I would love to hear from you!
Picking out the perfect prize.
Lassoing the steer is hard for a lefty.
Trying to get that rope figured out.
You can never have enough candy.
Hey there pard'ner!
So done with the pictures.
Fall is definitely in the air around here. The trees are changing colors and the mums are blooming like crazy. The weather is starting to cool down, but we are still having pretty warm weather for this time of year. It is my favorite season and we are enjoying every minute of it! I think Charlie is a pretty big fan as well.