Things tend to change when you least expect them to ... it is God's way of putting things into perspective.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Taking Time Off!!

Today was the last day that Eric would be staying home with Charlie and I. Eric took almost a week off from work when Charlie was born as we were both still in the hospital and there was ALOT going on with us both. He has taken the last three days off as well since we were able to bring Charlie home finally. He will be heading back to work tomorrow as Charlie is doing great and we have gotten alot of stuff done the past few days. With Charlie being on a pretty solid schedule now, we are doing really good. We are going to save his remaining days off for later in the summer as we would like to take a few trips.

I, on the other hand, will be staying home with Charlie for the next long while. After talking with my head coach (and looking at the extensive vacation/maternity time that I have), I am going to be taking a good deal of time off until August. I will be working from home like I did while on bedrest and still running our summer camps in June and July, but will do the majority of work from home. Because Charlie was nearly 2 months early, we do not want to put him in daycare until he is good and ready. Therefore, we decided that we are going to hold off until August as that is when he would have started had we gone full term with the pregnancy. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to being home with him. I feel really good so I can get up and do things and work while he is sleeping (which is almost ALWAYS). It will not be like when I was on bedrest and I had to stay on may back all day/night long.

Today, we had a photographer come over and take some pictures of us all ... mainly Charlie though. While we have gotten much better with taking pictures, I just wanted to make sure that we had photos to remember this experience by when Charlie is older. So, this photographer (Rebecca) will be coming every 3 months this first year and taking pictures of Charlie and our family. She was great and I can't wait to see the pictures. I will make sure and post the link on here so that you all can see the results. I got to see a few of the shots on her camera that she took of Charlie and I am so excited as they were great. Charlie did really good. He was awake for almost the entire hour and only spit up a few times!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Bath at Home ...

Charlie got his first bath at home tonight. We had to do a sponge bath with him since he is still recovering from his "boy surgery." It is harder than it looks. Trying to wash him and keep him warm at the same time (all while not dropping him in the sink!!) But, we succeeded and he is clean. After a nice, warm bottle, he is fast asleep in Eric's arms. Let's hope that he stays that way through the night!!
By the way, Charlie is 3 weeks old today!! Hard to believe as he isn't even supposed to be here for another month!! We are enjoyeing every minute of it!!

Welcome Home Charlie!!

Charlie is HOME!!! Eric and I were able to bring Charlie home on Saturday afternoon. We were supposed to be out of the hospital around noon on Saturday, but because the doctors were taking a little longer than necessary to make their rounds so it was later in the day before we got to escape. Eric was becoming very annoyed with the whole situation as he was ready to go. I, on the other hand, was fine as I knew that we were so close to our leaving ... I was just happy to be getting him out of the NICU.

Things have been going great. Because he is three weeks old, it has almost been easier I think because he is already on a "schedule." I guess we are lucky .... we'll see how long it lasts!! He is pretty much asleep all day/night, but wakes every three hours to eat. He is taking nearly 2 ozs of food now each time he eats so he is doing great. We have had to wake him a few times to eat, but usually wakes 10-15 minutes before he is supposed to eat. Just enough time to get him up and change him so that he can go right back to sleep after he finishes eating.

Most of the time he falls right back to sleep after he eats, but he decided to stay awake this morning after his 5 am feeding. I was up with him so of course I took advantage of him being awake to cuddle for awhile. Of course, he fell right to sleep when I laid him on my chest (guess it was the heartbeat), but as soon as I tried to move him to his bed, those eyes were WIDE open.

Things are great though!! We ventured out yesterday as the team was getting together for lunch and then we made a dash to Wal-Mart to grab a few "needs." He did great though!!

Eric is going to be staying home a few days this week to help me out with him. He is pretty easy right now to care for, but it is nice to get a little bit of sleep. After the long days in the NICU with Charlie, I could use a few naps to "catch up." We are also going to take advantage of the time and get things done around the house. Eric is going to do some yard work and I am going to finish going through Charlie's stuff and getting things organized. We will both be doing some DEEP cleaning as we have not done much with the house over the past month!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Charlie is coming HOME!!!!!

I am afraid to even post this with fears we might be jinxing ourselves, but Charlie is coming home!!!!! We talked with the doctors this morning and according to them he "is ahead of the curve." They don't usually let babies go home from the NICU until late in the 36th week (or later), but Charlie is doing great so the plan is for him to be discharged on Saturday morning. They have "no reason" to keep him!!

They removed the feeding tube from his nose this morning after going 36 hours with no tube feeds. He is doing great and has not had a spell in over a week. They will be watching him tonight and tomorrow to ensure that he is ok. He will also be going through some additional testing throughout the night and morning. He will be having some minor "boy" surgery in the morning as well.

Eric and I will be spending the night in the hospital tomorrow with him. They call it "rooming in." Since we never had the opportunity to have him in my room after the birth (like normal deliveries), they want to give us the chance to be with him and be alone while still having immediate help if needed. We will basically be hanging out all night with him and just getting used to be in charge of him.

Please, please, please keep us in your prayers over the next few days. As you can imagine, we are so excited to finally be getting him home, but this is also a very scary time for us as we are bringing a baby home that was not supposed to be here for another 5 weeks. We have been very blessed that he is healthy and doing as good as he has been ... we have learned over the past few weeks how very lucky we are for both of to be here and healthy!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Five Pounds and Counting!!

We are on our way now ... Charlie has surpassed the five pound mark (tonight he was 5 lbs, 2 ozs). He is really starting to do good ... out of the crib, in baby clothes and starting to really feed without the tube. Lots of good news! Here are some pics from the last few days. Check out how much he is changing!!

Wearing clothes ... these are the only types of outfits (Old Nave sleepers) that I have found to be long enough, but not huge on him. Going to get a few more of these :)

This is a FULL belly!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feeling Better!

I think that I am finally coming to terms with having a "premie." For so long, I could not wrap my brain around that idea that I would have a little baby that would need some extra attention. I really envisioned myself going to the hospital, popping him out and then going home (preferably the Thursday before Memorial Day so that our family could all come out and meet him). That plan failed horribly!!

I have spent most of my days over the past two weeks in the NICU with Charlie. Seeing him improve each day has brought me comfort and I finally feel good that he is "OK." He has really started to grow and is changing each day. He is doing great. I have this sense of pride when the doctors and nurses talk about how great he is doing and how he is "ahead" of most babies his age/size. Just knowing that he is doing better and improving each day makes me feel so much better because I know that we are one day closer to getting him home and getting on with our lives. Soon, this will all be a distant memory!!

Today, Charlie was taken out from under the bili light. He is wearing clothes now and we are working to keep him self-heated. He will need to maintain his body heat to be able to come home. The doctors are weaning him from the incubator now (we hope that he can get out sometime tomorrow) and then he will get to sleep in a crib. From there, the last hurdle will be feedings. He is doing great with these as well. From what the doctors have told us, babies don't usually develop their suckling reflex until 36 weeks gestation. Since Charlie is still under the 35-week mark, we are ahead of schedule as he is already nursing and taking a bottle. The key now will be to get him to do one of these at each of his feedings so that we can take the feeding tube out. This is going to take some more time as he has to really strengthen all those muscles that he will need. He really is doing great though and continues to progress!!

I will work to get some more pictures on here tomorrow. It is amazing how much he has changed in just two weeks of life. They say that babies don't smile for several months, but Charlie has already been sporting a grin for nearly a week. It is the sweetest thing, especially seeing his dimples :) I can't wait for him to come home!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Long Days ....

Our long days in the NICU are starting to pay off. We have seen some changes over the past few days with Charlie .. almost all are positive.

He is beginning to really eat. He is back up to his birth weight and really taking to his feedings. He still has the NG feeding tube in his nose, but he is now nursing and bottle feeding. The tube is supplementing his feedings to make sure that he is getting enough calories. He was started on baby "weight gainer" to help fatten him up! Overall, though, he is doing great with his feedings. The doctors decided today to up his feedings to try and help with weight gain. Since he is keeping it all down, they want to add an additional feeding to the daily schedule, which will provide more calories!

We are fighting jaundice right now with him. This is a common thing with newborns, especially preemies. The doctors are not worried about it, it will just take time for it to "pass through" his body. His skin has a yellow tinge to it right now ... basically what it means is that his liver is producing more billiruben than his body can process right now. As a result, it builds up. He must pass it and clear his system out.

Once his billiruben level is back down to normal, he will get to come out of the isolette!! He is maintaining his body temperature right now without assistance of heat so that is a HUGE step. Once the doctors can take him out from under the phototherapy light (treatment for jaundice), he will get to move to a crib and start wearing clothes!!

Mostly positives so far!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

How time flies ...

So this time last week, I was in a hospital bed waiting for Charlie to arrive (not to mention my parents and Eric' mom). I had been in the hospital since the night before and was not in pain at this point ... just waiting and trying to keep my blood pressure down. It would be another 13 hours before Charlie would make his arrival into the world. As much pain as I went through to get him here, I have decided that I would do it all over again after holding this little guy :)

Now, Eric and I are home and our little boy is in the NICU in Kansas City. I cannot explain the emotions I have felt over the last week. I have had my shares of laughs and cries, but everytime I go into his room and see him lying there, my heart overflows with love. I am REALLY ready for him to come home ... I just don't feel complete yet. It doesn't feel like we can move on and start life with him until he can come home with us. Unlike bedrest, though, where the days were so slow in passing, time has flown as Charlie will be a week old tomorrow!!

We did make progress on the nursery last night. We got his crib put together and got the room cleaned up. I really thought I would have more time and be able to do this over the next month or so. We had planned to do things a little here and a little there, but Charlie came alot faster than we thought. So, we are sort of scrambling to get things done. We have learned though through all of this that it will all get done. Even without having baby showers and going through all of the customary pre-baby festivities, we are getting ready for his arrival home. We just hope it is sooner rather than later!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

First night home ...

I can't say that I slept great last night ... even without having Charlie at home, I still have to get up every three hours so that I can pump his food. It has taken some getting used to, but I think that I am starting to get the hang of it. Plus, I have been so tired since his birth on Monday that I am not really having trouble falling asleep once I lay down and close my eyes.

So, many have asked how all this happened. As many of you know, I have been on bedrest about 3 weeks now as I developed Preeclampsia over the past month. Saturday evening, Eric and I watched the KU men's game and were very excited to see that they would be going to the Nat'l Championship game. I laid down about 11:30 pm to go to bed that night and immediately staring having pains in my upper abdomen. I really didn't think much of it ... to be honest, I thought it was indigestion. I was starting to have some trouble breathing so I decided to get up and take a shower, thinking the warm water would help east the pain. I did feel better after I took the shower, so I laid back down and was just about asleep when the pain started again -- even more intense!! I got up out of bed and started walking (really I was pacing). I was hoping that it would help with the pain and I could go back to sleep. I was probably up for about 30 minutes walking when Eric (who was asleep) realized I wasn't in bed and awoke immediately. He could tell that I was in pain and called the doctor's call-line immediately. The nurse thought it may be indigestion as well, but because of my history, she suggested that we make our way to the hospital so they could check me over "to be on the safe side."

When we arrived to the hospital, my doctor had made it in as well and started running some tests. Immediately, she was concerned because my blood pressure was through the roof ... 210/160!! My lab work came back and my kidneys had gone into distress, so they made the decision that this baby was going to have to come out. So, I was admitted to the hospital around 1:30 am on Sunday morning. I was given some pain meds that would help me rest of over the next few hours. At about 3 pm on Sunday afternoon, the doctor broke my water and we were on our way to having this baby. An hour late, I was given an epidural to help with pain to get ready for his birth. I was given some more drugs to help induce labor as they hoped it would get rolling pretty quickly and I would give birth within the next 4-5 hours.

Of course, this little man was on his own schedule!!! At about 9 pm, they upped the dosage to get the contractions really rolling and his was not in any hurry. About 11 pm on Saturday, then, he finally started to move for us and we were getting ready to have a baby. It took a while, and during that time, my epidural wore off. I knew that I would feel some pain during the labor, but that was not fun at all. By the time I realized the epidural had worn off and that I was feeling everything, It was too late to do another one. My doctor was able to give me a local anesthetic to help with the pain, which was fortunate as she also had to do an episiodomy to get him out.

Charlie was born then at 1:09 am on Monday, April 7th. He weighed in at 4 lbs, 7 ozs and was nearly 17.5 inches long. Despite the fact that he was 7 weeks early and very small, he is doing great. He will spend some time in the NICU as he fattens up and learns to eat, but we are very lucky to have a healthy baby. He shares a birthday with his Uncle Johnny (my youngest brother) and was born the day the Jayhawks won the National Championship. The men's bball team at KU autographed a basketball for him to commemorate his birth!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Charlie is HERE!!

I haven't been on here the past few days for a good reason ... ANDREW CHARLES CAPPS decided that he was ready to enter the world. Born at 1:09 am on Monday, April 7, 2008 ....

It was not the easiest of births, but we are all doing well at this point. Charlie arrived a little over 7 weeks early so he will spend some time in the NICU as he puts on weight and learns to eat. He is doing great though and is changing everyday!! I was able to come home from the hospital this evening ... I am feeling good ... just taking things slow.

I will write more later and tell the details (well, some of them) of the birth. Please keep Charlie in your prayers as we need him to grow big and strong so that he can come home very soon!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Back from the Doctor!

We are back from the doctor and things have gotten better ... YEAH!!! We are 32 weeks along right now and everything seems has improved drastically over the past two weeks. The baby is looking much better (measuring about 4 lbs, 2 ozs) and all of my levels are returning to "normal." The only exception is my BP, which is still measuring on the high side. I am feeling really good and for the first time since Christmas, I don't have "cankles." The doc was impressed that so much of the swelling is gone and that I am doing so much better than 2 weeks ago. Thank goodness!!!

Of course, I tried to get off bedrest, but no luck. She said that this method is working and "keeping" me pregnant so we are going to stay with what works! The doc is much more confident that we are going to make it to the 35 week mark now. She seems to think that he will be here somewhere between 35-37 weeks (April 23-May 7). Doesn't plan to go much longer than that ... no sense in staying pregnant if we make it to May 7 .. most likely if that happens, a date will be chosen and we will go get him :)

Good news ... maybe I can rest now at night. Hard to believe that this little guy will be here in the next month or so. We had quite a scare (and are not out of the woods yet), but things are looking so much better now! Thank you for your prayers .... they are working!!