Saturday, July 30, 2011

Big Day!!


My mom and I just got back from seeing Carter (Rubin is with the boys, Bonnie and Levi at the monster truck show at the fair), and we were so excited when we got there to find out that not only did he get his mask off, but he doesn't have any oxygen tubes at all! (We were originally told that they were going to transition him to a cannula (sp?), which is just the regular oxygen tube.) They said that he had 2 "episodes" this morning shortly after they took him off of the oxygen but he has been stable and doing really well since. They started him on caffeine, which helps stimulate his system and help him remember to breathe - apparently sometimes he gets so relaxed he forgets. He is still breathing really fast at times, but they said that is just due to his lung immaturity and he will eventually learn to keep it slow and steady. They are also going to try and wean him off of the humidity tonight during the night shift, so he should get to transition to a regular bed soon. And he should lose the IV in the next day or 2.
Then while we were there, the nurse told us that he will be moved over to the intermediate side of the NICU during the shift change tonight. The room over there is divided up a little more and each baby has it's own little space with decorations and everything made to look like a little mini-nursery. The critical side is just a big room with a bunch of beds and no space in between. It will be so much more comfortable over there and seem a little less scary. My mom called it the "big boy side" at first, but then we got over there to see it and there was a baby that was only 2 pounds and something, so I guess they aren't all big over there after all :)
I can't believe he will be a week old tomorrow!! He is doing so well and we are so blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Nothing really new with Carter. He is still doing great and getting stronger every day. He is still on the c-pap and they keep telling me that they "may take him off tomorrow" and give him just a regular oxygen tube but then every day they say he's not quite ready. As much as I know we just need to be patient and wait until he's ready, I really would like to see that precious face without straps and hoses and masks attached to it :)
HIs echocardiogram came back okay. He does have a small hole in his heart, but they said it is very common in preemies and usually closes up on it's own. They will keep an eye on it and give him medication to help if it doesn't. His brain scan also came back normal. They found a small cyst (2 millimeters), but the dr said it is nothing to be concerned about. He told me after the results that he was honestly worried about doing the brain scan because of everything Carter has been through but that he was very relieved to find no bleeding in the brain or any other problems.
For those of you worried about me, I'm doing really well. I"m glad to be home and not on bedrest - I went to Walmart today and it felt so good to just go to the store! I have enjoyed being home with Rubin, the boys and my mom. I would say it was nice to sleep in my own bed, but I wouldn't know since both kids ended up in there with us last night and I didn't get much sleep. We'll try again tonight :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weds Update


So far today has been pretty good. I took a shower and put on normal clothes and it feels good to not be in one of those stupid gowns anymore. They are going to give me a couple of units of blood since my levels are still low and my head has been feeling kinda funny lately. They said that I should feel a lot better after getting the blood but even after getting 2 more units I will still have low levels and be considered anemic. It will take a month or 2 for everything to be back to normal.
Carter is doing great - he is just absolutely perfect. They had to turn his oxygen levels up again today so he will have to stay on the cpap machine for a little while but they said that's perfectly normal. The doctor called this morning and said that they detected a heart murmur and they are going to do an echocardiogram this afternoon to check it out. The nurse explained to Rubin and my mom this morning that a lot of babies are born with small holes in their heart but they close up on their own within 24 hrs or so. Since he is a preemie, that could be what is causing it. If it is it's not a big deal - they will wait and see if it closes on it's own and if it doesn't they have a medication they can give him to help it. Other than that he is doing great and they increased his feedings again today and so far he has done awesome! I absolutely love that we get to hold him now - it helps it seem more real. I held him for a little bit this afternoon and he smiled at me a couple of times. Yesterday he opened his eyes while I held him. He truly is a little tiny miracle and I love him so much!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carter Update


I just walked down to see Carter this morning and he was sleeping so peacefully. He is really so tiny and precious - even when he cries it is the quietest little noise.
They are going to wean him off of the cpap machine hopefully by tomorrow and the nurse said that he should be gradually moved out of the isolette and into a crib by probably Friday. I still haven't been able to hold him but she said that if I come back this afternoon around 12:30 I might be able to then. My mom's flight just got in so I'm hoping her and Rubin will be back here by then so she can come in there with me when I go see him again.
My blood levels have still been pretty low - they dropped yesterday morning but then went up a little by last night. This morning they were down to 7.2 again but they have decided not to do another transfusion unless I start to show symptoms of needing it (dizzy, lightheaded, trouble breathing, etc.) and so far I have been okay. I'm still pretty sore, which is expected, but am doing okay. I will probably go home either tomorrow or Thursday.
Thank you all for the prayers, notes, texts, etc. They mean a lot to all of us! I am up for visitors if people want to come by, but nobody will be able to see Carter. They have very strict rules in the NICU and can't have visitors and he is not able to be moved over to a window yet.
For those of you confused about the middle name and when it changed from Mason to Maddox, it was kind of a last minute thing. Brayden came to us last week and said that he wanted to change the middle name. We kind of coached him into picking Maddox because we decided after our "list" was made that we both really liked it. We never made an official announcement because since we let a 6 year old pick the name we figured it would still change a few times before he was actually born, but we weren't really given enough time for that to happen so Maddox it is!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Carter's Story



Okay, a lot has happened in the past few hours so here goes....Be warned this may be TMI for some of you!
I woke up at around 2:00 this morning to go to the bathroom and all was fine but as I was sitting on the toilet I started bleeding. The boys were both asleep so Rubin and I made the decision that I would just go to the hospital alone so I could get there quickly. He called his parents and they came over to watch the boys so he could meet me over here. I got to the hospital and the nurses were awesome - they immediately got started on everything and had the dr in doing an ultrasound within minutes. I kept asking if Carter was okay and nobody could give me an answer. Then all of a sudden they rushed me into the OR to do an emergency c-section. They were finally able to get an IV in me there (I had lost too much blood and my veins had collapsed) and I was put under general anesthesia for the procedure.
So, after waking up they told me that I also ended up having another super dangerous complication called placenta accreta. Basically my placenta was attached to the inside of my uterus and they weren't able to remove it, so they had to do a hysterectomy and remove my uterus also. They didn't remove my ovaries/tubes so hormonally I'm not in menopause or anything. I lost a ton of blood and had to be given 4 units of blood and 2 units of plasma.
I found out later that when they finally found Carter's heart rate it was only 60 and he was pretty lethargic when he was first born but seems to be doing okay now. He is in the NICU and is currently breathing with a little help from the ventilator but they plan to take him off that tomorrow. He has not tried eating yet and is just on the IV for now, but they plan on trying to feed him in the next couple of days. They are also going to do a brain scan to see if there was any damage but he hasn't shown any signs of anything so far so that's good.
I was finally able to go see him this afternoon around 3 but couldn't see much from sitting in a wheelchair and I'm not able to hold him yet. I did get him to hold my finger and one of the nurses took a picture - he is so tiny!!


I have to say that last night was the scariest night of my life and I don't think I have ever prayed so hard for something as I did for him to be okay. One of the nurses told my sister in law that she is not a religious person but that we both had a guardian angel on our shoulders and that it was truly a miracle that we are both okay. I cannot say enough about the nurses and doctors that were here and handled everything. From the time I left the house to the time Carter was born a total of 18 minutes passed. They responded so quickly to the situation and saved our lives.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Help?

So everyone is asking what they can do to help. To be honest, I'm not really sure. I don't know how to ask for help - it's not something I've ever really done. I am the type of person that will just try and do everything and then beat myself up when I can't, but right now I'm in a position that I can't do anything so here goes...
I don't know what is "normal" to ask people to do and I feel really bad asking people to do things, but here is a list of some of the things I have been sitting here thinking that I wish I could do now or need to do as soon as I'm allowed:
- Clean the house: Rubin is not exactly aware of when things need to be cleaned, so I feel like I am constantly asking him to do stuff around the house but he is already really overwhelmed with the boys, work, etc. I know that once I'm gone he probably won't touch anything and this place will be disgusting
- Do yard work: luckily it has been so hot and dry that our grass is pretty much dead and hasn't needed to be mowed, but I know that Rubin would really appreciate it if someone would mow for him. The front "flower beds" (I use that term loosely since there really are no living flowers) are completely overtaken with weeds and look horrible. That is something else I would usually take care of but haven't been able to this summer.
- Laundry: Again, I love my husband, but he will not do laundry unless he runs out of clean underwear, and even then he has been known to just go buy new ones to avoid laundry. It will just pile up even more than it already has.
- Kids: We have child care arranged during the day most days between daycare and Rubin's parents, but it would probably be nice for someone to come over in the evenings or on Rubin's days off (Fridays and Sundays) to watch the kids for an hour to 2 so Rubin can come over to the hospital and see me every once in a while, or just hang out and help entertain them for a little while.
- Nursery: Carter's room still is nowhere near ready for him. The furniture and everything is in there, so if it doesn't get done it can wait until I get home, but right now all of Cam's stuff is still in there, including his name hanging on the wall. We haven't been able to do anything to update it for Carter (clean/arrange the bedding, put clothes away, etc.)
- Install the car seat: We have bought a new car seat but haven't installed it yet, and that is another one of those things that I usually do and I don't think Rubin has a clue how to do.
- Meals: Honestly, with just Rubin and the boys home I think they will be okay for the most part. The boys don't really eat anything but chicken nuggets and Rubin won't eat an entire meal on his own, although I guess he could still bring me real food over to the hospital - I'm sure the cafeteria food will get old pretty quick.
- Company: Visitors are absolutely always welcome. I have spent the past 6+ weeks completely isolated from the rest of the world and am lonely and bored out of my mind. At least at the hospital I will have nurses to talk to during the day, but not being able to spend the evenings/weekends with my family will be hard. The boys really can only handle about an hour at the hospital before they get too crazy and have to be kicked out.

Okay that is all I can think of for right now, and I feel really weird about asking for this stuff. In fact, I'm debating right now whether I will actually post this. So anyway, this is me asking for help. If you are sitting at home wishing you could do something but are waiting for me to call you and ask you, it's probably not going to happen. I'm just not comfortable doing that so don't hold your breath. If there is anything you want to/are able to do just let one of us know. You can reach either one of us by phone/text/email/facebook.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time to pack my bags...

I had an appointment with my OB this morning, and she said that they are admitting me next week, which I kind of expected after seeing the specialist last week. So everything will be ready for me on Monday and I will go hang out in the hospital for a couple of weeks until they decide to do the c-section. We still don't know for sure when that will be, but sometime between 34 and 36 weeks, so somewhere between August 8 and 22. They will do another round of the steroid shots for lung development and I guess just see how things are looking before they make a decision. They are putting me in the hospital just so I'm there if labor does start and they will be able to respond immediately to any problem. I have read a little online about vasa previa and this seems to be standard procedure - admission to hospital during 3rd trimester and delivery around 34-35 weeks. Although I enjoy being at home, I think I will feel more comfortable at the hospital for peace of mind. I'm starting to get to the point that I am uncomfortable and with every little ache or pain I wonder if everything is okay.
I know we have been pretty easy going through all of this and haven't really asked for help from anyone, but Rubin will definitely need some additional help with the boys. I will be in the hospital for probably 3-5 weeks so he will be doing everything at home on his own and trying to get the kids to and from daycare/his moms while still going to work every day. He has been pretty stressed out as it is because it's not like I can do much but at least I'm here to help with disciplining and hanging out with the boys so it's not going to get any easier with me gone. Plus I can only imagine how nasty the house will get without me here to ask him to clean things (which I have tried not to do unless it drives me absolutely crazy since he has enough on his plate).
I can't believe it has been over 6 weeks since this whole ordeal started and that I am still pregnant with a healthy little man! We are getting close to the finish line and I am very ready to be done with bedrest and meet Carter!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dr Appt Update

I went in today to see the MFM Specialist again. He checked everything and did another ultrasound and everything is about the same. Carter is about 3 1/2 pounds and is in the 50th percentile so he is growing perfectly. We did discuss the plan going forward and he is still very unsure about what to do. Vasa previa is pretty rare and there is really no established protocol to follow - each doctor kind of makes their own decisions. Right now his thoughts are to put me in the hospital at 32 weeks and then plan to deliver around 34 weeks. I go back to see him on the 27th and imagine he will probably admit me then. He wants to talk things over with his partners and see what their opinions are.
They did a non-stress test today to make sure I am not contracting and that the heart rate is healthy, and everything looked good.
I should get the results of my glucose test today or tomorrow (from my OB) so hopefully all is okay there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

We have a name!!

So Rubin and I decided that since we couldn't pick a middle name and everyone we know had a different opinion, that we would let Brayden choose. We talked to him about it for a few days and gave him a list of names we were looking at. We told him it could be something special for him and Carter that he would be able to tell him someday that he picked his middle name. He went back and forth between a few of them for a few days, but he has finally decided on...

MASON

So Carter Mason Chrisman it is. It isn't my favorite for the middle name, but I like it (we would have given Carter that as a first name but one of Rubins friends just named their baby Mason, plus it is like #1 in popularity right now).

Then today we were talking about it again to make sure that was his final choice, and he said "Yes, but I think we should change the last part of the name. Everyone else has Chrisman as the last part and it's getting kinda boring. Maybe we could pick something different for Carter." Such a goofball.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Glucose

So I had my glucose screening the other day, which I was totally not worried about since I don't mind the nasty drink and have never had a problem before. Well, the nurse just called and told me that I didn't pass the screening. I have to go back next week for a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. If I pass that then all is good, but if I don't then I have gestational diabetes and will have to deal with that, which should be fun! Especially since after reading about it, the way to control it is through diet and exercise and since I'm not allowed to move exercise could be a problem. I want to get it over with as soon as possible so I guess I'll schedule it for Monday morning. Have an OB appt on Monday afternoon and see the specialist on Weds so it looks like next week will be busy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I really don't have anything to update, but feel like I haven't posted in a while so just thought I would say hi :)
I had a dr appointment last week, but it was just a routine OB check-up so nothing really to report. I go back to the specialist next Wednesday and will update after that.
The boys are home so life is back to semi-normal again. They are both as crazy as ever but the sweetest little boys on the planet. Brayden has been awesome with helping out and has been really careful around me. He asks about Carter all the time and wants to feel him kick. Cameron on the other hand says that he wants a doggie. I told him we are getting a baby, not a dog, and he says "no baby, I want doggie". Somebody is going to be jealous and it's going to be interesting....
We still haven't picked a middle name, and we have decided to let Brayden choose (from the list we gave him). We can't seem to make a decision and thought it would be a fun special thing for Brayden to do as the big brother. He is leaning towards Mason or Jax so we'll see.
I can't believe I will be 30 weeks on Monday - we have made it so far and I don't think anyone can believe it, including the doctors. Again, thank you all for your prayers - this is proof that it works!!