Wednesday, April 30, 2008
So back to the big news. We were moved down to the first floor NICU unit (the growing room), were the babies that are stable go that just need to grow and learn to suck, swallow, and breath. Which we all take for granted but it is pretty hard at first. She is definetly the smallest baby down there right now,by about a pound. She is definetly an overacheiver, we did not think we would be moved down there for a few more weeks. We still have at least a month here though, because she has a long way to go before she has the stregth and stamina to take in all of her food orally. She is doing amazing though and is up to 3 lbs. 10 oz. Her parents are so proud of her!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We had to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa Shaff this afternoon. We had to drag grandma out of the room. They were already trying to plan their next trip at breakfast this morning. I guess those just once a year visit are history now from the parents/grandparents.
I love holding my Dad's hand!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Mom and Dad giving Calla a bath
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Calla continues to do amazing. She gained another 50 grams over the last 24 hours and is showing more and more interest in nursing. The last two days she has latched on and sucked a little. I am not sure if she has gotten anything yet because I have been pumping before her feeding time so I am going to change that and start pumping after her feeding time that way if she really is ready to suck and swallow, even if it only a little bit, I will have the milk ready to give her. She never ceases to amaze me. When I went to see her an hour before her feeding time this afternoon she was wide awake just looking at the world. She had her big beautiful eyes wide open and just looked around as I talked to her while I was pumping. I know she will grow up fast so I cherish every moment with her.
Scott and I continue to do well. I have started to only pump twice at night so I get 5 1/2 hours of sleep at a time and try and take at least a 30 minute nap each day. Scott gets full night of sleep, but then he gets to do any errands that need running during the day. We are a great team. We are really enjoying the visitors, so keep coming. We love to show off Calla and it is so nice to feel the connection back to Corvallis. We really miss Corvallis, our home, friends, and of course Aspen. Thanks to everyone for your help and support. Your friendship and help through this adventure makes it so much more endurable.
Lots of Love,
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Check out my ripped bicep!
Granda Cindy left today, I think she is going to miss her newest granddaughter. They got a lot of good snuggle time though while she was here. Tomorrow Grandma Lynda and Grandpa Bob are coming into town to meet their first grandchild from Tucson. Calla told me tonight she can not wait to meet them. She is practicing her cutest looks tonight for them.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Scott and I have settled into a routine of spending time with her in the hospital and taking some time at the guest house for ourselves. But it also it had to make those decisions about how much time to spend there and when to leave and take time for ourselves. Most parents don’t “get” to be part time parents with fulltime babysitters watching their child. So we deal with the emotions of leaving her to be cared for by others (no matter that they are wonderful Doctors and nurses!) while we take a nap, eat lunch, or run and errand. We know that we have to take care of ourselves, because we need to be healthy for her and ready to take her home whenever she is ready. So I struggle with some guilt over taking time for myself but also trying to remind myself that “normal” mothers get to have their new babies at home to snuggle with, nap with, and just be at home with. While Scott and I have to visit our daughter in the hospital and wait for her to be strong enough to go home. So we are hanging in there, we know that their will continue to be emotional highs and lows, but as long as we stick together we can get through them all.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
We hope everyone is doing well and we thank everyone for the calls and emails. We are sorry we can not answer them all right now. It is amazing how fast the days are going by hanging out in the NICU with little Calla. It is hard to believe we have been down in Eugene for 10 days now.
Monday, April 21, 2008
So enough about that part, now on to my amazing daughter. When they feed Calla at 9am and 9pm I try to be there and hold her. When they start to feed her I bring her down to my breast so that she can begin to associate a full tummy with breast feeding. She has been very willing to lick breast milk from my breast, which is a big accomplishment for a premature baby. Tonight she did even better. After taking a few licks she actually opened her mouth wide enough and latched on to the nipple for almost a minute. It was a big accomplishment for such a little girl. And or course she fell asleep quickly after. One of the most peaceful parts of the day is the evening time. Tonight after she fell asleep against my chest it was just so quite and peaceful, it is the perfect way to end a day.
It is been so amazing to see her progress during this last week. I can’t wait to see where she is headed in the next week. I will continue to encourage her to associate breast feeding with a full tummy and maybe soon she will actually be strong enough to try it.
On another note from Sunday to Monday was the first time that Calla did not lose weight, she gained a whole 7 grams!!! You can truly see that we celebrate the small accomplishments in our new life.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Calla is trying to figure out how to snuggle with her dad without getting a mouth full of chest hair.
Calla had her first visitors today. Our good friend Leslie from Tacoma came down to meet Calla and hang out for a couple of hours. And then our neighbors Jeff, Rebbeca, and Calder came down to meet Calla and have dinner.
I just thought I would show you all pictures of Calla's little corner and some of the signs the nurses and another mother in NICU made Calla. She also has a few animals watching over her.
Goodnight, it is time to get some rest now. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers.
A few comments from the staff here today include:
“None of us can believe that she was really only 30 weeks when she was born, she is doing great.”
“She looks really strong.”
“She is a fighter.”
I thought I would write a little about the first few days after she was born. Right after she was born I got to hold her for about a minute and then she and Scott left with the NICU staff to get evaluated. In the NICU she was put on many machines and IV’s. One of the tubes went through her umbilical cord. This is a very sensitive area and we were unable to hold her while it was in place. On Wed. am we were told it would come out because she as doing so well, but it would still be the afternoon until we could hold her. Around 1:30 while my mom and Scott were doing some errands a nurse from the NICU came down and told me she was awake and ready to be held. So on Wed. afternoon I held my daughter for the first time and cried as she opened up her eyes and looked at me. The nurses were so wonderful, they had a box of tissues and a camera ready so that the moment was captured. Scott arrived shortly and was there for this wonderful moment.
On Thursday I was discharged from the hospital, this was both a good thing and an emotionally draining experience. Peace Health Hospital has a very busy labor and delivery floor and as a result my recovery room was shared with another couple that had twins in the NICU. This makes for very little sleep and privacy during a stressful time. (They are opening a new hospital in August with all private rooms, we were just a little early). So I was very ready for some privacy and some sleep, but was not ready to leave the hospital without my little girl. All these feelings were increased by seeing family after family safely place their children in their car seats and head out the door. When the time came to leave and move the 2 blocks to the Guest House I cried all the way to the NICU and stood over her incubator and just let the tears flow. Scott and the nurses just held me and let me cry and reassured me that I would not be leaving my daughter for long. I made it through this moment, but learned early that there will be many emotional highs and lows through this experience. The highlight of this day was traveling only 2 blocks to the Lions Club Guest House where we were given our own room with a private bathroom and told “make yourself at home, this is your home now for as long as you need it.” What reassuring words when they were so needed.
Daily Scott and I are getting more comfortable around all the tubes and bells and whistles that surround our daughter. We are now pros at changing diapers through openings in the incubator, can check her body temperature and get her in and out of the incubator with ease. All of these things are thanks to the help and encouragement of the wonderful nurses here. They want us to feel comfortable around our daughter and we cannot thank them enough for their kind words of encouragement and help each and every day.
I think that is enough for now and that I am ready to fall asleep. Thank you all as always for all your kind thoughts and prayers for Scott, Calla, and myself.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I think she has the Culpepper/Drake feet. Her Uncle Tom wears size 15 shoes.
We are starting to get into somewhat of a routine now of visiting and holding Calla during her feedings, but still giving her time to sleep and grow. They keep uping the amount of milk she gets every day and she keeps drinking all of it down. She is a good eater so far.
We would like to start having visitors so please give us a call and we can set up visiting times with Calla. And if anyone would like to come have a beer please give Scott a call.
Friday, April 18, 2008
As you all know now Scott and I found ourselves in the Corvallis hospital on Saturday night, expecting to be told we were overreacting and to be sent home. Instead I was quickly evaluated by the nurses and Doctors and told that my water had broken and that I was in labor. Things then happened very very quickly as they are not equiped to deliver babies at 30 weeks. I was taken via ambulance and Scott followed in the car to Eugene. It was a very scary ride as I was having contractions the entire time and was still in shock over what was happening. I can't say enough wonderful things about the nurses from the Corvallis hospital. One rode down with me and talked to me the entire time and helped keep me calm. Scott arrived about when I did and we were taken to an evaluation room. There it was determined that I was already 3cm dialated so I was put on bed rest and drugs to stop the contractions. Both the nurses and the doctor thought I would deliver Sunday am, but thanks to the drugs and a little help from Calla we held off until Tuesday. Sunday through Tuesday were full of times when I felt great, with no contractions, and times when I was having mild to hard contractions. Then of course, just as they moved us out of labor and delivery, thinking I was stable, I started having regular contractions, and in 3 hours I went from 4cm to 10 and holding my little girl. It was a wild ride and Scott never left my side. He kept me calm and was an amazing birth partner. Calla might only be three days old but Scott and I have already learned the art of compromise with her. There will be many more challenges over the next few weeks, but Scott and I know we can handle them together and with the support of all of our friends and family.
Calla is doing great and got off her oxygen tube attached to her nose on Thursday morning. And we found out this morning she is going to get off of her IV tube that is in her hand this afternoon. So she now has a lot fewer wires and tubes attached to her than the first few days, but still quite a few though. Courntey and I have been able to hold her to our chest everyday and that has been amazing.
Thank you everyone for all the support you have offered us though you thoughts, prayers, phone calls, and emails. We really appreciate all of it and is helping us get though all of this. Calla will probably be in the NICU for 5-6 weeks, so we still have a lot ahead of us. But for now the doctors tell us she is at the top of her class and is a strong little girl. We checked out of the hospital yesterday and are now staying at the Lion's Club Guest house which is an amazing place for people to stay while they have loved ones in the hospital. It is the same thing as a Ronald McDonald House if you are familar with that. All we have to say is that is an amazing service and we now have our favorite charity!
That is it for now becasue I have to go see my little girl. I will post more thoughts and pictures in the near furture.