Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day by Day...

So, after not really taking any pictures of Charlotte her first 5 weeks because my camera battery was dead, I've decided to try my darned-est to take atleast one picture a day of just regular family happenings. I'm going to post them here to keep myself accountable, but warning- it will be sporadic! (the first couple are random....I didn't really start until 2-28-11) And- these will all be taken with my point-and-shoot NO editing (which is really, really hard for me to be okay with. But- I will have to be!)
Here's my first round:
Feb. 3, 2011: Charlotte's IV burn...this is what it looked like after soaking it in diluted bleach (per Doctor's orders. For real.)
Feb. 28, 2011: Cowgirl Charlotte and her Buckin' Bronco Berkdog
March 1, 2011- Big sister helping!
March 2, 2011:
While mommy was busy, Lorelai packed her own lunch for Mother's Day Out! Gerber Pasta Pick-ups (ew, but she looooves them), applesauce, spoon, raisins, and- why not- a cereal bar!
Crashed on the couch after a long day (9am-2pm) at school! (p.s. this NEVER happens!)
Trying to force-feed a paci to sister...
March 5, 2011: Auntie L's shower for Weston!
This is Charlotte's "ooooooooooooh I can't wait for my cousin Weston!" face:
March 6, 2011: "Look Mommy! I have a baby wrap like you!"
March 7, 2011: What happens when Daddy puts a cloth diaper on Charlotte for the first's on backwards, for those of you who can't figure out what's wrong with this picture...
March 9, 2011: "I'm going to eat her face!" (in a sweet, loving way...)
I looked over, and Lorelai was setting up for her own personal photo session. TOO cute! My little photographer-in-training. Although I made her get off the chair.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Wow- that was the longest "to be continued" ever!
From that point, the nurses were not able to get Charlotte to breathe very well, so she was taken to Texas Children's (which is connected to St Luke's, thank was just one hallway away!) and hooked up to a CPAP machine to increase her airflow...she was never on a machine that had to completely breathe for her. They also had taken her blood by this point and realized that her blood glucose levels were low. The nurses were not able to start an IV in her tiny veins (after MANY attempts) so they ended up putting one in her umbilical cord. I wasn't able to hold her (except for the brief moment after I had her) until that night around 6:00pm, and I went back later that night around 9:00 to cuddle with her and nurse her. My poor little baby had so many holes in her arms and feet from IV attempts and foot pricks, it was so sad. The NICU was quiet, dark and warm which was perfect for the babies, but really made for a depressing atmosphere. I have such a new level of sympathy for families whose babies have to stay in the NICU for long periods of time, all the while worrying about whether or not they will even make it.
Charlotte was in the NICU from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday evening when she was finally released. Wednesday evening she was taken off the CPAP machine and was breathing fine on her own, and her blood glucose levels were resolved the next day. They kept her until Friday to wait and see if she was affected by the Group B Strep that I had, but by Friday night her bilirubin count was going up. Saturday her levels went up more so they put her under the bilirubin lamp, and by Sunday we were allowed to take her home as long as we followed up with her pediatrician on Monday. Sunday she had also developed an IV burn on her sweet little ankle from the IV (they had switched it's placement around a few times). An IV burn can happen when the catheter that is in the vein comes out and leaks fluid into the surrounding tissue...sometimes the fluid eats away at the skin. It looked like a black hole the size of a nickel on her tiny ankle.
During Charlotte's stay, this was my schedule: Wednesday night- stayed at the hospital (duh). We to see Charlotte at about 6pm and 9pm, then went back to the room to sleep :( Thursday night, I actually developed a stomach bug Typhoid Mary (aka Lorelai) had earlier that week (that Leslie had also caught), so I stayed another night at the hospital with that loveliness. The next day (Friday) I felt better (thank the Lord it was a short bug!) and was able to stay the day in the NICU with Charlotte. I was going to stay the night in the NICU by her bed, but had to call Shawn at 2am to come get me because I was severely dehydrated. We came back the next morning at about 8 am and I stayed the day again. I did go home that night without even trying to stay this point I had reached pure, utter exhaustion and knew my limits. So, home we went. Me and Leslie went back the next morning and stayed until they let her go home that evening, when Shawn came and got us. This was the most physically and emotionally trying time of my life. I know I only survived because of the prayers of our friends and help from our family!
We took her back to her pediatrician Monday-Thursday for blood tests to check her bilirubin, and though her levels continued to rise, she was also getting older so it wasn't as big of a concern. On Thursday, her pediatrician almost sent us straight to Texas Children's because her IV burn was looking swollen. It was so close to the bone in her foot they were worried about a severe infection. They gave us a presciption ointment and sent us home and told us to come back the next morning to double check it. Thank the Lord it had improved, and we were sent home and told not to come back until she was 6 weeks old!
*huge sigh of relief*
Here are some pictures to document this time:
A little help breathing...
Cpap machine:
Get this thing out of my arm!
First bath:
with Daddy:
with Mommy:
The only time this child will EVER see a tanning booth :) Under her bilirubin lamp:
Going Home!!
First time big sister met little sister:
And...just for good measure, a picture of me 35 weeks pregnant:
(the face says it all...)
Me the night I went in because my water broke (clearly not in active labor!)
Charlotte's IV burn (a week after it happened...ouch!)
Well, that's all folks! We are so thankful to be home and loving both of our girls!