Monday, June 11, 2012

This Weekend!

I promise to update more on Miss Mallory's adventures over her 3 months of life, but for now I would like to catch you up on our current fun!

This weekend we decided to do a little backyard "camping"!!! Mollye was so EXCITED! She has been wanting to camp for a long, long time! I actually love to go hike, camp, and cookout.  I, also, know several wonderful trails around here, but unfortunately with Mallory being so small the backyard would have to do.  No worries though- this Momma had one fun trick up her sleeve!

We started the night off with a wonderful cookout and a family dinner outside- one of my favorite summer past times! Then it was time to set up the tent! While Daddy and Mollye worked on the tent, I got busy setting up my extra surprise!

Movie time!

 That's right we projected the movie on the fence! Mollye loved it!!!

Here is Miss Mollye and her Daddy camping/watching the movie.  I do have to note that my girly girl kept telling Momma- "my hips hurt."  Finally after four blankets and a sleeping bag, she was content.  Maybe camping in the backyard was best after all...

These two slept outside all night while Miss Mallory and I hung out inside.
 Who wouldn't want to hang out with this precious face??
The next morning it was time for some fishing with Daddy! I love her outfit;)

 Off they go!
 Back from catching two very "LARGE" (ok, not really) fish! She needed a little sissy time!

 Great memories!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birth Story via Pictures

Mallory's Birth Story via Pictures:

The last picture of myself being pregnant, Mollye being an only child, and me in this hospital gown on BEDREST!

It's time! A little scared... Teddy is by my side though;)

NICU staff waiting on Miss Mallory:

She's here!
 Best sound ever!

 First picture in the NICU
 She had been sucking her thumb-one of the nurses took this piture for me after they learned about our finger sucking daughter, Mollye! 
 Jaundice journey starts...
 I loved holding her hand!

 We moved up to the 7th floor NICU! Mommy gets to do all feedings now!! She was only eating 27mL.

 Daddy's turn!
 Delicate long fingers:
 Thanks to Mommy's breakdown big sis gets to visit!!

She was saying, "Mallory, I'm Mollye your big sister!"
" I love you!"
 My favorite picture from our stay!

Failing her carseat test :(

 If she does not pass, she will come home in a carbed- I did not even know these existed!!

Thankfully she passed! Headed home after 9 days!

First time meeting big sister outside of the hospital!
Once home, she became Mollye's tag along baby! Since she could not be in her carseat for long periods, we resorted to Mollye's doll stroller!

Mollye was signing to her because she was crying :)
 Leaving the hospital after checking her jaundice levels again- LOVE THIS PICTURE!

Welcome Home, Mallory!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Birth Story

So much for promising to post this really soon! Life with two M & M's is very busy:) 

I was just reading back on my pregnancy blogs, and I noticed that my last entry was just a mere two days before heading to the hospital.  I had high hopes when I posted that entry that my problems would resolve as it had been almost 3 whole weeks without any placenta previa! I was so wrong...

Looking back on it now. I can honestly say God had a different and better plan for Miss Mallory and myself.  He stayed by our side through this entire birth story.  If there was ever a time I doubted or worried he was there to show me the way!

It all started on Saturday, February 18 around 4:00 a.m.  I woke up to bleeding, but not severe bleeding.  It was nothing more than what I had seen many weeks throughout this pregnancy.  I decided to stay home and rest on the couch hoping the bleeding would subside.  Around 7:00a.m. it had, but then it started again around 10:00 a.m.  Finally, around 3:30 p.m.,  I thought we were in the clear.  I carried on with my daily plans- dollhouse, crafting, and loving on my sweet girl, Mollye.  We put her to bed as normal, and I had a bookclub book that desperately needed to be finished so I sat in the chair reading when it hit.  I felt the bleeding like no other.  I knew this was the sign of too much.  My trip to the bathroom concured that this was what the Dr. had kept warning me about.  Adam agreed and the phone call to my parents and the hospital were made.  We quickly were on our way for what I thought would just be a 24 hour- 48 hour stay.  Had I known differently, I would have probably climbed in bed just to hold my precious Mollye for a few moments longer.  I never really had that last few moments with my oldest child that in a few days I would desperately need!

At the hospital, it was confirmed that it was a severe bleed caused from contractions.  Silly me- I had felt these contractions for days, but I honestly did not know they were contractions! Medicine was given to stop the contractions and hopefully stop the bleeding. Sunday it appeared to be working.  My doctor left for a mere two hours that afternoon deciding to leave us on the medicine until his return- just incase.  Well unfortunately, the worst happened, the bleeding started back.  Upon his return, he was very honest and suggested that it was time to "throw in the hat," and get me to a much larger more prepared hopstial incase of an early birth.  We would need the NICU to be on standby- just those words alone still send chills down my back.  However, I still had it in my head that it would be a short stay and then back home I would be. Given he wanted to send me by life flight- I probably should have clued in a little more! Regretting it now as let's face it a helicopter ride might be pretty cool- I chose to go in an ambulance.  

52 minutes later, I was in a labor and delivery room at Vanderbilt.  Approximately 30 minutes later, I was being told by the NICU doctor that when I delivered my baby tonight at 32 weeks, I could expect this and this and this... Adam even went on a tour of the NICU that night.  All I could think in my head was- deliver?? deliver? I'm not here to deliver tonight! Luckily the bleeding slowed and for three days we stayed in the labor and delivery room waiting on one doctor to finally make the call that it was time for delivery.  During these three days, I was not to eat just incase the time came for delivery. Not eat?!!?! I'm pregnant- this might have been the worst part actually! Ha!

Finally, after three days the doctors met one morning and decided that I would be moved to the recovery rooms and wait out delivery on hosptial bedrest.  Home was too far away from a prepared hospital so there would be no leaving in my future.  Luckily for me they also determined that due to the number of bleeds and severity I would not go past 34 weeks.  The csection was scheduled for March 5th.  I just had to making it on bedrest until then. I needed that date; as the thought of laying there forever ever was too much for me.

 Days crept by; nights even worse.  I would cry myself to sleep missing my family.  Poor Mollye was so confused, yet so brave! She hung in there as long as she possibly could trying to the be the big, brave sister.  Mommy missed her so. 

Fast forward the story to Feb. 28th...

The morning started as any other. Pancakes for breakfast.  Monitors hooked up for Mallory's daily stress test.  She sounded great.  Nurses being kind and patient.  Lots of time spent on the iPad.  House Hunters being watched.  Contractions started- ok that was not like most days.  It was around 2 that afternoon when I felt the contractions.  I thought, "oh, please, no."  Luckily they were really no big deal, but well remember I didn't even notice the ones that put me in the hospital.  I told Adam about them, but that was the only person.  I ignored his suggestion to tell anyone about them.  It would not have changed a thing.  They had already made it clear that when the time comes, there will be NO waiting! I knew one more bleed and the time would be here.  I waited out the rest of the day.  Dinner time arrived, and I went to order food.  Unfortunately the cafeteria was running two hours behind so I decided just to forgo dinner (turned out to be a good thing as I was able to stay awake during the section!).  I decided to make one last bathroom trip before heading to bed, but upon returning to my bed I felt it.  Blood.  So much of me wanted not to push the call button, but so much of me knew I had no choice.  I pushed the button, told the problem, and within seconds my room was filled with all kinds of doctors, nurses, and med students (oh, yes, I forgot to mention that I had my daily Grey's Anatomy each morning with all the med students as I was a high case in the world of labor and delivery). They transported me back to the labor and delivery floor to be hooked to monitors all night.  The doctors felt that if the bleeding would stay at this level I could be fine to make it five more days.  Goodnights were said.  Phone call to Adam telling him no fear I was headed to bed, call you in the morning, and love you.

30 minutes later... it was the same feeling that landed me in the hospital.  It was a severe bleed. I knew it.  Again, I did not want to push the call button, but I had no choice.  Within 30 seconds, the call was made and my bed was surrounded by people.  Everyone prepping me for a csection.  I was alone.  It would be just Mallory and myself.  Dr. Worth made it very clear that Adam would never make it in time, but just get him here safe.  Thankfully Vanderbilt has an amazing staff!! They worked hard to make me feel as safe and not alone as possible. They even volunteered to take my camera for me and take pictures.  Before leaving the room for surgery, I looked at the clock it was 10 something at this point.  My only question- "will she be out before leap year???" They promised yes, and they were correct.  Mallory was born at 11:09 p.m.  crying at the top of her little lungs! It will go down as one of the best sounds ever! She was checked, wrapped, brought to me for me to touch and kiss before being taken to the NICU. 

In recovery, I was greeted by my brother and Adam's best friend- thank goodness for good friends.  I know it was not where he wanted to be that night, but Adam needed him and he was there for him! Shortly after Adam arrived (fastest time in history for that boy!), and then I started asking the questions. How is she? When will we see her? Etc.?  The NICU staff is WONDERFUL! They immediately sent someone over to tell me all about her.  4 pounds 14 ounces.  Sucking her thumb (they seemed to be proud; I was not surprised...), pulling at all the tubes that had put in her.  Adam and Uncle Brad left to go see her. They came back with smiles and talks of how pretty she is and how she is doing wonderful.  I, myself, needed to see this before I could believe it.

Of course, I just had major surgery so they would not let me go visit.  I did manage to talk the nurse staff in to taking me around 5 the next morning.  I was not prepared for what I was about to see.  The NICU is such a sad place.  We were so blessed.  She was HUGE in comparison to the surrounding babies.  She only had an iv in her arm and heart monitors, and she looked like she was covered in medical equipment. Her "box" was open for room air.  It still was so much for me to take in.  My precious girl laying there, and I couldn't pick her up. Thankfully a wonderful nurse came over and told me only positives! She was only on oxygen for four hours; it appears the steroid shots worked wonders because she was breathing on her on like a champ! The thumbing sucking showed that her sucking reflux was also doing well.  The major concerns at this point were her ability to breath, suck, and swallow all at the same time.  She would prove them wrong within hours.  A fighter I tell you! A blessing from GOD!

The next two days were full of visitors, trips to the NICU, pumping, and moments of reality checks.  Then it occured to me that I was going to be dismissed soon.  What would happen when I was not just a walk down the hall from her??? Around this same time, I returned to my room to find a social worker one day who brought good and bad news.   Good news is our needs were much lower than many; bad news there was no where available for us to stay locally.  I would have to be discharged and either drive back and forth or stay with my brother- still neither was a walk down the hall....

I cried for the first time since her birth.

I pulled myself together and decided to go sit and be with Mallory.  (By this point, I was alone in the hospital as everyone was pulling shifts taking care of Mollye.) I went through the usual process to get in the NICU and upon entering the head nurse said, "they've been trying to reach you."  My heart sank...

Much to my relief GOD had been there for us again.  I feared the worst, but it turned out that they had an opening on the 7th floor "treehouse" NICU open up.  Mallory was the most stable canidate, and thus she was being transfered.  The relief really came when they told me the rooms were live in capable! I could stay in her room! GOD IS GOOD! We spent a long 6 more days in this room.  There were many ups and downs through her battle to gain weight, jaundice, failing her carseat test, and my new battle of two kids (I missed one more than I could have ever imagined! A little melt down on the doctor helped to get my "four" year old in to meet her baby sister.  Amazing staff, I tell you!), but God had blessed us with a healthy 33 week old baby. She has been a miracle and fighter from day one. After nine long days, Mallory was released from the NICU. It was an amazing feeling to be taking our baby home, but heart breaking to look around and see all of those other babies still there. Many who had been there over a 100 days.  My heart broke for them and their parents, and thus as we were leaving I lost it again.  Tears of joy, tears of heartache, tears for many reasons. 

But looking back on it now, those nine days taught me lots of life and even more on remaining faithful to our GOD.  God is good. If I ever doubt that, I promise to simply look at sweet Mallory and remember the blessing he gave us, the friends he blessed us with, the prayers sent up from people we did not even know, the kind offerings sent to us, and the pure love that took place in those 9 days.  Thank you to GOD, our family, our friends, and the amazing doctors and nurses we worked with through the birth of our sweet Mallory Alaine Casey- a gift sent from Heaven.

I promise to post pictures soon, but that sweet three month, 10 pound baby is needing some quality Mommy time right now.  Ok, maybe Mommy just wants some cuddle time!!! Again, thank you to everyone!