August 30, 2012

Ryan in pictures...

Here they are (finally)....a few (or several) pictures of our little Ryan!
I apologize to those of you who have already seen most of these on my facebook page. Oh well...I think he is perfect enough to justify another look (or two).

Our special little guy, Ryan Edward (named after his father and great-grandfather). This picture was taken the morning after he was born. I couldn't walk yet and had to carry a barf bucket with me to the NICU but I HAD to see my baby, even though the nurses had advised me to wait for a few more hours, until I felt better.

Here I am...seeing Ryan for the first time since his birth.

Jake with little Ryan. He had spent the previous night dividing his time between sitting with Ryan in the NICU and being with me in the recovery area. The poor guy was just as exhausted as I was.

Right after I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday afternoon I got to hold Ryan for the very first time (he was born on Sunday at 10:50 PM). Yes, those are tears on my shirt and more are falling from my eyes. I cry at everything you know.

And here is daddy, also holding Ryan for the first time.

Yea for clothes (finally)!

Ryan spent the second week of his NICU stay in an area that is set aside for babies that are close to going home. It was nice to finally have our own space (with a private bathroom and TV even!). During this time we had to learn how to take care of Ryan, including learning how to give him a bottle.

Day 13: Going home! Wow, we felt so very blessed to be leaving the hospital so soon (long story there).

Our first family picture.

Rachel and her baby brother (whom she adores....for now anyway).

Jerry, Rachel and baby Ryan (I wonder what toy he will have to drag around with him everywhere).

Our little pumpkin.

Kisses from the big sister.

And another close-up of the little guy.

What baby post would be complete without a bath picture? Ryan loves taking a bath. This was his first bath at home and he ended up falling asleep.

So sorry for taking so long to get these posted. This past month has been a blur and I can't believe that my first month of maternity leave is already over. Bummer.

Here's to another few great months at home! May I have lots of time to snuggle my baby Ryan, take him to fun places, and post pictures of it all!

August 17, 2012

Mama, I'm coming home...

I hate being on pain medication. It turns me into a bumbling idiot who can't remember anything or hold coherent thoughts in my brain long enough to spit them out in a decent conversation.

So I'm not surprised that I forgot to bring my camera with me to the hospital today, which is a shame because today is a perfect day for pictures.

For the first time since he was born, Ryan has no tubes in him and his entire adorable perfect little face is visible for us to see.

And, he is finally going to come home. Tomorrow is the big day!

This morning we started "family training", which is basically a quick rundown of instructions on how to care for our little guy (no, I really don't feel any more confident in my ability to care for him and I'm still just a little bit terrified of taking him home). Every time the nurse comes into our room we check one more thing off our list of things to do before we can be discharged. The list is almost complete and the road home is getting shorter.

We started this journey on July 31st (when I was first checked into the hospital) and, hopefully, it will end tomorrow.

August 15, 2012

Update on Ryan...

I made it through our first week in the NICU in one piece. I also made it through the first week of the baby blues in one piece.

I call that a win.

Ryan is doing very well. In fact, he is doing so well that he might get to go home this weekend!

And now it is time for me to panic.

I am excited about taking my son home from the hospital, but there is just one problem.... I'm terrified of him. Perhaps more specifically, I'm terrified of being alone with him. I don't know how to take care of a boy. I don't know how to take care of a preemie. And, I certainly don't know how to take care of a preemie boy who has just learned how to breathe on his own.

Last week I struggled with balancing baby blues with the guilt I felt for not being able to be with both of my children at the same time. This week I find myself struggling with fear and the stress every mother feels when they take home a newborn.

And so, I must remind myself that the only way to get through this is with prayer.... lots and lots of prayer.

And when my pain meds finally run out I might change that to lots of prayer and a tiny bit of wine.

August 10, 2012

Ryan Edward...

Ryan Edward was born on August 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM via an emergency C-section. He was 19 inches long and weighed 5 pounds 11.8 ounces.
And he came six weeks early.

You might remember that I spent the better part of last week in the hospital but was sent home on Friday (a week ago today) with instructions to take it easy and return to the hospital on Monday morning to see how things were going. But, God had other plans for us and decided to send us back to the hospital on Sunday morning at 5:30. We spent the majority of the day doing more tests and finally at 9:00 PM we discovered what the problem was.... placenta abruption- the placenta was tearing and it was time to get this baby out. After he was born daddy got to hold him just long enough to bring him to my side so I could see him and then he was quickly wheeled away to the NICU.

But, our little guy is a fighter. He is doing well and we have a lot to be thankful for. In fact, we expect to bring him home in about a week.

I cannot begin to describe all of the thoughts and feelings and emotions that I have had over the past week.
And through it all we have been blessed.

We feel blessed because...
1. Ryan may have been born almost 6 weeks early but he is relatively large for his age and was born with few health problems. Right now he is just working on getting his lungs more developed.

2. We have very good health insurance. The other day I had to call our company to verify a few things and I can honestly say that the conversation was actually quite enjoyable. As I was reading through the folder of information that is given out to NICU parents it broke my heart to see that the majority of the information was for those who are in need of financial assistance. We may not have a lot but I am so very thankful that on top of everything else, we don't have to also deal with financial issues right now.

3. We live close to the hospital. We live only 15 minutes away from one of the best hospitals in the Midwest. We can come and go as we please without having to worry about paying for a hotel or taking out a loan to buy gas.

4. We live close to family. I do not know what we would have done without the support we have received from our family. My parents (bless them!) have been taking care of Rachel, my sister and her family have been helping us out when needed, and Jake's family was able to visit us in the hospital several times which was certainly a huge blessing.

5. God is in control. Yes, he is. He has been in control of this situation from the beginning. Even his timing has been incredible. There is a three-week period during this entire summer that Jake is free from classes and that time is now, like right now. I'm not sure what we would have done if this had all happened when Jake needed to be in class. I certainly couldn't have done this by myself as he has been at my side every day and every night since this all started almost two weeks ago.

6. Our friends have been amazing. I know they're praying for us and thinking about us because we can feel their support. If ever there is a time that one needs to feel the support of their loved ones it is now.

7. We were (almost) ready for the baby to come. Because of the previa, which eventually corrected itself, we had been told to be ready for baby by August 1. We took that advice to heart and when July 31 rolled around (the day this whole ordeal began) we were almost completely ready for a baby to arrive. Except that....we weren't ready for baby to arrive quite like this.

8. Our little guy is perfect. He's beautiful. He was named after his daddy (Ryan is my husband's middle name) and his great-grandpa (Edward is his great-grandpa's middle name) and when Jake's family heard his name it made them all smile.

9. I'm doing well. I'm sore and very tired and an emotional train wreck but at least I'm healthy.

10. We get to hold our son. We held him for the first time on Thursday afternoon. I cried (of course I did). The nurses saw me crying and quietly closed the curtain so that I could cry in peace. Bless them.

And here he is.....
Our beautiful baby boy.

August 3, 2012

This is not the vacation I had in mind...

Well, it is finally Friday. Fridays are almost always good days but today, hopefully, is going to be extra special.

Today I hope to go home from the hospital.

Yep. I've been in here since Tuesday night.....when I started gushing blood (I'm sorry if that is tmi). Thankfully the heavy bleeding stopped fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the doctors cannot figure out where it came from.

And so, they decided to keep me here until the bleeding stopped and I really think that as of late last night it was done. So this morning I got up early, packed up my stuff, and am awaiting my discharge orders. Oh dear Lord please give me my discharge orders.

If I have my way I'll be back to work on Monday.

But when does that ever happen?

The reality of the situation is that I'll probably be on bedrest until this little guy gets here. And I'm really not sure I can handle that. Besides, I don't have time to sit around all day for a month. I've got things to do and places to go....

And I'm going to need all of your prayers. And in return for your prayers I promise to keep you all updated as much as I can.

Thanks everyone!