Saturday, April 15, 2017

Cleft Lip - At the Hospital

 After I had my big ol' burger, milkshake, cookies, and french fries, we were moved to postpartum. I was given a thick folder full of pamphlets for cleft lips. I didn't look at it until we got home, but I wish I had because I was given a check list of things that needed to happen before we left the hospital. It was a LONG list. And it was exhausting. If I had read the list I would have been a little more prepared for the influx of people visiting my room. My room was literally a revolving door. One person walked out, the next walked in. It was nuts. I had slept so poorly two nights in a row, gave birth, and was taking so much in, at one point, I just turned my back to the door and closed my eyes. I was exhausted on so many levels, I literally just shut down. I don't think I've ever done that before. Thankfully Jacob was there and handled everything like a champ.

Here's the list... Brace yourself.

Part 1: Admission

1. Ask Pediatrician for a Neonatology Consult
  • I don't know if this happened or not, but I did see the pediatrician and the resident pediatrician 3 times after Eric was born. 
2. Speech Therapy Consult
  •  Yes, seriously, speech therapy for a brand spankin' newborn. I asked, in so many words, what a speech therapist did with a new born. Feedings, mostly. She visited my room three times and each time was just to check on us. She was there less than 5 minutes each time she visited.She gave us one feeding tip which wasn't working for us. Jacob had already fed Eric and it went really well. Eric had some trouble after the first feeding, but we got it figured out. You want to know how much she charged for those 3 visits? $780.00! Outrageous. 
 3. Case Management Notification
  • We did have a case manager come to our room and explain that she would help me make my appointments, and I am not entirely sure what else. She visited with us for a few minutes and I never heard from her again. That's fine by me. I have two appointments. One with the surgeon, one with the pediatrician. I can handle that. I can see how this would be helpful if we had appointments with an ENT and other therapists, but again, Eric's cleft lip doesn't seem to be causing any other problems right now.   
4. Social Services Consult
  • I wish I had known that a social services consult was just protocol. The social services lady walked in and I was embarrassed! I wondered who thought I needed social services to come in my room. Thankfully my dad was there and talked with her. I remember my dad talking about how far the surgeries have come, these run in our family, yada, yada, yada. Pretty much my dad let the social services lady know this isn't anything we haven't seen before and we're totally on top of it. She also gave me a xerox copy of all the pamphlets I had already been given. It was a ton of paper that went right into the recycling bin when I got home.
5. Initiate Feeding with Pigeon Feeder
  • I am not sure what a pigeon feeder is, but the Dr. Brown bottle for cleft lips worked great. On the surface it looks like a normal Dr. Brown bottle, but it has an extra piece called a dam to filter air bubbles out. The top of the bottle is also half hard and half soft. The hard part should push up against the roof the the mouth. Eric can't make a full suction and the bottle works great. He does swallow extra air, and we have to burp him pretty often. *SIDE NOTE: I was told not even a minute after Eric was born that I wouldn't be able to breast feed. It's generally not recommended to breast feed a cleft lip baby anyways. For whatever reason, the surgeon has the final say in the matter. After the surgeon examined Eric he said I could try feeding him however I wanted. So I tried a lot of different things, but Eric can only drink out of his Dr. Brown bottle.
6. Give family Cleft Palate packet
  • Got it. Twice. 
7. Lacation Consultant
  • Eeerrggghh. This was annoying. The lady came into my room and brought with her a BOAT LOAD of pumping stuff, all of which was charged to my room with out asking me if I even wanted it. She just opened it up and started hooking it all up. Then I sat there for 15 minutes with this machine and suction cups. It was really unproductive, and by unproductive, I mean I could have milked myself faster than this machine. She never came back to my room and I left all that pumping stuff there.
8. Feed ad lib volumes, on demand at least every three hours.
  • Eric had one big feeding with Jacob in the NICU after he was born and didn't eat again for 18 hours after that! The nurses checked is blood sugar every once in a while and everything was fine, but he just wouldn't wake up at all. Finally he was eating regularly again. So no, the three hour thing didn't happen.
Part 2: Discharge

1. Schedule appointment with surgeon prior to discharge.
  • The pediatrician has a surgeon they refer all babies with cleft lips/palates to. The pediatric resident came in and took pictures to send the the surgeon. A receptionist from the surgeon's office called me before I left the hospital. We had his appointment a week later.
2. Speech Therapy outpatient appointment to be scheduled prior to discharge.
  •  This didn't happen. I don't think we need it anyways. Not if three, five minute sessions adds up to $780.00. No way. 
3. Discharge patient with at least 2 specialty bottles.
  • We did leave with two bottles. One of them is bigger with a faster flow. At first I thought I would have liked two of the same little slow-flow bottles, but now that Eric is drinking more I am glad I don't have to go find a new one.
I was discharged after 24 hours but stayed at the hospital in my room with Eric. Eric had to stay longer for observation. We left the next morning and had a super awkward conversation with the man wheeling me out to our car. He asked, "Who would want a baby? Not me, I'd be trying to get rid of one..." Jacob and I just laughed awkwardly. I would have walked out, but I may have accidentally taken two Norco in a row and I was SO dizzy and I hadn't eaten real food in 12 hours. Only the snacky type stuff from the fridge at the hospital.  Once I was discharged, the nurses couldn't give me medicine anymore and I was so tired I couldn't remember if I had already taken one... and you're supposed to take Norco on a full belly. Whoops.

Next week we have Eric's pre-opp appointment where we will learn everything that will happen on the day of surgery and in the mean time I will write about our first appointment with the surgeon. Probably one of the more awkward appointments I've been to.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Welcome to the World, Eric Spencer

Little Eric was due to arrive on February 27th. Not wanting to wait that long quite possibly longer, my doctor agreed that inducing me at 39 weeks would be okay, seeing as I have big babies and generally quick labors.

We arrived at the hospital a little after 6:30 a.m. I walked up to the Labor and Delivery doors which are big double doors and usually there is someone outside, but there was no one there so I used the intercom button and said, "I am here to be induced..." They let us come back with no questions asked, not even my name. We got us all situated in a room and I met my nurse. I can't remember her name, but she was older and friendly. I got my I.V. put in and my blood work done. I was already to go and then we sat and waited for the doctor. And waited, and waited. Finally at 8:30, the doctor came in and broke my water. He said I was dilated to about a two which hadn't changed since my last office visit.

After the excitement of the water breaking had died down, Jacob and I decided to go on a walk around the Labor and Delivery floor. We walked over to postpartum to see what the recovery rooms looked like and found the snack room. Jacob was helping himself to a snack when my water started gushing everywhere. I left a huge puddle on the floor and dripped all the way back to my room. So embarrassing. I had to rinse off and get a clean hospital gown. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes and every time I moved more "water" would gush out. I rinsed off at least one other time.

We went on at least two more walks, but I was so tired from going to bed too late the night before that I just didn't feel like walking anymore. Jacob left to go get lunch and I just sat in bed. I noticed that if I leaned slightly forward I would have contractions. So I sat in bed, doing the butterfly stretch, leaning slightly forward. By 2:15ish I was having hard contractions and I was ready for the epidural. I was dilated to a 5 at that point. The anesthesiologist  was in a C-Section and couldn't leave. After the longest hour of my life, my BFF Cory, came in and got me all numbed up. At that point I was at a 7. Then the shakes set in. I got a warm blanket and watched my contractions on the monitor. I could feel the pushing pressure but didn't want to call the nurse to check me too early. So I waited until I was positive it was time to go. I called the nurse in at 4:15 and she said it was time to push. The room was already set up with all the instruments, carts, and what not. The resident doctor came in and had me start pushing, my actual doctor followed shortly, just in time for the tail end of the delivery. After 2 sets of pushes, Eric Spencer arrived at 4:24 p.m., 8 lbs 4 oz, 21 inches long.

The nurse laid him on my chest and there were so many people surrounding me and Eric, Jacob wasn't very close to us. The doctor and the resident, finishing up their work, two nurses touching Eric's lip and mouth, which they determined was a slight cleft, my nurse, rubbing Eric with a towel, and probably more people around. Its all a blur. Soon everything died down and we got to cuddle Eric a little. The pediatrician said I wouldn't be able to breast feed Eric because of his cleft, and they wanted to do the first feeding in the NICU. Jacob got to be the first to feed him. He went off with the baby and I ordered a big burger and fries, cookies and a milkshake! It was actually kind of nice to have a little quiet time. Zach and Sommer came with my parents to meet their new baby brother while Jacob was still feeding Eric and anxiously waited to meet their baby brother. And by that I mean, they found our tablets and played on those. They were both very sweet when they finally met him. Zach wanted to hold him and Sommer wasn't so sure.
One of the perks of bottle feeding...
The best part of a newborn... All the cuddles!
We are anxiously waiting for Eric's cleft lip surgery. I curious to see what his "new" face will look like. I don't even see the cleft anymore and I love his face just the way it is, but I know its something that has to be fixed. The surgery will happen the day after Mother's Day, May 15th. Until then we'll soak in all the cleft we can.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hawaii 2016

 In February we took a trip to Kauai, Hawaii. This is one of my favorite places. I could be here everyday and be happy. Not quite sure where to start, so here are the pictures in the order they were on my computer which I don't think is chronological.
 Feeding some very aggressive Koi fish. I am sure they are fed all day long and they act like they've never seen food before. They jump up out of the water and flap around, and find their way back into the water after they get their food.
 This was my favorite part of the trip. My dad treated me, Christian, and Jacob to a little day cruise with snorkeling. While we were going to our floating spot a group of whales was floating right beside us. This is the best picture we took with our camera phone, but they were slapping the water with their fins and showing off their tails. The guide on our boat said that this is as active as they get. Such a cool experience. And I can cross whale watching off my bucket list. We also saw a double breach off in the distance behind us. The splash was amazing. We also saw dolphins, sea turtles, and sting rays. On our way back from snorkeling, the sun came out, we had sandwiches and hawaiian sodas, and they had fun oldies songs on the speakers. The water was crispy blue and Christian and I were singing along. It was absolutely beautiful. It was one of those moments where you just know life can't get much better.
 No vacation is complete with out a train ride. We took Zach and Sommer to a train ride on an old sugar cane plantation.
 Jacob and Sommer waiting to get rolling.
 Zach was excited for the conductor to yell "All Aboard!"
 On the train ride we were able to stop and feed the animals. They were extremely friendly animals.

 A sea turtle came to sun bathe.
 The view from our hotel room. My dad paid for an ocean view. The ocean is there... way out there. It's still a really pretty view either way. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if the good people at Marriott heard about his grievances.
 More wild life. Jacob isn't afraid to pick up these gross things and the kids love it. I'm glad he gets adventurous, because picking up a lizard is something I wouldn't do.
Sommer in the Hammock. She wasn't so sure about it. Zach flipped upside down as soon as he got in, so no picture of him.
Family picture at the beach. Don't mind Sommer picking her boogers and Zach, sticking his tongue up his nose. You're getting the read deal here.
Eating at Jo Jo's Shave Ice. We love this place so much we went twice. Don't mind my face here, but Zach and Sommer we're both smiling and looking at the camera, which is a miracle so it had to be shared.

We love Hawaii and as much as I love my kids and taking them on adventures, they are staying home next time so Jacob and I can really enjoy Hawaii. We have a big list of activities to do with out them and I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sommer's Second Birthday!

I just want the world to know that I have a dang cute little girl. We just celebrated her second birthday. She has grown and changed so much since she was born. She is stubborn and sometimes she cries a lot (especially lately) but she brings so much happiness and so many smiles to our home. She loves her pajamas. If she sees a pair laying out, she'll pick them up and follow me around crying for me to help her get her pajamas on until she get's her way. Even at 3 in the afternoon. She loves to read books and cuddle. She would read books and cuddle in her pajamas all day if I let her. We have get outside too though to get some energy out with Zach.

Sommer is also a daddy's girl. The other day she got her finger stuck in the cupboard. I helped her get it out, but oh no. She wanted "Dada's" help. So she stuck her finger back where it was and cried for Jacob to come help. I am not allowed to change her diapers or tuck her in bed if Jacob's around. She sure loves her dad. And Jacob loves her too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trip to Park City

We're going to rewind even more past Zach's birthday to our short trip to Park City. Sometimes my dad has a free week to use at Marriott somewhere. When he can't use them he offers the week to us. We always go to Park City... Someday we'll live a little, but until then, Park City is our destination of choice.

We met my parents there and my mom and dad brought an excavator for Zach. It's been his machine of choice ever since.
We went to the Zoo in Salt Lake City. Zach loved seeing all the animals. These two lions were taking their role as queens of the zoo pretty seriously.
We took Zach on the train ride and he was so excited. He held his ticket the whole time. When we finally got on the train he acted pretty nervous about it, but I am sure he still had fun.
My parents left and we had a few more days to spend in Utah. We met up with my friend Annalise and her husband Ryan in Provo. They took us to dessert at a little cupcake place called the Sweet Tooth Fairy. It was hands down the best cup cake I've ever had. All cupcakes will forever and always be compared to this cup cake. The shop owner even won Cupcake Wars! My sister in law said she remembered reading an article about The Sweet Tooth Fairy in BYU Magazine and sent me a link to the article which included her recipe! It wasn't as good as the real thing though. Guess I'll have to go back to Provo someday!

On our way out of town we tromped around Temple Square in Salt Lake and took our first family selfie! (Jacob and I recently welcomed ourselves to the 21st century and bought smart phones.) Sommer's cheeks kill me! Poor girl.

And that is all of Utah until my dad's next free week!

Zach's Birthday

We have to back track a little bit since I've been slacking on the blog.

In November, Zach turned three! He was such a happy boy that day! We decorated the house with construction zone signs and yellow and black streamers, since Zach loves everything construction.

 Jacob had the day off because it was Veterans Day and Jacob and Zach made traditional birthday pancakes. (Look at his calf muscle!!)

Jacob's parents came over for breakfast and we all sang Happy Birthday to Zach which was a special treat for him. You can tell when he feels special because he tries not to show anyone he's smiling, but when we started singing to him and he had that birthday candle in his pancakes, his face lit up and there was no way he could even try to hide his smile. And I of course, did not get a picture of him until it was too late.

After breakfast, we handed Sommer off to Jacob's parents and took Zach to a family fun zone called Wahooz to ride the go-carts. Who rides go-carts in November? We do. It was freezing and I was an ice cube. Whatever it takes to make our boy feel special on his birthday. Then we went to Wendy's for lunch.

I was pretty beat at this point. In the afternoon Zach and Sommer took naps and Jacob and I got ready for round three. Zach had some little friends over to eat birthday cake and ice cream after dinner. They all ran around, made a mess, and by the end of the day, Zach was a tuckered out, happy little boy.

I love Zach so much and he is a very good boy, but he tests and challenges me everyday. Especially in the winter. He loves to learn, swim, run, and has a wild imagination. I just can't keep up with the demands of a three year old!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turn On The Christmas!

We had snow for the first time this season. Zach was so excited. He was sitting at the table, eating breakfast and I said, "Zach, you want to see something really cool?" He said, "Uh-huh..." I threw open the curtains and said, "ITS SNOWING!!" He jumped off his chair and ran to the window and said, "TURN ON THE CHRISTMAS!!" He went on and on and about Christmas and how he wanted to build a snow man. He kept looking at the snow and saying, "Forty minutes til Christmas, mom. Forty minutes." He loved making footprints and shoveling the snow. We built a castle with sand toys from summer and then he smashed them down. Zach had so much fun and played outside for about 45 minutes today. And I was worried we'd be cooped up. Such a cute, fun age for snow.