Friday, September 24, 2010

Siblings

   I have always pictured the perfect family to have kids that were all close in age- two boys and then two girls. This way each child gets to experience what its like to have a brother or sister and they all can grow up to be friends. Of course, there is no bad arrangement, each family is perfect in their own way. For me, I have one sister who is five years younger then me. I don't have many memories of us bonding together as kids because of the age gap. Sadly, I completely draw a blank from about the time I was 10 till I graduated high school of who my sister was. I had my own life and friends and so did she. I was busy with sports and boyfriends and she was still just this little kid. Now, that we are older, the age doesn't really matter much. My sister is one of my best friends. But as I watched my boys tonight, I envied how they have always, and will hopefully always, be so close.

  Gavin and Breiden were in their room and I walk in to find all the blankets and pillows thrown off their big bed into a pile and their pillow cases off the pillows and over their heads like ghost costumes. They were jumping off the bed into the big, fluffy pile of bedding and laughing hysterically. I sat on the bed and just watched them run and tackle each other, playing rough, like boys do. I looked over at Fiona, who was sleeping (surprise, surprise, that's all she does) in her bouncy seat across the hall in her room, and got a little sad she wont have a sister like her brothers have each other. I'll never walk into her bedroom to find her and a little sister sitting and playing barbies or doing each others hair and make up. We are stopping one child short of my dream family... but I am happy. As soon as I saw the doctor hold her over the sheet in the delivery room, I knew and I felt that we were complete. She is our princess, and she may never know what its like to have a sister, but she has two amazing brothers, an experience I never had.


   There really is no, one ideal situation- what ever you end up with, whether it be an only child, or kids 10 years apart, or 10 kids... its perfect. I never had a brother growing up, but now I have two brother-in-laws, and eventually a third when my little sister finds the man of her dreams. And I never had a close relationship with my sister when we were young, but I had the most amazing childhood girlfriends and now a great friendship with my sister and can say that I do not feel like I missed out on any girl bonding.

 Twins are truly a special gift. It is absolutely amazing to watch them interact with each other. Yes, they fight often as all siblings do, but they always have each other. There is not a dull moment in our house with the two of them running around. Although there are many times that having three kids under the age of three is extremely testing, I would bet that, at times, its easier then having just one 2 year old and a newborn. I am not the boys only source of entertainment. They have never had the luxury that all first borns do of being an only child. Patience is a word that they knew by the age of one. Neither one of the boys have ever had mommy or daddy's 100 percent attention, well, for more then 5 minutes at a time. I panicked when I saw the boys for the first time after Fiona was born because I felt overwhelmed that my heart was being split in three ways. That was another big sign that I knew our family was complete. I don't feel like I could split myself four different ways and maintain my sanity (which is barely there now anyways). Our perfect arrangement is just the way that it is. Family of 5.


( Now, of course this blog will be erased if we have an ops, our permanent birth control turns out to be faulty, and Gods perfect number for us is more then 3, but lets hope that doesn't happen :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Hang in There

 Well, its back to work on Tuesday... and I'm not ready. By this time, after having the boys, I was itching to get out of the house and back to work to have some space and time for myself- but the boys were healthy. I get more and more scared for Fiona each day. The doctors seem confident that I will know when somethings not right, but I don't feel the same confidence in myself. Fiona Hope turned one month old yesterday. That really flew by. Our little 6lb 8oz baby is now pushing 8lbs.



   The cardiologists are talking surgery in the next two months. And I am praying that she can stay strong for those two months. I broke down today, holding her and thinking about losing her so young. As if a cruel joke, there is a new country song on the radio, that played yesterday on our drive home from the cardiologist, about a girl dying too young. I know I am not supposed to think this way, but its a real possibility that I can't just push aside. The surgery she needs has a very high success rate, but not so much if they have to do it earlier then 3 months. And the doctors seem very concerned that she may need it sooner then 3 months. These next two weeks are crucial. I don't know all the medical details other then something happens with all babies blood flow around 6 weeks of age, and if the medicine they have her on can't keep enough blood out of her lungs, they will have to take the more drastic route.

Fiona and Emma- another miracle baby born at 32 weeks gestation. We love you Emma Rose

   I feel like the boys need my attention more then her because she just sleeps all day. There really is nothing that I can do with her or for her besides hold and feed her. The boys need so much more, but I want to spend as much time with her as I can. You hear stories of kids that beat all kinds of odds and are healed just from love and touch from their family. I recently read a story of a little girl, born at 24 weeks gestation, and her four year old brother. He sung to his mommy's belly everyday throughout the pregnancy "You are my sunshine". After she was born, he begged and begged to go see her, but he was too young to be allowed in the NICU. The doctors lost hope for the little girl and so the parents pleaded that their son be able to see his sister once before she died. He sung "you are my sunshine" to his dying sister, and with each word of the song, her vitals improved. God uses more then just medicine to heal people.

   Gavin and Breiden are so attentive to her. They let me know when shes crying and gently tell her "No crying sisser" They really are good around her, for two year olds. I long for the day when I can take her out of the house so we can get back to going to the playground and running errands. Charlie takes them out swimming almost every morning, and Fiona and I joined them pool side the other day for a little bit. Just this week, the boys started swimming with no swimming vests! It was my goal to have them swimming by the end of the summer, and mid September is pretty dang close. I don't know if  its normal for a two year old to be jumping off the edge of the pool and diving for rings, but they do it. Watch out Michael Phelps.


    Fiona has been sleeping so well- 7 hours average a night. I thought the boys were amazing to be doing that at 3 months! She is such a peaceful baby, which is very good according to her doctors. That's what they want to see. Fussiness means something wrong. So of course, any time she isn't perfectly peaceful, I'm a mess worrying whats wrong. Its almost always gas. The major thing they want us looking out for it trouble eating- which as of right now she definitely doesn't have. She is eating 3 plus ounces 6 plus times a day at just one month of age. If she starts struggling through her feedings or drops how much she is eating, we call. If her breathing gets shallow and rough, we call. If her color loses its pink and gets dusty, we call. My dilemma is, as it was with labor, do I be overly cautious and have a million false trips and a medical bill that would make you faint, or risk missing something and lose her. Of course, be over cautious and slightly lose my mind worrying. "Don't let your prayin knees get lazy, and love like crazy"

( I finally added pictures from the hospital and Fiona's casts to the blog Back to the Hospital)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our Princess

Our amazing photographer, Ashley Allbee, was so sweet as to rush and get pictures of Fiona before her casts were put on. Thank you so much Ashley!!!

Fiona Hope Blaeske- 8.16.2010

Back to the Hospital

  Being without a computer for a week or so really showed me just how addicted I am to the Internet. I use it for more then I realize. Our computer died on us just a few days after bringing Fiona home, so I have been without my source of information and without, I learned, my source of sanity. The only reason I am able to write now, unfortunately, is not a good thing. We are back at the special children's hospital because Fiona started to show signs of distress. 
    A lot has happen since I last wrote. Some that I will have to come back and write more about at another time, but here is a quick over view to update you. Our amazing friends threw Fiona a beautiful coming home party the Saturday after we came home from the hospital. They filled her closet with the cutest cloths and supplied us with enough diapers to last the first few months. Life has gone back into a somewhat normal routine, with lots of doctors appointments thrown in to mix it up. Fiona sleeps.... a lot. You would never even know she was in the house the majority of the time. This gives me lots of time to play with the boys and give them attention. The hardest part is that I can't take them out of the house to play due to Fiona's immune system not being strong enough to be out in public. Gavin and Breiden get stir crazy being in the house and I think we watched close to every Disney movie ever made (which I hate to admit). I have ventured out a few times to take them to the playground, but I got an ear full from both my husband and the pediatrician for doing so. When both Charlie and I are home, one of us is able to get out and run errands or lately Charlie has been taking the boys to the pool for a bit in the mornings to get them some fresh air. They sleep better on the days they get out and play. There have been many nights already were, between the three kids, someone was up and crying almost every hour of the night... those were fun nights.

    Fiona got her first set of casts. She had them put on the Monday after getting home from the hospital. They really weren't as bad as I had anticipated- that first day I was so afraid to hurt her, but its not like when you have a cast on something broken- nothing is broken so when they bumped together or when I picked her up, none of that hurt her. But the sight of them drew a lot of sympathy- its just sad to see an infant in casts. Everything with her heart seemed to be doing great. Last weeks meeting with the cardiologist went very well and they were pleased with how everything looked and sounded. But this weeks doctors visits took a very different path.
    The casts caused some problems with being able to weigh her. Our pediatrician was monitoring her weight closely because she is on a medicine which flushes the fluids out of her system. If this medicine is not working correctly, it could a- flush to much fluid and cause her to not gain or even lose weight, or b- not flush enough fluid and cause her to gain too much weight. But with the casts, he could not get an accurate weight. The pediatric orthopedic did not have a scale to weight her, which meant that the only way to get an accurate weight was to remove the casts, take her to the pediatrician to get weighed and then go and get to the casts put back on. She gets a new set of casts every week- its called serial casting- so every week we were to soak off the casts at home, stop at the pediatrician and then go on to the orthopedic for the new set. This was our first week having to do this. These casts that we were " not to get wet because they will come apart easily" took over an hour and a half to soak/ cut off at home. My husband was using all his strength to rip them off and Fiona was not happy about sitting in water for almost 2 hours and having us pull and tug at her legs. When we brought her into the pediatrician, he did not like what he saw. Her respiratory rate was high, she was what they kept referring to as "dusty" meaning she was not a nice baby pink but had a grayish blue tint to her skin, and she was "grunting" with each breath. On top of that, she had not gained any weight from her last weight check almost two weeks ago. After putting her on oxygen and talking to her cardiologist, the pediatrician made the call to send her to the ER. I was holding together fine until he said there was a good chance she would end up being sent back to the special children's hospital 2 hours away. That broke me. The lack of sleep left me unable to control my emotions and the tears came. EMTs arrived to transport her to the hospital so that they could keep her on oxygen. They kept me informed the whole ride and she did great as long she was on the oxygen.
    I spent all afternoon watching her get poked and stabbed, holding her little hand (or more her little hand holding my finger). She hated having the oxygen in her nose and had about 6 different monitors attached to her, band aids on all hands, elbows and feet from the sticks, and an iv in her scalp. She looked scary. Doctors are hard to read. I still couldn't tell you if they thought she was doing well or bad. Everything they said sounded like good news, but the actions they took seemed drastic and semi urgent. Around two they decided to admit her for the night for monitoring, and minutes later decided it was better to admit her to the children's hospital where the cardiologist are on hand. They were sending a transport team down to pick her up. I called Charlie and he came to get me, although we didn't actually end up leaving for 4 more hours.

     We drove separate from the transport vehicle- I thought I wanted to sleep on the ride up but I couldn't stop thinking long enough to rest. I couldn't help but flash back three weeks ago to our other late night drive up here, when I was staring out the window and rubbing the belly that is no longer there. We arrived just as the EMT called me to let me know what room she was in and walked into her room with a team of nurses hovering over her. She was starving but they wouldn't let me feed her till they got the okay from the doctor. They continued to poke and stick her with tests and kept trying to convince her to suck on her paci to hold off her hunger screams. 2 hours later, after redoing her IV and drawing the last bit of blood work, the doctor okayed her to eat. She sucked down that bottle faster then I have ever seen... and spit up the entire bottle even faster. Poor thing had just gone threw too much.

    We are in the CVICU this time ( Cardiac Vascular Intensive Care Unit). This is were she was originally supposed to go after she was born but they switched her to the NICU last minute. We've asked a million times why they wanted her in the NICU when the only thing wrong that needed monitoring was her heart, and we have not gotten a clear answer other then the doctors fight for patients and the NICU just happened to win that fight. Well, I wish the heart doctor had won because the CVICU is WAY nicer then the NICU. We have a huge room with a 50 inch LG screen TV that has TV, movies, Internet (which is how I am writing this blog now) and even video games. We also have our own bathroom with a shower, a pull out bed, a refrigerator, and another small TV to watch shows on. We can eat in here and order food from both the hospital and out side restaurants right to the room. This feels like a 5 start hotel compared to the NICU were you stayed in a closet size room with just a reclining chair and a skinny little window that let in a minute amount of light. Of course, its not about the room, its about my daughters health, but I'm still to be convinced that the NICU was the better place for her.

     I sit here, next to her. She is soundly sleeping, all wrapped snugly in her warm little isolate, oxygen tubes wrapped around her small head. She looks so peaceful and seems to be doing fine, until you look down at her chest and see how hard it is moving- each breath looks like a hiccup. I stare at her wondering what exactly is going on. Like I said, the doctors words seem to be good news. But it is hard to know how well she is doing because they don't relate her to a normal child. When they say, "her heart looks good", well it doesn't look good compared to a normal heart, it just looks good for her heart. That could mean a million different things. I'm not so anxious to get out of here this time. I'm finally feeling scared for her since her birth. I really felt like I would be able to see when she wasn't doing well, but I didn't- I had no clue when we went to the pediatrician that she didn't look well. I had no clue that her respiratory rate was far to high or that her oxygen was too low. She seemed normal to me, maybe a little paler then usual, but nothing alarmed me. I think I have been treating her too much like a normal child and not enough like the weak being she really is- living in my own fantasy world that she is strong and fine. Its when the walls of my fantasy world come down and I see what is real that I start to breakdown, and I don't like that feeling of losing control. I can't control what is going on, but I feel like I have to be able to control my emotions. We were warned that the pregnancy was just the beginning of a life of doctors and hospitals, but it didn't sink in till the drive to the ER. But as we drove off the exit to the children's hospital I had a feeling that I never thought I would have returning to this place- comfort. I know its going to be a love/hate relationship with the hospital, but right now I feel a great amount of comfort being here.
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