Sunday, May 25, 2014

Update on Nylah (from May 25th - September 11th)

I am super late but my little one has kept me busy! As of today, Nylah is now 5 months old! It was a very long and pretty much uneventful NICU stay (which is a good thing)and on Sunday, June 8, 2014, we were able to bring our little Nylah home!!! Once she was taken off of all of the machines her main concerns were eating and growing. She was gaining weight slowly but steadily but the hardest part for her was drinking from a bottle. She had to drink 100% of her bottles for 24 hours before her feeding tube was removed and discharge was even thought of! After weeks of trying and coaxing the doctors her tube was removed and a few days later she was discharged.

Adjusting to home life with her wasn't so bad! She woke for a bottle every few hours and was generally a happy baby. We visited the doctors it seemed at least once a week for almost two months; weight checks, acid reflux (she has a bad case), well check up....blah blah!

Boy has she grown fast. At 5 months, she's finally fitting into 0-3 month clothes (she's a preemie so she's a little small), talking up a storm, rolling over, holding her head up great and sitting pretty good with support! She just started etaing rice cereal inside of her bottle yesterday! We are so excited for what she will do next! She was evaluated and no developmental delay has been found!!! She's a smart and sassy little lady and we love her to pieces! I will be posting more updates on her and family life much more! I promise

Nylah on her way home from the NICU!!!
Little Nylah at 5 months sitting in her crib like a big girl!

Recovering from my C-section

The c word that so many women fret about! I had to have an emergency c-section dur to my uncontrollable blood pressure levels. And I honestly do not see the big deal. I am not one of those women who absolutely had to have a natural child birth. I honestly was hoping to have a c-section, just not as early of course. There was no way I could see myself pushing a baby out of me with no mess and I was so afraid of the recovery process of a vaginal birth. I was actually afraid of recovery,  period! But nothing in the process was as bad as I thought it would be. Women have been doing it since forever so I could handle it! Here's a few things that I learned from my experience that may help.

1. There Will be Pain - There will definitely be pain and there is no way of getting around that! Cesarean sections are abdominal surgeries. Your abdomen is cut open in order for your baby to be removed and stapled back up so you will feel it. Specifically when getting up, standing while showering (which they allowed me to do on the 2nd day, yay!), adjusting yourself in the bed, and anything else that requires you to use your stomach muscles. Walking is hell if you do it on the same day as your surgery. But the sooner you begin to walk, the better the healing process will be. Even walking around the room or down the maternity ward hallway will be good (wheelchairs will be available if you do need There will also be meds that you can ask for at anytime. I was sent home with ibuprofen and percocet. Most of the pain subsided after a week when my staples were removed. And I stuck to the Ibuprofen after about day 3 of being home (I was discharged 4 days after birth).

2. There Will be Blood -  well duh, but I wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was immediately given a catheter which I did not feel at all so I did not get up for the entire day until it was out. I was nervous about having a nurse come and check my bleeding and changing me but once it was being done who cared! Bleeding is very heavy and clotty for the first 2-3 days but it then becomes lighter and lighter. The hospital gives pads, which I used, and they worked great! They also gave me disposable underwear which worked great. Some women complain and say bring your own but i had NOTHING prepared at 29 weeks so i had no choice and it all worked out fine. The bleeding stopped completely after 2 weeks for me and it was definitely manageable.

3. Your Bowels will be Funky - this is what I hated the most! The doctor will send you home with a stool softener and you must take it or you will be in trouble! Before you are discharged, the nurses will make sure that you are passing gas and able to have a bowel movement (which was pretty easy for me in the hospital). Now when I was home, the struggle began. I was going days without a bowel movement and getting them out was terrible!  The stool softer helps if you continuously take them which I didn't because I didn't think I needed to. Boy did I learn!

4. The Incision Site - everyone has a different experience with their incision. Mine was closed very neatly and healed very well. It was rather itchy especially once the staples were removed. I had no drainage, which some people do. The bandage covering it is removed on the second day and the incision is left uncovered to heal. It hurt really bad to cough, sneeze or laugh but putting a pillow up to the site may ease some pain when doing any of these. Once the staples are removed,  usually a few days later it will feel 1000 times better. My incision was very numb and still is a little now 8 weeks later. But I was overall good after around week 5.

5. Listen to your Body! This is the most important advice that I can give. We all have different bodies which means we will heal differently. Over exertion is very harmful and your body will tell you if you're doing to much. When I was up, moving around too much I would be in pain the next day. And I know it's difficult to just sit around and heal but doing too much can prolong your healing process.

I am 8 weeks post c-section now and doing great. My incision is looking really good, my stomach muscles are getting stronger, no more pain or pain meds, and I am back to my usual activities!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Purple Birdie Baby Shower for Nylah

Being the mama-to-be left me out of hosting the shower, we'll not really. My original baby shower was planned for May 17th and was being put together by my mom and mother in law (MIL) but since Nylah came early things changed. We weren't sure if she'd be home by May 17th (she wasn't) and we didn't want her to be present at the shower because we know everyone would have wanted to hold her. So we pushed the date up to May 3rd. I wanted to get gifts and still have time to shop for whatever else we needed.

With Nylah being in the NICU and going through so many different emotions on a daily basis I thought it would be best to have the shower at home and totally down scale. My mom and MIL were going to rent a hall and all if that jazz but Aaron and I both thought it was unnecessary,  I don't think MIL liked that too And I decided to help out with decorations and making my own cake! I wanted EVERYTHING purple but my MIL insisted on having a "baby" theme and I settled for a pink mommy and baby bird theme,  but I made sure that purple was really incorporated. I was pretty busy that day so I didn't get many pictures but here is what I got and some details.

Date: May 3rd
Time: 3:00-7:00pm
Location: Our Home
Number of Guests: 35
Games Played: Baby Word Search & Scramble, Ball Toss, Guess Baby's Birth Weight, My Water Broke
Menu: Meatballs, Chicken Fingers, Seafood Salad, Tuna Salad, Deviled Eggs, Cake, Cookies, Chips, Candy, Soda, Juice, Water

Baby Shower cake made by me!!!
Guests signed and wrote messages to Aaron, Nylah and me. 
Guest's favors; custom made cookies and a cupcake candle. 
Decor; Nylah's name
Our chips table
Mommy's Special Chair
Sweet Table; Cookies, Mini purple cupcakes, Nerds, Jolly Ranchers, Sweet Tarts,  Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffys and Gobstoppers. EVERYTHING was gone at the end. 
The Guests of Honor, Aaron & Me

Nylah, My 29 Week Baby

It takes 40 weeks from conception for a baby to be completely developed and ready to enter this world. A baby born at 37 weeks is considered full term and ready to enter the world as well but there is no way that a baby born at 29 weeks is ready to enter the world and can thrive on their own.

My little Nylah was born at 29 weeks weighing 2lbs 6.8oz and having trouble breathing on her own. I was in the hospital a few days before my emergency c-section and was given steroid shots to enhance the development of my baby's lungs and brain in case she needed to be born early, sooo happy that I was able to get those shots. She was immediately taken to the NICU after birth with issues breathing on her own and was placed on a C-PAP machine to help her. She stayed on this machine for a few hours and was then able to breathe on her own.
There she is with the ventilator,  Artery and Vein lines in her umbilical cord. 
She was also jaundiced and had to receive phototherapy, a light treatment that helps to lower her levels of bilirubin. She was jaundice free after about a week.  She also had an artery line and vein line through her umbilical cord for drawing blood and giving fluids, these only remained in for the first week and a half. She also had a feeding tube placed in her mouth,  down her throat and into her belly and 24 hours sensors monitoring her heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen percentage.
Nylah with the CPAP machine on and her Photography glasses on the side there.
After having her Artery line removed we were able to hold her for the first time, on the second day! It can be very overwhelming holding a tiny little baby, she lost water weight from her birth so she was even smaller. I was able to do Kangaroo care with her; holding her skin to skin on my chest to keep her warm and establishing a bond with her. She was such a feisty baby,  sucking and moving her head all around! She came off of all of the support machines within 2 weeks and spent most of her journey focusing on growing and eating. This is just the beginning of her journey! I have so much more to share. 

She's sucking her hand during one of our kangaroo sessions.

My Birth Story

So, we always here that you should expect the unexpected. I know exactly what that phrase means but you never expect it until you have to and on March 30, 2014 the unexpected hit me right in the face. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at only 29 weeks gestation! My daughter,  Nylah Amerie Dogan was born at 3:34am on March 30, 2014 due to my severe pre eclampsia.

I was hospitalized 3 days prior to her birth with no intentions of giving birth. I was already having issues with high blood pressure throughout the 1st and 2nd trimesters but was not diagnosed with pre eclampsia. I was on 2 medications and would visit the doctors (OBGYN & Cardiologist) for BP checks biweekly. I was not feeling well one night (high BP, nausea and headache at 28 weeks) and my mother persuaded me to call my doctor who insisted that I come in to the hospital. When Aaron and I got there I was given a room on the labor and delivery floor and put on Magnesium Sulfate (which makes you feel crazy and insanely HOT). My Doc came to see me the next day and told me that I had protein in my urine and which meant that I had mild pre eclampsia. She said that I would be delivering the baby between now and 34 weeks, 34 weeks being the time frame that we were very sure of. But nonetheless,  she had a NICU doc meet with us to discuss what it would be like to have a baby this early. Aaron and I listened but we did not take it seriously because we knew that I would be pregnant a bit longer!

My doc wanted me to stay under observation over the weekend and early Sunday morning my pre eclampsia took a turn for the worst, 29 weeks into my pregnancy. My BP skyrocketed to extremely dangerous levels and was uncontrollable. Doctors tried giving me 2 different medications and neither worked. My baby was not under any distress but I was informed that she needed to be delivered immediately at around 3 am. I was pumped with more Magnesium Sulfate (Ugh!) and quickly prepped for an emergency c-section. I was scared but had no time to think about anything!!! Everything went fine in the OR, including my spinal tap, and my baby was delivered at 3:34am. Aaron was able to snap a quick pic of her before she was rushed to the NICU with issues breathing on her own. I was not able to see her until about 4 hours later in which she was stabilized and breathing with the help of a machine. She is doing great now and I'll be posting more on her!
Newborn, Nylah Amerie Dogan! 

I Am Back!!!

I am back and I have so much to update you on. I have not posted since the end of January and many things have happened. I am now a MOMMY! I was not supposed to be until June but my little baby girl arrived more than 2 months early, that entire experience will be so many posts! She is of course in the NICU so the past 2 months have been an emotional roller coaster for Aaron and me. So please check back for my posts and I hope that my experience is one that can help other s, especially new moms of preemie babies.