Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 - Our Hearts Grew Three Sizes

February was a big month for us! 
Monet was so excited to have a new baby in the house. She carries her baby doll everywhere, and anything we have set up for Bridget is used for Baby Doll until Bridget gets home.

Just two weeks until we get to meet our baby girl!
ABE and Monet had their last day at Daycare. With Bridget on the way we aren't sure if I will be going back to work, and what our child care choice will be. We have LOVED Way To Grow learning daycare in American Fork! It has been a wonderful place for the kids to learn and play while interacting with other kids. They have done so well and grown so much in the short few months spent here!
Monet has spent a few nights in her big girl bed! She is the cutest little princess that I ever did see!
Once again, I just have to mention how incredibly blessed we are to have friends and family close by! There was always someone willing to take ABE and Monet for a playdate while I went in for my many Drs appointments. I love where we live, and I love the people in our lives!
We have had so many generous gifts given to us and we really appreciate all the love and thoughtfulness shown to us.

ABE, Monet and I made some Valentines Day treats. I forgot to get a photo before we cut into the brownie! It was so yummy. I love making things with these two cuties!
Almost time to say goodbye to the round belly!
Just a few more days until we meet our little lady!
I posted the birth story in a separate post, along with pictures of Bridget meeting family members and friends. But I thought I would post some pictures here of just our beautiful baby girl. She is such a sweetheart and we love having her in our family.
ABE and Monet were able to stay with Nana and Papa while we were in the hospital. It was a long stay for them and they had a hard time with it. I stayed in the hospital for a full 4 days so I could be close to Bridget in the NICU and Tyson was there with me for most of that time. By the time I was released ABE was ready to be home. He was very sad that Bridget didn't come home the same day I did. We all missed Bridget very much.
ABE and Monet were not allowed in the NICU to see baby Bridget. There were a few times that Tyson and I would visit, Tyson would go and hold Bridget for a while and I would play with ABE and Monet in the waiting areas and then we would switch. 
We also made some crafts together so the kids could feel closer to their new baby sister.
ABE and Monet both got sick right after Bridget was born. Lucky for them, and for Bridget, they got better before she came home! 
There is a group of volunteers at the NICU that really take care of the families. They made us some kits for the kids. These kits came with dolls and supplies that Bridget uses. This helped to familiarize ABE and Monet with the things Bridget uses from day to day. You can see that the doll has tendergrip stickers on it's cheeks to hold the oxygen tube in place! Just like Baby B!
ABE loved playing Dr and using all the instuments.
Monet also had a great time! 
Bridget has a lot of equipment that we have to learn and get used to. One of the things that shocked me the most was looking at my blood pressure cuff in comparison to hers! She is so tiny!

Bridget is doing well and we all love her so much.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Baby Bridget's Beats - Birth & Hospital Stay

Bridget Rose Ellis is here! She has arrived and she is so beautiful! It all started on Tuesday morning at 4:30 AM.

Tuesday 2/16/2016
4:30 AM: I called in to the hospital to check in for my c-section appointment. They let us know that things were looking good for the schedule and to come in. We left the house right then and headed in. I hadn't eaten since the night before because I was asked to fast after midnight. Neither of us slept well, so we were a little anxious on the way in.

5:30 AM: We arrived at the hospital and got checked in. I was put in what would be my recovery room. Then we waited. 

7:30 AM: My parents arrived at the hospital. Followed shortly by Tyson's parents. I had asked all four parents to be there in the hospital during my c-section. We all knew they would just have to wait in the other room but I needed the support and just knowing they were there was enough. They were so wonderful and didn't question me once.

8:30 AM: I went back to the delivery room. Our c-section had been scheduled for 7:30 but was delayed because of another surgery. They put in my spinal tap and immediately I started to feel numb. Once the numbness was fully set in and confirmed they let Tyson come in and they began the surgery.
8:54 AM: Bridget was born and took her first breath! She cried a little bit. They held her up quickly so Tyson could see her and then passed her through a window in the room that went directly into the NICU. 

Bridget weighs 6lbs 13oz and is 19 inches long. 

I went into recovery and Tyson came with me. We waited in my recovery room with the parents for a few hours before Tyson and I were able to go back to the NICU and see little Bridget. They wheeled my whole bed into the NICU because I was still numb. Tyson was able to hold her little hand and I looked at her as best I could. 

We then were transferred to my permanent room in the Maternal Care unit. Our parents came with us and we waited in that room for a few more hours to hear about how baby Bridget was doing and where she was headed.

In the early afternoon we learned that Bridget would be transferred to the NICU at Primary Children's. The transfer team was kind enough to bring her by my room first so we could see her. I was a mess. I had been throwing up and struggling with my oxygen levels. My anxiety was intense and I could not stop crying. Everyone was really kind to me but what I really needed was to see my baby girl.

They brought her to my room and she was in an incubator. I was so excited just to see her. When a member of the transfer team asked if I wanted to hold her I was beside myself with joy! OF COURSE I WANT TO HOLD HER! I got to hold her for a solid 10 minutes and I loved every single second of it.

They asked Tyson if he would like to hold her as well. He didn't get as much time as I did because I was kind of a baby hog but he got to put little Bridget back into her incubator and he gave her kisses for the first time.

Bridget's heart rate jumped up quite a bit today. It was in the high 70s and even up to the high 80s. They are going to monitor her very closely to make sure it doesn't drop too much. 

After holding Bridget I was able to relax. It was amazing how my body had been tense up until the moment of holding her. Our parents left shortly after that and Tyson and I were asleep by 7PM. I am telling you, we were EXHAUSTED!

10:30 PM: I got a phone call from Primary Chilldren's NICU. They were asking permission to put in a PICC line (this is an IV that goes directly into the heart to better deliver drugs in case her heart rate were to suddenly drop). They went over the risks and how the procedure would work. I gave consent, called a few people and then went back to sleep.

Wednesday 2/17/2016
Tyson and I were able to visit with Bridget today. He took me down there in a wheelchair as soon as I was feeling up to it.

Nana brought Abe and Monet to come see us at the hospital. Because it is RSV season they aren't allowed in Primary Children's to see their sister but they were allowed to come see mommy and daddy! They were really timid at first because they knew mommy was hurting but they warmed up and ended up snuggling by the end.

Tyson's sister, Emily, and her husband, Andrew, were able to come and visit. They got to take turns holding baby Bridget. My parents also came by for a visit. They didn't quite have time to hold the little lady but got to peek in at her!

Emily then took us to a very special piece of art that is hanging on the walls of Primary Children's. This is a picture their cousin, Shannon, did when she was a little girl.

Thursday 2/18/2016
We went down to see Bridget a lot today. I was feeling well enough to walk and made the trek quite a few times.

Early on in the day the nurse was able to teach Tyson and me about monitoring heart rate. Bridget's heart is very stable and the chances of her going home without a pacemaker are high right now. There are others with her condition that go even into their teen years before the pacemaker is inserted. They are hoping she can go home on an outpatient basis and just have frequent monitoring. This means that at home we need to monitor her heart rate every time we change her diaper. Just to make sure things stay stable. We are very excited about this possibility and really hope that her little heart stays strong and stable.

Tyson's sister, Carrie, was able to come up and visit with us. She was able to meet little baby Bridget and hold her. Bridget is sure loving all the family snuggles she gets! She doesn't fuss when she gets picked up, just settles right in.

Abe and Monet will probably not be back to visit with us while we are staying in the hospital. It was really hard for them to see us and then leave us again. They are loving staying with family but I think they (especially Abe) miss their parents.

Bridget is improving. Her heart rate is staying stable and is averaging between 65 BPM and 75 BPM. She is eating more and more and her jaundice levels have gone down. She continues to impress us! She does get tired more quickly than most babies and this means she still has a lot of work to do with her eating. She gets tired halfway through a feeding and often will stop and fall asleep.

This is a picture that one of the nurses drew on Bridget's white board. Each of the kids in her unit have a picture of some sort and I really love this one!

Friday 2/19/2016
Today I had to take things easier. I walked a little too much on Thursday and my incision started to bleed. So I was told to stay in bed most of the day. This was really hard for me. I just want to be with Bridget as often as I can be!

Tyson went to visit with Abe and Monet. He was able to spend a few hours playing with them with the hopes that they wouldn't feel so abandoned.

We did get to spend time holding Bridget. Tyson even got to burp her! She already likes daddy's beard! He would pull away a little bit and she kept leaning her face up to the beard and putting her little fingers in it.

I got to feed her for the very first time today. That moment was something that made my mommy heart melt. She did so well and I was so glad to share that moment with her! She took 35 CCs when I fed her which is right on track for what the Drs would like her to be eating at every feeding.

Both of Bridget's Grandpas got to hold her tonight! Papa was able to stop by on his way home from the airport and got to hold her for a few minutes. Later, Grandpa Warren got to take a turn and hold her. She is so loved by all her grandparents and I love to get to see her get so much care and attention.

Tyson and I got to watch Bridget get a bath tonight. It is amazing how the small things are the things you miss so much when your baby isn't with you all the time. Feeding, burping, baths, even diaper changes are things we often times miss out on.

Bridget is still on oxygen but it has been turned down to what they call "room air" which means it is the same amount of oxygen that we normally breathe and the tube is just helping to push the flow into her lungs to help her remember to breathe. She might be coming home on oxygen but we don't quite know that yet.

Saturday 2/20/2016
I was released from the hospital today. I am so glad that insurance allowed me to stay 4 nights even though I really only needed to be there for 2. This way I was able to be closer to my baby for a little bit longer. We did all the discharge work, went down to hold our baby for a while and then went to pick up our big kids.

Abe and Monet were really happy to see us. I love those kids so much and I love their hugs and kisses. Abe is a little confused about why baby Bridget isn't home with us yet but he is trying to understand. The hospital gave us amazing kits to help explain things to the kids and we will be using those over the next couple of days to help them understand as much as they can.

Bridget isn't quite eating as much as they would like her to. We want to get her off the PICC line and get all her nutrients from the bottle. This is one of the requirements before she can come home. The Drs decided it would be best for Bridget to get a feeding tube put in. Her tube goes through her nose down to her stomach and she doesn't seem to mind it. She gets the bulk of her feeding through the bottle and anything she doesn't finish will be put through the feeding tube. They put that in today and so far she hasn't needed to use it, but it is there if she needs it.

Her heart rate is still stable and we were told that she won't be getting a pacemaker before she comes home with us. We will go home on an outpatient basis and monitor her. If she starts to slow down then the pacemaker will be inserted then.

All in all our baby has been exceeding our expectations. She continues to be our little miracle and we are so impressed with everything she does. What a beautiful blessing she is to our family!