Friday, February 22, 2013

Our New Normal

We have made some FB posts to say Parker is home, with a few cute little pics. Hope all of you don't feel like I have completely abandoned the blog.  I definitely have not!...just now starting to emerge from the baby fog and get into a routine.

Let me first start off by saying that Parker is doing great.  He is much more alert, jaundice levels are down, eating really good, sleeping pretty good and is adjusting to being the little brother. 

As I said in my previous post, Parker was jaundice and had some breathing issues.  After some light therapy and doing every test under the sun, the doctors finally determined he is good enough to come home.  As we all know, being jaundice is not uncommon for newborns, but Parker had a few extra things complicating his levels and making it a little more stubborn to come down.

Since being home, we have gone back for 3 rechecks at the pediatrician.  Unfortunately his jaundice levels started creeping back up again, so we had to stop breastmilk for awhile b/c he apparently had breastmilk jaundice (there is an enzyme in bm that can make it harder for babies to excrete the bili from their systems, resulting in increasing numbers).  Anyway, now that we stopped that, he looks like a pale little white boy instead of one with a bronzed tan :)  We will take it after all that!  We weren't wanting to have to start lights back at home.  No breathing issues since discharge from the hospital.

A few pics to share our time at the hospital...

Briggs first time to meet Parker

A little close up.  LOVE this pic!

When we went to pick Parker up and bring him home..
Briggs wasn't too sure about that little squirmy guy.

So just to refresh...we have gone from this...

and this...

to this!...

Briggs is learning to love his baby brother.  The first thing he says when he wakes up..."be-be"?  That's his version of "baby".  He loves to sit by us and help with him..holding the bottle, giving him his paci...We are working on being gentle with the baby which is still a work in progress, but we are getting there.  Briggs thinks Parker is soooo funny.  Anytime he burps, coughs, poots, Briggs is dying laughing about it.

And then of course Briggs wants to help carry the baby.  It's so cute how he hooks his arm just like mommy does.  But he still requires some assistance of course.

Here is another pic of him helping me carry the "be-be". 
What a big helper!

It has been pretty chilly outside since we have been home, but we aren't letting that stop us.  We upgraded from our single B.O.B. stroller to the mac-daddy. double.  Can't wait until we hit 6 weeks and I get the all-clear to start jogging, but for now, both the boys enjoy taking walks and getting some fresh air.

We have had many people ask what we need or what they can do.  I know I'm a little late with this, but a friend did set up a meal website.  See the link below.

People ask me how it is with two babies.  It has been an interesting start.  Very stressful at first and we have been very blessed to have help here since the week before Christmas (since I was on bedrest and then after the birth so we could get back and forth to the hospital).  Yesterday was our first full day alone and getting into a routine is top priority on this girl's list. 

We are looking forward to what the future holds and enjoying every second of having our little guy home with us...FINALLY!

I will hopefully get back on track with sharing fun things on my blog...and a few updates of our little men.  Thank you again to everyone for checking on us and for all the prayers.  One day soon I'll get a post up that explains how we truly saw the Lord working through this whole pregnancy/birth and how he specifically answered our prayers....stay tuned!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Parker Blake Poland - NICU

As most of you know...we had our newest addition to the family...

Parker Blake Poland
  January 28th at 9:51 am.  
7 pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches 
of pure sweetness.

Click here to see a few highlighted pics from our day.  I'll make a birth post one day, but short was a 10 hour natural (non-medicated) birth that went beautifully.  There are so many cool things that happened that day, I promise to share once things settle down.  

Since then, things have gotten interesting.  As you can see in this pic...Parker is getting a little bottle.  After he was born, his bilirubin levels climbed quickly and we had to take action.  Not a huge deal that he is jaundice except for the fact of how fast and high his numbers climbed.  

So, we had to start supplementing with formula to get him using the bathroom good, since my milk wasn't in yet.  He did good on the bottle and since then has been nursing good.

We started on his second day of life, with a bili-bed.  
The pediatrician felt like this might help his bilirubin numbers go down, but...

they kept climbing so we had to move to a more aggressive approach.  Over the past few days, he went up from just laying on lights to having triple light therapy in the NICU to get his numbers down.

Since our admission to the NICU:
  • We have backed down from overhead lights and his sunglasses to the bili-bed (what he started out on).  That makes us feel so much better b/c at least he can look around when he wants.  He was starting to get so ticked with those glasses on.  
  • Parker was also having some breathing issues when admitted to the NICU.  He started with retracted breathing which has resolved on it's own.  He is currently having de-saturation (de-sat) episodes when he is eating or sucking on his paci.  That means his oxygen levels drop when he is sucking.  The doctor feels this is just another step of him developing his lungs and breathing.  Although my labor with Parker was 10 hours, when it was time to push, he came out very 3 pushes quickly... and was out.  Because of that, some of these breathing issues have developed as a result.
  • Overall Parker is doing good.  He has improved since being admitted to the NICU; however he is still there.  The doctor said we will not be able to bring him home until he can go two days with no de-sats.  He currently has multiple episodes a day.
We haven't shared many details to this point because we have been incredibly overwhelmed with everything that has happened so far.  We have begun to get texts and emails checking on Parker and felt it's time to share some info with all of you.

We ask that you please pray for all of us and mostly Parker.  He is doing good and is getting stronger everyday.  At the moment, we are hanging in there. This has been incredibly hard to leave him at the hospital and not at home with us.

We are all dealing with this differently.  Justin of course is so strong.  He comforts me, loves on both our little boys and has been the rock through all this.  Every day when we go see him, I cry as we leave and am completely exhausted, I guess from the emotional and physical toll this kind of thing has on a mommy.  Briggs has been great, but is starting to get a little leery of what exactly is going on...Justin and I try to go visit Parker when Briggs is napping or asleep for the night so we can also spend time with him.

We truly appreciate all of you and have kept things quiet for a reason.  It's completely draining to have your baby in the NICU and his medical status constantly changing.  I mean literally the plan can change a few times a day.  We can barely keep up with the plan sometimes, much less inform everyone.  So at this point we just ask for your prayers.  I know everyone wants to know how Parker and our family are doing. Trust me, we are hanging in there and thankful  his issues are not life-threatening, he just needs some time to work through them.  It kills me/us to leave him there everyday and feel so torn, it's almost unbearable.  We are able to go see him and call anytime of day or night that we want. 

If you call, text or fb to check on Parker, please be patient with us as we respond as we can.  Justin is handling most of the communication with friends and family because I'm just trying to take care of myself and the boys.  I'm very overwhelmed with all of this and I guess with the post-pregnancy hormones... having to answer detailed questions, is very draining and I have to choose where to use my energy best.

We covet your prayers and will update as we can.