Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No New Pictures, but Updates Galore

Sorry, no pictures of Drew for this post. It's so difficult to get pictures in his room. It's so dark, and with the isolette, it's hard. But guess what, tomorrow he is moving to a crib!!!! So pictures will be taken!!!

Other updates, he is off the Bili-blanket as his jaundice is improving and his Bilirubin level has dropped. His oxygen was turned off today, he is still wearing the oxygen tube, so they can turn it on if they need to, but it's on room air. He took 18 ml of milk last night from a bottle! I wasn't as successful today, he only took a few ml for me. But he was so tired every time I would try. I also tried to nurse him, but he couldn't coordinate the swallowing and breathing, so I had to stop. But hey, at least he tried!! So really, today was a great day!! He just needs to keep working on the feeding and he will be home in no time. Today he weighed 4 lbs 2 oz, which is down a bit from birth, but actually not as low as I expected. He didn't eat for the first three days, and he is only 5 days old, so really I expected it to be much lower. Let's hope he starts to chub up fast!

More pictures to come tomorrow, but keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming, it seems to be working!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's Up with Evan











Evan has definitely taken a back seat lately, because of everything that is going on with Drew. But he has taken everything like a champ. Even when I was in the hospital, he really did great. Today he got a package from Grandma Starstrom and he got this adorable backpack! He didn't want to take it off, he pranced around the house with it for a good hour. So I thought I would take the opportunity to take some pictures of him for a change, since it has been a while. What a cutie he is, he is going to be such a great big brother. I can't wait for him to meet Drew. He will be instantly in love, and so will Drew.




Feisty

video

So today was a decent day for little Drew. There was no bad news, so in my eyes, it was a productive day! I got to hold him for an hour, the longest I have ever held him. Towards the end he got a little over tired and his oxygen levels dropped, but for that whole hour he did really well. We started trying to get him to drink out of a bottle. Yesterday, he didn't know what to do with the nipple. Today he took 5 ml, then 6 ml out of the next bottle. We have a ways to go before he can take an ounce, but it's a start. The nurse said the jaundice can make him cloudy and lethargic, so hopefully once that clears he will be more willing to take the bottle. So for now, he is still on antibiotics for another week to ten days, and is still on the Bili-blanket for his jaundice. And the doctor said he is on track to go home in two weeks or so.

One of the nurse the other day actually referred to Drew as feisty!!! All throughout my pregnancy I hoped for a laid back baby. I thought surely I deserved that after taking care of one intense little boy for the last two years. Not that Evan is a bad little boy, but man, is he high maintenance! He has been ever since he was born. Apparently Drew is turning out to be the same way. Very strong willed, feisty and wiggly!! But I am thrilled about this, perhaps it will make him get better and stronger, faster.

To go along with my last few posts, on a lighter note, I am the only normal Mom of a NICU baby at Winnie Palmer. Sitting in the breast pumping room, I met some real crazies today. Perhaps it's the hormones, sleep deprivation or the stress. But geez!! If I get crazy, please someone tell me!!!

video

Monday, September 28, 2009

Temporary Home Away from Home


Today was a rough day for little Drew. I didn't get any pictures of him because he has jaundice and had to sleep on a Bili-blanket. The lights were all so low, and he had little patches over his eyes. So I didn't want to disturb him with a camera flash. Not only does he have jaundice, but they believe he may have pneumonia, and they are treating him as such to be conservative. He doesn't have a fever, so they may be catching it early. But his white blood cells are high and they have been unsuccessful on weaning the oxygen, so that's their reasoning. They have been feeding him breast milk through a feeding tube for a day or two, but today they had me try to bottle feed him. He really just wasn't interested. He wouldn't suck at all. So we are continuing tube feeds for now. I kept thinking, "oh no, you are gonna be a bad eater like your brother, aren't you!!"
On a much lighter note, I discovered how difficult it is to change a preemie's diaper while in an isolette. I thought changing a busy two year old's diaper was hard, that's nothing!!! Try changing a preemie size diaper full of meconium, while not draping fifteen wires and tubes in the thick sticky pooh.... all the while doing this through two tiny holes in the side of the isolette. The side of the isolette, not the bottom, where the diaper is. Sheesh, that was hard!! But I got to see his cute little hiney for the first time so it was worth it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back











Last night around 11pm, I was discharged home!!! Obviously it was a bitter sweet homecoming, that goes without saying. This morning Paul and I went to visit Drew. He had a great night, so much so, that they decided to take off his oxygen. But unfortunately when we were there, he started struggling to breath. So I wasn't able to really hold him, and they had to put him back on the oxygen. He also kicked his IV out of his foot, and they had to insert one into his scalp. Poor guy just wants to be left alone. I went back later today to check on him, and he was much more at peace. So I am praying he has a good night.
Evan was over the top excited to have us home today. He didn't want us out of his sight. He didn't want to sleep, just wanted to play with us all day. Which of course was fine with me! He actually asked about the baby. He ran in the baby's room and looked in his crib and said "baby?" I am not sure he knows what is going on, but he seemed curious and open to the idea of sharing Paul and I with his little brother.
On a side note, I was kind of feeling guilty about not naming Drew, Paul's favorite name. But then Maurice Jones Drew ( a Jaguars football player that is on Paul's fantasy team) had a great day and scored Paul a lot of points, and Paul had a change of heart about the name Drew. For the wrong reasons, sure, but at least it got me off the hook!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Easy to Love

Check out all your wires and tubes and the like.


The one I hate the most is that darn tube in your mouth. Hurry up and grow bigger so you can eat on your own please!


Poor thing, you just want to sleep and everyone keeps poking at you!!



You sure are easy to fall in love with, baby Drew. We are already smitten with you. But you are hard to hold, and then somehow harder to let go of! We got to really hold you for the first time today. And wow, it is an ordeal with all of your wires and tubes. You don't like being out of your warm little cocoon in your incubator, so you fuss at first. But then just when you get comfy, it's time to put you back. And you don't like that either. But don't worry, this won't stop us from holding you as much as we possibly can over the next few weeks while you are in the hospital. You are stuck with us whether you like it or not!

Introducing....











I would like to formally introduce our little miracle, Drew Edward Starstrom. The first name, is just a name I have always loved. His middle name is after my father-in-law, which is also Paul's middle name. I just love the way it sounds with Evan Paul. Evan and Drew just sound like perfect brothers and best buds to boot! He simply didn't look like a Luke, which was my other favorite name. And poor Paul, who has been rooting for "Nathan" for both of our sons, still didn't get his way. Maybe I will have to have one more and name him Nathan.... maybe, just ask me in a year or two.

To update on Drew's status, he is doing much better today. He is off the CPAP and is on a nasal cannula, as you can see from the pictures. He looks much more at peace today, and is less irritable. He doesn't appear to be struggling to breath like he did yesterday. He is still in the most intensive of the NICU pods, but will hopefully move to a less intensive one in a couple of days. He is sucking on a pacifier in this picture, but has been trying to find his thumb. I still haven't held him, but I am supposed to be able to hold him this afternoon. I absolutely can't wait!! Hopefully there will be more pictures to come!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome My Sweet Baby Boy Starstrom









Today we welcomed our second son into the world at 7:51 am. He weighs 4 lbs 10 oz and is 17 1/4 inches. He is identical to his brother, when he was born. Because he was 6 week premature, his little lungs are not as developed as they need to be. He is on a CPAP right now, which is a high pressure oxygen delivery mask. He doesn't have the strength yet to eat, but he is on IV fluids. And unfortunately I can't hold him because of all the tubes and wires he has surrounding him. But he is a fighter, and I have confidence he will be just fine. He just needs a little extra help to transition to life outside my belly.

Not to be graphic, but the delivery was a dream. I suppose since he was so small, I literally pushed once and out he came. I wish I could say the same for labor. It only took ten hours, but they were oh so intense. I pretty much got through it by cussing like a sailor and verbally abusing anyone that I came in contact with. Until I got my epidural that is!! But that was only the last two hours of the ten hour ordeal. Ofcourse I would do it a million times over if I had to.

Some people may not like seeing pictures of a preemie in an incubator. But I think he deserves to have the limelight today, it is after all his birthday!!! Happy birthday baby boy, get better ASAP. You've got so many people who love you already and can't wait to meet you.

Yes, his name is pending at this time. Give me a break will ya? I thought I had six more weeks to think about this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Bday Party Pics From School











Here are some more pictures from Evan's birthday party at school last Friday. Meema took these, they aren't much different from the ones I already posted, but I gotta lot of time on my hands these days. So why not?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Change of Plans
















Unfortunately, Evan's birthday didn't go as expected. At 32 weeks and 6 days, my water broke, so I am now in the hospital on bed rest. They want to keep me pregnant until 34 weeks if possible so the baby can get a little bigger and stronger. So that means lots of time for blogging and face booking, if I just had some pictures or fun stuff to blog about, now that would be really great!!

The hardest part, other than worrying about my unborn baby of course, is missing Evan. This is the first time I have ever been away from him overnight. He is with Meema, so he is in good hands obviously, which helps. But it is hard to hear about his day and not be a part of it. Today was his birthday party at school. I had all the stuff to make cookies for his classmates. I was even going to let Evan help me with the icing and sprinkles :( . Luckily I have an awesome friend whose son is in Evan's class, who took over the party preparations and got a cookie cake for all the kids. Evan's favorite part of the cookie cake was the icing, and since he was the birthday boy, he got seconds and third helpings of icing!!! He got to wear a birthday hat and they all sang to him. I am just so distraught I missed it. But luckily my friend and Meema took pictures to share with me.

Like my OBGYN said, this is harder on me then it is on him, but that it's basically boot camp to teach him he isn't going to be the center of attention any more for a while! But that's so hard to imagine, because he has been for so long, 2 years and 1 day! Anyway, enjoy my girlfriend's pictures along with me! It's the next best thing to seeing him. I only get to see him for a little tiny bit each day, and I can't really hold him. But enough venting and rambling. Check back for updates on my poor un-named baby no. 2. And leave name suggestions if you have them. Top name of the week is Drew Michael Starstrom. Coming in second is Luke Edward Starstrom. And Paul's all time favorite is Nathan Michael/Edward Starstrom. But I am not feeling like this baby is a Nathan. Meema's favorite is Will Starstrom, but no middle name sounds good with that. Bottom line is we need all the help we can get!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Birthday Eve
















My friend Jen (the amazing baker I have referred to before) brought Evan a cupcake today for his birthday tomorrow. Of course once he laid eyes on it, he wanted it ASAP. So after dinner we sang Happy Birthday to him and let him devour it. I had to help him with the last few bites, and I can attest to the fact that it was one delicious cupcake!!! Happy Birthday Evan!!! You get to be more fun each and every day, and I can't wait for the coming year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Martha Would Cringe if She Saw These Pops


Meema and I decided to make free form lollipops yesterday during Evan's nap. I was inspired by a blog that I had seen. They were just so colorful and pretty. I thought they would be cute to give in the goody bags at Evan's birthday party, or give to Evan's classmates at school. I didn't want to use molds, I really wanted them to be free form, to give a Willy Wonka/Candyland vibe. What I thought would be super easy, turned out to be super hard. The liquid started hardening up the second we started pouring it out. So we basically just made a mess in the kitchen and have a few sad looking pops to show for it. I will try again later this week, if I get brave enough. Otherwise, Dum-dums are looking pretty good to me at this point.

Choo Choo





Meema got Evan some trains and tracks for his train table and Evan loves them!! I had a hard time pulling him away from them yesterday for his nap, and it's the first thing he wanted to do this morning when he woke up. I took some pictures of it, although they didn't turn out that great because that room is so dark. But you can see the sparkle in his eye just as well. He LOVES his choo choo. His train table was a gift from a stranger. Any mom of a toddler boy knows that train tables can cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily I have an amazing and generous neighbor, who a few months ago decided Evan "needed" a train table, so she handed her son's table down to Evan. Apparently her son had outgrown it, and I was ever so thankful!

Let the Festivities Begin















Evan is going to have about two weeks worth of festivities for his birthday. This past weekend Meema and Grandma and Grandpa Starstrom were in town, so there were many presents to open!!! This is the first time Evan even really knew what to do with a present. He would take a small piece of paper off and say "cool", then hand the paper to me while saying "thank you". He is used to me saying thank you when he hands me something, so now when he hands anyone anything he says "thank you"!!! It was adorable. He loved his birthday teddy bear Grandma gave him, it sang a song and danced, and he danced right along with it.






Friday, September 11, 2009

School Days












Friday was "bring someone special to school" day. We had a picnic outside near the playground. Daddy was able to sneak away from work long enough to come and eat lunch with us and get some play time in at the playground, as Evan's someone scpecial. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of Evan and Daddy together. Evan was so excited to have us there at school, he was running around like a wild-boy! He was most excited that Daddy came to school, and it was as if he was beaming with pride and showing him off to his teacher and friends. He kept pointing to him and saying "Daddy!" Then during our picnic as Paul was lounging on the picnic blanket, Evan literally stood on top of him and put his arms in the air and screamed "Daddy!!!!" Also pictured is Evan's best bud James, and another one of Evan's classmates whom I don't know the name of yet. But all in all, it was a super fun day.