Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Dream Nursery for WJG

I've been decorating my baby's nursery in my head for AT LEAST the last ten years!  HaHa.  When we found out I was pregnant back in October it was the first thing I started thinking about.  I can't tell you how many blogs I looked at for ideas!  If we had a girl I wanted the nursery to have an iron crib with a mirror dresser as the changing table and lavender and creams for the colors.  For a boy I wanted a cow hide rug with lots of browns and creams with a pop of blue.  Either way I didn't want a baby baby room.  Does that make sense?!?!  I wanted him or her to be able to grow with the room and for the furniture to work in the room for years to come (or be able to go in another room in our home).
I am so lucky to have a great mother in law that just happens to be a fabulous interior decorator that helped me create the perfect room for our baby boy!  When I was 19 weeks pregnant I went to market in Dallas with Jackie to do some baby room shopping.  We had a ton of fun shopping all day and eating out at night.  I've never walked so much in my life! 
Sooo, here it is....William James' nursery.  I love everything about it! 

I ordered the moroccan pouf online, the chair is from
Le Be Be in Midland, the giraffe picture is from
a store in Texarkana, and the W pillow Pottery Barn

Crib by Bratt Decor
I had sent Jackie a million emails with rooms I liked before we got to Dallas. The first thing we       bought was the giraffe rug. Things just kind of fell into place after that. We found the crib, bedding,dresser/changing table, end table (that's next to the rocking chair), letters above his bed, and the two pictures above his changing table at market. One of my favorite things in the nursery are the curtains! One of Jackie's friends in Texarkana did them. They are so unique and ohhhh so cute!  His glider is super soft and so comfy. I never thought I'd ask for a rocking chair on my 30th birthday.  My oh my how things sure do change when you have a baby!  Life is never the's a million times better!
"King of the Jungle" from Le Be Be in Midland
I love the books and mini globe!  I had a lot of fun
finding all of the stuff for the bookcase.

I love Pottery Barn Kids!

You can find the EVERYDAY I  LOVE YOU
at Chasing Fireflies
I looked everywhere for the W (it has a map on it)!
Finally found it at Urban Outfitters
The baby elephant is from Jamaica!

Letters from Doodles and animals from Melissa & Doug.
The egg changes colors with the room temperature
so we can tell at a glace if it's too hot or cold.

LOVE this lamp!!!

Giraffe from Pier One
Thanks Granmama J and Nana for giving this sweet boy the most heavenly nursery! The three of us are so lucky to have those two lovely ladies.

The decorator Granmama J

Love this little guy to the moon and back!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coming Home

Gordon and I were so excited to bring our sweet baby boy home last Wednesday!  Such a happy day for our entire family.  Gordon went to work that morning and waited until I spoke to the doctors and got the official OK.  I spent the morning packing up all of our stuff.  After getting Dr. Welty's blessing I fed William, loaded up some of our stuff and headed home to pick up daddy. 

See ya later room 812

My last morning in the NICU
We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Freebirds and then headed to the hospital for the last time.  While William was in the hospital I pumped every 3 hours and put the milk in a fridge in the room.  A few times a day the milk bank came by and picked everything up.  I ended up having 200 bottles of frozen milk!!  WOW!  Gordon didn't believe me when I told him we needed two coolers.  Good thing we brought both because we needed them.  After getting all the milk and loading up the rest of our stuff we were ready to go.
This isn't even all of it!
We got William dressed, unhooked from the monitors (hallelujah), and buckled up in his car seat.  Since we were discharged from the NICU a nurse had to escort us out and watch us snap him into the car seat base.  While we waited for Gordon to pull the car up I helped another family buckle their new baby up in the car seat.  The poor couple had no idea how to get their baby boy buckled up right.  I am definitely thankful for the car seat education I received.  Every parent should have to take a class.  William did great on the ride home.  He didn't make a peep.

By the time we got home and put all the milk in the freezer it was time to feed baby boy. I did a couple loads of laundry, cooked dinner, gave the little man his first bath at home, and watched The Bachelorette. I'm not much of a TV watcher but I must say I missed it while we were in the hospital. I hadn't cooked dinner since I'd been put on bed rest (March 26th)!! It was SO nice to sit and eat together as a family in our own home. Gordon and I were both getting tired of all the eating out we had to do while William was in the NICU. Not only does it get expensive but it's not as healthy and not nearly as comfortable as home.

He loves bath time!
The first night went well. We bought a monitor that detects movement/breathing that I LOVE. I originally didn't think I wanted one but since he was a preemie and I am so used to having the monitors at the hospital to let me know he's still breathing I gave in. It has definitely helped me sleep better. Otherwise, I would wake up constantly to check if he was breathing.
Gordon and I are so blessed. We can't thank the staff at TCH enough for taking such great care of our sweet baby boy. I am SO thankful that I delivered at the new Texas Children's Women's Pavilion. Eventhough the nights were long and I got little sleep with all the beeping machines...I loved being able to stay 24/7 with William in our own private room. God works in mysterious ways. Years ago I would have told you I was never going to stop working at M.D. Anderson....for several different reasons I left and found a FABULOUS job at TCH still working with pediatric oncology patients. Since my insurance changed and the new pavilion was being built I left the OB/GYN I'd seen for nearly 7 years and found a new one that would deliver at the pavilion. If all those things hadn't happened William and I wouldn't have gotten the excellent care we received at TCH. Having the private room really helped our family bond like we would have at home. So, when things seem to be going terribly wrong and you're feeling sad just remember that God has a plan for us all. It may not make sense at first....just give it some time! Our God is an awesome God. Our little William James is living proof!!!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 4 in the NICU

Saturday, May 12th:  We had a pretty laid back day today.  Gordon went to the gym and the grocery store while I hung out at the hospital.  Our original plan was to only give William 5 or 6 bottles a day but the little guy had plans of his own today.  I guess you could say today was the day "the light bulb came on".  When it was time for his next feeding I'd take his temperature and change his diaper and notice that he was acting different....he usually acted hungry (crying/acting restless) but now he was shoving his hands in his mouth and moving his head side to side.  The nurse noticed this too so we decided to try a bottle instead of giving him the milk through the tube.  He sucked down all 43 cc in less than 20 minutes!  He was eating faster and not acting so exhausted afterwards.   YAY for progress.  :) 
Dr. Hankins was on service all weekend so Gordon finally got to meet him.  When I told him we planned on doing the car seat test next Friday he told me to move it up because he didn't think we'd still be in the hospital!!!  He also said we could go ahead and do the circumcision on Sunday or Monday. 
Weight = 4 lb 9 oz

Sunday, May 13th:  Today was another great day.  William got the tube out of his nose at 3pm and it was Mother's Day!  William also nursed for the first time today and received his Hep B shot.  He cries more when we take his temperature under his arm than when he gets a shot or stuck for labs!  Today was a great day. 

Weight = 4 lb 9.5 oz

Monday, May 14th:  William had a good night.  He has continued to do a wonderful job eating so we haven't had to put in another feeding tube.  Today was the first day he had to actually drink his daily vitamin.  The nurses had been giving it to him through the tube (since it smells and tastes yuck).  I mixed the vitamin in with a little less than half of his 9am bottle.  He drank it all but as soon as I sat him up to burp it all came back up.  He was able to drink the rest of the bottle without a problem (and kept it down).  I'll have to try something different tomorrow morning. 
Dr. Little did his circumcision at 1:00 and baby boy did wonderful.  He didn't even cry (the lidocaine and sucrose probably has something to do with that).  We also rescheduled our car seat test for Tuesday since it looks like William will get to go home on Wednesday.  Occupational Therapy came back by today and put William in his car seat to see if they thought he would fit okay...and he did! 

Weight = 4 lb 9 oz

Loving listening to music!
Tuesday, May 15th:  Today was SO busy!  Dr. Welty said we can go home TOMORROW.  YIPEE!  Occupational Therapy came by at 10:00 for car seat education.  They showed me how to put William in his car seat and then I had to do it myself.  He's so tiny so getting all the straps tight enough can be tricky.  After that the OT girl went to the car with me and showed me how to properly put the base in.  I'm so glad I got the car seat education because I had no clue how to put the base in and after seeing how everything is supposed to be done I'm pretty sure 90% of people do it wrong.  I got back to William's room just in time for his first photo session.  The hospital has a photographer that comes around and takes pictures of the babies before they go home.  She came right before his noon feeding so he wasn't too happy.  It was great to have him unhooked from the heart monitor and Gordon even made it to the room in time to get in a couple of the pictures.  After lunch I ran by the house to grab some things and went to Babies R Us to get some baby essentials.  I am one of the most organized people I know so being on bed rest for a month and then stuck in the hospital for another month has driven me crazy.  I always thought I'd be more prepared before I brought him home.  OH least we are getting to bring him home!  That night they did the actual car seat test.  We started at 11pm and ended at 12:30am.  He had a short episode of bradycardia at the very beginning and the nurse said if he did it again we'd have to try again in the morning.  He cried the first 30 minutes and slept the last 30.  I did everything I could think of to keep him calm as I sat there on the hard floor next to the car seat.....I played a lullaby CD, held his pacifier in his mouth.  rubbed his little forehead so he would fall asleep and at one point was praying out loud that he would pass.  It was the longest 90 minutes of my life.  Thankfully he passed and at 2am I finally went to bed for the night.  :)

Weight = 4 lb 12.5 oz
I found my thumb!

Wednesday, May 16th:  Today is the day I've thought about for YEARS.  Bringing my baby home.  Gordon and I will never forget this special day.  At 10:37 Dr. Welty said the words I've waited so long to hear....YOU ARE FREE TO TAKE YOUR BABY HOME!  I cried when he left the room. :)


Monday, May 14, 2012

First Mother's Day

I had a wonderful first Mother's day yesterday!!  It started bright and early at 3am when I was up pumping and putting the milk in the freezer.  I found a gifted wrapped box and hand made card from Gordon on the kitchen counter.  My fabulous husband had found the time to get me something I've been talking about for years....a pair of Christian Louboutin high heels.  I still can't believe he did it!  What's even more ironic is that a few days after William was born I was holding him and said out loud, "Who would have thought after I had you I'd never want another pair of fancy shoes again."  It may sound cheesy but I feel so much more complete since I've had William.  I feel more content and at ease than I ever have before AND I've grown even closer to Gordon.  I've only been a mom for 4 weeks but I feel like the three of us have been through quite a bit in a short amount of time.  My heart has never felt so full of love and hurt so bad at the same time.  William has been through so much but is such a little fighter.  I am one blessed mama!! 

Love Them!
So what did I did on this special day?  I had a nice quiet day at the hospital with my sweet baby boy while Daddy ran some errands.  I spent the night at the house on Saturday since William had a great nurse for four night in a row that I trusted.  I needed to get some clean clothes and I figured a decent night sleep wouldn't hurt either.  :)  Dr. Hankins told us we needed to go have a date night at the movies before William went home....I guess NICU nurses are the best babysitters you could ever ask for and since I don't think I'll trust anyone to watch the little guy for a while we took his advice!  We compromised and went to see The Avengers yesterday afternoon.  It was surprisingly good (and funny).  I think I told Gordon about 40 times during the movie that I was ready to go back and see my baby.  Other than the movie I just did lots of cuddling in the hospital rocking chair with William.  I'm looking forward to many more Mother's day celebrations!  
Several people have said that William looks a lot like me.  I found this picture of me the other day and realized just how much we look alike!!  I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that he gets his daddy's eyes (and laid back personality!).   
Baby picture of ME :)
William James

 Here's a few pictures from the weekend.  As you can see NO MORE FEEDING TUBE!  Now that's a good Mother's Day present!  Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous women out there...especially my wonderful momma.  She is an amazing mother that has loved me and my brother unconditionally.  She is a sweet kind hearted women that never puts herself first and is always there when you need her.  I can only hope to be half as good of a mother as she has been!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 3 in the NICU

Saturday, May 5th:  To celebrate Cinco de Mayo Gordon and I went to Pappasitos for lunch.  YUM.  No margaritas for us this year.  I'm hoping to have an El Tiempo margarita very soon though!!  Two years ago today Gordon and I moved into our first home!  My oh my how things have changed in the last twenty four months. 
William did a great job eating today and seemed much more alert after his evening bottle. 
9am = 29 cc
6 pm = 30 cc
Weight = 4lb 4 oz

Wide awake after his bath
Sunday, May 6th:  We let daddy sleep in today while we did our normal morning routine.  After he finished his morning bottle I went home and picked Gordon up and we went and had a late breakfast at Barnaby's.  Since William did so well eating yesterday they decided he could have 3 bottles and went up from 36cc to 38cc.  He finished ALL three of his bottles (9am, 6pm, and midnight).  WAY TO GO BABY BOY!
Weight = 4lb 4.4oz

Monday, May 7th:  Dr. Hankins said we could give William a bottle at every feeding (if he acted interested) since he'd done so well with the three bottles.  The amount of milk he didn't finish at each feeding was given to him through his tube afterwards.  They increased the amount of milk from 38cc to 41cc and stopped the prolacta (which provided extra calories).  His bottles did contain 24 calories and now only have 20. 

9am = 28 cc
Noon = 30 cc
3pm = 22 cc
6pm = got through tube
9pm = we tried breast feeding and then he got his food through the tube
MN = 30 cc
3am = 41cc

He started desating after he finished eating in the afternoon so we gave the 6pm feeding through the tube.  It seemed like he was just so tired from all the eating and was forgetting to breath enough.  He also has a hard time pacing himself when he's drinking a bottle.  That usually leads to him coughing or gagging which then makes his heart rate drop.  Feeding a preemie can be a bit unnerving! 

Weight = 4lb 7oz
Height = 17 1/4 inches

Tuesday, May 8th:  Gordon and I attended an infant CPR class at lunch time today.  It was different than a CPR class for nurses....simple and clear cut.  They emphasize assessing the baby's breathing frequently and not just looking at their color.  You are more likely to find your baby not breathing but with a pulse versus not breathing and no pulse.  They say you rarely find an infant without a heartbeat (which is comforting).  The instructor said RSV and pneumonia are what you have to watch out for with preemies once they are discharged from the hospital.  She encouraged the parents to have anyone that will be around the baby often to get the Tdap shot since pertussis, or whooping cough, is also a culprit.  I received my shot 2 days after I had William.  Now we have to find a place for Gordon to go and get the shot.
Other than CPR class things were pretty uneventful.  Just working on this bottle thing.  Sucking, swallowing, breathing and not choking takes a lot of work!!

6am = 30 cc
9am = 30 cc
Noon = via tube
3pm = 41 cc
6pm = 37 cc
9pm = 29 cc
MN = 29 cc 
3am = tube
Weight = 4lb 8oz
Last day to sleep on my "gel mattress"
Wednesday, May 9th:  Since William had continued to have some issues with his heart rate and oxygen saturations during feeding time and the hour afterwards I asked if occupational therapy could see him.  I just wanted to make sure he was sucking the way he should and there wasn't anything else we could be doing for him.  She came by during the noon feeding and watched him eat.  She also placed him in different positions to see what he did with his arms and legs.  He passed with flying colors!  She said he's doing everything he should be doing and there is no need for OT to see him.  This is good news!  We have to remember that William is only 35 weeks gestationally so he's not going to do the things a full term baby can do.  Gotta give the guy a break....he should still be inside of me and I should still be on bed rest.  :) 
We always look forward to Wednesday and Saturday bath night.  He loves getting his head washed and I love the way a clean baby smells!  Tonight was an exceptionally big night.  Dr. Arnold from The Little Couple was the doctor on call.  She stopped by at the end of William's bath to introduce herself and to let us know she was on call.  When she saw how happy he was getting his bath she said he was too cute to not film and asked if we would mind.  SO, little William may be on TV.  We will let everyone know if and when the episode airs. 

6am = 41 cc (finished in 15 minutes!)
9am = 31 cc
Noon = 34 cc
3 pm = via tube
6 pm = 41 cc
9 pm = 29 cc
MN = 30 cc
3 am = via tube
Weight = 4 lb 7 oz
My favorite way to sleep!

Thursday, May 10th:  Today was a hard day for Mama Gooding.  William's monitor seemed to be constantly beeping.  His O2 sats kept dropping while he was sleeping and then his heart rate would randomly go up to 200-210.  They think he has reflux so I'm making sure to hold him in an upright position (usually laying on my chest) for at least 30 minutes after he eats.  I had spent the last 4 nights at the hospital so I think a lot of it had to do with being really tired.  He also got a little rash on his neck that they started putting powder on.  Dr. Hankins is no longer on service so we started with a new attending, Dr. Welty, today.  Alison saw Dr. Hankins out at West Campus at a nursing week breakfast and he told everyone that William and I were a good fit.  He teased my boss and said I was an excellent mama and may never come back to work.  haha!  Gordon and I really hope that one day I can work part time.  I can't say I'd want to be a stay at home mom at this point but working part time would be great.   
Along with the nurse I decided that we needed to cut back on how many times William took a bottle.  I felt like he was just too tired.  We would love to go home but we are in NO hurry.  We want to do what's best for him and at this point I think he needs some time.  There's no point in stressing him out and in the end causing more problems.  So, we went from 6 bottles a day to 5. 

6am = 32 cc
9am = via tube
Noon = 36 cc
3 pm = via tube
6pm = 38 cc
9pm = 39 cc (fed by daddy)
MN = via tube
3 am = 41 cc
Weight = 4lb 7oz

Friday, May 11th:  Today was a much better day!  William had very few episodes of bradycardia and desaturations.  When he does have them they improve almost immediately on their own with no intervention needed.  He's also done much better with pacing himself when he eats.  We've also changed how we hold him when he eats.  We now hold him in a side lying position and this seems to be helping with the choking/coughing.  Dr. Welty thinks we'll be going home in the next 10 days.  He said that everything he is doing is normal for a preemie and not to worry or read too much into any of it.  So we will keep doing what we are doing!  Maybe we'll try 6 bottles again sometime this weekend and by Tuesday be up to 7 and then 8 by the end of next week!  Next Friday we have his car seat test at 10:00.  Our car seat is made for babies 5lbs and up.  Hopefully by then he will be close to this.  If he doesn't pass the test in the car seat we have there are a few out there for babies that weigh <5lbs....Babies R Us here we come if that's the case. 
Question: What is the Car Seat Test for Preemies?
Answer: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a car seat test, or car seat challenge, for all babies born before 37 weeks gestation. The car seat test makes sure that premature babies are able to sit in a car seat safely, without any episodes of desaturation, apnea, or bradycardia.
6am = via tube
9am = 37 cc
Noon = 38 cc
3pm = via tube
6pm = 41 cc
9pm = 41 cc
MN = via tube
3am = 43 cc
Weight = 4lb 8.5oz
Mom, I don't wanna burp

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