Saturday, March 29, 2008

Anyone know a good sitter?

Hey guys! At Avery's last Dr. appt he told me daycare is not an option for her. The risk is too high that she'll get RSV or just get sick in general and it could be very serious for a preemie like Avery. Sooo, I need a sitter! I live in West Monroe but it is very close to Monroe, about 10 minutes from ULM. I only need someone for 2 hours, 4 days a week. The way our schedules run I will need someone from 2:30-4:45 Tuesday-Friday. Pay will be around the $8-$10/hr range. I am looking for someone who can come to the house. If necessary we could drop her off but the sitter cannot keep other kids, so it would be better if someone could come here. A responsible senior in high school or college student would probably be ideal. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ARE INTERESTED OR IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED. I would need someone to start May 27th. Thanks so much!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blood Test Results

Avery had her blood tested today and her hematocrit levels are normal. Last Friday at the doctor's office they were at 26. Today they were at 32. (Normal range is above 28). So, thanks to prayers and me eating some extra iron, no blood transfusion! The insurance company called to let me know they will not cover another synagis shot (wasn't that nice of them-ughh). The synagis shot is to protect against RSV, which in some cases can be deadly for babies as little as Avery. RSV season ends in April and Avery had a shot in March that lasts one month so this will cover her thru mid-April, so the doctor wanted to give her one more because he does see cases in April and sometimes in May, but lovely Blue Cross refuses to pay. No big deal right, just a shot? This little shot costs about $1500 a pop! When I speak to the doctor I'm going to let him know if he feels its vital, we'll just pay for it, but if not we definitely aren't bringing her anywhere before May and I don't think she'll go to Walmart before she's 12! Ha! The insurance company said if he can provide statistical data to prove that he is seeing at least 10% RSV cases then they may cover it. So maybe he'll do that? I'm sure God already has it figured out! : )

Charlie went with us to the doctor today since he doesn't have to be at work until 3. It was nice to have a little family outing! Avery slept great last night. I put her down at 9 and I was the one waking HER up at 1:30 (instead of vice-versa) so she could eat. Then she went down again from 2-5:30 and from 6-9 (when I woke her up again). And she breastfed again yesterday just fine! Every breastfeeding mom needs a good nipple shield! She is such a good baby! Usually only fusses when she's hungry or needs a diaper change. It is just like heaven waking her up every morning and looking at those big, beautiful eyes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

YAY for Nipple Shields!

Well today has been great. Avery took her first full feeding at the breast thanks to the Medela Nipple Shield! My friend Calley told me about them, I had a larger one but it wouldn't fit in her little mouth! So I ordered one from Amazon and it came in the mail. She did great with the new preemie nipple shield. That is awesome it will save me a lot of time if I don't have to feed her and pump every time.

Also, Pamela with Early Steps came out today for our initial meeting. They are federally funded and they come to your home and evaluate the baby. If she needs any kind of developmental help (physical therapist, occupational, speech, etc) then they set up the appts and have the therapists come to your home. They aren't income based so we finally qualify and they don't even file our insurance! I was so pleased. The initial meeting was just basically an explanation of the program and had me sign paperwork. A therapist will come next week to 'test' Avery to see what programs she might need. They go by her adjusted age (From the due date) so she'll only be about 2 weeks adjusted when they come out. If they determine she doesn't have any problems yet, but in 3 months I notice something, I can call them back. They stay with the baby through age 3. Hopefully, everything will be completely normal, but its nice to know we have this kind've federally funded support in the event that we do need some type of therapist.

Avery slept well last night - yay! She was wide awake at 5am but I finally convinced her it was still night time and she slept till 9. She is stirring now, so I think she may be hungry! Until next time...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More good news...

Well last night was pretty challenging. She just did not want to go to sleep! Anyway, she finally got to sleep good at 5:30am so I slept till 9:30. I guess some nights will just be harder than others. We got great news today. The NICU called to let me know the chromosome analysis came back and it was completely normal! YAY! They still want us to follow up with a geneticist so he can go over it in detail, but it is normal. Whoo! What a load off! Now we just need to get the cardiologist and neurologist to say the same and we'll be done with all of the specialists. There is a program in Louisiana called Early Steps where an early interventionist comes to your home to evaluate the baby. If they feel the baby needs to see a physical or occupational therapist then they will have one come to your home. The program is completely federally funded and free of charge. Its not income based and they don't even file your insurance! WOW, finally something I pay taxes for that I can benefit from! So the early interventionist is coming tomorrow.

Well, some little angel is getting fussy. Goodbye for now!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome to Avery's Place

Hi! Welcome to Avery's Place! Many of you have been praying for Avery and I just wanted to be able to update you about how she is doing. This will continue the journal I created at when I found out we were expecting. For those of you who don't know our story, here goes:

My husband, Charlie, and I met in high school and started dating in 9th grade. We dated all through high school, although his family moved away for a year in 10th grade,we talked every day on the phone and spent every penny we made on calling cards or plane tickets! We made it through that tough year, graduated in 2003 and went to college. We were married June 4, 2005 (on my parents 22nd wedding anniversary) and bought a house in 2005 as well. Five months later we found out I was pregnant, this was very unexpected because at that point I was on the birth control patch, but of course we were THRILLED! I had a completely normal pregnancy and a 20 weeks went to the doctor for the sonogram. Charlie and my mom were with me because we were hoping to find out if it was a boy or a girl. After the sonographer looked around for a few minutes, she left us alone and said she needed to call the doctor. After waiting on him for an hour or so, he came in to tell us that the baby did not have a heartbeat. I was stunned. I was very healthy - only 22 years old, never smoked a single cigarette in my life, never drank, never touched drugs at all. It really wasn't fair - but then again, life just isn't! I was heartbroken for the little boy that we would never get to meet. The doctor could never tell me why - the best explanation was that 'these things just happen'. They assured me I could have a completely normal, healthy pregnancy and this usually only happens the first time. I started taking the pill and stayed on it for a little over a year. I wanted to lose some weight and decided I would stop the pill until I could get the weight off. It seemed logical at that point somehow, ha! Of course, two months later we were expecting again! I was nervous but really, really excited. Again, I had a completely normal pregnancy. I saw high risk doctors for sonograms 3 months in a row until I was 27 weeks pregnant. At that point they told me the baby was completely normal and I would not need to follow up with them anymore, I was released back to my regular OB. Four weeks later I a 4D sonogram scheduled. We had not had a 4D sonogram yet and I really wanted to know, for sure, that it was a girl. The insurance wouldn't pay for another sonogram and I almost changed my mind, but we decided it would be 'fun'. We invited my parents and after spending a long weekend getting the nursery just perfect, we went to the 4D sonogram on Monday. In the waiting room the only worry we had was - what if its a boy? We had a completely pink nursery that would have to be redecorated! (But I KNEW it was a girl, and had said this since about 10 weeks pregnant!) After we were called back for the sonogram, the sonographer, Tina started the 2D to look at the baby's heart, fluid and measure the baby. She kept doing this for about 5 minutes and said those terrible words that we heard at the first sonogram, "I need to call the doctor". She tried to sound so calm but I was shaking all over. It was complete dejavu from the sonogram with the first baby. I kept saying "I can't handle this, I cannot handle this" and Charlie and mom and dad were there to remind me everything would be ok. She asked us to wait in the waiting room so she could call Dr. Pennebaker. I made a beeline for the bathroom and had a mini-breakdown in there. When I came out, she was already off the phone and wanted us to go to St. Francis Labor and Delivery. We happened to be across the street from St. Francis so a really nice nurse walked us over there. That was probably the worst part. I just kept saying "I can't handle this...I haven't finished my pregnancy book or the breastfeeding book...we haven't taken a childbirth class yet..the baby is too small...i don't have a bag packed...i can't do this now!" a million reasons were going through my head of why i could NOT have this baby at 31 wks. I was immediately put into a room and hooked up to monitors. Dr. Pennebaker was there in no time at all. She explained that the baby was measuring 27 wks and there was not enough fluid in the placenta. She explained that they would keep me in the hospital, on bedrest with steroid shots as long as possible but it would probably be a matter of days, not weeks, before I would have to deliver. She left the room to look at some reports. As soon as Tina faxed over the sonogram report, Dr. Pennebaker decided that Avery had to come right then. In less than 30 minutes I was having a c-section. I was amazingly calm - thanks to some great drugs that I'm sure they pumped through my system and Dr. Pennebaker seems to be able to calm me down too. She's the best! She had explained before hand that there would be 'awkward silence' after the baby was born b/c the NICU team would be working on her in the same room and everyone would be pretty quiet. After they got me prepped, in no time at all, Charlie came in, dressed in his scrubs and before we knew it Avery Grace was born. Charlie got to go over and take pictures of her being cleaned while they finished me up. I'll never forget the look on his face when he came back to me. He had fallen in love in that moment - it was amazing. Dr Pennebaker had warned that we may not hear her cry, but luckily she did let out a little cry and they wrapped her up and let me look at her for about 2 seconds. She was the most beautiful, innocent, tiny piece of joy and so much more than I know how to type. In that moment, I understood what I'm here to do: be Avery's mommy.

She was tiny, 2 lbs. 2 oz. She was in the NICU for 58 long days, but with the best doctors and nurses we could've asked for. She was released on March 18th (1 day before my due date) weighing 4 lbs, 2.8 oz and at her doctors appt last Friday weighed 4 lbs 7oz.

This experience has taught us that we have the best friends and family that anyone could ever ask for. Avery was covered in prayers from the moment she was born. In my opinion, the prayers are the reason that she is doing so well today. We have a long road ahead. She'll have home health visit and an early interventionist to keep up with her developmental goals. She'll follow up with a pediatric neurologist, pediatric cardiologist, geneticist and of course, her pediatrician will see her quite frequently. As scary as all of that sounds, we have completely put our trust in God and He has NOT let us down. As I'm typing Avery's sleeping soundly in her favorite toy - her swing! She is a precious, beautiful little girl and I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be her mommy. I will use this website to post updates about how she is doing and mainly blog about how cute she is and the adorable things that she does.

Feel free to leave comments, its fun to keep in touch with everyone through blogging! Thank you all for your prayers for Avery, they are the reason she is here with us today!

Click Here to see a precious video of Avery in the NICU