Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31st

Cohen has had some minor setbacks the last 2 days. They have had to go up higher on his vapotherm and oxygen levels. He was just working his little lungs too hard. We expected this might go up and down. He is also having several "episodes" during the day of apnea. This is when he stops breathing and they have to jostle him and turn his oxygen way up to get him back to normal. It has happened a few times when we were there yesterday and today, and it has shocked and scared us quite a bit. They tell us this is all fairly normal for a preemie. Another challenge we are facing is with his little legs and feet. They told us when he was born his feet and legs had not developed correctly due to being confined with no fluid for so long. Several different doctors have given us opinions. Some think the tissue may develop with time and he will just need some physical therapy. Another told us today it could be more serious. They are having a pediatric orthopedist come in next week to give their opinion. Don't get me wrong, this is a big concern, but it is amazing how trivial this seems compared to his lungs, kidneys and brain. Please pray for Cohen. He is so strong, but he still has so far to go.
Cohen weighed 2 lbs 10 ounces tonight, so that is good compared to a few days ago. He is taking his feedings well. We can touch him a little, but still no holding.

I am in such a dazed state I didn't realize until late today that it is New Year's Eve. I pray for strength for our family to face the challenges ahead in 2010. I also look forward to many joys and milestones we will achieve this year.
I wish you and yours happiness and love in the coming year. Thank you so much for your kindness and concern.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thank you

I just wanted to say "Thank you " again to all of you calling, sending cards, prayers, food and everything else. We are so blessed by our family, friends, coworkers, church, neighbors-----so many of you.
Please let me apologize if you have called and left me messages and I haven't called back. Justin is doing most of the talking/updating. I am still struggling to talk to people on the phone and in person....I just break down. I am so emotional with everyone. I think I have scared several people by sobbing on the phone today. I even broke down on the insurance 800 number man today when he said he would say a prayer for our son. I am truly overwhelmed with kindness. Thank you so much....hopefully with time I will be better. I really love you all and thank you for your support.

Cohen is hanging in there. Some minor adjustments to his vapotherm were made, but we are still encouraged by his progress. He is such a brave little boy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28th

Cohen has had another great day. We are beyond excited with his progress. Even the Neonatologist (his doctor) said she has amazed them with how far he has come.
Justin and I spend most of the day at the hospital, and got to change some diapers and I got to hold him up while the nurse changed his sheet. Hopefully real holding will happen soon.
I have only been driving back and forth for a few days, poor Justin has been doing this for 3 weeks now! He is such a trooper. Other than feeling so exhausted, I am healing fairly well (I think) from this c-section business. I will be glad when I feel back to normal and can take care of everyone!!!!!! Thanks for all your support and prayers. We love you all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A BIG Day!

Baby Cohen has had a big day. I am not sure he realizes this, but Justin and I are so proud.
First of all, they took his ventilator out today. We knew and were hopeful this was coming, but were scared to make a big deal out of it, since he could have to go back on for a bit. He has done well without it, which just makes me speechless.
He now has a vapotherm tube helping him breathe. This is much less invasive, just looks like a little oxygen tube in his nose. He seems more comfortable like this. This also allows us to HEAR him cry. I can't tell you what the sound did to my heart.....absolutely amazing. They also started feeding him my breast milk through an itty bitty tube last night, another step in the right direction. He drinks just a few CC's every 3 hours.
Even more excitement, I got to change his diaper AND take his temperature under his little arm. This is by far the most touching contact we have had and it was wonderful!
I know all of these things sound so little, and before this I just didn't fully understand how exciting each step would be. We are preparing for more ups and downs in the months to come, but are just thankful that right now, things are looking up.
The prayers are obviously working. Thank you....and please keep lifting up our precious son Cohen.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the road again....

I am a mixed bag of emotions as I get to go home from the hospital today. I will be glad to get home and spend time with Ames and Calee, but leaving baby Cohen here is the worst part. I have always had sympathy for moms going home without their babies, but I had no idea it would be this hard.
I am grateful for Cohen being in such good hands here, and I know we will be visting him every single minute we can. He is already such a blessing to us, and I can't wait till the day we bring him home and complete our family!
We will keep you updated as often as possible.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Greatest Christmas Gift

In case you haven't heard by now, our precious son was born December 23rd at 6:22 pm. He weighed 3 lbs 1 ounce and was 15 inches long.
For his Christmas gift, Justin and I finally named him this morning.
Cohen Thomas Bryant

We read that Cohen means "brave" and we thought that was fitting. He is a brave little boy so far. His lungs are underdeveloped and he is on a ventilator, along with lots of other various machines. We were told after he was born he was in critical condition and that he may not survive the night.
As of this morning he is stable. What an amazing Christmas gift! He is far from out of the woods and has lots of struggles in his future, but he has a future. His nurse made a comment this morning about how big he would be next Christmas, and I just broke down in tears.

The story of Cohen's birth is dramatic and crazy. I will give you all the details of the story in a few days when I feel better and things settle down. We are trying to spend all the time we can in NICU with him.
Please pray for our son. Pray that we can be good, strong parents and do the best we can for baby Cohen.
Thanks for all your love and support, and our family wishes you all the happiest, healthiest, merriest Christmas ever!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23rd

Sorry for the late update on the ultrasound. Baby boy looked fine, he passed his tests (bio physical profile) much quicker than he has in weeks past, so that is a good sign. The fluid level continues to drop, we are down to 0.8, but the doctor says this is normal in our situation.
The good news is we have officially made it to week 28! The nurses and doctors act like this is a great thing, so I am excited we are this far along.

My doctor this morning was concerned about my blood count, and is going to run some extra blood tests to ensure things are stable. I feel weak, but I am hoping its just the monotony of the hospital and the bed rest. Justin made a comment a couple of days ago that he hopes we have a "Valentines Day baby" and not a "Christmas Day baby".....I continue to hope and pray he is right. When things run so smooth I forget how quickly things can change.
Please help us pray that our baby remains healthy and safe. Let me tell you, all of this has really put the importance of the holidays in perspective for me, as I am guilty of getting wrapped up in all the less essential reasons for the season.
Love and Joy to you all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21st

I feel like a broken record. Sorry to all of you hoping for some big update or excitement---none of that here. We have another ultrasound tomorrow so maybe there will be more detailed news. Don't misunderstand me, I am thrilled we have nothing to report.....this baby needs to cook 6 more weeks, so I hope to have many more boring blogs in my future.
Everyone has been asking me about the food. They call it "room service". They are very serious about this, answering the phone this way and scurrying around in dressy clothes delivering the food. You order off a menu and they are supposed to bring it within 45 minutes. Sometimes its more like 2 hours....when Justin was taking me for my daily wheel chair ride we figured out why it sometimes takes so long. There was a "room service" attendant hiding behind her cart in a deserted hallway texting on her iphone. Classic.
All in all, it's not the worst food ever. Its not served on a plastic tray (my school friends understand this) and you can choose whatever.....which is a major plus for picky me.

Will letcha know tomorrow about the ultrasound!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19th

If no news is good news, then we are right on target! Very little to report in the baby department. All is quiet as Justin and I sit here on a Saturday night. His parents took the kids for the night so he is able to stay with me. He keeps teasing me that this is the "getaway" I have been asking for...he is so funny...ha.ha.ha.
I tend to get bogged down in all the negative parts of being in the hospital, so I wanted to share with you my favorite part of being here. Her name is the clean sheet "fairy". She is amazing! (I assume its a she/her, since men never change sheets) I get in the shower, and when I get out, POOF! clean sheets and a nicely made bed. I really will miss this at home.
Even though our situation isn't ideal, I really am thankful to be here doing all I can do for our son. Its a small sacrifice to make for a healthy baby.

Thanks for voting on baby names! I have a couple more to add to the list. It's looking like we won't make a decision until he gets here-----very unlike me!!!!
Have a great Saturday night!

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18th

Ultrasounds used to be my favorite. I lived for them when I was pregnant with Calee and Ames. I counted the days with this baby between ultrasounds. Seeing the baby and counting their fingers and toes......now, the game has changed.
We haven't had a ultrasound with great news since we entered the hospital. We get alot of "Wow, I haven't seen fluid this low since...." and "Its amazing the baby is still stable" comments. Not quite so reassuring. Basically, we found out what we already knew. The fluid is virtually gone. The technician had to search for half an hour to find 1cm. When the fluid is gone its almost impossible to get a clear picture or peek at the baby. However! We were able to see him breathe and move with a strong heartbeat. This part is a great relief. I ask the Dr. after every ultrasound how long we can continue like this and he assures me the baby can be fine for weeks or even months. The lack of fluid alone is not a reason to take the baby early (thank goodness). I am reminded today and constantly AMAZED how strong and resilient babies are.
On another note, I am excited that Calee is spending the night with me tonight. We have been watching movies and playing scrabble. A little fun time with my girl is just what the doctor ordered.
Overall, things are fine and I feel blessed and thankful we are still here.

P.S.! I finally put up the baby name poll....Vote for your favorite! Thanks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17th

I never got around to writing yesterday, just wasn't able to fit it in my busy laying around schedule. There has really not been much to report (thankfully), the baby and I are both trudging along fine. Another ultrasound is set for in the morning.
I mentioned in an earlier post they moved me to a larger room. It is 3 or 4 times the size of the other room, which is great, but (a small little but) its right across from the nurses station and my view is the inside of the parking garage. During the day this is not that big of deal, at night it gets pretty loud. I can hear all the others patients buzz the nurses. Its really quite comical....pregnant women asking for chocolate ice cream or pickles at 2 am, yelling at the nurse because their room is cold (each room controls their individual thermostat.)
Now, I like to think I am a pretty good patient. I hardly ever hit the call button (unless I really need ice) and I don't require major special attention, so I am not complaining about the night nurses cackling and hollering at all hours, I am all for having fun at work...but (another little one) I don't get the greatest sleep. The good news is the longer your here, the further down the hall you move to the "suites" with beautiful views and quieter halls! I look forward to getting there!
Will report tomorrow with the ultrasound results. Have a good night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15th

We have made it a week in the hospital! Now we are officially in week 27! This is a big milestone and statistics majorly improve for the baby every week...everyday actually.
Our ultrasound today gave us some mixed emotions. Things have improved and been so positive since we have been here it's hard to hear what is less positive news. First of all, the baby still seems fine. He is making due with truly the bare minimum of fluid. On Friday, he had 5cm and today it was 2cm. They explained that this is subjective, and lots of factors go into the measurement.... but the bottom line is he is ok with this amount for now. We just didn't expect such a drop! He did again pass several breathing and movement tests, which is great news. Please help us pray that our son can remain healthy and not be delivered for many more weeks.

On a lighter note, the Tennessee Titans visit here at the hospital every Tuesday. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a amazing thing these athletes do. The nurses tried all night and this morning to convince me to let them come and take a picture (gasp!) and visit me. They said things like "Its a keepsake for the baby!" and "You can hang the picture in the nursery!" (bahaha)
I know some of you are laughing at me right now, but the thought of this horrified me! I just couldn't stomach the thought they would feel sorry for me...this whole helpless routine is so hard! I forget I am a patient and not able to do the things I normally do---anyway, when I watched the 6 o'clock news tonight, I knew I made the right choice. They were visiting the lady next door to me! So glad you all didn't see me in my pajamas on the news!
Justin is home with the kids tonight, and he will bring them up tomorrow after school. I miss them dearly, but they need to stay home and catch up with everything tonight.....
Thanks for all the support, we are so blessed by all of you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14th

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? I feel like have been looking over my shoulder for Bill Murray all day.
All kidding aside, we are blessed to have had another slow, non eventful day. Our big excitement is always the time on the baby monitor. It has come to my attention that I like it WAY more than the baby, who basically runs from it....as soon as they latch the hook, he jumps to the other side. We played cat and mouse for 3 hours this morning! Tonight the nurse sat on the side of the bed and held the monitor on him for almost an hour.... his heart rate and activity is spectacular!
My mom brought the kids up this afternoon to visit, and Justin is spending the night tonight since we have an ultrasound again in the morning. Mom is going home for a few days tomorrow, to give her final exams and finish things up at school. I will miss her, and so will the kids, but we are lucky to have Justin's parents to help out. I know Justin can handle things, but I am glad he has some support and backup!
FYI- Calee's recital went great yesterday, her teacher came to watch and she could not have been more excited if all 3 Jonas Brothers had been there. This really took the focus off my not being there and made it easier...Thanks Mrs. Ferens!

We have been here a week tomorrow! Hope to make it several more!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13th

Another thankfully quiet day on the baby front. The doctor came early and visited with Mom and I quite a while. We are getting to know him more, and that is reassuring. He really hit it off with my mom, which isn't a surprise since she's never met a stranger! The baby is still doing great, and all the daily monitoring and routine have been smooth. It seems to be quieter around here on the weekends, a little more low key.
I am anxiously awaiting to hear from Calee about her Christmas recital. I am sure it is going great, and will be happy to get a report. I also had a wonderful visit from work buddies. Lots of laughs and fun. They brought me an amazingly huge basket of goodies from everyone at school! I love the friends I work with and miss them.

Mostly, I have been researching baby names!!!! We just can't seem the find the "one". Ever since I read a quote about a baby name being the first gift you give a child, I feel more pressure......I am going to narrow some down and put up a poll for you all to vote. Keep in mind you get a vote, but this isn't a democracy! haha....

Hope everyone has had a good weekend. Hard to believe Christmas is almost here!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12th

It's hard to believe that this is already our 5th night in the hospital. Time seems to be going fast so far. The doctor came by early this morning to check on things, and was pleased with how the baby and I are doing. It seems despite all the circumstances, the baby is tolerating everything and staying healthy.
It was a busy day with lots of visits and calls from family and friends. Calee and Ames stayed here almost all day, and I hated to see them leave for the night. Calee has her dance recital tomorrow, so I will be sad to miss it, but thankful the rest of our family will make it out to see her perform.
We also set up a skype account tonight and have had fun playing and talking on that. It is amazing! I am happy to have my Mom staying with me tonight, she always makes me feel better.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. Good night!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ultrasound Update

We had another ultrasound today to check on the baby. They explained he needed to try and pass several "tests" including breathing for 30 continuous seconds and several body movements that indicate energy and growth. It took quite a while but he passed all of them! We were really encouraged by this. They also measured 5cm of water around the baby, and even though this is low it should continue to be enough to help him be comfortable and maintain growth. I then spent several hours hooked up to the fetal monitor, which showed his heart rate and activity to be good.
They also moved me to a larger room tonight, so we have lots more room for Calee and Ames to come and play. It was a calm day and I pray we have many more of these to come!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting Started

Justin and I thought a blog might be helpful to keep all our family and friends updated on the daily details with the baby and myself. Justin got me a new laptop today, so I am so excited to be able to communicate with more than just my blackberry.

I am 26 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. Our original due date is March 17th, 2010. The pregnancy has been fairly complicated from the beginning. I have been told numerous times we are lucky to have made it this far. My regular OB recently referred to me a Maternal Fetal Specialist in Nashville. On my first visit there (Tuesday, December 8th) they determined my water had broken. They immediatley admitted us to Baptist Hospital in Nashville. We will be here until the baby is born. The hope is that he will not be born until 34 weeks. They monitor both the baby and myself constantly, and so far things are going very well. He is not showing any signs of stress at this point.

The doctors and nurses here have been nothing short of wonderful. We are really thankful to be here.

Just wanted to also say a BIG THANKS to all our family and friends for all calls, visits, prayers etc. We feel so blessed to have such a great support system to help Justin, Calee, Ames and I wait on our new baby boy.