Sunday, December 30, 2012

Collins' First Christmas

**WARNING picture overload**

We headed to Galva on the 22nd and stayed until Christmas morning. We went to 2 birthday parties,  2 Christmas's, introduced Collins to lots of people and had a great time spending time with family.

Hazel and Collins chatting

Daddy multi-tasking

Christmas number 1 on Christmas Eve

Her gift from Santa

The spoiling began...

Derek's cousin made all the kids a pillow with their initial

We came home and Elsie had done this. Guess she was hungry

Starting our Christmas Eve tradition of pajamas and a movie

 She was exhausted by this point
Santa came for Collins and the dogs

Collins loot. Santa decided last minute to fill a stocking for her

Christmas morning

 Someone didn't want to wake up
We left Galva about 9:45am to head back to KC because we were hosting Christmas with my family that day.
Papa's girl

 Papa is great at getting her to sleep
Waiting patiently to open presents

Our first Christmas as a family of 3

Kisses from daddy
The day after Christmas we went bowling. Nana Jana, Amber and Tara had to work but the rest of us had a great time. The kids bowl better then I do.
Uncle Tony helping them bowl


Little one slept and I made sure everyone cleaned their hands before touching her :)
Lastly, we had our 4th Christmas on Saturday with my dad's side of the family
Grandma opening her gift from us

Dad desperately needed a coffee maker. The clock on his didn't work and the only way he knew how to set it was a light turned on at midnight so he would count to five for 5am.

Showing Aiden my piano skills. The whole 1 song I know how to play

Majority of the Longs. We missed Amy and her family and my aunt, uncle and 2 cousins
Guess only a few of us got the be silly memo

With her great grandparents

He got scared if anyone else wore it but he loved wearing it himself

 Our family always gathers in the kitchen
There is no greater gift than this one...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Month 1

How in the heck has it already been a month?! This little girl has completely stolen our hearts. We think every little noise and movement she does is the cutest thing in the world and we constantly fight over who gets to hold her and who she looks like (more people say me. So there Derek)!
She is a rockstar sleeper at night only stirring when she gets hungry and never completely waking up. Is staying awake longer and longer during the day. Usually content to just sit and look around. Pretty fussy in the evenings.
Does great taking a bottle when we need her to. Takes a pumped bottle before bed to ensure she is nice and full.
Starting to only fall asleep if she has her momma. It's a habit I don't want to start so I try and make Derek take her and rock her. He's great at getting her to sleep.
Melts our hearts with her smile. Their sometimes hard to get out of her but there is nothing better in the world then seeing her great big smile.
Tries really hard to talk and can occasionally get some coos out. Again, best thing in the world.
Holds her head up really high and can bare weight on her legs.
 She is very alert when she's awake and can track things.
Had her 1 month appt. today and is doing great. She had 1 shot and she let out 1 high pitched squeal and then was ok.
Can't wait to celebrate her 1st Christmas in 4 days. Going out of town for the first time tomorrow and we are hoping she is a good traveler. I've been excited for Christmas since the day we found out she was a girl.  My very own doll to dress for Christmas. She might need a separate suitcase for her bows.
Is one loved little girl.

Not always going to be this easy to get her to take these pics on the chair

Monday, December 17, 2012

NICU Nightmare

I never went into detail about the night Collins went to the NICU so here is the whole story:

She wasn't born until 3:57pm on Wednesday, the 21st. By the time all the family left and they got us moved into our new room, it was already about 7pm. Derek and I talked about whether we wanted to send her to the nursery that night and we both decided we wanted to keep her with us. I wasn't ready to let go of her. She had been gagging and choking on fluid so although we trusted the nurses 110%, we didn't know how many babies were in the nursery and how often they would check on her. We decided we would rather keep an eye on her ourselves. We hardly slept a minute because we were first time parents jumping at every noise she made. When I say jump, I mean I would yell at Derek to run to her because I couldn't get up very quickly.

So the next day we kept telling the nurse that she kept choking on fluid and we kept having to suck stuff out of her nose and throat. Again, the nurses always said it was normal. So Thursday night at about 10pm, the nurse asked if we wanted them to keep her in the nursery that night. Since we hadn't got any sleep the night before and we would be going home the next day, we told her we probably would. She said she was going to take her to do some of the newborn screenings and would bring her back at 11:30pm when she was supposed to eat and we could decide then. I had just gotten her dressed in her pajamas (bow and all) and could hear people ohing and ahing over her in the hall way. I fell asleep thinking about our cute, healthy baby.

My mom instinct woke me up at 11:25pm and I was so excited for her to come back. This was the first time she had been away for more then 30 min. At 11:40pm the nurse came in and said they had been running a test on her and her oxygen levels kept dropping. They wanted to watch her another 30-40 min and then would bring her back. The nurse didn't seem concerned so I fell back asleep. I woke back up at 12:15 and she still wasn't back. 5 min later, the nurse walked in with no Collins. I knew it wasn't good right then. She asked if she could turn the lights on and I quickly yelled at Derek to wake up. (4 weeks later and I still can't write this without crying). She said her oxygen levels kept dropping and she thought it was best they send her upstairs to the NICU. She said my pediatrician was on the phone to talk to me. I picked up our hospital phone and the pediatrician just explained that since her oxygen levels kept dropping, they needed to take her to the NICU to monitor her more and give her any help she might need. I of course agreed and the nurse said they would take her upstairs in about 30 min. I completely broke down after the nurse left. I hadn't seen my baby in a few hours and I just kept picturing her being hooked up in the NICU and being all alone. I wanted to go up there but I was trying to hold myself together and wait a few minutes like the nurse said it would take to get her up there.

About 15 min. later the nurse came back and said they wanted me in the NICU to feed her. She led us upstairs and after going through the process of getting into the NICU (you have to sanitize your hands like crazy, take off all your jewelery, etc), a NICU nurse led us down to the sunflower room where Collins was. I was still an emotional wreck but was so relieved when we got to Collins and she only had monitors on and not anything in her nose for oxygen like I assumed she would. The NICU nurse said they had been monitoring her and hadn't seen any drops yet and that she was looking great. She didn't think we should be concerned at all. Collins was stripped out of her cute pajamas and laid in just a diaper under a warmer. I picked her up to nurse her and kissed her like crazy and told her how much I loved her and she was going to be ok. The NICU nurse said she had lost some weight so after I nursed, I should try topping her off with formula. After she had taken a tiny bit of formula, I was burping her and her alarm went off. The nurse had told us what everything on the monitor meant so we knew it was her oxygen. It dropped to the lows 80s (above 90 is normal) for a few seconds and then went back up. She said it was probably just from moving her around and burping her and that she was fine. I hogged her for over an hour before I let Derek hold her before going back downstairs before she had to eat again.

We tried to get a little sleep before going back up to feed her around 4:30am. As we walked down the hall to her room, I had to constantly stare at the floor because it was heartbreaking to walk by all the tiny babies in the other rooms leading to hers. Her oxygen levels had stayed up while we were gone and I decided to skip the formula this time because I blamed the drop in oxygen level on the formula. In the room she was in, there were about 6 other babies in there and whenever any of the babies alarms goes off, it alarms all monitors and tells what baby it is (just by a letter, not their name). So although her alarm never went off, there were constant beeps and alarms going off. It is every parents nightmare up there. Again, we held her for over an hour before laying her back down so she could rest. The NICU nurse said the pediatricians usually make their rounds early before heading into the office so we were hopeful she would be there when we came back for our 7:30am feeding.

We got back upstairs at 7am hoping the pediatrician would be there but unfortunately, she wasn't. She still hadn't had any drops in her oxygen level so the new NICU nurse said she didn't see any reason why the pediatrician wouldn't still let her go home that day. She couldn't guarantee it but said Collins was looking great. We went back to our room to pack things up because I was going to get discharged that day with or without Collins. She said she would call if the pediatrician came.

When we got back up there around 10am,  the nurse was running the same screen Collins had failed the night before. She said not to mess with her and she still had a few minutes of the testing to do. Derek and I stared at the screen and prayed her levels would stay up. Luckily, they did! Nurse said she passed with flying colors. The pediatrician finally arrived around 10:30am and we kept our fingers crossed as she examined Collins and looked over her records. She said she didn't see anything wrong and couldn't explain why her oxygen levels were dropping but she gave us the all clear to take her home! We just had to bring her to the office the next day to have her weight checked but the pediatrician said to skip the formula. We were sssooo happy and rushed down to our room to get her going home outfit and car seat. We wanted out of that place as soon as we could!!

Although we only had to experience the NICU for one night and Collins didn't even need any medical intervention, I am ssoo thankful for all the technology they have and for all the wonderful nurses. I don't know how they do it! And for parents who have to spend days, weeks or even months visiting their baby in the nicu, I pat you on the back because it is emotionally draining and the worst feeling in the world!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weeks 2 and 3

Almost 3 weeks into this parenting thing and I'm already neglecting the blog. My apologies dad and grandma (pretty sure they both check this daily to see if I have posted anything).

We're still surviving around here. Collins will be 3 weeks on Wednesday (how?!?!) and has been a great baby 90% of the time. We've thought she has had acid reflux since she was born but after hearing her scream for 3+ hours this morning which resulted in me in tears too, we got into the doctor this afternoon to see what they thought. She definitely shows signs of acid reflux but they want us to try gas drops first. The medicine for acid reflux is a twice daily prescription so they want to try her on something else first. They said with acid reflux, they are fussy every time after they eat and she is usually only fussy some evenings so we are hoping the gas drops will be the solution. On the bright side, she was 7lbs 7oz at her appointment today. Definitely gaining some weight!

So other then a couple fussy episodes, she has been a great baby. She sleeps A LOT. She is spoiling us like crazy right now and sleeping 5+ hours at night. I hope this sticks around because it's been wonderful. She's usually awake a little in the mornings (and morning to her is 10am) and then for a few hours in the evening. We have started to give her nightly baths in hopes of relaxing her before bed but she hates baths so there isn't much relaxing going on. She cries so hard during baths and getting lotion on, she usually eats and passes out so I guess we'll take it.

 Passed out

Passed out part 2

We spend most of our days at home but usually have at least 1 errand to run everyday. I have left her with Derek a couple times while I have ran a quick errand and yesterday auntie Amber insisted I drop her off with her while I went to the grocery store so she has officially been "babysat."

That's pretty much all that's been going on around here. I'll leave you with some pictures from my phone.


Pretty baby

Looking adorable in her owl hat

She would rather watch TV then look at her toys

With cousin Aiden

With her friend Ryann. She can't wait for Ryann's little sister to arrive
We have been wearing our Christmas outfits...