Friday, March 30, 2012

The Right Side of Disappointment

I wake up every morning tired.  I am the mother of a newborn so this is to be expected.  I go go go all day and I get up three times during the night to pump.  I'm on Callan's hospital schedule so I pump when they are feeding him a bottle during the night.  This morning when my alarm went off that final time it was no different.  I was tired, but there was a flutter in my heart.  I was happy.  I was excited. Today was the day Callan was to come home.

I missed his 8 a.m. feeding so I could take Madison and Tyler to school.  I arrived at Callan's bedside right before 11 a.m. so I could nurse him.  His nurse greeted me and I responded in a sing song voice with... "Good morning!!!!  Today is the day!!!  Callan is coming home!!"  She paused and gave me a sideways glance.  "Well..... he had a few desaturations through the night so the nurse practitioner is going to come talk to you.... I just want to prepare you that they may not let him leave today."  I heard her.  I listened to her.  My heart told my head no. She was wrong.  She didn't have any idea what she was talking about.  So "we" (my heart and head) ignored her.   

I nursed Callan behind a curtain and heard our nurse practitioner come in.  She whispered to the nurse to give her a call when I was finished.  I thought that was a little odd because she has talked with me while nursing in the past, but still didn't put it all together.  I finished up with Callan and she was called.  She delivered the news.  They were going to have to put Callan's cannula (nasal tube) back in and put him on one liter of air.  He needed the stimulation to keep his oxygen saturation levels high enough.  He's just not ready to go home.  He needs at least 48 hours on the cannula and then they will take him off and he has to prove that he can make it another 48 hours without any support. 

I heard my voice.  I was somewhere else, but words were coming out of my mouth.  I heard myself say, "ok.. no problem.  I don't want him home unless he is ready and ya'll are all confident that he will be just fine."  "I get it."  "I'm fine."  "I understand.."  "Right.. Okay... well I better go so I can give my husband a call."  I even managed to laugh with the 2 nurses, 1 nursing student, and nurse practitioner that stood around me and Callan.  Looking back I wondered if they were there in case I fell apart... again. 

I walked outside and called Jason and there in the parking lot I lost it.  The really really angry sad desperate ugly cry.  He tried to calm me.  He tried to say the right things.  But there are no right things to say.  I know I'm supposed to be on the right side of disappointment.  The side where all of this is okay...where I find the silver lining.  But today I'm on the wrong side.  I'm mad.  I'm angry.  I'm tired of pumping.  I'm tired of an alarm waking me up in the middle of the night and not the cries of my newborn.  I'm tired of drinking in his sweet smells along with those of the hospital.  I'm tired of driving back and forth to the hospital to see my baby.  I'm sad that Madison and Tyler have yet to meet their brother.  I'm sad that my friends have yet to see his sweet face.  I'm angry that he is there and we are here.  It's not how it's meant to be.  Tomorrow I will get on the right side.  Tomorrow I will look up and find the silver lining, but today I'm going to be on the wrong side of disappointment.  Today I choose to be sad.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Callan...

Dear Callan,

So many memories I'm afraid I'll forget of your time in the NICU.  I wish I paused for a moment each day to write them down.  This one I'll never forget...One night when we were still not able to hold you... Daddy and I came to the hospital and we each took one of your hands.  We held a hand and they fed you my milk through a tube.  You were awake for the first time around us and looked at each of us.  Daddy stood on one side of your bassinet and I stood on the other.  We were so happy to have that moment with you. 

I have focused most of my time pumping milk for you or getting to the hospital to hold you.  When I'm not with you I do focus on your siblings.  Madison knows you are here, but I'm not sure she really KNOWS.  Tyler is oblivious....He's still a baby and requires a lot of my attention.  I have been nervous on how I'm going to give you all what you need.  Someone (wise I'm sure) once told me that the best gift you could give your children are siblings.  I do believe that because I am so thankful for the two I have.  I know even though you three are going to wear me out it will all be worth it!

Today I got wonderful amazing news.  You came off all your liters of air, and your tubes, and your oxygen.  They are watching you at the hospital, but you are off all those aids.  You are a normal baby!!!  You are tiny.  You are now five pounds something... but you are breathing room air and doing it all on your own!  You are taking a bottle and nursing!!

I washed all of Tyler's newborn clothes for you before you were born.  I bought you a few things of  your own and I remember thinking that you had so much!  I could put a new outfit on you every day and you wouldn't wear them all.  Guess what I found myself doing yesterday?  I was buying you something new.  You are so tiny I felt the need to buy you something that would fit you now.  Not later.. but now.  It was an outfit that was "up to 7lbs."   Tyler and Madison were both over seven pounds when they were born so I have nothing that small!  The NICU dresses you now.  All of the clothes they use are donations.  Guess where your new clothes are going to go when you outgrow them?  I told them today.. "DONE... Callan's clothes are coming to the NICU!" 

Callan.. my heart aches for you to be with me at all times.  I feel guilty when I'm not there with you.  Holding you.  Madison and Tyler still need me too.  So away from you I must be a lot during the day.  I'm afraid when you finally do come home I won't put you down.  You will be a "lap baby."  God has made me thankful.  I was afraid of having three.  Three babies under four, but now I am not afraid.  I am thankful.  I am thankful.... and we are so blessed.


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Callan Noah Groff - March 18th, 2012

On March 17th, I went into labor three weeks early.  I kept thinking the contractions would pass, but they just got stronger and closer together.  I woke Jason around one in the morning March 18th and told him we better head to the hospital.  They put me in a room and watched me for about thirty minutes.  I dilated from a two to a four in that time so they went ahead and admitted me.  I immediately asked for an epidural and they began to move fast to get me prepped.  I just kept say.. "I don't want to miss my epidural.. I want an epidural!!!"  I finally got relief an hour or so later. 

The nurses were amazing and calmed my mind about delivering at 37 weeks.  I pushed once and Callan was born at 9:18 a.m.  As soon as I saw him I just kept saying.. "he's so small.. he's so small!!" Callan weighed in at 6lbs, 1 ounce.

He seemed great and I got to nurse him for about 30 minutes.  I snapped this photo to send to family with my cell phone camera.  Little did I know this would be one of the only pictures I would have of Callan right after birth.

His color turned a little grey and my nurse took him from me.  She messed with him for a few minutes and then called the nursery nurse.  The nursery nurse didn't seem too concerned, but said she was going to take him to check him over.  She told Jason she would come get him so he could watch her bathe Callan.  They were about to move me to my regular room when Jason left to go check on Callan.  We thought she had forgotten to come get him.  Jason returned and said that he needed a little oxygen so they were going to hold off on bathing him.  I wasn't in my new room long when we received the news that Callan was moved to the NICU.  We were devastated.  I had to wait for my epidural to wear off before I could go see him.  I was wheeled there.  This is not something any new mother should have to experience. 

At first he just had the small tube in his nose.  Late the next day they had to move him to a CPAP mask and other treatments.  No one could have ever prepared me for this.  I almost collapsed when I saw him.  When I looked over and saw my rock, my husband, crying... I had to be seated and calmed. 

We were told that he needed further testing because they were afraid it was more than his lungs.  In addition I was told he would have to be fed through a tube.  I was struggling to get my milk to come in so the doctor told me they would be giving him formula.  I don't think at that moment in my life I could take any more bad news.  We had a very long, very sleepless night. 

I think I hit my breaking point the next morning.  I was exhausted.  I knew an echo cardiogram had been ordered and after pumping every two hours all night long I had not a drop of milk to show for it.  Jason left to go get some scheduled blood work done for himself and I was left alone.  My OB, nurse, and pediatrician all came by to find me sobbing.  I couldn't stop and the next thing I knew there was a knock at my door.  The nursery nurse came walking in pulling a bassinet behind her saying "guess who's baby I have?!!!" I lit up and said "OH YOU HAVE MY BABY?!!!"  In my mind I was thinking either they worked it out to get him to my room or he somehow got better.  She pulled the curtain that blocked the view of me from the door.  She took one look at me with red swollen puffy eyes and immediately had a look of shock.  I could see a big pink sign in the bassinet and she yelled "Oh honey, I'm so sorry I have the wrong room!"  She was the nurse that had admitted my baby to the NICU.  She delivered the baby to the right room and came right back.  She had made a mistake.. a big mistake, but I forgave her.  I honestly wanted to just be alone.

It wasn't long before another nurse entered my room with a picture of Callan and a blanket that he had been swaddled in for me.  I sobbed more.  I could have not been more grateful in that moment for anything in my entire life.  I had a few friends visit me that day and my sweet friend Heather took one look at his picture leaning against a coffee mug and said "this is unacceptable."  She ran to the gift shop and got this frame.

I was released on Tuesday and sent home without my baby.  I was able to hold him for the first time since I gave birth to him before my discharge.  This was with Jason's phone.  I had no idea they were going to let me hold him.

My second hold...

Callan has turned a corner and is doing so much better.  Jason and I visit several times a day.  This is the view I see as I wash my hands to go visit him.

His CPAP mask is off.... He finally seems comfortable.

My milk came in...

and he is usually in my arms when I visit.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rodeo Day and Tyler's Speech

Rodeo day at preschool is all about the dads.  The school puts on a little production so the dads can get some one on one time with their child at school.  I whipped out the perfect dress Madison wore last year.  With my mind so focused on this third baby I didn't think ahead and Tyler sported an everyday look!!  I still couldn't resist and opportunity to take pictures.

Madison kept insisting on a silly face!

Jason took the small camera to school and snapped these... I heart them and wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

Eating.. it's what Tyler does very well!

Madison got the shaft on pictures dad took.. However, given Tyler's age it was more of an activity for his class and a lunch for hers.

At Tyler's 18 month check up his doctor expressed concern that he did not have enough words.  She wanted me to take him for an evaluation.  That was in November.  After talking to several friends and his preschool teachers I decided to wait a while.  It's hard not to compare your child to other kids, but he has a few friends right around his age that says things like.. "Hi Mrs. Shelby!!!!"  (Very clearly I might add!)  Tyler uses two words phrases... usually "more milk," but most often sticks to one word.  He's very verbal, but says "mil" (milk) instead of enunciating the last syllable.  So with the clock ticking for baby number three I decided to go ahead and take him.  (Before baby and before his two year check up in May).  It went great and I learned that Mr. T is just fine!  He's "advanced" for receptive language and "average" for expressive language.   I didn't expect that he would need speech therapy, but I'm thrilled to have the confirmation.

Just a little instagram photo post a chili hot dog... Oh that smile...

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Life at 34 weeks via my cell...

I'm 35 weeks today... for the record.  34 weeks was a bit tough and a bit busy.  Did I say bit twice?  Well let's just start there.  I went to pick Tyler up from school on Thursday.  I walked into his classroom and immediately noticed that he was in his spare pair of pants.  I looked at his teacher and said.. "Oh did we have an accident?"  She said "Oh yes, a big blow out."  I was moving right along to grab his things as she was making her way to me.  She mumbled, "I need to talk to you."  I was thinking this can't be good.  She said, "Tyler bit a friend today."  I burst into tears.  (Yes.. I really felt bad for the little girl... but the tears were pouring for another reason.  I know hitting is one thing, but biting will get you kicked out of preschool.  He and I both need these two mornings a week!)  His teacher said, "Oh I knew you were going to cry!!" and gave me a big hug.  She told me that he got her GOOD.  (Salt anyone?)  He and the little girl were both trying to go out the door first and he just leaned over and bit her.... and then walked out the door first.  Ugh.  She then said..."AND.." I was like Lord what??!  "He didn't nap today."  (That was a first as well).  I wiped my tears and headed home with the kids.  Tyler was cranky to say the least. 

On my drive home I decided that this bite was either a one time thing or the beginning of something bad.  Unfortunately it was the latter.  This is what he did to Madison's on Saturday...

I'm not sure where to go from here.  I've gotten some advice and I'm willing to try most anything.  Here's a photo of me at exactly 34 weeks I texted to my siblings.  I don't know why, but I love to keep them up to date on my growing belly.  I guess because I never get to see them in person.

I measured small at my 32 week appointment.  I've always been right on at every appointment with all kids (saying "with all kids" cracks me up) including this one up until that week.  My doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound at 34 weeks just to make sure he was growing well.  I cried a little, but knew if she thought it was anything serious she would have had me looked at right away.  So this past Tuesday Jason and I got to see baby boy Groff and he looks wonderful.  They estimated him to be 5lbs and 6ozs which put him in the 50th percentile for size.  My doctor said.. "perfect, not too big and not too small."  Perfect was all I needed to hear.  And she was right.. it was great to see him.

Oh.. and my ultrasound tech go to see not one, but two burn marks on my belly.  One was from the iron and the second was from the skillet when I reached over the stove to get the pepper down while cooking eggs.  I mean it's obviously big enough that I can't gage the distance!!

Tyler still has the worst gag reflex.  It's a nightmare when he catches a cough.  We put him down for a nap one day this week and he was just hacking in his crib.  Two hours later with him screaming "all done" after not going to sleep, Jason went up to get him.  He had coughed, gagged, and thrown up everywhere.  I felt awful because it was all over him and had dried.  I threw him in the tub.  That was the day he learned to make a sprinkler out of my faucet.  FABULOUS! 

Madison waited until about three and a half to open doors and Tyler had it mastered months ago and the kid is not even two.  Madison has never climbed my coffee table...


I guess I need to stop comparing and just brace myself for another boy!  (I'm not normally this nice when I'm scolding my kids, but hey I was recording!)

I found him destroying my kitchen when I came out from doing laundry.  When I showed up he screamed "NOOOOOOOO" as he was leaving the scene.

No is his favorite word...

We took the kids to see Elmo last weekend...  They both loved the cotton candy.  (The secret to keeping Tyler in his seat.

When the cotton candy ran out, Tyler had to check and see how the seats worked.

He did like the show, but enjoyed the $10 balloon a lot more....

The kids have officially moved rooms.  Madison needed to have the guest room with her own bathroom eventually so I went ahead and moved her there since I had to move Tyler anyway.  I didn't want to move him again in the future so we just decided to move everyone at once.  The boys will share the jack and jill.  The baby is just going to move right into Tyler's nursery so Tyler moved to Madison's room.  I'm still working on his room.  The big starts are his big boy sheets from Serena and Lily and the little stars are the sheets for his crib (yep we bought another crib) from Target!!!!

A tiny sneak peak at Madison's new room.  It will be a while before I post the room reveal.  I'm waiting on her headboards due at the end of March!!  (This cell picture does not do the colors justice.. the colors are way off!)

Her spring soccer pictures CRACK ME UP!!  Can you believe that is a green screen and not a real soccer field...?? BAHHAA!  Oh and I should have never made fun of her friends green soccer uniform last fall.  Karma...

I've been making the kids whole wheat banana pancakes from a recipe I found on pinterest

The weather has been crazy warm here so we have spent a lot of time outside.  My little gardeners!

One February afternoon it hit almost 90!  We broke out the water bottles and the kids loved it!

Tyler after another "blow out.."  It was warm enough to not break out another pair of pants.  By baby number three I would just rather have him run around half naked than to have more laundry.

I spent a lot.. A LOT of time last week prepping all of Madison's clothes for a huge consignment sale here.  This wasn't even all of them.  I've spent a few months selling to friends first.  I had all of this left which was mainly clothes under 2T.  I had more in the closet too.  I had to iron and hang all of them.  I also had to load them all into a system and tag them.  I cried a little as my friends bought up the clothes. It caught me a little off guard.  I guess it's the memories.  Jason and I are confident that three under the age of four is plenty of little Groffs in one house so I decided to let her clothes go.

I snapped this of Madison on the way to school.  She and I go back and forth every morning about what she can take into school. She's allowed her lovey and one stuffed animal.  Car rides usually look like this...

Whoever doesn't make the cut for school that day stay in the car so she can greet them when I pick her up.  She is OBSESSED with stuffed animals.

On the ride home from dance this week Madison and I had an amazing sunset.  So amazing that I had to snap a shot with my phone when we got home.  This photo does not do it justice!

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