Hearing Test

About a week ago Adeline had her first hearing check-up outside of the NICU. I had no idea how they test a baby’s ears when they can’t actually tell you if they hear a beep or anything. But what they actually do is put this little earplug thing in her ear and it plays a mechanical lullaby into her ear and then a machine records the vibrated melody that her ear sends back. Pretty cool! It was super easy and painless and done very quickly. The results are also instant, Adeline has great hearing! She has to go back in one year to be retested though, as the NICU she was at had put her on an antibiotic her 1st month of life because they decided that all her bradycardia could be due to an infection and wanted to pre-treat it. I wish I had said no, honestly. Most premies have lots of brady’s while they are growing and developing, it’s pretty normal for awhile. But thanks to her team of doctors deciding to treat a non existing infection for a few days while waiting on the tests that would say if she had anything, Adeline is now at risk for hearing loss. It is a very low percent but she still needs to be tested as it could onset later in life unfortunately. As a first time parent in a tough situation having a baby born at 29 weeks, I wish we had more of an advocate that told us it was ok to say no to our doctors who pushed some of these things on us. But luckily, so far, Adeline is a healthy normal little premie baby.

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5 Months

Adeline turned 5 months over the weekend! I cannot believe how fast time keeps going.

At 5 months Adeline can easily roll from her belly to her back, and she usually does immediately once we put her on her belly for some tummy time…ha! She can sit up as long as it is assisted or if she is in her Bumbo chair. On Sunday, AC and I decided to give Adeline her first taste of some baby food. We bought her a Gerber bananas puree that was specifically for assisted sitters/ baby’s 1st foods. She didn’t cry or anything but once we put it in her mouth she would repeatedly push it right back out with her tongue.  Only 2 or 3 times did it look like she actually swallowed anything. Although she definitely did eat some of it because  after I switched back to her bottle, maybe 10 min later she was projectile vomiting everywhere!

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Then 3 hours later after her next bottle she did it again! All over me, the couch, the floor and herself! It was awful! I had to give her a bath because she was sticky from head to toe. I don’t know if this means she is allergic to bananas right now or that she just wasn’t ready for it yet. I am thinking the latter because developmentally she is only 2 and a half months old. We should have started with rice cereal, I think.

As rough of a day as that was, it ended so much better. That night when AC and I were snuggling with her on our bed, we had tucked her hands into the pajama built in mittens and were joking around that she didn’t have any fingers. Well I started laughing and then all of a sudden she starts laughing too! It was the cutest thing! I don’t think it was her real laugh though, it sounded more like she was mimicking me and it was hilarious and made me laugh even harder so she kept doing it. It was the best thing ever. heh heh heh heh! That’s what it sounded like.

Monday my mother in law was over to take Adeline to her eye doctor appointment, such a lifesaver so AC and I wouldn’t have to take off more work since I am already having to take off this coming Friday for her hearing test. Anyway, her eyes are looking good and they don’t need her to come back in until February! Such a huge victory right now!

On the ttc front, I should be ovulating today according to my app. Not sure I actually will but it doesn’t hurt to try and see what happens. I can’t afford the digital OPKs right now, thank you weekly daycare, so I am trying to figure out the cheapy little line tests that are very hard for me to read.

Back in the Wait

AC and I have decided we do want to try for Baby #2 now so I had messaged my doctor asking if I could get back on Clomid since that is what worked for us prior. She informed me that she would prefer if AC and I tried on our own again for 3 to 6 months. 3 to 6 months!!?! What exactly is the point of that if we already know that I have pcos and with that I don’t seem to ovulate on my own. We cannot conceive without ovulation first so why make us waste these next few months! Maybe she thinks this past pregnancy has fixed something in me but I have yet to see that. It is so frustrating. I guess I will have to go buy some OPKs again and get back in the game.

On a side note, this is Adeline’s 2nd week at her babysitter and things are going pretty smoothly. Nothing to complain about at least. She was a bit fussy on Monday but that was mainly because she had gotten used to being held all day long while my mom was watching her last week since our sitter was on vacation. Adeline seems to have adjusted back quickly though and I am not a nervous, panicked wreck with her there, so I’d say that’s a win 🙂

Road Trips, Pumpkins, Doctors, and Daycare

Adeline had her very first road trip over the weekend. We drove 3 and a half hours to visit my best friend and her 2 girls (ages 4 and 6) while her husband was out of town on business. Adeline did really well on the long drive! She was only really fussy when she needed to be changed or was getting hungry, which is all you can really ask for from a 4 month old. She got to meet my grandpa, her great grandpa, for the 1st time. He was absolutely in love ❤ At my best friends we got takeout, drank a little wine and carved pumpkins! It was a great trip overall. The only real drawback was that on Saturday night I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am. I can never fall asleep in a new place on the first night of staying there. Then at 3am it was time to feed Adeline of course and she never truly went back to sleep. Ugh, she just kept squirming around or fussing quietly the rest of the night.

Yesterday Adeline had another eye appointment. AC had taken the day off to take her to this and then to be able to hang out with her the rest of the day to let her recover from the eye dilation and all of the poking and prodding. It’s a good thing he did take off because she was so upset for the rest of the day, poor baby! But when the doctor looked at her eyes, the hemorrhoids/blood clots in her right eye were completely gone!!! Such great news that they were able to heal themselves. Her right eye is still a little behind the left developmentally but this is still great news and she will be checked again in another 3 weeks.

And finally, today is the big day, Adeline’s 1st day at the babysitters. It’s pretty scary and stressful but I have to believe she is in good hands. I will probably give her babysitter a call on my lunch break just to check 😉 I did end up going to tour those 2 church daycares last week as well. The 1st has in a very old, slightly run down church that had a heavy mold smell in the infant room. I instantly knew she wouldn’t be going to this one. Which this decision was further made when I saw that they also had babies crawling all around all of our feet and we all were wearing our shoes tracking germs and dirt all over the floor. The 1 most important thing I have learned when checking out daycares is that the really good ones will always have you put booties on over your shoes upon entering the infant rooms where babies crawl around on the floor. The 2nd church daycare was $10 more a week than the other church but also so much nicer and although they didn’t put booties on, they did have the teachers in sock feet at least. I would feel ok putting her in this daycare but at $195 a week it really isn’t affordable for us when comparing to the daycare/babysitter with my coworkers sister who only has 4 other kids and charges $150. So ultimately we went with her, and despite the costs, she probably really is the best place for Adeline. I will let you guys know how her first day went shortly! so nervous!

4 Months and a Daycare Search

IMG_20171004_104327_554Adeline is officially 4 months old as of yesterday, October 5th!

At 4 Months she weighs 8.33 lbs. Which means she is officially big enough for us to start carrying her around in a wrap or other baby wearer! Hooray!

She can hold her head up pretty good now and can sit up if propped. She is also finally starting to smile intentionally, which we are so in love with ❤ Her older fur brothers came back home this month as well and so far so good. I was extremely worried and angry when AC’s dad kicked them out of his house without knowing or caring how they were going to be around our tiny daughter. The dogs are both about 60 pounds each. Thankfully after getting used to each other for a day or two, we have all settled in to our happy little family and everyone is behaving. They are actually very protective of her and go over and lick her when she is crying. Obviously, it goes without saying, that they are not allowed alone with her, but supervised, they are doing great.

Adeline is now eating upwards of 3oz of formula every two to three hours (even at night :/ still) one of these days she will start sleeping through the night…

Another huge event is happening during her 4th month is the start of daycare. I have many mixed emotions about this. I would absolutely love to be a stay at home mom but that just isn’t affordable for us right now. Heck, even a decent daycare in our area is unaffordable at $285 a week! We were banking on putting Adeline in a military base daycare but recently found out that Army Reserves does not qualify for our baby to attend! We were dumbfounded when we were told this just 2 weeks ago, after being on their waitlist since January and then once there’s finally an open space for her we discover only reservists on deployment qualify. AC reports for duty every single month and our baby cannot even go to daycare on the base he is stationed at. It is really a shame. Military base child care is income based and for the average family, costs about half as much as a regular daycare. After being denied at all the local military child care facilities I began looking for other affordable options. Our baby is not going to some shady place just because it is $125 a week. Luckily, I discovered that church daycares in our area are about $185 to $195. This is still pricey for us but reasonable considering. Just an FYI most church daycares start at age 2 so it’s rare to find too many daycares that accept infants. Thankfully I was able to find 2 that do and will be touring them this coming Monday and Tuesday. In addition to church daycares, one of my coworkers has a sister who runs a daycare at her house and would charge us just $150 a week! We went to meet her last night and are in love with her! I still plan on checking out the churches but we are pretty much set on her. I think it will be safer for Adeline over all to just have her at someones clean house anyway rather than a daycare full of germy kids. Maybe she wont get as sick this winter, which I am deathly afraid of happening. This woman watches 4 other infant/toddlers and has been doing this for 28 years. We really got a good feeling with her and I sincerely hope it works out for the best. Adeline starts on the 17th since she has another eye exam on Monday the 16th, so we will see how it all goes!

ROP

What is Retinopathy of Prematurity?

“Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants weighing about 2¾ pounds (1250 grams) or less that are born before 31 weeks of gestation (A full-term pregnancy has a gestation of 38–42 weeks). The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby is to develop ROP. This disorder—which usually develops in both eyes—is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness. ROP was first diagnosed in 1942.”

Because Adeline was born at 29 weeks of gestation at 2.9 pounds she has to get her eyes checked every 2-3 weeks for signs of ROP. This started way back when she was still in the NICU. Her most recent appointment was this past Tuesday. It is actually a really awful thing to watch her go through. We arrive for her appointment at 8:30 am where they promptly bring her to the back to put multiple drops into each eye and then have us wait usually almost an hour to make sure her eyes are dilated and numb. Then by 9:30 am the doctor comes in and places metal eye braces in her eyes to hold them opened and proceeds to look into the back of her eyes while using some metal stick to poke around at her eyes all while she is screaming. It’s really awful to have to sit through and watch, I just feel so helpless. After that is over, Adeline immediately stops crying and goes back to being happy, thankfully, while the doctor goes over what he observed. For this visit he said there is no new growth but that her left eye is definitely the stronger eye. In her right eye he has discovered that several blood clots have formed in the back of her eye. He said this is something to watch because either they will reabsorb themselves and go away or she will get more blood clots forming and it could be an early sign of other serious eye problems. Just great :/ my poor baby. So we are scheduled to return in 3 weeks and check on how things are going. I pray that these blood clots resolve themselves by then or at least there aren’t any new ones growing. All we can do is watch and wait.

Preparing for the Next One

AC and I aren’t jumping into having baby #2 just yet, but I do want to know that when we do decide that we are ready that my body will be ready as well. I was/am really still hopeful that having this baby has altered my body and fixed some of the PCOS issues…if possible. I am probably being very delusional but we have a friend who is due in December and was lactose intolerant before she was pregnant but it has completely went away ever since! Now she drinks milk like it’s going out of style, it’s amazing! I know these are very different circumstances but you never know.

Things have already been a little better with my PCOS since having a baby. My cycle, for once in my life, has actually come last month when the app that I have predicted it would and it only lasted a week. And then came again when it was supposed to this month and has just ended after 5 days! This in itself is a miracle for me. My period has always skipped June through August (which was awesome) but then when it came back it would be heavy and laResized_20170921_111703st for an entire month, sometimes two! That was unbearable. So with that said, I am really hoping these last 2 months have been a sign that something has corrected itself in me and maybe when AC and I want to go for baby #2, it’ll just happen. A girl can dream anyway.

Although, I hate to admit this but I did use an ovulation prediction kit last month around when I should have been ovulating and it was negative. But I only tested one day, so I know that’s ridiculous to just assume that, yet again, I still don’t ovulate on my own and never will. So next week I plan on correctly testing for multiple days and even using the digital tests instead of the cheapy strips and hope for the best! If not I guess I’ll be back on Clomid when the time is right. Which really isn’t that horrible as long as I don’t have to pair it with Metformin. AC is already wanting baby #2 to be honest! We are 30 and 31 years old and if we are going to have more struggles, time is ticking fast. Plus, we want a sibling close in age with Adeline but I think we will definitely still wait a few more months at least before really TTC. But if all goes well, I’ll be ready for when we do.

Metformin and Breastfeeding?!

It seems like no matter where I turn, Metformin follows me. Right after I had given birth to my 2 and a half months early premie, a lactation specialist came in to talk to me. She informed me that thanks to PCOS, once again, if my milk supply didn’t come in enough that I might want to try going back on Metformin! To my horror it apparently helps you to produce more milk. I could not believe that every turn in life seemed to include me being back on Metformin yet again. And lo and behold, once I did start having issues making enough milk on my own, I went to Doctor C and asked her if going back on Metformin was worth a last ditch effort before throwing in the towel. Dr. C said it does work for some and if I could tolerate the side effects once more, that I should see if it would work for me. I feel a little ashamed admitting this but I only went back on it for 2 days before quitting. I just could not take the level of how much it upset my stomach and juggle that with taking care of my infant daughter all alone, who had just been released from the hospital. Sorry I can’t give a more informed opinion of if it in fact would have worked for me or not. But I just wanted to post a warning to all ladies with PCOS, Metformin is never too far away! :O

Months 1, 2, & 3

Adeline’s 1st month was celebrated in the Special Care Nursery. She was still on a feeding tube through her nose and an oxygen tube taped to her face. She was also on caffeine because she had so many bradycardia (bradys) every single day. Some days it was very hard to hold her and her monitor alarm would constantly go off back to back signalling her heart-rate dropping to unsafe levels. It can be terrifying, but as the nurses told me, it’s better her doing that in your arms than alone in her isolette because she is going to do it either way. She also had to have 2 blood transfusions to see if that would stop her frequent bradys, but they were fruitless. She just needed to take her time and grow out of them.

There were many leaps in improvement my the middle of her first month. July 12th Adeline was finally able to be taken off of the oxygen tube. The doctors decided that she could breath just fine even though she continued to have daily brady events but most were self recovered. Only occasionally did a nurse need to intervene and pat her back or stimulate her to get her heart rate back up to safe levels. By July 18th she was finally off of the feeding tube as well and AC and I were finally allowed to start bottle feeding her all of the milk I was pumping. Unfortunately after the first few weeks after she was born I stopped producing enough milk so she also started getting formula every other feeding and then breast milk less and less from there. Thanks PCOS. Have any else of you experienced your milk supply dropping out like that? Towards the end of month 2 I was only producing enough milk collectively to give her about one full bottle a day and all of the rest of her feeding be a high caloric formula. On July 18th, Adeline was also moved to an open crib, no more isolette and having to reach into 2 arm holes in a plastic container to touch my baby! All of these things kind of fell into place for her at the same time, which is what the nurses said would happen.

By month 2 AC and I were becoming restless with having our baby still in the NICU even though she was doing so well being in an open crib and no tubes in her face but those pesky bradys did not let up and she would still have at least one event a day. Thankfully again, they were self recovered, which is something the nurses weren’t too worried about because even full term babies have breathing/heart episodes that you wouldn’t know about unless they were hooked up to a monitor like ours was. Adeline was then but on an ALTE watch where she needed to go 5 days consecutively without having a brady event that needed stimulation by a nurse. It was so discouraging to get to day 3 over and over again only to have her have a brady over night that needed stimming and to see her counter had started back to day zero. Finally, August 9th she had made it to the end of her 5 days and we were able to bring her home for the very 1st time since she was born on June 5th! I was so incredible happy but also terrified that she would come home only to have another brady without us knowing and lose her. The only way he survived was buy purchasing an Owlet. It is $300 but worth every single penny if you have a baby that was in the nicu with bradycardia and apnia. Thankfully they have a payment plan where you pay $50 a month for 3 months. I highly recommend this product and no I am not being paid to say so. But I would truthfully not be able to sleep at night without it on her.

Month 3 was the very first month that we got to celebrate at home! She is doing so well. She is now 6 pounds 5 oz and is finally gaining enough weight to not have to go back to the doctors every 2 weeks for a weight check. She isn’t due back now until her 4 month checkup and shots! She is such a happy and relaxed baby, it is a huge blessing. She gets feed every 3 hours, sometimes 2 and half depending on her. Occasionally, she is starting to sleep through one feeding at night, which I am grateful for so that I can get a little more sleep. She also has started sucking her thumb to help self sooth if she has dropped her pacifier. She has rolled from her back to her belly once and from her belly to her back once as well. We are so proud of her and blessed to have her home.

I just started back to work, which has been hard but my mom and AC’s mom are rotating watching her each week for this month and then starting in October we will have to put her in daycare 😦 But I’ll have that mess for another time.