Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get to spend a weekend with the Andersons at their time share in Birch Bay. It was a lot of work getting ready to travel with a 4 week old, but it was worth the stress.

We ate at a great seafood restaurant and then walked down to the beach to watch the sunset and admire a bald eagle that landed in the tree next to us. How patriotic and perfect for Memorial Day, right?
Our first family picture!Sam slept fine at night, and luckily didn't keep Sam or Brent up with his late night hunger cry. He is very sensitive to new places, but he did really great on his first vacation.

The next morning we headed down to the ocean for low tide. The water goes out so far, and we loved walking out and searching for sea creatures. This was Sam's first time to the ocean, and he slept through most of it :)
Matt LOVES to hunt and catch animals, and this trip was no exception.

Monday morning we stopped at "The C Shop" on the way home and got ice cream, sandwiches and candy. This place has the best sweets.We enjoyed our first family vacation to Birch Bay, and we are hoping to head back up there again this summer for the water slides!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Samuel Can:
Hold his head up on his own
Roll over on his side
Focus on objects and follow voices
Grip toys, fingers and bottle
Sleep 3 hours at a time
Eat 150 cc's of milk
Samuel Likes:
His bedroom
His food
A clean diaper
Being tightly swaddled
The sun
Being naked
Sleeping on his tummy
Having his hair brushed
Samuel Dislikes:
Being hot or cold
His car seat
Getting dressed
Going to bed

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crazy Hair

I just had to post these pictures. I cant decide which one I like the best, so you get the privilege of seeing all 3.
This is Sammy after his bath today. It looks like he stuck his finger in an electrical outlet! He makes me laugh without even trying.

Monday, May 18, 2009

3 Weeks

Its hard to believe that Sam is three weeks old. Especially since we have only had him home for 2 of those weeks. We are loving every moment of parenting, and we are learning so much from him every day.
Sam's umbilical stump and plastibell (from his circumcision) have finally fallen off and so we have been able to give him baths now, which he is not a huge fan of, but I am sure he will come to love them in time. He is holding his head up fairly well on his own, and he is able to focus on things and look around. Sam has already had his first haircut, and will need another one soon. I cant believe how much hair he has.
He is eating a lot, and gaining weight. He is about 8 lbs now, and getting longer and longer. His platelets have lowered again, but we are still in a safe range (150k). We have another CBC today, so hopefully they will not have dropped again. We are loving the nice weather, and Sam loves to be outside. We take him out every chance we get. He is so relaxed laying out in the sun. Sam is a good sleeper. He is taking longer naps between feedings and is only getting up about 2 times a night. He loves to sleep on his tummy, but we only allow that during the day when we are with him.
We are looking forward to smiles and coos, but I don't want this stage to end. I am loving the newborn stage and I really hope that he never grows out of his cuddly personality.

I am finally starting to feel better. I have had a horrible cold for weeks now, but I am getting more and more energy every day. Regarding healing from childbirth, I had no idea it would be so easy. There are uncomfortable aspects of it, but I feel so great for having had a long and hard delivery/labor. I know I have been blessed in so many ways, and I cant help but think that all of your prayers helped us in every way possible. Thank you again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mothers Day

I loved being able to celebrate my first mothers day this year. Remembering how hard it was on this day last year, wanting so badly to be a mom, I am so grateful to finally be able to call myself a mother. I got to sleep in a little in the morning which was very nice for me since I have been fighting a horrible cold since Sam's birth. We headed out to attend church with my Mom and then have dinner together with my brother. We had a great time passing Sam around and watching movies.

My parents ordered a beautiful Lei from Maui for me to wear on Mothers day, and it was so pretty and fragrant. Matt's parents got us a pack 'n play, and Cory and Shauna both got me some amazing flowers. Matthew bought me some frames so that I can start putting up pictures of Sam. Heaven knows our home will be littered with shots of our child in no time :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Labor Story

This is a record mostly for myself, but feel free to read if you are at all interested. Everything is already starting to blur, so I will do my best to recap the important details.

Friday morning around 4:30, a painful contraction woke me up. They kept coming faster and more intense so around 10:00am I started to time them while I painted the guest bedroom. They were about 5-10 minutes apart, and aprox. 30 seconds long.

When Matt arrived home that night they were lasting much longer and getting closer together, so we decided to head into Triage to see if I was progressing.

After a few hours on the monitors, the results were that I was having good strong contractions, but that they were not in a set pattern yet. Some of them were 10 minutes apart, some of them 2. The baby's heart rate was also a small concern. It showed that he wasn't dealing well with the contractions, and there was a small drop in rate after a few contractions. So the nurse called the Dr who decided he wasn't that concerned and sent me home.
That night I woke up every 2 minutes to a contraction and tried my best to breathe through them. I tried my best not to wake Matt up, but I couldn't help but moan in pain. So by the time the morning rolled around we were both very tired.

My mom decided that she was going to come up and take me to the hospital and I quote "bash some heads together." She didn't believe they should have sent me home and by this time my contractions were very painful and I couldn't talk through most of them. I took a shower before heading out and lost my mucus plug. I was convinced I was progressing well, so we headed back into Triage, this time with our bags in tow.
After hours and hours in Triage, and the news that I was only 1 cm dilated, the nurse checked my chart and the monitor records. She offered to send me home on morphine so that I could sleep better, but something told me that I needed to stay in the hospital.

Not long after this, the nurse came back into the room and said that she felt I should be induced because my cervix was not dilating on its own, and the baby was very stressed by this time. (By now it was around 6pm) So she called the Dr and convinced him to induce me. Here I am feeling pretty hot in my hospital gown.
I was admitted into the hospital around 7pm, and they hooked me up to the Pitocin. My contractions became VERY painful, and extremely close together (some of them a minute apart) and by now I was exhausted from being awake and in pain for a good 36 hours. This is a shot of me during a contraction without any drugs. I look pretty happy right?I was having trouble catching my breath between contractions, so I did the un-imaginable and asked for an epidural.

Being absolutely terrified of needles, this was a hard decision to make, but I am so thankful I worked up the courage to do so. By the time the anesthesiologist came to administer the epidural, I was 5 cm dilated. Here I am after the drugs.
Once the pain had subsided, I was able to fall asleep until I woke up to vomit cranberry juice and jello, and experience my water breaking. (Weirdest feeling ever.) Here is my support group (minus Matt) that helped me through the labor. My parents, and Shannon and Bridget. They were there until Sam was born.
At 2am, the nurse came in, examined me and made the announcement that I was 10cm dilated, and 100% effaced. It was time to start pushing.

I had 2 nurses walk me through the delivery, and both of them were very beneficial to me. Matt held my left leg and my mom supported my right and together we pushed that baby out! I had pushed for 2 hours by the time the Dr was called in to do a vacuum extraction on Sam since I was so worn out. When he arrived he said "No way do you need my help, you're doing great on your own" and about 10 pushes later, Samuel Benjamin was born.
Matt, Sam and Dr. VoldThere was muconium found in the amniotic fluid, so when Sam's head was out far enough, they stuck tubes down into his lungs to suction out all the gunk before he took a breath. Then right after he was out he was rushed to the table where they continued to clear his airways and stomach.

Matt stayed with Sam while I was cleaned up and attended to. I thought that he was beautiful right off the bat regardless of his purple skin and cone head. I loved seeing Matt be able to bond with him, and we are thankful now that he had some time to spend with him before he was taken down to the NICU.

As if I havent said it enough, we are so thankful for this miracle. Many women talk about how they have to forget about some things before they even think about having another baby again, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. We are so in love, and it was such a rewarding experience.


First Diaper.First time meeting Daddy.First time meeting Mommy.First time meeting Po, Sam's first toy.First time getting a bath.First Diaper change with Daddy. First time in a car seat.First bath at home.First tummy time.
Yeah, so I am one of those moms that has a camera around my neck and a baby in my arms at all times. I feel like I missed a lot of time with Sam because he was in the hospital for the first few days of his life, so I am making up for it any way that I can. We are having a great time together, and we love seeing his growth and improvements every day. Yesterday we had another CBC, and his platelets are still raising on their own. Way to go bud!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sam's Fans

Sam has been able to meet lots of friends and family in the last week. Here are a few pictures of some of the people in his fan club :)

All of his Grandparents visiting him in the NICUHis Uncle Cory and Aunt AlexElijah Cox and Sam holding hands. Best friends already!Grandpa Bailey feeding him in the hospital.Samuel and Samantha. Aunt Shauna and Sam cuddled up at home.
And his biggest fans, mommy and daddy.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sam's 4th Day

Today was great!

We finally have all the answers, and there is no way that it would have happened without all the prayers that were said in Sam's behalf. So we thank you all very much.
Truly, Sam is a miracle. Two things that were very unlikely to happen to our baby, happened. Dr. Neufield, the NICU pediatrician was pretty shocked to get the results, but we are all thankful to finally know.

First off, Sam's bilirubin lowered enough that they felt it was safe to take him out of his bili bed. He still has jaundice, but we can keep an eye on it and hope it keeps dropping. Wednesday they noticed that Sam wasn't peeing or pooping on his own, so they gave him a suppository for the BM (worked like a charm!) and ordered a renal ultrasound for his kidneys. Everything came back normal, and Sam has been peeing and pooping fine ever since :) Trust us.
The best news we received was that Sam has finally been able to raise his platelets on his own. They went from 81K to 89K without a transfusion. This is a very good sign.

So during rounds, we discussed all the new information, and they decided to send us home! My heart literally stopped when the Dr. told us we could go home as soon as all of his tubes and monitors had been removed, and after he passed his 90minute car seat test. We could not be happier!

Last night was wonderful. We are having WAY too much fun with him, and we are so blessed to have such a happy baby.

Ok, so time for a Science lesson. Here is a description of Sam's diagnosis.

Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia: A disorder caused by fetomaternal platelet incompatibility, with maternal anti-platelet antibodies crossing the placenta and destroying fetal platelets.

Platelets: A minute colorless anucleate disk like body of mammalian blood that is derived from fragments of megakaryocyte cytoplasm, that is released from the bone marrow into the blood, and that assists in blood clotting by adhering to other platelets and to damaged epithelium

Homozygous: Having the two genes at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes identical for one or more loci

Bilirubin: A reddish yellow pigment that occurs especially in bile and blood and causes jaundice if accumulated in excess.

Antibodies: Any of a large number of proteins of high molecular weight that are produced normally by specialized B cells after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response.

Antigen: Any substance (as an immunogen or a hapten) foreign to the body that evokes an immune response either alone or after forming a complex with a larger molecule (as a protein) and that is capable of binding with a product (as an antibody or T cell) of the immune response

Petechiae: A minute reddish or purplish spot containing blood that appears in skin or mucous membrane as a result of localized hemorrhage

Sam has been diagnosed with Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia. This is because Matt carried the PLA 1 Antigen (99% of the population has this antigen) and I didn't. So my body created antibodies to fight against Sam's platelets, which are where the PLA 1 Antigen is found. Because of this, his platelets were low. This caused petechiae on his skin and a danger of bleeding problems. As scary as this is when they are newborns, once Sam has tackled this issue, he will not have problems with it anymore.

Sam was also found with an Antigen called JKA. This is an extremely rare antigen, and my body again created antibodies to fight against them. The JKA antigen is found on his red blood cells and caused Jaundice, and danger of anemia. This can effect Sam's future when he decides to have children, but we'll worry about that in about 30 years :)

The biggest concern with both of these conditions is with future pregnancies between Matt and I. Because my body has already created the antibodies to fight, with each pregnancy I will be able to fight against the baby's blood better and better. Matt is homozygous for PLA 1, and we haven't heard back if that is also the case for JKA. (chances are slim.) So we can expect that all of our future babies will be in Sam's same condition at birth, and hopefully not too much worse.
Although the thought of going through this again is absolutely heart breaking, the thought of not having more children is even harder for me to imagine. There are treatments that can help lower the risk of our babies having low platelets, but we will worry about that when the time comes. We thought it was pretty funny to say "See you again in a few years" to the NICU staff as we were leaving last night.
We are so thankful to everyone at the hospital. I can not stress enough how amazing the NICU staff was and we couldn't have been luckier to have such dedicated people working on our Son's case.

Again, we thank everyone for their help and prayers during this time. Prayers were heard and answered, and we have proof of that sleeping in his own crib now :)