Sunday, May 31, 2009

My dogs

Everyone wants to know how the dogs are getting along with the baby. Amazingly, both Barkley and Jayce are pretty indifferent to the baby. Actually, they are so disinterested, it's hard to get a picture of them together. :) Jayce occasionally will lick Ledger on the head and Barkley is usually at Mommy's feet whenever she is holding the baby. Cooper loves to sleep in all of Ledger's toys and gadgets -- leaving white cat hair all over the baby. But, so far, we are lucky to have pets that all get along with the baby. It's been a very easy transition.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Wedding

Our friend Chris Mikesell got married today. Ledger was definitely the youngest guest in attendance. As you can see from the photo to the right, the bride was glowing and she and her groom looked so happy all night long! This was truly a unique wedding; filled with details that give you insight into the couple -- including the playing of the Muppetts wedding song as part of the processional at the ceremony! The reception was amazing too. Every table was covered in beautiful pink peonies. The food was fabulous (really, really, fabulous!) and there was an open bar -- could you ask for more? The couple even gave away mix CDs and dog treats for guests to take home. Of course we took home plenty of dog treats, a few CDs, and I even snagged a bouquet of peonies before we left!! :) Mommy, Daddy, and Ledger shared our first dance together -- it was very sweet. Unfortunately, our time at the reception was cut short because Ledger needed to eat a meal.... such is the life of an "on-demand" feeder!

Congratulations to Chris and Ian! We are so happy for you both.

My Bellybutton

Just wanted to post a picture of Ledger's belly button. His umbilical cord fell off a week ago and his little "innie" is just so cute. :) Maybe mommy is a little bit biased.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Professional Photos

Today we took a road trip to Beloit, Kansas for our first professional photo session. Our photographer, Stephanie Meier, came highly recommended from our friends the Murdocks and the Marshalls. We were a little early for our 11 a.m. appointment and took pictures for nearly 2 hours! Ledger was very cooperative for most of the session, but got hungry and cranky in the last half hour. I feel very confident that Stephanie got some great pictures and we can't wait to see the proofs online soon!

EDIT: Stephanie took some amazing photos, but we don't own them in digital format. The prints were outrageously expensive, but we couldn't help but order a few of them. Our favorites were a series of black and white photos where Chris is holding Ledger in his hands. The only way for us to share them online was for me to photograph the photographs... so they're not very clear on the blog, but you can get an idea of just how adorable the pictures are:

Since we had already driven ourselves into the wilds of north-central Kansas, we decided to drive an extra 20 minutes to Cawker City, KS and see the world's largest ball of twine! I had visited years before, but Chris (and Ledger, of course) had never seen this amazing Kansas landmark. It is so amazing, that we accidentally drove past it the first time. :) Unfortunately, we didn't take a camera with us, so we couldn't document our son's first visit to the twine. The paparazzi forgot their camera -- go figure! :) We also took some time to drive along-side Waconda lake on our way back home.

We really enjoyed our first road trip and look forward to much more family travel in the future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Bath - 3 Weeks Old

Today, Ledger is 3 weeks old! :) It is hard to believe how much he's grown and changed in that short amount of time. As a birthday present to his Mommy, he slept for 5 hours last night -- definitely a first!!

Last week, Ledger's umbilical stump finally fell off. So we took the opportunity to give him his first real bath last night. He didn't appreciate it at all! Pictures are below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

After a long weekend at the lake, we were greeted with more family visits when we got home. Ledger got to meet his cousins from Colorado, the Hindmans, and his great-aunt Pat and great-uncle Virgil. Chase and Brady really enjoyed getting to hold Ledger. Brady also really enjoyed playing tug-of-war with Barkley! :)

Memorial Weekend at the Lake

This holiday weekend was a big one for Ledger!

On Friday, he took his first boat ride. Oma and Papa took us all out on their new boat! Ledger had to wear an infant-sized life jacket that is bigger than he is! As you can see from the photo, he didn't love the over-sized life jacket and he slept through most of his first boat ride -- not too bad for 2 and 1/2 weeks old!

Aunt Emily and Uncle Josh were able to spend the weekend at the lake too! Auntie Em loves to hold Ledger, and he seems to like her too. We had lots of family out for the holiday weekend -- everyone thought Ledger was pretty cute. He was always in someone's arms. What a spoiled baby. :)

The big boys took the opportunity to get out on the lake and wakeboard for the first time in 2009. Daddy got a new wakeboard this season that is made to fit bigger feet -- this was the first weekend that he was able to break it in! This was also the first time that we were able to use the new boat and tower to tow a boarder -- very cool. All of the boys were very sore from their efforts, but everyone did really well -- picking up right where they left off last summer. Daddy got right up on his new board and was able to get in and out of both wakes. Ethan and Randy both boarded as well, and did great! Uncle Josh figured out how to jump complete wake-to-wake -- something he's been trying to master for 2 summers!

All-in-all, we had a great time at the lake and are looking forward to many more great summer weekends spent out on the water. Hopefully Mommy will be off of "exercise restriction" soon, so she can join in on the fun!

For more pictures and videos of the fun, visit my Picasa photo page.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Doctor's Check-Up

Ledger had his 2-week check-up today with Dr. Ratliff. He weighed in at 8 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long! The doctor was pleased with his progress and felt like he is doing very well. He won't have to go back to the doctor until he is 2 months old! :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2 Weeks Old

Ledger is 2 weeks old today! Every day he changes a little bit -- the biggest changes are in his facial expressions. As you can see in the picture, he has developed a little half smile, half smirk. :)

Daddy went back to work today, so mommy and Ledger spent the day together. We went shopping very briefly -- but it is hard not to buy every cute thing on the rack for him!

Tomorrow we have our 2-week doctor's check-up. Hopefully we have gained a little weight since last week -- that will make the doctors happy. :)

Mommy snapped this picture today. Ledger's cousin, Jonas, rubs his ears a lot and likes to rub the ears of whomever is closest to him. It looks like Jonas isn't the only one that holds his ears for comfort. :)

In other news: yesterday, we found out that uncle Josh's baseball team made the state tournament. We couldn't be happier for him! Go Falcons!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What I do best -- sleep, eat, and poop!

Look at this sweet face! It's hard to believe that this adorable little angel has been the cause of so much lost sleep lately -- especially when sleeping is what he does best! Ledger is a great sleeper, but only when he's being held. As soon as he's put down in his basinet, crib, or bouncy chair he wakes right up and starts fussing. This has made it awfully hard for mommy to get any sleep at nights! Last night, I finally broke down and fell asleep holding him in bed. Although I got a lot more sleep, it makes me so nervous!

During our stay in the hospital, we were kept on a very strict feeding and weighing schedule. Now that we're at home, mommy is always nervous about how much I'm eating, how much weight I'm gaining, and how many dirty diapers I'm producing. Ledger is eating very well right now and keeping himself on a fairly regular 3-hour schedule. Our next doctor's appointment is Thursday of this week -- we are anxious to see how much I've grown!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Meeting My Great Grandparents

Today, Ledger had a very busy day!

He went on his first big road trip to visit Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Young in Marquette. As you can see from the pictures, they were both very happy to meet their newest great grandson!

He also made his first visit to Lake Kanopolis and met his Great Grammie Peterson, Aunt Lynnda, and Aunt Di. It was too cold outside to take the boat out for a ride, so that will have to wait until Memorial Day next weekend. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life at home

Our first night at home was sleepless, as expected. Ledger wanted to feed every 2-hours overnight and after his feedings, was wide awake! We are going to have to work on figuring out our schedules. :)

Ledger had his "newborn" check-up today with Dr. Ratliff. He is down 1/2 ounce from the time we left the hospital -- I feel really good about his weight, considering what a traumatic day he had yesterday! The doctor said that he is looking good and that his lungs sound really good -- yay!

We are still trying to figure out breast feeding. Ledger is very good at telling us when he's hungry! We are changing a lot of dirty diapers -- which is normal and tells us that he's eating enough to keep himself hydrated.

Jayce and Barkley came home today. They are doing great with the baby so far. Barkley wants to lick him and Jayce is busy sniffing everything that smells like the baby. Neither dogs seem overly concerned about Ledger being here. Maybe all of those talks we had with them actually worked! I will try to post pictures of Ledger with the pets soon. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home from the Hospital

Today was a big day for Ledger. After 24-hours of consistently good feedings, and finally finishing a 7-day course of antibiotics, we were ready to leave the NICU behind! Ledger was circumsized, had his NG tube removed, and had his PIC line pulled all in one very stressful hour. By noon, we had our bags packed and were headed home.

After such a traumatic start, Ledger slept most of the morning. By the evening, we were more settled in and feeding regularly every 3 hours. Beth and Heather, Chris' co-teachers, were Ledger's first visitors. Omah, Grammie, and Grandpa also visited him at home. So far, things are going very well!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Week Old

Ledger is one week old today. We have made lots of progress over the last 7 days, but are still in the hospital.

After his initial admission to the NICU, he was placed in an oxygen hood at 30% oxygen, given IV fluids and antibiotics, and had chest x-rays performed. In his first 24-hours, he was weaned off of the oxygen supplement and was fine breathing room air. We were thrilled when he was out of the hood, because we could finally hold our baby boy (shown on left)! His respiration rate continued to be between 80-100 breaths/minute -- well above normal for an infant. Because he was breathing so hard, he was not allowed to breast feed. A naso-gastric feeding tube was placed and Ledger was fed formula and as much colostrum as I could pump every 3 hours.

Over the next few days, Ledger's breathing began to regulate and I was able to attempt to breast feed when he was 2 days old (Thursday - May 7) Luckily, my milk came in pretty quickly, so I had something to offer the little guy! :) His weight was measured before and after feedings, so if he wasn't getting enough from me, we could still supplement via the NG tube.

I was officially discharged from the hospital on Thursday night. Luckily, there were plenty of rooms avaliable in the mother-baby wing, so I was allowed to "board" in my hospital room for free as long as Ledger was being actively breastfed and the room wasn't needed for someone else. Our hospital room is large with a queen-sized bed and a huge window the overlooks the entire city. Being allowed to stay with my baby throughout his treatment has been a blessing!

On Saturday (May 9) Ledger was removed from IV fluids! His feeding amounts were bumped up from 15 ml/feeding to 45ml/feeding to ensure he was getting his required fluids orally. A PIC (peripheral to central) line was placed to allow continued IV antibiotic therapy (seen in his left arm in the photo right). We were told that Ledger would need to stay in the hospital until he finished his entire 7-day course of antibiotics. Since we had been given an original timeline of 2-3 days, we were shocked to hear we would have to stay so long!

Over the weekend, Ledger had lots of visitors. Since he was still in NICU, his visitors were limited to immediate family. Grammy & Grandpa Michel, Omah & Papa Hensley, BoomPa & BoomMa Powell, Aunt Emily, and Aunt Jaime.
Sunday (May 10) was my first mother's day. I really enjoyed spending time with my family and my sweet son. As a mother's day gift, we were able to bring Ledger out of the NICU and into our personal room for feedings. It was truly a great feeling to wheel him out of the NICU for the first time! One of the hospital lactation consultants noticed that Ledger had a tight frenulum under his tongue preventing him from extending his tongue out very far. The doctor clipped his frenulum in the hopes that it would increase his ability to suckle and nurse. Unfortunately, he did not nurse well most of the day -- resulting in increased supplements through the NG tube and increased frustration for mommy!

Monday (May 11) our doctor gave us permission to have Ledger in the room with us full time!! We only had to take him down to the ICU for weight checks and treatments. It was wonderful to be able to nap with him and just sit and watch his little face all day long! Ledger must have been sick of having his NG tube taped to his face, and he finally reached up and pulled it out. (We took the opportunity to get pictures of our son without any tubes on his face -->) We tried an "on demand" feeding schedule, but did not meet the goals that were set for us, so we had to place another NG tube that evening to supplement his feedings.

Today, Ledger continues to do very well. His breathing has been in the normal range for 4 days now and he has maintained his birth weight! We are still working on nursing -- getting better all the time. We are hopeful that we will be dismissed tomorrow after his last dose of antibiotics at 2 a.m. :) Please keep us in your thoughts as we near the end of our stay in the NICU!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009 - Ledger's Birth Story

May 5, we were 4 days overdue with Ledger. My doc had scheduled an induction for the morning of May 7th, which I was dreading! Chris and I spent all day May 4th doing yard work and got up May 5th and took a long walk and went to run errands. I started having some contractions while we were at the mall at 11:00am. We went to lunch at 11:30am and I noticed some spotting when I went to the bathroom. I called my doc and left a message with the nurse. I finally got to talk to a nurse at 1:30 in the afternoon -- she thought that it didn't sound like labor -- maybe just a UTI. I went to the office and gave them a urine sample. By 3:30pm, I hadn't heard back from the doctor's office and my contractions were getting closer together... about 4-5 minutes apart consistently. Chris was insistent that we should go to the hospital. I called the doctor's office again to tell them that I think things are getting more serious and they sent us up to labor & delivery.

We arrived around 4:00 and got hooked up to monitors. The nurse checked and I was dilated to 2cm and 90% effaced. After an hour of monitoring my contractions, I was still only dilated to 2cm. Since the hospital can't say we were "in labor" until they could monitor actual progress, they sent us home around 5 p.m. My contractions were consistently 4-5 minutes apart, so we were told to come back when the contractions felt stronger.

Just walking out to the parking lot made a huge difference in my contractions! We stopped to get dinner for Chris and by the time we got home at 5:30, the contractions had definitely increased in intensity. By 7 pm, contractions were really strong and only 2-3 minutes apart. I tried walking and getting in a long, hot shower but it was starting to get way too painful! So I called the hospital and told them that I felt like contractions were a lot stronger, even though I'd only been sent home an hour and a half ago! The nurse told me to come on back.

Chris and I packed up again and headed back to L&D. Then everything happened really fast. I arrived at 7:15 and was dilated to 4cm. They started an IV and called to have lab work done. By the time my doc arrived at 7:45, I was dilated to 6cm and was *very* ready for my epidural. My doc broke my water and saw that there was some meiconium present. The anesthesiologist came in at 8:15 and took about half an hour to put my epidural in place. Sitting still through the contractions was the worst part -- the epidural was GREAT once it kicked in. By 9pm I was dilated to a 9 and by 9:30, doctor said it was time to push. I couldn't feel a thing, thanks to the epdiural, so they had to tell me when to push with a contraction. The doctor manually repositioned him from "sunny side up" to sideways and after a few pushes, Ledger's heart rate started to drop from 150 bpm to 60-70 bpm while I was pushing. The doc was pretty anxious to get him delivered because of his dropping heart rate, and decided to use forceps as an aide. After about 10 good pushes, his head was out. 2 more pushes and Ledger was delivered!

Due to the meiconium in the amnion, the pediatrician on-call was present to check my boy. His lungs didn't sound great. They let me hold him for about 30 seconds before whisking him off to NICU. I had two 1st degree lacerations on my internal vaginal walls that wouldn't quit bleeding -- it took my doc almost 45 minutes to them them stitched up! During that time, Chris and baby Ledger were gone to NICU and I was dying to know what was going on! I threw up from the adrenaline about an hour after delivery. By midnight, the pediatrician came back in and told me that they planned on keeping Ledger in the NICU for 2-3 days because he had aspirated the meiconium. The nurses tried for an hour and a half to get an IV in him, but couldn't. He was started on antibiotics and placed in an oxygen hood because his respiration rate was faster than it should be.

By 2:15am, I was starting to feel like I could stand and was taken to shower and change clothes. We were transferred from L&D to Mother-Baby and I *finally* got to see my little boy around 2:30am. He was laying in an incubator with an astronaut-type oxyget helmet over his head, so we couldn't hold him. He had multiple monitor wires all over him -- it was very hard to see my newborn without really touching him!

The doctors estimate that he will need to be in the NICU for 2-3 days. We will just have to monitor his progress and see how it goes.