Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

Yesterday, Chad and I came to fully understand what it means to be on the roller coaster ride that is called the NICU.

Since day one it hasn't been the funnest ride we've ever been on, I'm not going to lie. The most dramatic, by far...but definitely not the funnest.

Immediately after Logan was born, the doctor who was helping with the c-section leaned over the little curtain separating me from the gore and said "Congratulations". This should be considered an appropriate response toward one who had just had a baby...but at the time I wasn't so sure. Please, don't misunderstand, I am utterly thrilled to have my precious little Logan, but a "Congratulations, you just had your baby 10 weeks early, and he's going to be in the NICU until his due date." doesn't seem completely worthy of such congratulations.

Every bit of happiness we have (and it is a lot) over having our little boy here seems to be surrounded by a fog of worry. know...pretty much sounds par to parenthood, right? Every new parent worries about their new one and if they can hack it as parents. ...That kind of worry I felt a little more prepared for. Our little situation seems to be a whole other ball game of which we have received no prior explanation on the rules.

No one told me I wouldn't be allowed to hold my new baby more than once a day...IF that. No one told me that I wouldn't be able to touch him without scrubbing off my top 3 layers of skin first. And that when I did touch him it would be through two little arm wholes in the side of an enclosed box.

No one told me that I should expect to see my baby covered in tubes and wires for the first few months of his life. And they most certainly failed to mention that I need to prepare mentally to handle watching people poke and prod my little one on a daily basis to test him for things I've never even heard of. No one taught me how to read a stats monitor, or explained to me that when the monitor goes off there is nothing to worry about for at least 30 sec. No one taught me how to measure his belly girth...nor did anyone ever say WHY I would ever need to. And worst of all, no one can tell me how long this "game" is going to last, if there was any shortcuts, or how exactly one can win.

No, I came into this game totally blind. I read all the wrong books, I prepared for all the wrong scenarios, and I was given lessons, advice, and fore warnings, which although may one day be applicable...they certainly don't feel very applicable now.

Logan has been doing so good, he's progressed and developed faster than anyone ever expected him to, but yesterday...yesterday was our first taste of a set back. Our first taste of a delay to get our baby home. Since being in the NICU we've heard it happens, and that it's pretty much standard for every baby who passes through there, we just had really high hopes that our baby would be the exception...we were wrong. Our little guy had to be put back on his oxygen yesterday. He's been struggling to keep his O-levels up during his feeds, and he seems to have a pretty rotten case of reflex, which doesn't help.

They tell us that all of this is "age appropriate behavior"...and you got to give the little duffer props, I mean, he's only 32 1/2 weeks old (gestationally). He's supposed to have another 8 weeks to develop within the safety of his womb inside of me. But age appropriate or watch your little guy go blue and have an oxygen mask put on his face and hear the incessant beeping of all of his monitors alarms going off... it's almost more than a parent can take.

I know he is going to be fine. I know all he needs is time to develop and to grow. I know that one day we will actually be able to bring him home and take all those wires and monitors off of him. But knowing all that doesn't keep my worries at bay. It doesn't change the fact that he turned an eerie shade of blue, and that he's added a tube, instead of getting rid of one yesterday.

Definitely not the funnest roller-coaster.

I'm very much looking forward to the day when we can get off.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Big Boy Bed

So our little trooper has graduated from his isolet and has moved into his "big boy bed"! We're so proud of the little guy! He's doing really well at regulating his temperature and he's now focusing on learning how to suck, breathe and swallow all at the same! Yesterday Logan and I also got to practice breastfeeding...the real way. ;) The little guy did pretty good, considering how young he is. He latched on, took a few good sucks, and then...turned blue. Scared the crap out of his mom! So...we took him off...let him regain his pinkish glow...and then tried again. Only to have an instant replay of our first attempt. He's got part of it down! But...unfortunately...we've got a ways to go on this one. But we're proud parents nevertheless! All the nurses say he's the star of the NICU. And we couldn't agree more!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fathers Day

So it was Chad's very first fathers day and this is what Logan gave him.
Inside was a cute little poem...

I'm starting out with little feet
And yes my tiny toes are sweet

You'll take me home and in a while
I'll start to coo and laugh and smile

We'll soon be having lots of fun
When I can roll and crawl and run

What comes next, we'll start to chat
About this and this, and that and that

And then one day you'll be tickling my toes
And think to yourself how fast time goes

I'll have added inches to my height
My strength and growth will be quite a sight

So just in case you might forget
Upon this tie, my foot I've set.

Happy Father's Day!!!
Love, Logan

Totally made mom cry!

My first outfit...

Logan wore clothes for the very first time yesterday! Our little boy looks dashing in blue, doesn't he?!?

He's doing so well, we're really happy with the progress he's making. He is off all of his tubes minus his feeding tube, he's breathing on his own still, he is even regulating his own body temperature now! And because of that they are working on transitioning him from the isolet to a "big boy bed" (incubator to a plastic open box)! Pretty dang exciting, if you ask us!
We are also starting to work on "non-nutritive breastfeeding" or "recreational breastfeeding" (our lactation consultant finds the later term unacceptable, however, so we only use it privately). Basically this works likes this: I pump, so I'm all empty, right before it's time for Logan to eat. They get his food going with this feeding tube, and then I hold him and try to get him to latch on to me and practice sucking and breathing without the extra hassel of actually having to swallow. He's doing pretty good so far. Usually they don't start this until 32 weeks, but we tried it out a few days early and he did great! So proud of our little guy! He's such an over achiever! ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Father Son Outing

Logan was 4 days old on Wednesday the 15th and to celebrate, we decided it was time for some father-son bonding. So Chad and Logan went on their first Father & Son Outing, and Chad got to hold his first born for the first time.

Logan was completely enamored with his dad. The second Chad had him in his arms and he started talking to him Logan opened his eyes as wide as I've ever seen them and looked directly at Chad. I've never seen him more alert or content. It was the sweetest moment ever, and I couldn't help but cry some happy tears.
How I loved seeing my two guys together. ...Even now...days later, still brings tears to my eyes. I do not know how single moms do it. I would never be able to make it without Chad by my side. He's been the greatest blessing to me since the day I met him, but this past week...he has out-shinned even himself. From him driving mock-10 to get me to the hospital early Saturday morning to his being by my side every step of the way there after. The man is amazing. In every meaning of the word. And the icing on the cake...he absolutely adores Logan. He became #1 Dad the second Logan entered this world and has only gotten better from there.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Does anyone else find my "Pregnancy Countdown" found on the right side of our blog comical? hahaha

Our Lil' Trooper

Chad has been taking over all of our blogging the last few days and I must say he's done a great job at keeping all y'all caught up on everything going on in our life right now.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this is our life now. I never imagined that we would be the couple hoovering over an incubator in the NICU. The thought never crossed my mind that our baby wouldn't be coming home with us when I was released from the hospital. I never thought we would have to get permission to hold our baby. And today when we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch I realized that this was going to be the first of many meals that we would be having at the hospital, as we wait for our precious little one to become strong enough to come home with us.
Everyday we see Logan he seems to be bigger, and stronger, and doing so much better than the day before. They removed another tube today! His blood pressure is steady enough that he no longer needs an internal monitor for it. We were also told that his jaundice is almost completely cured and he will no longer need to "sunbathe" under the special lights wearing his "fast shades" for the majority of his day anymore. He's now eating mama's milk which we are all hoping will help make some substantial improvements in his progress. But all in all we are so proud of our little guy. He's such a trooper! And he is absolutely adorable...ask anyone. ;)
The tender mercies have not stopped since the beginning of the first contractions. We've had angels watching over us and our Father in Heaven has protected our little family in so many ways. We are continually in awe over the many miracles we have witnessed in the past 5 days. And we thank all of you for your constant prayers in our behalf.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Holding Baby Logan...

I was released today from LDS and went straight to baby Logan. He had decided that he was done with the C-pap machine and pulled it out on his own. The nurses tend to watch babies when they do that to see how well he could breath on his own. He was breathing on his own for about two hours before he started to stress. He was then put on nasal cannula to assist him as he needs it. He is one step away from breathing on his own which is a great blessing.

The best part of the day was the nurse allowed me to hold Logan for the first time. We were there when they were repositioning him and changing his diaper. The nurse allowed me to hold little Logan on my chest for the first time. Chad and I were able to hold him outside of his incubator. That was one of the best moments ever. He is so tiny! He has a lot of weight to gain and needs to regulate his temperature on his own. He will be working hard at that over the next several weeks.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day Two Progress

Today my doctor cleared me to have a few hours to leave LDS hospital and head out to Murray to see my sweet boy. I was so excited. I was able to spend a few hours with him. He opened his eyes when he heard my voice. It was the best thing ever!

Logan has progressed/transitioned to the c-pap machine and is breathing more on his own. The nurse said today that he could move to a nasal breathing support tonight but wanted to let him rest since he had been through enough transition today. He now has a picc line which are his antibiotics and nutrition. He is working really hard to breath and get better.

He is the sweetest thing ever. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. It is going to be really tough leaving him in the hospital. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Stay tuned...

And then there were three...

He was ten weeks sooner than expected but Chad Logan Hatch joined our family on June 11th. Not sure why, Chad is assuming Logan just has his mom's inpatients and didn't want to wait any longer. But it was quite the day yesterday regardless of the reasons why.

It all started last Sunday night when I started feeling some serious cramping, I just assumed it was another "joy" of pregnancy that I was fortunate enough to experience. After experiencing them for the entire night, I called my mom to ask her what the deal was. She than informed this pregnancy greenie that what I was experiencing was more contractions than they were cramps. And she suggested I call my doctor. (This is kind of a big deal coming from my mom. She rarely suggests getting a doctor involved unless it's serious. So when she tells me to call...I call.) When I called the receptionist told me the doctor was busy but I could leave a message and she'd call me back when she could. So...I relayed to her that I had been having contractions for the past 16 hours. After I finished my explanation and she asked a few questions she asked me to hold, and then I was talking to the nurse. The nurse asked many of the same questions and then after hearing my answers said..."hold on"...the next thing I know Dr. Knowlton is on the phone telling me that she wanted to see me that morning. "Great", I thought. I've already had a gestational diabetes scare now I get to deal with the possibility of pre-term labor/bed rest?? Joy.

When I went in she did some tests and concluded that I was not in labor, that I hadn't dialated at all and that I was most likely experiencing a torn muscle or ligament. ...I've torn a muscle was a completely different kind of pain. BUT I wasn't dialated SO...I took that as my answer of well must just be braxton hicks contractions.

Over the next couple of days I took it easy and they mellowed out some so I concluded that I was just going to be one of those lucky few who get to have contractions throughout their entire 3rd trimester.

This past weekend we went up to one of our friends cabins which was about 30 minutes outside of Evanston, Wyoming. I figured I would either hurt at home or hurt here. It didn't make much of a difference. So we went up and were having a good time and then those darn contractions started again. These were much like the beginning of the weeks experience so I figured we were in the same boat. Well...Sometime around 2 in the morning on Saturday I noticed I had started to bleed a little. ...That was new. Neither Chad nor I could sleep so I continued to try to walk off the contractions and Chad was up and worring about me. 3:00 I went to the bathroom again and noticed the bleeding had worsened and I told Chad we should probably head home. Chad threw our bags in the car and we started traveling down the down the long dirt road out of the Unitas. We made it to the bottom and realized we needed a key to open the gate to get to the main road (insert swear here)! We tried calling our friend in the reception. We attempted for ten minutes to find the cabin to get a key to get out. Chad (fight or flight mode) pounded on the door of a cabin that had a truck in the drive way. After about 3 minutes of knocking on the door a light came on and an old mad with whitey tighties came out to see what the commotion was all about. Chad asked the man to save his wife's life and let him use his key to get out the gated cabins. He let us use his key and we finally were on the paved road by 4 am.

Right out of the gate Chad was doing 100. Once we got cell phone reception we decided it was time to find out where the Wyoming hospital was and it made logical sense to stop by and get checked out. I called my mom and asked for her advice. She thought it would be a good idea to stop. Once we got to Evenstan we both felt a strong impression to keep driving. By the time we hit Park City the contractions were horrific and almost unbearable. These were much worse than anything I have ever felt. Chad increased the speeds to 115 though the canyon and ran every light in Salt Lake until we reached the hospital (somehow someway we didn't get pulled over). We got to LDS hospital a little before 6 and we were immediately taken to a room to be checked. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to an 8! I was so upset and knew it was too early for our baby to come. The next thing we knew they were calling our doctor and preparing me to deliver the baby.

I got an epidural and began to push. After about only 10 minutes of pushing the doctor said the babies head was just about there just a few more pushes. The next push the doctor says this is not the babies head and the baby was breech. Logan's bum felt much like a head because it was hard. At that point the doctor gave us our options of c-section or continued pushing. After weighing our options we decided to go with a c-section. The stress the baby would go though would most likely cause his brain to bleed and major stress on his spine. The risk of brain damage/brain bleeds were high given his tiny size. Specialist were called in and surgery started quickly.

The entire life flight NICU team was set up in the room ready to take the baby due to the fact that LDS typically didn't handle babies who were born before 32 weeks, and Logan was 30. Baby Logan was handed off and the team began to immediately assist with breathing and support. They were absolutely incredible. They spent about 3 hours stabilizing him and getting him ready to move down to the NICU unit in Murray (yes they moved my baby to another hospital!). Chad stayed with Logan while they worked on his little body. Once I was stitched up and moved to my recovery room I got to see him for about 2 minutes (literally) and then they took him. Hardest thing ever...a lot of tears. I didn't get to see him the rest of the day. Chad went down for 4 hours to stay with him. It was a LONG LONG day for him.

Logan received surfactant and was on a incubator bronchial breathing machine (cant remember the exact name). The doctors/nurses are amazing and are watching him closely. Logan was 16 inches long and weighs 3 lbs 11 ounces. He is a fighter! We love him so much! We are glad he is here but he could have been a little more patient until we at least were not camping. He is beautiful and has his mommy's toes and his daddy's hair.