Taking the Scenic Route

Friday December 30, 2005

30th December 2005

Friday December 30, 2005

Weight has been our biggest struggle since Zora was born.  Pre-e often leads to lower than average birth weights, but I really thought she would be bigger given Zane’s birth size (9lbs 6.3oz, arriving 1 day before EDD).  It was a bit of a shock to see how tiny she was!  One interesting note, she is less than an ounce smaller, and only 1/2 inch shorter than I was at birth. 

Zora’s Weight
12-23-05:  4 lbs 8.7 oz
12-24-05:  4 lbs 6.1 oz
12-25-05:  4 lbs 2.8 oz
12-26-05:  4 lbs 1.4 oz
12-27-05:  4 lbs 3.2 oz
12-28-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz
12-29-05:  4 lbs 4.8 oz
12-30-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz

As the week went on, the other issues were slowly resolved until the only thing left that was keeping us there was her weight.  She looked good.  Breastfeeding was going ok (more on that later) given the circumstances, and she could gain weight just as easily at home as at the hospital.  The figure the dr was looking for was around a 20 gram gain a day.  The first day she gained it was 10 grams.  Now considering I went down to 3 lbs and either 8 or 13 oz before I started gaining again, I was elated that she started to gain.  Generally speaking, after 2 days of gain you are allowed to go home.  So, when she gained 41 grams the next day I was ready to do cartwheels because I thought I was going to be allowed to go home.  The doctor still wasn’t happy with the weight.  I think at that point the nurses were starting to advocate for me.  They saw her all day and knew how she was doing.  It would take a few more days to hit the ‘magic number’ of 2000 grams (4 lbs, 6.5 oz). 

The next day I got the impression it was a concerted effort by the nursing staff to help me go home.  During the night I got almost no sleep because we spent most of the night feeding Zora and then weighing her, trying to catch her in between feedings and pooping to get the optimum weight.  The first weight was actually showing a loss, but it could easily be attributed to the removal of the IV during the earlier shift.

Eventually, we got a bit higher of a weight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the nurse may have bumped it up a bit to make it more palatable for the dr.  I was still in the nursery when the doctor came in in the morning.  I could see that she was looking at my chart, and seeing numerous nurses come by to talk to her.  I left the nursery because they were getting ready for another c-section.  Walked past the doctor, who still had my chart out and dialing someone on the phone. 

I must interject here.  I really do like this doctor.  She is just very young, fresh out of medical school, and not very experienced.  Because doctors don’t spend a lot of time with their patients, they have to go by the numbers.  The nurses are able to go by what they see, considering they are the ones actually spending time with the patients.  This doctor spent a lot of time researching alternative ways for weight gain without using  formula, when I made the demand.  She genuinely cared.  If my main doctor (her partner, who’s on vacation) doesn’t work out, I would have no problems changing to her.

The doctor did finally make her way to my room.  She literally threw up her arms, smiling, and said “Fine. You can go home”.  She had called the lactation consultant, who also advocated that I would do just fine on my own, despite the numbers.  Thank goodness, because I was about to lose my mind being stuck in the hospital.

Breastfeeding

Although it is going as well as can be expected, it is a hard fought battle to make it work.  Our two biggest obstacles:  her immature suck/swallow/breathe reflex, and the logistics of an extremely tiny mouth trying to latch onto a relatively large breast (never thought I’d describe my c cups that way. lol).  She also lacks stamina to complete a feeding.  For a bit, we were stuck in a bad cycle of …needing to eat to get the energy to eat, and not having enough energy to eat. 

We got over the initial stamina hump with enough pumping to stimulate milk production, and fenugreek, and finger/lact-aid/syringe feeding.  I’ve also had to tolerate a lot of nipple latches and otherwise very painful latch-ons.  If I could get her to latch on in any way possible for a minute or two, then she would relax enough for me to correct the latch so that it wasn’t as painful.

I am also finding that I basically am expressing milk on the breast she is nursing to make it easier for her.  This means that nursing is a two-handed fully-engaged activity.  No browsing the internet, no NAK, and very time-consuming.  I am so looking forward to the just-last-on-and-go-on-with-my-life nursing later.

Although a majority of my latch-ons are still pretty painful, she is definitely improving.  At today’s lc’s office today, we weighed before and after.  She ate 34 mL, which is an amount expected for a fullterm baby. 

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30th December 2005

Friday December 30, 2005

I bet you guys are just dying to know.  lol.

Her name is Zorabella Jazlyn.  So far people have been calling her “Zorabella”, “Zora”, and “Zoe”.  In slightly less usage are the nicknames “Jazzy” and “Bella”.   I guess we will see, in time, which nickname is the one the most used.  For now, I will use “Zora” as her nickname.

Zorabella means “Beautiful Light of Dawn”.  She was born within minutes of dawn breaking in the morning.  Zora has Arabic/Slavic origin, Bella has Italian origns.  Zorah was a town in Judah belonging to the tribe of Dan & the birthplace of Samson.  Bella means “Beautiful”, Zorah means “Light of Dawn” or “Aura of Dawn”, depending on where you find the definition.  The name is also based on a family name “Zora Belle”  (used as a first name and middle name in that case). 

Jazlynn has American & English origins.  The English origin meaning is ” Modern variant of Jasmine; combination of Jocelyn and the musical term jazz”  The American meaning is:  “combination of Jasmine and Lynn”   However, the meaning for us is much deeper.  The females on my mom’s side of the family have variants of “Lynn” as their middle names, and the “JAZ” at the front of the name has long been a nickname for me online (pre-dating “Jennifer_Z by years)  and stands for “Jennifer And Zach” 

She was named on Christmas Day.  Her first Christmas Present.

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30th December 2005

Friday December 30, 2005

Never were there sweeter words!  We are finally all home.  I have been very busy already trying to manage everything.  It will take a bit to get into a nice groove with this.  Since I have been trying to write this entry for several hours already (and ended up posting it after the clock turned to the next day) I will just keep it short this time.

First, thank you all so much for the thoughts and prayers for our well being.  I felt your support.  I was so excited to read Zach’s blogging and all of your comments in my absence.  It was really a great welcome home present!

Second, I will write out the birth story and about our stay in the hospital.  It is likely to be done in short bursts due to time constraints.  I am not going to go into it all tonight.  I will say that my husband now totally understands why people who are able to do a home birth safely would want to.  It is hard to come up against the medical establishment when you are exhausted and in pain.  However, I will say that we did manage to keep her off of formula ’supplementation’ despite a LOT of pressure and I managed to keep a decent working relationship with the staff while holding my ground on “breastmilk only”.   It really felt like a battle at times though.

I also want to thank my mom for staying with me in the hospital the whole time.  It was good to have somebody else in the room who was supportive of Zach and my parenting decisions, especially on the breastfeeding issue, and helping me deal with the stress when I was so tired.

I am so glad to be home.  It was truly one of the most challenging weeks of my entire life.  I can’t tell you how difficult it was to be separated from my guys.  I have never been apart from Zane for more than a few hours, and even then it is a really small amount of times.  I don’t think I have spent a night apart from my husband since we have been married.  Not being able to talk to him at length or just hold and touch each other for this high pressure week was more difficult than I can really express.  He is my partner in all things though, whether we are together or apart, and I could not have made it through the week without him.  I know he was as lonely for me as I was for him, but I also know that he handled a very difficult and chaotic situation with a strength and love that makes me realize just how lucky I am.  I wasn’t surprised he could cope, because he is as much of a parent as I am, but I am thankful for the depth of his ability because then I at least didn’t spend a moment worrying about the welfare of Zane, just missing them both terribly.  That is something many mothers are not blessed with.

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29th December 2005

Thursday December 29, 2005

Jennifer is home.  Our daughter is also home!  Everyone is home! Woohoooo!

Jennifer is taking an hour nap currently.  She told me to tell everyone (who reads this) that she’ll post some things when she wakes up.  I can’t believe she’s so small (our girl, not Jennifer).  She’s much smaller in real life, compared to her pictures.  Actually, both of my 2 favorite girls in the world are sleeping.  Zane just woke back up.  He was happy that “momma coming home” wasn’t all in his dreams…she’s actually here. .. still here.  He’s very happy to see his momma.

Thanks for reading my updates.  I doubt I’ll be back as guest blogger for awhile.  Did I happen to mention that everyone is home….and that everyone is happy that everyone is home?  lol.  :D

-Zach

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28th December 2005

Wednesday December 28, 2005

Well,
Jennifer’s parents brought me gift … came here to pick up the
carseat.  We all decided it would be better to not go about doing
stuff after we just recovered from sickness.  So, they made Zane a
happy boy (just by showing up), and brought her camera so that I may
transfer the pictures to my computer. Woohoo.  First time that I
have seen our precious girl since Friday, even if it is only in
pictures.  Oddly enough, for losing 10% of her weight, she looks
bigger. huh.  So, here are some additional photos for anyone’s
amusement.

Also,
they didn’t weigh her at noon.  We assume that they’ll be weighing
her at midnight.  Maybe I assume too much. lol.  When will
she get to come home?  When will they release her?  It
depends.  It depends on an unknown number of unknown things. 
Maybe tomorrow night or maybe Thursday morning.  Which doctors’
decision will they go with?  Has her main doctor come back
from vacation?  Should they go by the book, or experience? 
If they are fresh out of the medical pond, will they fall back on
experienced doctors’ advice?  It depends.  Nobody can nail
it.  

 

I
must admit…Friday was fantastic, because I saw my daughter
born.  Held her in my arms.  Every day since then has been
progressively worse on my morale.  I miss my family. 
Soon.  Soon will time be upon me that which I can be
among my family.  ok.  I’ll stop with the poetic
interludes.  At least I have Zane with me.  I am not
alone in wishing.  And I’m sure Jennifer misses us the same. 
She has told me numerous times.  I am grateful that her
mother can be there helping her during this long time.  wow,
it’s been a long week.

Ok. onto the pictures:

 


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27th December 2005

Tuesday December 27, 2005

Today is Zane’s birthday.  Happy birthday, my sweet boy. 

He had a second wave of fever, yesterday morning.  It was low-grade.  Everything points to the flu.  Today, no fever.  No fever for either of us.  We are both doing and feeling much better, AGAIN! argh!  I actually was able to get the trash out and the dishes mostly done.  I’ve been cleaning, while Zane dances and plays.  I’m glad he’s feeling better.  Heck, I’m glad I feel better.

Our daughter is gaining her weight back, after a lot of hoopla (I’ll let Jennifer go into the details when she returns home).  Jennifer is doing exceptionally well.  Staples out, and released from hospital.  She is staying with our girl until she is released as well.  They (the doctor) is waiting for weight gain and some other minor things.  She gained back some weight lst night.  I assume her “noon weighing” will show she continued to gain. 

I got the carseat back together after washing it.  What a pain.  At least I understand now how to configure it for small babies. Woohoo.  Still waiting on the word whether someone will be by to pick it up, or if I must drive up there to drop it off.  They want to do a “Car Seat Challenge” before releasing her.  My understanding of it is this:  They’ll hook her up to monitoring devices and strap her in to the seat (at a 45 degree angle) for an hour.  They will monitor her to see if she can handle that degree angle during the hour.  If not, they’ll provide us with a car bed instead.  Oh the fun for everyone.

I have seen neither Jennifer nor my daughter since Friday 23rd (when she was born).  I miss both of them.   That’s why no new pics.  :(

Well, off to finish dishes.  Crank the tunes.

-Zach

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24th December 2005

Saturday December 24, 2005

update:

Jennifer is feeling extremely well.  She’s going to get solid food today and has gone to the bathroom unassisted.  Excellent!  The baby girl is doing very well, also.  She is a little jaundiced (sp?) and that’s being taken care of easily.   Nursing is great.  Jennifer told me that this experience is soooooooo much better than her previous one.  Her recovery is quickly progressing.

Zane’s temp broke and we both slept @8 hours.  He woke up without a fever. WOOO!  If Zane remains feeling better, I might convince her mother to switch places with me for a little bit so that I may visit.  I miss my wife and daughter a lot!  So happy that Zane is feeling better.  He’s in the other room playing and talking to his little people, after eating bananas, oranges, and fettucini noodles.  He misses his momma, as well.  I printed up some pictures of Jennifer for him.  “That’s momma”, he has told me several times.  Poor little guy.  Actually, he’s taking momma being away very well, considering he has been sick.  Had to take him to the store @3am for some child’s ibuprofin and cough medicine.  He perked up there, helping me carry the bananas.

I feel more rested today.  Maybe I’ll be able to prep the home for the home-coming.  In fact….I’m starting up some music and going to do some dishes.

-Zach

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24th December 2005

Saturday December 24, 2005

Zane’s fever came back at 103.5 (under the arm).  yikes.  He’s back to lethargic.  But is it lethargy or just tiredness.  He’s obviously sick.  He didn’t get much sleep last night and only @5 hours this afternoon.  I hope it’s just a fever with cough, and nothing more serious.  not sure if I can get any sleep.  If his fever goes back down to normal, and he falls asleep, I’ll sleep as well.  Oh the fun times we’re having. lol. 

Christmas eve is here (ok, it’s morning of the eve), and I am apathetic about it.   All I want for Christmas is my 2 kids well.  My daughter is fine.  Now, I need Zane to get healthy.  Sleep is a lovely thing.  I hope that I don’t get sick, too.  Is this one of those give-and-take moments in life?

There’s a possiblity that if Zane is still sick (contagiously) by monday, Jennifer will have to vacation at her parents house until he isn’t.  We’ll see how that goes.  I don’t want our little girl getting sick in her “fresh out of the womb” state. 

I also need to go find some Ibuprofin (for Zane) so that I can mix-n-match the fever reducers.  At least I have coffee.  Not sure how long it will keep me awake, but I have it. I’m sure to have more updates on J tomorrow.  Goodnight, hopefully.
-Zach

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23rd December 2005

Friday December 23, 2005

Zach here (still feeling whooped, but have 5 hours of sleep now)

Still haven’t pinned the name down, though we feel pretty certain what
we’ll choose.  Probably tomorrow.  Zane is still sick. 
Has had a fever up and down all day.  Nothing over 101, but still
worrisome (especially when combined with an occasional cough). 
Hope that he gets over the fever part by tomorrow or so, and that I
don’t get it as well. ack.  Zane is up now playing piano and
putting together puzzles.  He has finally eaten a bunch of food
and consumed some water and juice.  Yeh.  That’s why I think
we’re at the end of it now.  Hopefully, more sleep tonight will
bring his health back into alignment.  Vitamins, food, and fluids.

Stats on (our unnamed baby girl):

Yes! She is still a girl after delivery.  I say this, because the
other stats that the “entertainment” sonogram people gave were most
likely off (like her weight at 29 weeks being almost 4 lbs….I have my
doubts).

Sorry.  These are the stats you’re looking for:

girl
born 7:48am
4 lbs 8.7 oz
17 inches
beautiful!

curly hair on head.
eating and breathing normally…in fact, exceptionally.

did I mention…
Beautiful?

Momma is doing excellent.  Feeling has returned, and she is able to sit up (has been for a little while now).

Baby takes to nursing, like fish to water.  Nurses are commenting
that they should elect our baby girl to go show the other babies on the
ward how to do it.

She appears to be as fully developed as a 40-weeker, with the exception
of her weight.  I believe she’s pretty tall for a 4 1/2 -
pounder. 

I really hated leaving the hospital without my wife and baby
girl.  They’ll be back here in no time.  Basically, everyone
is doing exceptionally well.  Thanks for all the warm wishes,
support, and congratulations.  Will post more as more is
available….pictures and news.

Til then:  Be well, live long, and may the force be… awww nevermind.  :D

ETA:

The C went smoothly, and didn’t take long to perform.  Jennifer’s
BP was maintained within normal levels, and the entire experience was
at least 300x better than her previous one.  I was suprised how
quickly it was performed, and how smoothly (without any
complications).  Nice.  Also, unlike her previous experience,
they cleaned her up soon afterwards so she wouldn’t have that brownish
sterilizing fluid (iodine?) covering her abdomen.  She is a much
happier woman this time around.  Last time I talked to her, she
was sleepy and was about to take a nap before the next nursing. 
She had been awake longer than me (at that time) @ 25 hours+.

So, here’s to a good night rest and everyone feeling healthy and refreshed tomorrow.

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23rd December 2005

Friday December 23, 2005

Zach here.

I am so tired.  I’ll post a couple pics right now, then tell you about it later.



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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 7 months, and 24 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years, 7 months, and 28 days old
  • Random Quote

  • Parenting forces us to get to know ourselves better than we ever might have imagined we could. — Fred Rogers

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