Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another praise...

A few weeks after we arrived home from the Maggie's stay in the NICU we received a letter in the mail stating our insurance company had denied paying the claim for my one night stay at OHSU. The letter stated that it was denied as I did not need to be placed in a higher care facility. Basically, they were saying it was not necessary for me to be transferred and get higher care at OHSU. Generally, if you are to transfer from one hospital to another you would have to get pre-approval from the insurance company that this is a necessity and they would then cover it. Well, in an emergency situation such as we were in the doctors and us all made the best decision we knew. Mom and baby needed to be together. We believe this no matter what. The whole time Maggie was being worked on in the nursery at Silverton Hospital, AJ was standing right along side her. He was transported with her and was with her when they checked her in to OHSU. The only time he left her was at 5am on Monday morning after being awake for over 24 hours! He needed some rest and wanted to be with me. Having a traumatic birth and a baby in the NICU and the mom in recovery has got to be hard on the dad and family. Who do you be with?

Anyways, so my one night stay at OHSU was denied. Not the doctors that treated me, that was covered, the stay, room and board. $2200. Denied. Well, we were floored to say the least. How can you deny the mother who is postpartum, who has just pushed a baby out, who is unsure of if she will live or not, who believes that nursing and skin to skin contact is vital vital vital in the first few seconds of their life. How can you deny that? Even though we couldn't do all that with Maggie, the mere fact that what if she was to take a turn for the worse like she did on Monday night and I was sitting in a hospital bed miles away in another city? How do you deny all this?

So we called ODS and explained our situation and they very kindly told us to submit an appeal. We filled out the form, had our delivering doctor write a letter and we wrote a letter explaining our appeal. We had six months to submit it and about 2 weeks shy of the 6 month date, we sent it off. A week later we got a form I had to sign and I sent that back. Then on Saturday another letter arrived from ODS.

Our denial had been overturned and they stated they would be covering the claim! Praise Jesus! Insurance companies do have hearts after all!

We most likely will still owe some money but not all $2200. FYI, one nights stay at OHSU is about $2200 in case you are price shopping. :)

Again, God has shown himself to us in His way and reminded us He is in control, we just have to place all our trust in Him.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You just never know.

I would have never ever known such a thing was possible.

February 2011, a month after Maggie was born, all the explanation of benefit pages were coming in for my delivery and Maggie's hospital stay. I couldn't keep up with it all fast enough but from the advice of others they said to wait till everything had billed and then see what we owed. We did get one rejection letter from our insurance company that they were not going to cover my stay at OHSU after I was transferred up there post delivery. Everything was covered. We have a plan that has a deductible and then you pay 20% copay to the maximum out of pocket. And then on a few things, they were covered differently, like both Maggie's and mine ambulance rides. So the bills started coming in.

We had a bill from Silverton Hospital, OHSU hospital, OHSU doctors, Woodburn Ambulance and Metro West Ambulance. We figured roughly before insurance it was about $100,000. With insurance, our cost was around $5500. That's a lot of money we weren't really expecting to pay.

But let me know tell you how God works in ways, we can't see.

I called each of the places and asked if we could start paying after I returned to work from maternity leave as our income was reduced while I was at home. They each made appropriate arrangements and I headed back to work in March. I then called each place and asked to set up a payment plan as there was just no way we could pay all of this off. Who has that kind of savings??

We received an anonymous gift that allowed us to pay off both the ambulance companies and make a payment on another bill. I got each account set up and starting paying. Two months went by and it was tight. Each month was to the penny. We were just barely squeaking by and I didn't know how we would be able to do it in the winter months when our heat and electricity bill seems to spike! But we trusted God he would provide and continued on.

At one point when I had called OHSU hospital to set my account up on a payment plan, I mentioned something about how it works to apply for financial assistance that I had seen noted on the back of my bill. The customer service operator asked a few questions and then said she would mail me the application. I received it and then filled it out, got copies of pay stubs and taxes and faxed it back.

Two weeks later, we received a statement in the mail that the balance due had been reduced by roughly $400!! And OHSU doctors bill separately but if you qualify with one, you qualify for the other and reduced our other bill by $700. I was blown away. I had willingly filled out the application but then mumbled and moaned after I submitted it that we would not qualify. We make way too much money, I complained. But I did pray. I asked God that no matter what the outcome, He would continue to provide for us. 

You just never know.

God is faithful. AJ and I decided to close out an old retirement account we had and pay the penalty and taxes on it so that we can pay the remainder of all our bills off except for one. God is good! He has provided for us in so many ways. Maggie, medical insurance, a job for both AJ and I, and now a way to pay our medical bills. My human mind wants to manipulate and try to figure out ways to make things work, when the truth of the matter is, God knows and is taking care of us in so many ways, more than we know.

You just never know.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maggie is 4 months

Our sweet little baby turned 4 months old on May 16th and that meant a lot of things. Mostly, she was soon to have her 4 month NICU follow-up with a Neuro Pediatrician at OHSU/Dornbeckers. So, since I was going to have to take her up to Portland for that appointment, I decided to make 2 other doctor appointments for Maggie the same day. I know, aren't I such the best mom ever? AJ wanted to come as well since the appointment with the Dornbecker doctor was such a big appointment. Big in the sense of finding out how our baby was doing developmentally and big also in the sense of a 3 hour appointment!

So, in the morning Maggie had her 4 month well baby check up with our normal pediatrician. She did great. No big concerns from us and because she is our second, we aren't as surprised when things change and come up, she is a pretty good sleeper and she is a great eater/poop-er/pee-er. What more could you ask for from a 4 month old? So not a lot of questions. Her stats are: weight, 15 pounds and height is 25 inches. To compare, Porter was 15 pounds 12 ounces and 26 1/2 inches in height. She is very normal but man oh man, she is a chunky monkey. And when she got her one shot, the nurse commented that this is when her thunder thighs would come in handy! She still cried a tiny little bit but was her happy smiling self shortly thereafter.

The next appointment was for an ultrasound follow up from her bladder infection. We drove down the rode to St. Vincent Hospital and had a renal ultrasound down. Meaning, they look at your bladder and your kidneys and send pictures and results to our doctor to make sure they are properly functioning. How do you do an ultrasound on a baby? Very carefully. The bladder was pretty easy but the the kidneys they need you lying on your belly, so I tried to hold Maggie chest to chest but she would not have any of it as she is in the stage when she is awake she wants to look out, not at my chest. So, I rocked her a little and she thankfully fell asleep and the rest was a breeze. So glad it worked out that way and we will find out the results early this week. Let's pray all is okay with her kidneys.

AJ, Maggie and I then had a break. We headed downtown for some lunch at Rice Junkies and jumped back in the car to head over to OHSU. And then we headed up to our 3 hour appointment. She met with a clinician who does some evaluations with her (speech, gross and fine motor skills, physical movement, sound awareness and such), then with the Neuro Ped and then with an audiologist. Each person is about a hour session and was super helpful, informative and really nice!

As they tested Maggie for all her motor skills and language, it was said multiple times how much of a talker she was. She was yacking up a storm and was very expressive and funny with the clinician. She did great on all her evaluations except for when you pull her up, she does not help you at all. So she is still slightly low muscle tone. But the doctor explained this is very normal for babies of her NICU situation and she is right on for that and eventually will catch up. No concern really. She reaches for things and swats at things and notices things, all perfect for her age. It is crazy how they can test each of these areas and determine if she is behind in something. I was impressed at all the Maggie put up with!

When they left, we then had about 10 minutes before the Neuro Ped doctor came in and Maggie was out. She feel asleep hard core and slept through the initial question and answer time with us and the doctor and then I had to wake her up for him to do his own observation. She was not super happy about this but eventually started smiling and he was able to do interact with her some. He was happy with her as well. We did talk about concern about hearing loss considering my situation and the history in my family. He also mentioned something else we had never heard before that because of her pulmonary hypertension and the treatment of antibiotics they give for that, Maggie could also be at a little higher risk for hearing loss. He mentioned this and my family history to the audiologist before we met with her.

The audiologist was very informative and nice. We talked about my history and such and discovered that most likely my hearing loss is genetic and related to something I was born with. AJ loved talking to the audiologist about it. I was so happy to know that since Maggie did not have what I had, most likely she won't have severe hearing loss like I do. That is not to say she won't struggle at all, but we will be monitoring her for sure. SO then the audiologist performed a couple of tests on her and her hearing was PERFECT! No issues thus far. Praise the Lord! Again and again Maggie continues to amaze us!

So after 2 hours and 45 minutes we were done. We did another diaper change on Maggie and hit the road back home to Salem. She had done awesome. She slept the whole ride home as she was exhausted and worn out. I don't blame her one bit. It was a lot for us as parents and we didn't have to endure multiple dress and undress, a shot, an ultrasound, two hearing tests, a full motor skills test and 2 check ups by doctors. She was a champ.

Our next follow up with the doctor at Dornbecker is not till she turns one. So no more marathon doctor appointment days like that for a long while.

Miss Maggie, you are a rock-star. Thank you for putting up with everyone so beautifully and still smiling despite all we put you through on Friday. We love you lots, Mommy and Daddy!

P.S. Thank you, Lori, for watching Porter as he would have been bored to tears, literally!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Maggie's dedication

Mother's Day 2010: I take a pregnancy test on the off chance that my sneaky suspicion is correct. Too my surprise, it was. I was pregnant and my best guess was we will have a baby in January of 2011.

Mother's Day 2011: We take the step as parents that we will raise Magnolia Raine in a home that loves and serves our amazing God. Who knew how much God would teach us in the first week of Maggie's life about total reliance on him, but we are so thankful for our sweet daughter.Now, we have been given the joy of raising her to honor God all the days of her life.

Am I adorable or what?

My good friend, Shannon, gave Maggie this fun pink zebra print hoodie with the mane down the hoodie. Maggie now fits it and just just looking super cute the other day so I took a few pictures of her and her smiles.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Exciting times...

Maggie's life is going to be an exciting one. To what extent, none of us really know but here's the latest.

Maggie recently hit the 3 month mark and has been doing really well. She impresses me each and every day and truly has been a remarkable baby albeit all she had to deal with the first week of her life. She is a happy smiley baby and lights up when we smile at her or her brother talks to her. She is not super fussy nor is she a handful. She is pretty even keeled and goes with the flow.

Well, the last week she got a cold and it was making her congested and a little cranky. The last few days when Lori, her Grammie, was watching her she noticed she would cry when she would lay her down and she didn't want to be anywhere except being held. Unfortunately as a second child, I can't hold her all the time and when Lori has her she is the 3rd child. But there just wasn't something totally OK with how she was acting. I don't want to be a paranoid mother so I just decided when I took her in on Monday for a shot, I would have them look at her to make sure she was all good.

Well, we never made it to Monday. Saturday when Maggie woke up she was a lethargic limp rag doll. No muscle tone, no desire to eat and SUPER congested. She coughed and then threw up mucus and lots of it. Well, this scared me. I got AJ and together we decided we needed to take her in. We ended up at the ER and they checked us in. Because of Maggie's traumatic birth we may always be a bit more cautious with her, but I had no idea what to do if she was struggling breathing.

Long story short, we sat in the ER room from 10:30-3:30 and they watched Maggie's O2 levels, took a chest X-ray, did a flu and RSV swab, ran some blood tests and then did an urine sample. We weren't really sure what they were looking. We then were told she did have RSV which is a respiratory virus and a slight fever. So they gave her some Tylenol for the fever and there wasn't a lot they could do about the virus as, like a cold, it would just need to work through her system. And because her O2 levels did drop some while she was sleeping, they decided to admit her to the hospital for the night for observation.

Off we went to her room which had a bed for me as well, so I could spend the night with her. They checked us in and we spent the night together, nursing, sleeping and the nurses would come in about every hour to monitor her vitals and O2 levels. Maggie did great. She never needed oxygen and never needed any breathing treatments but did have another little fever in the night. So the next morning the doctor came in to let me know how she was doing. And come to find out, she had a bladder infection. The ER doctor saw an abnormality in her blood test and then ordered the urine sample to see if she had an infection and sure enough she did. This would explain all her crankiness and her fever.

Not only was she battling RSV but she also was in pain whenever she peed! Oh man, such a bummer for such a little baby. Well, she is now on an antibiotic to kill the bacteria in her bladder and then we have follow up with her doctor in a week to make sure the infection is gone and get her kidneys checked out. As I know more about all this I will keep you all posted.

But the thing I keep remembering is how all things happen for a purpose. No, I wouldn't wish RSV on anything little child, but because Maggie had it and was not herself on Saturday, we took her in to see the doctor and through the course of events discover the bladder infection that could have gone unnoticed even longer possibly. It would have gotten worse and worse and she could have ended up fighting eating and then affected nursing and my milk supply. But it didn't happen that way. And I am just so thankful that I can see the hand of God in Maggie's life in so many ways. This was another one of them.

We still may have a journey ahead of us with this bladder infection as 3 months old really shouldn't be getting bladder infections, but I am grateful we found it and can now treat it and go forward with figuring out if all her systems are working together or what the next step is, if any.

Thanks again for all your prayers. Maggie is God's child and is so evident in her life. AJ and I are fairly certain with all the excitement she has caused in our lives in 3 months, gray hairs will soon be sprouting. If I am sporting a new hair color, y'all know why now!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Finished the birth story

So back on February 14th, I started the final part of Maggie's birth story. I finished it tonight and it posts it back in February's archives. So, check it out. Here is the link.

By the way, I typed it all with paragraphs and when I published the post, no paragraphs. Annoying. I am going to try and fix it. Just so you know, it was not meant to be the way it is.



2 months

Maggie had her two month check up last Thursday. Here are her stats.

12 pounds 1 ounce

23 1/2 inches long

Here is what Porter was at 2 months.

14 pounds 2 1/2 ounces

24 1/2 inches long

Maggie is a chub but is petite in comparison to Porter!

We love her and love watching her smile!

Porter loves his sister!

"Why are you taking my picture?"

Aren't her babylegs just the cutest? Thank you, Aunt Christy!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How is Maggie doing?

Well, for all you wonderful people who still read Miss Maggie's blog, I would love to update y'all.

Maggie is now 6 almost 7 weeks old and she is doing wonderfully. When we left the NICU we were told to treat her like a normal baby and that is what we have been doing as best we know how. Each day it got easier as we got further away from the scariness. I still check on her constantly when she is sleeping to make sure she is still breathing. I may be a bit more obsessive with her than I was with Porter but with due reasons.

When we left the NICU the doctors there were referring us to a Neuro Pediatrician for follow-up and also to an Early Intervention program. We were also to follow-up as normal with our own pediatrician. So Maggie has seen our ped doctor twice and all is well with them. She has gained weight, poops and pees just like a normal baby. She nurses and eats and burps, all things we are happy she has taken to very easily. I was a little worried since she was not instantly given the boob after her birth or for the first four days of her life, but she took to it very naturally and has not had any issues since. I did pump for the first 4 days and have continued to pump one time a day and my milk supply has not been an issue at all. If anything, I may have oversupply but I am fine with that as I go back to work in a week.

About a week after we were home from the NICU, the Neuro Peds doctor called to set up an appointment. Apparently, it is a 3 hour appointment and they only have office hours on Friday and they wanted to do it when she was 4 months old. So we will see them in May and see the doctor and two other teams for testing and evaluation, one of them being hearing. She passed her hospital test just fine so they are not worried about it. My opinion being is she is a baby, they can't test her speech or play yet so a developmental thing is her hearing so they want to double check it. I am all for that since we have hearing issues on my side of the family. Test away. AJ and I will take the afternoon off to head up to Dornbecker's for this appointment and I will post more after we go in May I am sure.

And then I also got a call shortly after arriving home from Marion County Health Services from a nurse with the Cocoon program which is like Early Intervention. They come to your home every couple of months to monitor you baby and report back to the pediatrician if needed. They also are the ones that evaluate her milestones and if she needed therapy of some sort, could get us set up with what she needs. They generally take you through 15-18 months old and if she continues to need further assistance, they could also set us up with the Early Intervention then with the school district. So she is in the "system" and is being watched as we honestly have no idea how this all may have affected her.

Maggie is showing no signs of lag at this point. She is growing, gaining weight and doing the reflexes and milestones a baby of her age would be doing. When the nurse for Cocoon came, she weighed 9 pounds 12 ounces at 5 weeks and was born at 7 pounds 4 ounces. She was 75% percentile in weight and height and 50% for her head. So very normal and healthy. The nurse did a variety of reflex tests and she responded to all of them very well. At this point the nurse was happy with her and will be back some time in May to visit us again. One thing she did mention, I did not know this but others around me did, was that one of the things Maggie was diagnosed with was called HIE. I can't remember what it stands for and it is impossible to say, thus the acronym. Basically, what it means is that she had an insult or injury to her brain. The range of what the outcome would be from that injury is so vast and thus why no one can really tell us what life will be like because no one really knows.

Maggie's brain was without oxygen which in turn causes swelling and is an injury to her brain. She has had no seizures since we have gotten home and has been progressing as a normal baby. The amazing things that I know and cling to are:

1. Babies are super resilient. If brain injury is going to occur in one's life, it is best at the baby stage as they are still developing and have the ability to rewire things to make it work and function. As adults we are developed and more so have to relearn things to adapt to an injury. So very cool and remind myself of this often.

2. We serve and love an amazing God. He allows everything in our lives to happen for a reason and knows EVERYTHING. He knew this was going to happen and could have protected Maggie's brain the entire time and she will never have anything go wrong. Or something could pop up for her and us and we will take that as what he has given us and Maggie to embrace. Either way, no reason to worry myself over this. I just have to relinquish my fears and my need to control and let her grow and be a normal baby.

So yes, how is Maggie doing? She is amazing. She sleeps, smiles, snuggles and is just starting to find her voice and babble. So much fun. Porter loves his sister and is always wanting to hold her and share his toys with her. She is a second child and I am learning to accept that and be the best mom I can be to her and to Porter at the same time. Being a family of four has been an adventure for all of us and soon when my maternity leave ends, we will be on a new adventure. Grammie will be watching 3 kids 2 and under and I will be a part time working mom of 2. Somehow I can't fathom getting ready 3 days a week in the morning with both of them, but I know I can as I have done it a few times. :)

It just all goes so fast and I am trying to enjoy each moment as much as possible and love my kids and my husband in whatever stage we may be in.

Monday, February 28, 2011

To all the people in the medical field.

In my post of thanks, I didn't think I could do justice to properly thank all those at Silverton Hospital, the PANDA team, OHSU and Dornbeckers for all that they did for us. In my mind they deserved their own post.

We had Porter at Silverton Hospital as we had chosen to have the Salem Nurse Midwives team as our prenatal care. So it seemed natural as we had a great experience to go back to them when we found out we were pregnant with Maggie. Since I had a Cesarean birth with Porter I was hoping for a vaginal birth with Maggie and had to be taken on by Silverton Hospital since I had never had a vaginal birth. They took me and and I stayed with the Midwives for my prenatal and then when I went in to labor and went to the hospital I would have one of the doctors out there manage my care for labor and delivery. The midwives would be there to assist in labor but the doctor would have to deliver Maggie. We were fine with this and when we got admitted to the hospital when I went in to labor it was the same doctor that ended up delivering Porter via the cesarean.

So thank you, Salem Nurse Midwives for all the care and attention you gave to us at each prenatal appointment. Thank you to those of you who stopped by to check in on us when we were in the hospital laboring. Your encouragement to me during my pregnancy and then during our birth was great. Thank you!

Then once we were admitted to Silverton Hospital, we had a nurse and the on call doctor managing my care. Like I said previously, Dr. Keller was the on call doctor and we had 4 different nurses that day. Chelsey was with us all day long and then that night Shanna was with us and was there when Maggie was born. I have always thought highly of the staff at the hospital and was again impressed by all that happened during my labor and then immediately following Maggie's birth. Thank you to each one of you who worked so diligently on my limp baby. AJ previously wrote a post to Katie Meerdink who breathed for Maggie for so long. She was amazing! The ER doctor who intubated her and the nurses and on call pediatrician who helped stabilize her till the PANDA team arrived. THANK YOU! We are forever grateful to each part that you played in our daughter's life. I believe God puts people in certain places at certain times and we saw this very much at Silverton Hospital that night.

Now, I keep referring to the PANDA team. What is that? Well, once your baby has been born and is out of the scope of care for Silverton Hospital, they call to have your child transported to OHSU/Dornbeckers to the NICU there. This PANDA team is a pediatric and neonatal transport that comes to the hospital in their state of the art ambulance with their stretcher for your baby or child that needs to be transported. They arrived and immediately started working on Maggie to get her hooked up to their machines and stretcher and were in contact with the doctor's at OHSU of what course of treatment they would do for Maggie and how to start that treatment now. She was put on the cooling therapy at OHSU but in the mean time, they did not warm her at all at Silverton or via transport. They wanted her to be cool.

The PANDA team got her all hooked up, brought her by my room so I could see her briefly and then headed out with AJ to OHSU. They were amazing! Very professional, warm and friendly knowing full well how traumatic this whole situation was and were just awesome. Thank you! Every time at OHSU I would see one of the team members around the hospital, they would say hi and ask about Maggie. She had developed quite the name for herself around there. It seemed that everyone knew about Maggie. She was a fighter!

And then once we arrived at the NICU, each and every doctor, resident, nurse practitioner, fellow, RN, CNA and staff member was amazing. They treated Maggie with care, they kept us informed, they wanted us to know all that they were doing for our little girl. For the first 2 days of Maggie's life, she was a one to one ratio with a nurse. So the nurse for their shift would just watch Maggie. Watch her vitals. Change her diaper. Watch her test results. Watch her vitals. Change her iv fluids and meds. Watch her respirator. They would follow through with the doctor's orders and watch her. She couldn't be held, she was agitated and cold. And they watched her. They watched her arrive and put on the cooling therapy. They watched her get worse and worse. They watched new problems arise and they watched them all heal themselves. They watched this little miracle happen right before their eyes. And then they watched her improve more and more to the put of going home just a week later! Thank you to each nurse who cared for our sweet baby. Your loving touch in such a scary time was reassuring to me that our daughter was in the right place. The care she received was beyond what we could have asked for given her circumstances.

The night we finally got to hold our sweet baby, 5 days after she was born was monumental and the nurse we had the evening was amazing. She advocated with the doctors for skin to skin. She was also a lactation specialist and was very encouraging when I was able to finally breast feed Maggie for the first time EVER! Again, I say that God put each of those nurses on those shifts for the needs we needed that day for Maggie. Thank you!

And then to the doctors, nurse practitioners, fellows and residents who each one watched Maggie and what her little body was doing, thank you! You watch each one of those babies in the NICU in a way that seems as if they were your own child. Each medication, procedure and treatment you explained to the best of your abilities. You were sensitive to us in a time of unknown and scariness. You treated Maggie as if she was your only patient. We recognize the long hours you put in and the level of education you each have and am so forever grateful for all that you did. I felt completely helpless as a my daughter lie there so sick, but I knew she was in the best of hands and that was comforting. Thank you!

Little Miss Maggie was one sick baby. But we knew God put each medical professional in her path of recovery for a reason. We couldn't have done this on our own. We thank each and every one of you in a huge way for all that love and care you gave to our daughter and to us. Thank you!


There are many things that I enjoy spending my money on clothes, make up, purses. But one thing I love is a cute fun shoe. I love heels! Shoes can make or break the outfit and often times am annoyed with my outfit all day if I don't have the 'right' shoes on. Most of the time you will find me during the winter in my Uggs and especially towards the end of my pregnancy as they fit and kept my feet warm and I didn't have to bend down to tie them. Now that I am not pregnant anymore and when I head back to work, guarantee you, I will be wearing all my fun heels again.

Well, you wonder how this pertains to our little Maggie. Let me tell you.

On the night she was born, if any of you have ever been in a birthing hospital room, there is a curtain that they pull in front of the door so that when they open and close the door, you as the mom whether laboring, birthing or breast feeding or sleeping are not exposed to anyone walking by in the hall. It allows more privacy when the big main door of your room is opened.

So this curtain was drawn after Maggie was whisked out of the room and I had barely any idea of what was going on and could not get up as the epidural was still wearing off and I was helpless in bed. The entire time in my mind I kept thinking someone was going to come in and tell me Maggie didn't make it. Yes, morbid, but that is how critical the situation was. So my heart was pounding, my mind was going and the tears were flowing and all I could do was sit there.

And as I sat there, people would come in and out of my room, doing this, cleaning that, collecting this, dropping off that and so I got to know people's shoes. No, I can't tell you now what people were wearing but I did know AJ's shoes were black Converse and my sister had her red Danskos. This was how I identified people when they came into the room. I was afraid of seeing the doctor who delivered Maggie because I didn't want to know if she was coming back with bad news. I didn't want to see the ER doctor who had to intubate her. I didn't want to see the on call pediatrician who was working on Maggie.

The sound of the door opening would scare me until I could see the shoes. A few times the door would open and the person would be talking to someone outside in the hall or on the phone and wouldn't come completely in so I couldn't see their shoes and so my mind would go crazy. The unknown. So unknown.

I still love shoes and I can't wait for the day when Maggie gets to wear all the cute Converse I had bought for her. That night sitting in my room, recovering and waiting to hear any news, all I could do was focus on shoes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

With a heart of thanksgiving...

I have been wanting to do this blog post for a long time but as with anything in my life right now, besides being a mom, I just can't seem to find the time. But I do have a few blog posts in my head that I just can't seem to shake but I know they will not be as good if I had written them 3 weeks ago. Oh well, truly better late than never, right?

When I look back at the moments and days that flew by right after Maggie was born, I see glimpses of many faces and people who I am so incredibly thankful for. I know I won't remember to name every one of them, but please know, I am thankful for all of you. All of you who texted, called, prayed, posted comments on FB, brought us food and gifts, visited us in the hospital, worked on Maggie, let us stay at your houses, shared tears with us and much much more. The outpouring of our friends and family was amazing. We felt the loving arms of Christ surrounding us in a very very scary time of our lives. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

But I would like to thank some people specifically.

First and foremost, my husband. Wow! God knew in so many ways, you were the exactly perfect one for me. I admired your strength in such scary moments. You were right there was Maggie the whole time they were helping her fight for her life. Your mom said at one point, after they had gotten her hooked up to a respirator, you placed your hand on her and were talking sweetly to her. I didn't get to see that, but what a precious image it leaves in my mind. You are an amazing dad and someday, our little girl is going to have you wrapped around her finger. She really already does, but it will only get worse! :)

Your support for me during all of this was awesome. I couldn't have done this without you and I am so truly thankful for you. You were exhausted, more tired than I have ever seen you, and yet you pushed on and watched over our little Maggie. You kept on top of all the medical procedures and medications happening to her. You advocated with the nurses and doctors in ways I couldn't. You were strong. You also made sure I was taken care of and had my friends and family around when I needed them most. You sacrificed so much and spent every ounce of energy in your body on Maggie, Porter and I.

To see your face light up when Porter would come to visit was sweet. We missed our little guy, but you gave him 100% when he was around even as tired and exhausted as you were. Again, I say, you are an amazing dad. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect spouse and partner to travel life together with. Thank you!

I have a huge thanks to give to my sister, my friend. Christy is AMAZING! She was with me the entire time during labor and delivery and slept so little as well but she was right there by my side helping and advocating for me as well. Words don't do justice for all that she did for us. My sister is 5 years younger than I am and we have grown super close. Growing up, she was my arch nemesis and all she wanted to do was hang out with me and tag along. Well, as a 13 year old, your 8 year old sister is not cool. Well, time changes things and we became best of friends and have been super close ever since. Over the last 7 years we have lived far enough away from each other that it was either a dedicated 5 hour drive or involved buying a plane ticket. Needless to say, now that she lives in Corvallis, we have been hanging out a lot again. So the day I went in to labor, she packed an overnight bag and came to be with us.

The other thing about my sister is she is a nurse practitioner, smarty pants! Her husband is also a doctor so they are very medically minded. We like to ask them questions and run things by them and they like to offer their medical advice and knowledge. It is pretty cool. So in the early morning hours when we made the trek to the hospital to have Miss Maggie, Christy joined us for what she had no idea was going to be the ride of all of our lives! Christy was a trooper and would do anything for me. She got me water, held the barf bag when AJ couldn't, got me cold towels and would rub my neck if I was in pain. She was going off so little sleep but hung in there.

Shortly after Maggie was born, she texted Lori, Jana and Jen to pray as Maggie was unstable and stood by my side while they worked on her and tried as best she could to encourage me that all we were waiting for was Maggie to cry. She prayed, she cried, she comforted but she knew the gravity of it all and never once portrayed that to me. Apparently, once they got Maggie a little stable, she went out to tell Jana, Lori and Jen what was going on and cried. She was so strong in front of me so I wouldn't be so scared. Wow. I can't even imagine what that was like for her. She is in the medical field and knows so much and I am sure there were a million things going through her brain. Thank you, Christy, for protecting me and watching over so many things during that whole process.

Both Christy and Tobin were a huge asset to us at Dornbecker's once Maggie was transported as they would help interpret things and give us the run down in more layman's terms. Christy also was to go to work on Monday (Maggie was born on Sunday night and Christy drove home around 4am Monday morning). Upon arrival at work and asked how it all went with her sister and her baby, she broke down and was completely emotionally exhausted. She went home and slept and then her and Tobin drove back to Portland as Tobin was to take a test the following day. Christy took the rest of the week off to be with us before they then left for Spokane to visit some other friends who recently had their second baby. It was a whirlwind week for them but they sacrificed things to be with us and support us. Christy was able to be with AJ and Maggie when the took out her breathing tube and watch her breath fully on her own. And both Tobin and Christy visited Maggie on the way to the airport at 4am and got to see her start the warming process.

I couldn't have done it without my amazing sister and her encouragement. She was a huge cheerleader during the pushing process. I just remember her saying, "You are doing good, Maryanne!" I shocked them all at my pushing abilities though. I pushed even when I wasn't having a contraction. Maggie was out 10 minutes after we started the pushing process. Thank you very much!

I would also like to thank both my parents and AJ's parents. In so many ways both of our parents have been very vital in this whole process. AJ's parents (Al and Lori) had agreed to watch Porter while we were in the hospital for a few days upon Maggie's arrival. Well, without missing a beat, they took Porter the entire week while we were up in Portland. They fed him, played with him, took him fun places, gave him naps and put him to bed every day! They also brought him up to see us as many days as possible and we would all go down to the cafeteria together to get dinner. It was a hard week for us all and Porter felt it but had amazing consistency with being with AJ's parents who he knows and loves very much. Lori was at the hospital when Maggie was born and just as soon as she could after Maggie had been taken out of the room, came in and prayed with me. Lori had also called a variety of people that night and had woken them up at midnight to ask them to pray for Maggie. She was amazing! She wrote emails that went out to a lot of people to keep them informed how to pray and support us. Al was sick that week but he still took time off of work to hang out with Porter and come and visit us and give us hugs and encouragement. Al also drove me all the way back up the the hospital after I had spent the night in Salem with Porter. He didn't come in and he didn't stay, he turned right back around and went back so he could help out with Porter. They were selfless and would do anything for us. It was one less thing I had to worry about, was Porter being well taken care of because I knew he was. Thank you, Al and Lori!

My parents (Jim and Glenda) live in Bend. My sister called them shortly after Maggie was born to apprise them of everything and get them praying. They stayed in contact with her and contacted all their co-workers, family and friends in Bend and asked them to join us in prayer for our daughter. They sent emails and communicated with Christy and determined it would be best for them to come and visit us for the day on Tuesday. They weren't sure if they would get to visit Maggie but wanted us to know they loved us and were there for us. They got up Tuesday morning and drove over the mountains and hung out with us for a few hours and did get to see Maggie and pray over her and then drove home. The pass was a little iffy with snow but they knew it was important for them to come and see us. My dad is a tour guide in Washington DC and because of a training he had to be at, their time was limited. They did come back the week we got home from the hospital and stayed with us for a week. They did laundry, made dinner, picked up the house, did yard work, played with Porter and held Maggie. It was a great transition since AJ had to go back to work. They sacrificed a lot to be with us both times and for those times I am very grateful. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

As I continue to think about all who I am thankful for, Jana pops into my mind. She is AJ's sister but even before AJ and I were dating, she was my friend! She was such an amazing encourager to me in my whole pregnancy and labor that she was confident I was going to be able to have a vaginal delivery. Porter was born cesarean and I had my hopes of having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) but was scared. I processed this with Jana and she understood but stood firmly in the fact that our bodies are created to birth babies and I could do it. Well, the early morning we left to go in to the hospital, Jana came over to sleep at our house to be with Porter when he woke up, I just remember her encouraging me again, that I could do it! Well, lots of hours later when I pushed Miss Maggie out, I had a successful VBAC. It was amazing and Jana was right, my body did go into labor and it did dialate and it did push Maggie out. Thank you for believing in me and the potential my body had, Jana!

Jana also did a great job of texting and updating FB to keep people posted after Maggie was born. She became friends with people she has no idea who they are but wanted to be in on any progress reports that came from the hospital. She was with us for the first three days as much as she could be to support us. She has a husband and an almost 1 year old and a part time job and she sacrificed so much to support us and keep all those posted as to what was happening with our sweet baby. She also organized a way for us to have our house cleaned and meals provided for two weeks to help with our transition home and being a family of four. JJ, we are also very thankful for you and all that you did to be with Finn so your wife could be with us. Thank you for giving up your evenings to visit us and support us. Your loan of your iPad and huge external hard drive with shows for us to watch was a wonderful stress reliever. Thank you, Jana, you are an amazing friend, sister, sister in law and aunt! JJ, we love you and love watching you be a father, friend and uncle to our kids!

To my friend, Jen, who was amazing through my whole pregnancy and labor and delivery, thank you! Jen is one of my besties who I also happen to work with. She has two sweet little kids, Samuel and Emily and they are the same age difference as Porter and Maggie. So she knows what it is like to be pregnant with a 18 month old, to have 1 boy and 1 girl and and what it is like to have two kids 22 months apart. So the last few weeks of my pregnancy she was feeling sympathy pregnancy pains for me and just couldn't wait till I had Maggie so she could be off the emotional rollercoaster! On Friday, my last day of work, she was so excited I was feeling like it was going to happen any time soon and that I was possibly feeling some contractions. We kept her apprised while I was in labor and since not a whole lot was happening let her know when something did happen, she could then come. But for then, just let her know to contact AJ for any updates as my phone was out of commission. Well, funny story. She was texting the wrong number all day long and thus AJ never texted her back. Who knows who she was texting but they never responded. Finally, that evening, Jana texted Jen to see if she wanted to go to the hospital with her and Lori as Maggie was getting closer. Jen was thrilled. So she and Lori and Jana got to be in the room while I labored, had the shakes, spiked my fever. Jen got cold washcloths endlessly. She rubbed my neck and she made me laugh. I had told the 3 of them when it came time to push I just wanted it to be AJ and Christy and they were totally fine with that. So when the doctor came back and I was a 10, they stepped out so I could get this done!

As soon as it was all over and Maggie was being worked on and then whisked away, they all came in and cried with me and prayed with me and were there for me. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. I was so helpless, I couldn't be with my baby, or my husband or see her. I had no idea what was happening but Jen was there comforting me and praying with me. They would go out to see if they could find out anything and then come back to report to me. At one point, they were all out of the room and I was in the room while the nurse was cleaning up and I texted Jen and asked her to come be with me. I didn't want to be alone. She came and sat with me. Oh, what a night. The hours seemed like minutes and seconds all at the same time. Maggie was born at 11:10pm and we did not get up to Portland till 5am. Where did all those hours go?

When they decided to transport me up to OHSU as well and they had accepted me as a patient, I was going to be making my transport via ambulance. Maggie was going up via ambulance as well with what is called the PANDA team from Dornbeckers. They are a special pediatrics ambulance and AJ was going to ride up with her so I had to go on my own. Well, AJ was not going to let that happen and made sure someone was going to ride up with me so I was not on my own. Jen rode with me. She was the best! She took pictures with her phone, texted me while in the ambulance and slept on a four foot "bed" at OHSU all in the name of not wanting me to be alone. She was a trooper. And in the same sense, so was her husband and her kids for letting their mom be there for me and my family! I don't think she did sleep at all on the four foot "bed" but she did pray with me, process with me, encourage me and laugh with me. Jen, I couldn't have done all that we did without you. Your phone calls and texts the next many weeks to follow were amazing as well. You sacrificed in so many ways for me and my family and loved our sweet Maggie, thank you!

To the Rubesh's who let us stay at their house, thank you! Ken and Kathy are friends of my sister's husbands family, the Rummels and Christy and Tobin actually stayed there a couple of nights before taking off for Spokane. The Rubesh's offered their house and guest room to us as they only lived about 10 minutes away from the hospital. It was a God send. We could stay up at the hospital late and drive home, sleep, take a shower and regain some normalcy before heading back up to be with Maggie. We were close by in case anything happened and could spend all day at the hospital knowing we had a place to crash close by. We also were able to do our laundry as we had only packed for a two day stay at the hospital. It was a huge blessing, thank you!

My dear friend Sarah and her husband Jonathan. Thank you for letting me stay the night at your house as well. I know I showed up really late and kept Sarah up even later, but it was so refreshing. Sarah, you are a wonderful supportive friend to me and I thank you for all your visits while we were at the hospital and the Diet Coke and pizza you brought us. That is a true friend! Amongst all the craziness of the week, seeing you was like a calm in the storm. Thank you!

A huge thanks to my brother and his wife, thank you! Shortly after my sister called and notified them of what was happening my brother was ready to jump in the car at 3am to meet us at OHSU if we needed him. He was amazing. We ended up letting him sleep as nothing was happening once we got to OHSU and we wanted some sleep as well, but on Monday they had planned to leave for Eagle Crest and hadn't packed or anything, came up to visit us and bring us lunch and be with us. Andy and Ruth left their 4 kids and came to see us and Miss Maggie. My brother brought his camera and was able to capture some sweet images of her despite all the machines and tubes she was hooked up to. Ruth also took some of me and her the first time I got to see her in the NICU. Oh, that was a hard moment and Ruth was there to hold me and hug me and be there. I cried, man I cried and she cried too and so did my cousin Sammie. But it was a sweet tender moment and they were both there for me.

Andy and Ruth went to Eagle Crest and then returned home and came back to visit us again at the hospital after Andy got off work. They again left their kids and came to have dinner with us and sit with me in the NICU and hold Maggie for a little bit. They sacrificed time with their kids and those whose stepped up to help with their kids sacrificed. They loved us and supported us and called us to make sure we were doing okay and wanted us to know they were there for us. It was amazing. Thank you, Andy and Ruth, it meant a lot to me.

Christi Kurtz. Thank you for coming up with JJ and putting up with his crazyness in the car to visit us. Your encouragement from Jesus Calling that day was amazing. I still go back to reread it as it was so apparent to our circumstances and that day. Thank you! And thank you for taking pictures of our sweet baby and being with us that evening when we first got to hold Maggie and I got to nurse her for the first time on day 5 of her life. You are a true friend and sacrificed being with your family that evening to love on ours. And thank you to your husband for letting you come to share with us our sweet Maggie!

And a huge thanks to our amazing friend and photographer, Valerie Hibler. She put her day on hold to be on call for us to be ready to take pictures of the moment we got to hold our sweet Maggie for the first time. She had a babysitter on call and gas in her car to be ready when we called. She arrived and hung out with us for about 2 hours and had dinner with us before we actually got to hold Maggie. That was huge. Thank you! She took amazing pictures and has blessed us beyond measure with memories of that night we will always have. I just went and watched it the other day again and was crying. Maggie is lucky to have had her newborn photo session with Valerie and we look forward to six months and a year and many family sessions to come. Thank you, Valerie, for devoting that day to our family. We will forever cherish those memories!

A couple more quick shout outs. Thanks to Debbie for coming in the middle of the night to be with Lori and us at Silverton Hospital. She appeared like an angel and was a comfort to Lori and to us. Thank you, ,Debbie! Thanks to Shannon for selflessly cleaning our house and making it look beautiful! Thank you to Lauren for the beautiful roses and balloons that greeted us when we got home. And thank you to each person who brought us a meal. We ate well and loved each of them. Your gift to our family that was was thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated!

Thank you to each person who visited us at the hospital. Let me see if I can remember them all. If not, please don't think I am not thankful for you. Remember it was 5 weeks ago and I am a nursing, sleepless mother of two! Thank you to: Debbie Espinoza. Sammie, Austin and Maisie Lee. Andy and Ruth Miller. Jana, JJ, Finn Avison. Al and Lori DeBacker. Sarah and Jonathan Case. Nicki Williams. Valerie Hibler. Cindy Howard. Les and Jeanne Lloyd. Jen and Jeff Henderson. Cary Wood. Christi Kurtz. Janae. Heather and Charlie and kids Mauck. Christy and Tobin Rummel.

And finally, to EVERYONE who prayed. I know we don't know who everyone is because that is just how widespread Maggie's story was. Your prayers encompassed us and blessed us and petitioned our great God on Maggie's behalf and we are eternally grateful. I will post again soon on how she is doing and the full miracle that she is. But know for now, the way each of you stepped in to intercede on our behalf was truly a blessing beyond any measure. Our God is great and our God is big and we have witnessed that time and time again. THANK YOU!

So with a heart of thanksgiving, I say, thank you, thank you.


Monday, February 14, 2011

MAGnificent Maggie's Birth Story- Part III

Here we go. Can I finish this all up in this final part III without boring you all to tears. Well, at the end of my last portion of Maggie's birth story I was in major pain still in triage and they were debating what to do with me since I was only at a 1. Basically, the doctor was going to send me home since I was barely in labor. Generally, they will not admit you to the hospital till you are a 4 which they consider "active" labor. All I knew and Christy and AJ agreed, I was in labor! I was in pain, puking and could not keep anything down, not even a little drink of water. I was delirious from pain and no way could I go home and continue to labor at home considering how much pain I was in and the state of my puking. Well, nurse shift change happened and our new nurse came in to let us know they were sending me home. The previous nurse had taken out my IV and was going to get a wheelchair to get my out to the car and send me home. When the new nurse came on and came in to finish checking me out, she saw what kind of shape I was in and really started advocating for me along with my sister and AJ. She realized there was no way I could go home. All this time, I will fully admit it, I was begging with AJ to just get me a cesarean. I was done. I was in pain. This is just what we had talked about. I did not want to labor for hours and hours in pain. I get horrible back labor pains and puke and my body just wears out. Well, I did not want to go in to the new baby sleepless nights absolutely exhausted so we had agreed we weren't going to let it drag on for hours and hours. And all I could think about was it was going to be hours and hours since I had already been at it for so many and only a 1! So there, I was begging for a cesarean. Well, you know what? They won't just give it to you once you are in the hospital unless it is medically necessary. I wasn't medically necessary. I was in labor and things just weren't progressing very quickly so no need for that. The doctor told me I could go home, continue laboring and call my doctor in the morning to schedule a cesarean. Well, it was Sunday morning, my doctor wouldn't be in his office for another whole day. I wasn't going to wait that long. I was already feeling defeated. It was a very low point for me. So the new nurse, AJ and Christy all began to talk and the nurse decided to have another chat with the doctor to see what they could do to help me. She knew I couldn't go home. So the doctor came back in with her and said if they saw progress in me, they could check me in, and then they could get me set up to get an Epidural. Hallelujah! Those were the best words I had heard in a while. If I had any hope of making it, I needed some relief and rest. I was exhausted. So, back came another nurse to try and get my IV back in. She was an ER nurse and got it in first try! Hooked up the IV again and soon I was being transferred to another labor and delivery room. No more triage, I was admitted! Well, let me just say, that was the fastest wheelchair ride I have ever been on. The nurse was ready to get me settled in my room and order the Epidural for me. She was awesome! Paperwork, questions, EFM and such all had to happen before we could get the anesthesiologist in there. And she flew doing all that. Next thing, I was getting my epidural and man oh man, it felt like I was coming out of a fog and there was hope again! I think I said something to the affect of, "Okay, so what did I miss?" At times before I got the Epidural, I was so delirious and out of it, the doctor would have to say my name several times before I would respond and then she would have to make sure I was understanding what was going on and that I was okay with it. She wanted to make sure I was agreeing to the decisions being made and that AJ and Christy were not just making them for me. It was crazy how out of it I was. Now, I am hooked up to the Epidural in bed and it is maybe 8 or 9am. Christy and AJ have not slept at all and so we decide to all get some rest and let the contractions do their work. And now that I am in a regular room and not in triage, we have a new nurse. Chelsie is with us till 7pm that night and she was the nurse who helped Cary deliver Porter. She is a great nurse and was so nice to have a familiar face as she would spend all day with us. Once I got to a 4 and was in active labor, I was never to be without a nurse since I was attempting a VBAC. So if she went on a break, lunch, went to talk to the doctor or pee, another nurse would come in to be with me. So we all tried to rest. AJ was on the couch/bed. Christy was in the rocking chair and I was in bed. Ah, finally some rest. Little did we know, this would be the end of it for a really LONG time! So my body labored. I didn't do much. They would help me switch positions and we would watch Maggie's heart rate to make sure all was good. She did not like it when I would lay on my right side of my body so we tried rocking me to help change her position. She was just taking her sweet little time getting down and ready to come out. Porter came by with Al and Lori to see us and by 5 that evening I had only progressed to a 5. That was it. My contractions were very consistent but I was not progressing very quickly. I had texted my friend Jen earlier in the day to let her know nothing exciting was happening and that my phone was being used to take pictures for a time lapse video AJ wanted to make and if she needed anything to text AJ. Well, she apparently had AJ's number in her phone wrong so she was texting some random phone number all day long. That evening, Jana, texted Jen randomly to see if she would like to go out to the hospital with her and Lori to sit in the lobby and wait for Maggie's arrival. All very random how God works things out because had Jana not texted her, Jen would not have been there for all the crucial moments that she was there for and thus just a cool thing to see how God orchestrated it all. Maybe now Jen wishes Jana hadn't texted her, but I was very glad all 3 of them were there. So basically just like any normal body does that is in labor gets to a period called transition and can last for quite some time. The body just had to get ready for the end stages of labor and get all situated for that baby to come on out and meet the world. Well, my body hung out there for a LONG time. I mean, hours. Jen, Jana and Lori all arrived around 7:30 or 8 maybe and I was doing okay. I was getting tired and I was starting to feel a little more pain and I was begging AJ again for the cesarean, but he wouldn't let me. He kept pushing for the next check and encouraging me that I could do it. It was good to have some new faces and Christy and AJ needed a boost as well as I was wearing them out! I ended up getting another dose of the Epidural as my back was starting to hurt again and I was feeling way too much and was in a lot of pain. I was still very exhausted and again felt like how am I ever going to be able to push if I am in SO much pain. Epidural kicked in and I was good again. Then I got the crazy crazy shakes and developed a fever. I was sweating hot and shivering and shaking like mad. I could not control it. I could not think or talk. I went in to a zone. AJ, Christy and Jen were all laying cold washclothes on me because I was so stinking hot. They decided to start me on a dose of antibiotics as there was concern over my fever. It may have been when Maggie got stressed and pooped but no one really knows. And who knows why I had the fever. There was speculation of a uterine infection but then again, that came back negative. So we really don't know if and what caused Maggie any stress. They had broken my water while I was at a five and the fluid that came out was clear so she somehow and at some point got stressed and pooped after that. But then again, we have no idea why. So I have a fever, I am sweating like mad but I am cold. And I am shaking beyond all get out. I felt a little like Michael J. Fox. My sister for some weird reason when I said that I felt like Michael J. Fox thought I meant Michael Jackson and started making weird references to him. I was so confused but was in a weird place I didn't question it at the time. Later we talked and laughed about it because it was so random. She was really tired and was trying to help out her exhausted sister and do anything in her power to make me more comfortable. It was pretty funny after the fact. Anyways, I could not control the shakes. Finally, another check and I was dilated to 8!!! Yippee. Light at the end of the tunnel was getting a little bigger. I had told Jana, Lori and Jen that when it came time to push they would have to leave the room as I just wanted AJ and Christy and the staff. They understood. Well, a little bit passes and the doctor comes in a little after 10. She had had another delivery just prior to mine of a preemie that had to be transferred to OHSU via the PANDA team so she was terribly sorry she hadn't gotten in to my room sooner. Later, Lori told me when she saw the doctor in the hall and headed in to my room, she told Lori she was going to suggest at that point if I hadn't dilated to get a cesarean. Well, when she checked me I was a 10 and it was time to get this baby out. Things went in to place. Preparations were being made and nurses were arriving to help. Since I was a VBAC two additional nurses were in the room that wouldn't normally be there and again, looking back, I see the hand of God at work. My bed was pushed up, lights were turned on. AJ and Christy took their places on either side of me. AJ had one leg and Christy had another and they were holding my hand and ready to cheer me on. Our night nurse Shana was there and Dr. Keller was putting on her scrub hat. We were ready. It was a little before 11 and AJ was hoping we would have Maggie by 11. Well, about 15 minutes later, 11:10pm, Magnolia Raine was born! What relief, what excitement, I had a successful VBAC!! Oh, what what what....What was happening? My mind was racing? I thought my baby would be laid on my chest and we would have the tears of joy streaming down our face and she would start nursing at some point. But that wasn't happening. The doctor had suctioned her and then put her in the warming bed across the room. What all happens after this point is slow motion and I can't remember how all the people and things moved and happened. But somehow, AJ was standing over by Maggie, my sister was still next to me just asking Jesus to let Maggie breath and we were all just waiting to hear her cry. We never did. I was starting to panic but what could I do besides pray? I was spread eagle on the delivery bed and the room was filling with people. No longer was it low lit and peaceful. All the lights were on. My sister was praying out loud and AJ was standing over by Maggie speechless. Shana asked me if she could pray with me. Wow! It just brings tears to my eyes typing all this. It was rough. The rest you mostly know from other posts. Maggie was intubated in our room and then whisked down the hall to the nursery room at the hospital. OHSU was on the phone with the doctors in Silverton telling them what to do and that the PANDA team was on its way to transport her up to OHSU. My doctor was getting me set up to be transferred there since I had to be on antibiotics for the fever and possible infection I had to be transferred and couldn't go home yet. So by 4:00am that morning, I was getting out of bed to go pee and getting ready to check out. Maggie had been stabilized and was ready for transport. They wheeled her in to my room so I could see my little baby daughter for the first time. When she came out of me, she was covered in meconium. She was a dark brown color. She was not pink and vivacious. She was limp and dark brown. I never got to touch her, hold her or smell her hair. I saw her in the incubator on the stretcher and I cried. She was in a box, all by herself on a bazillion machines heading off to a huge hospital to be put on a cooling therapy protocol. I was scared. AJ went with Maggie up to OHSU and I was transported via ambulance and my dear friend Jen rode with me. Worst ride ever. I do plan on writing more about that in its own post. We made it to OHSU about 5am I was finally in another bed, in another hospital, in another city, on another floor than my daughter, but we were there. I started labor at home at 8pm on Saturday night of the 15th and finally at 5:30 am of Monday morning the 17th, we could go to bed! AJ was exhausted to say the least. I have never seen him that tired. When the NP came in that morning around 8 to talk to us and give us an update and ask for our consent to give Maggie blood as she was not clotting properly, I could not wake AJ up. I had to consent for her and I had no idea what I was doing. I was pretty bleary eyed myself. Thus began the journey of the first week of Maggie's life in the NICU. Wow. Wow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Newborn Photo Session

Our wonderful and talented friend, Valerie Hibler, took some amazing pictures of Maggie for her newborn session. When we found out we were pregnant with our second, I was determined to have newborn pictures taken of that baby. I didn't do that with Porter and my sister-in-law Jana did them for her son Finn and they turned out so well. So then when I saw that Valerie offered a 'belly to baby' package (maternity, newborn, 6 month and 1 year sessions) I was sold. We did our maternity and they were awesome. Then Maggie entered the world in the craziest way possible and Valerie agreed to do some photos for us at the hospital. I didn't know honestly if we would get a newborn session as I had no idea how long Maggie might be in the hospital. To my delight and all our amazement, Maggie came home at 1 week old and we had her photos session when she was 12 days old. Valerie likes to do them around 10 days! I was amazed and happy with how the photo session turned out. Maggie is perfect. Here are a few samples from the session. We love our little Magnolia Raine and we love Valerie Hibler Photography!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

MAGnificient Maggie's Birth Story- Part II

This is a continuation from a previous post. I do apologize as a mom of a baby in the NICU for a week and now at home with a 2 week old and a 21 month old, spare time to type is not something I have much of. So here I am working on Part II and who knows how long I have to type so let's jump in and see how far I get.

After the triage nurse and doctor confirmed I was only a "dimple" of a 1, the nurse suggested to me and to AJ and my sister that maybe if I got up and walked it might help things progress. So after puking a few more times, I climbed out of bed, sat in the chair and tried to get motivated to go for a walk. One would think walking when you are barely in labor or progressing wouldn't be that hard, but for whatever reason it was hard!

AJ and Christy convinced me to get moving and off we headed out the door of the triage room down the hall, right in front of the admitting desk. I felt lightheaded and horrible to say the least but my labor team was determined to get me to progress so they tried to convince me to keep going. I was hanging on to the railing in the hallway for dear life. I tried to convince them I was dizzy and going to pass out, but they were determined I was fine and keep pushing me a little further. Finally, I tried to kneel down on the floor because I was so lightheaded and they figured I meant business so they let me turn around and head back to the room. I think we had gone all of 20 feet! On the way back, I felt like I was going to puke again and really didn't want to in the middle of the hall, so I was holding it back with everything I had but gagging with each step. I would heave forward and hold it in all the while AJ would flinch back and gag slightly since he pukes when others are puking. My sister was quickly walking in front of us to get to the room and grab a barf bag. It was one of the more comedic moments in my head from that night.

I made it back to the room and onto the bed before puking which was a good thing, but that was the last time they convinced me to go walking. Later my sister told me she forgot how easily lightheaded I get and apologized for not believing me. Sometimes, I am a wimp and need some persuasion, but this was not one of those times!

So back in to bed I crawled and they decided to hook up a IV line and get some fluids in my body since I was puking so much and give me some anti nausea medicine that would also make me drowsy and help with the pain a little. So after three tries and a ER nurse, I was hooked up and getting fluids and some meds. I was feeling drowsy and would fall asleep after each contraction but would wake up with each one as they were painful. At this point I was starting to have back labor and that to me is the absolute worst. And all the while I just keep thinking, I am barely a 1, how am I ever going to make it to a 10??

Another side note, I have lost all track of times and so I really don't know times well. So who knows how long or short things and events were? All I do know is that I went to the hospital around 3am on Sunday morning and had Maggie at 11:10pm that night. I did labor at home from 8pm-3am with very consistent contractions so we will call Maggie's labor about 27 hours. Porter was a 36 hour labor so anything less was a win-win in my book. Um, looking back I am not sure I would agree with that now.

Well, Maggie is awake and ready to be fed and then off to bed. At this rate, this may be a 12 part series!! I will keep posting parts as I have time. My sister wrote most of the major details in her post a little while back, but I still want to get my memories and point of view down for all to read.

Thanks for keeping up with us and for all your thoughts, encouragement and prayers! We are so blessed by all who have prayed for us and supported us through this and continue too. Thank you!