Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Smitten

That pretty well defines the way Blake and I feel. We are CRAZY about a certain little boy named Crosby! The past 60 hours with him in our lives have been absolutely amazing. We are completely and totally in love with this 5 pound 7 ounce baby!!!

Wouldn't you know the internet connection was down all day long yesterday. We now have this precious baby we want to share with everyone and we couldn't. So, I have some catching up to do...

Just as a recap, Crosby was admitted to the NICU on Monday night due to difficulty breathing.

video

(note to self: DO NOT speak on videos...you sound like such a hick...)
While his "grunting" may sound adorable, it is a sign of increased effort with breathing. He was having to work very hard to keep his oxygen saturation at a safe level. Once admitted to the NICU, he was started on vapotherm and the problem was quickly resolved. They were actually able to ween him of this assistance within 24 hours!


All hooked up in the NICU...

Crosby was not able to take a bottle initially in order to conserve his energy for breathing. But as of 9:00 on the 30th, he was able to try his first 10cc bottle. He did great, taking it in less than 2 minutes!
His meal was followed with a rather large belch for someone so small!! You might not be able to hear it but the picture was too cute not to share. By the end of the day, he was able to increase to 25ccs without any problem!

Crosby got his first bath at 3:00 am on the 31st. They waited until he had been off vapotherm for a few hours to make sure he would be able to tolerate such activity. He was one unhappy baby while they were washing him up. But he did not mind having his head scrubbed. It was great to finally see his hair soft and clean.


We were hoping Crosby would be discharged from the NICU to the regular nursery today. We had a minor set back that prevented him from doing so. He was having a little difficulty regulating his body temperature early this morning. They wanted to hold him back a bit longer just to be safe. However, he is now in a crib, with no warmer, and seems to be doing well on his own.

A discharge to the 7th floor nursery will depend on 2 things. As I have stated, he needs to maintain his body temperature. Secondly, they will also retest his billirubin level in the morning to make sure it has not increased. He should leave the NICU if all goes well. From there, he will most likely move to the regular nursery on the 7th floor. I will technically be discharged from the hospital. However, we will be given the chance to "room in" with him tomorrow night. Kind of a trial run before sending us home on our own. We are praying that all will go smoothly and we will be able to take Crosby home by the end of the week.

Have I mentioned that we are crazy about this little boy? He is perfect in every single way. We could not have asked for a better ending to 2008. We are looking forward to spending 2009 with Crosby in our lives. Thank you Lord for giving us this amazing little boy!

I would love to post more, but I am in need of a few hours of sleep at this point! I will try to update tomorrow as discharge plans become available. For now, I will drift of to sleep with the scent of my baby from the gown he was wearing today... It doesn't get much sweeter than this...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Update from Uncle Jesse (aka Justin)

Hello all, Danielle asked me to post that they don't have internet at the hospital right now, but that all is well with them and Crosby. They will be posting once they can get online. Thanks for checking in!

And I must say, he is a handsome boy!!! Have Mercy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quick Update











We were allowed to visit Crosby at 8:30pm; a few hours after new breathing treatments were started. It was comforting to see him breathing much easier and finally resting. Maybe we will actually get a little rest ourselves. What a long but wonderful day!! Wanted to share a few pictures of his new setup...

Meet Our Little Miracle




Crosby Fox Malone
5 pounds 10 ounces
18.5 inches
11:24 am

At 35 weeks and 5 days, our little guy made his entrance into the world. I could not have asked for a better labor and delivery. Crosby is doing well. He was taken to the transitional nursery for observation due to grunting. We were hoping he would be able to correct his breathing on his own. However, the neonatologist just left the room letting us know that he has decided to transfer Crosby to the NICU. They will use vapotherm to help expand his lungs and help decrease his effort with breathing. The doctor is not too concerned about the situation but, of course, we are a little anxious. We want so desperately to hold him in our arms.


We have been so blessed by your willingness to pray for our son. God is good and we give Him ALL the glory for giving us this gift. Please continue to pray for the health of this boy as the doctors see him through his first day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

For Pete's Sake...

So, I am not sure what that was all about. I think my body decided to do a systems check of my pain receptors. Once it got a good reaction out of me, it stopped! I will repeat myself and just say, lovely!

It is just like my body to go into full throttle contraction mode, making me want an epidural so bad I can hardly stand it and then just stop. And, probably laugh about it! That is basically what has happened. Sure, I am having a few uncomfortable contractions...and maybe even...oh my goodness...5 and hour!!! Maybe I should call someone??!!!! : )

I am trying to work out a deal with the 'ole uterus now. If we are going to have pain on that scale again, a baby needs to result. None of this back and forth business, please. Why I think my uterus listens to a word I say, I do not know. Maybe we are on better terms now. It is worth a try...

I will be sure to update any changes as they occur! Did you really expect anything other than the continued rollercoaster? This is starting to feel more like a really bad soap opera. Let me just drag out the suspense as long as possible. He will probably look like a 10 year old when he is born...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Baptist Round 2

Let me start by saying I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!! We had a great time with our families! My activity restriction meant all festivities took place in our living room. We
gathered with the Lipscombs on Tuesday night and the Malones yesterday afternoon/evening. I think it is safe to say a good time was had by all!

Well, our prayers were answered once again. We made it through Christmas without going into labor! Dr. B is officially back in the office! I saw him with my own 2 eyes! If you can recall, that was not exactly planned. I took the last dose of my medicines yesterday evening. As of this morning, I am drug free and off bedrest!!! Oddly enough, I started to have contractions this morning. They were about 5 minutes apart when I started paying attention. Around lunch, they were about 4 minutes apart and I was getting a little more uncomfortable. I decided it would be a good idea to let Dr. B know. Sure enough, he wanted me to come into the office.

The short version is no dilation. Just contracting anywhere from every 2-5 minutes. He admitted me to triage for monitoring. The little guy is tolerating this increased activity very well and he passed the non-stress test with flying colors. Due to the lack of dilation, they sent me on home. It was a relief to know he was handleing things just fine. However, I am quite uncomfortable/painful at this point! Well, at least every few minutes anyway. Lovely!

So my request...something's gotta give!! My cervix needs to just go ahead and dilate OR these contractions need to go away. At this point, the first option sounds pretty good to me!! If I am going to be in this kind of pain, I would rather get on with the show! Dr. B thinks the little one is around 6 pounds! Not so little anymore... I also ran into Dr. C at the hospital and he was so thrilled with the progress! (I haven't seen him since I left the hospital in October) I told him I have been trying my best to prove him wrong since 24 weeks. He just laughed and gave me a hug! It is good to know he is working tonight as well...just in case! Both doctors feel good about the health of the baby if he were to be born from here on out.

Now we are playing the waiting game. They discharged me from triage with orders to call if I "have more than 5 contractions an hour." Does 16 an hour count? Yeah...this could be a long night...or few days...or weeks...yikes!!!

We'll update with changes!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Showers!!!

I wanted to get this post up before now but there were tons of pictures to sort through. As some of you know, I am pretty critical of any picture in which I am included. I finally had to give up and just accept reality, I look pregnant! So without further ado...

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A week ago, we had friends and family shower this little guy with lots of love! It all started with our small group on Thursday, December 11. Despite the snow and ice, they made the trek to our house bearing food and gifts!

The decor included onesies and "diapers" filled with skittles and peanut butter M & M's!!!
Justin and Blake F. posing...

Brett and Lesley...
Jill and Moriah...
Blake opening the gift from the group...a car seat!!! You are thinking the box is a little small... Actually, it was a picture of the car seat!:) The real deal came to our house 2 days later. Seeing how we really want to bring this little one home from the hospital, we were thrilled!
He has clothes!!!
Group shot: Katie, Julie, Justin, Stephen, half of Chad and Blake F...
The girls: LeAnne, Julie, Moriah, Me, Lesley, Jill, Katie and Stacey...

Another group shot: Stacey, Lance, Stephen, Nugget, Chad, Justin and Blake F. I think Blake J. was tucked away behind my brother. We wouldn't want to leave him out...

The seat itself!!! Blake and I carefully read the manual as instructed. This was our trial run and my bear found it quite comfortable. The base has since been installed in the back seat of our car. Although we have heard horror stories about getting them in, it took Blake less than 5 minutes!??! I don't know if we should be concerned or not. Maybe we will drive by the police station for an inspection just to be sure...

Stacey made an AWESOME mobile with her own 2 hands. I don't know if my one armed photography skills do it justice. It is precious...

A close up...

Our small group has been a life saver to us in more ways than one. They have cheered us on through all 3 pregnancies. They have repeatedly listened to us as we cry our eyes out over the loss of our girls. They cried too. They made the programs, designed the screens and managed the music and sound for the memorial service. They have been bringing food anywhere from 2-4 times a week for the past 17 weeks. The list goes on and on and on. Suffice it to say this is an amazing group and we have been blessed by their presence in our lives! Thank you guys...

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On Saturday, December 13, most of my coworkers from Stallworth came over for lunch. I was so great to see them all together. I met this group as a measly and inexperienced PRN OT in outpatient. Despite my lack of skills, they taught me a thing or two and made me feel like part of the family in the process.

Amy, Shelley, Evan (with a sippy cup over his face :)) Danielle and Alivia. Of course you can't miss Nugget, who is fixated on Amy's lunch!
The little ones: Dylan and Evan...

Opening gifts...

Me, Evan and Shelley...
Me with Dylan, Amy and Alivia. Miss Alivia was upset she couldn't change from her pink dance tights to her white ones. I cropped her legs out of the picture so you couldn't see! ; ) Such the fashionista! And just so you know, Amy is the one who went on and on about her wonderful OB/GYN...Dr. B. So, glad I took her word for it...

Danielle and Barbee...

Lots of goodies for the little guy...


Not only are these some of the best therapists I have ever worked with, they have also been a HUGE support system for me over the past 2 years. They loved our girls from the moment they learned of their existence. They were so patient with me as I slowly picked up the pieces and headed back to work. They have been a blessing to work with. I am pretty sure it is safe to say they are so excited to meet this little boy! Thank you for everything!!!

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On Sunday, December, 14 we had "the cousins" shower! There are lots of boys on Blake's mom's (grammar?) side of the family. All of their wives/significant others and Blake's aunt and helped plan this day. It was a blast to have all the girls together!

Lots of food...

Yikes...should have worn a solid instead of a print...

Cutting the cake...


Anne Claire and Lori...

Lots of gifts...

Mrs. Brinker and Carina...


Group shot...

My mom, Mrs Heim, Jen and Lori...

A few of me opening gifts...



Blake's aunt, Lisa, and her mom...so cute...

My mom...


Lucy and Anne Claire...

Jody...


There is never a dull moment at a Fox family gathering! I am lucky to have married into such a wonderful family. And to think this is only a few of them!! They have been so great to us, with numerous visits and meals. I see more girls nights in the future!! Maybe I can talk them into letting a certain little boy tag along every now and then. Thank you for a great day!
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And I have to mention this. Although I was not there, a group of teachers from Whitthorne Middle School threw a shower for my mom! They surprised her one afternoon with cake and gifts. She was completely floored by their generosity, as was I! Thank you so much for loving our family!
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5 hours later...
So there you have it! Lots and lots of pictures! I can't tell you how nice it was to have a house full of faces 3 out of 4 days. It sure made sitting at home a lot more fun! Blake has since gotten everything organized and arranged in the baby's room! He got my input from across the hall. I will get to check things out for myself in the near future!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So you're saying there's a chance?

The past few days have been very busy and LOTS of fun!!!! This little guy was showered with gifts from friends and family on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday! Our house has been filled with people and I have loved every minute of it. More to come on that...with pictures... :)

Apparently, someone caught wind of all this activity and now thinks it could be a good time to put some of his belongings to use!! My ultrasound was relatively uneventful. As far as cervical length goes, there was no real change-10mm. However, his measurements are a bit larger! 5lbs 1 oz!! He is a growing boy who still seems to have lots of hair. We were able to catch lots of good practice breaths despite him moving all over the place. Too bad he had his hand in front of his face. Seeing how it will likely be my last ultrasound, I was hoping for one last peek!

Dr. B was pleased with the ultrasound report and wants to continue with my current medication routine. He will be out of the office the 19th -25th so we discussed plans for the next 2 weeks. He tentatively gave me permission to take a few outings via wheelchair. The only deal breaker would be the results of the fFN and he would call me with the results. Having had a fairly calm week, I wasn't too concerned about that.

In the meantime, I made plans to spend tomorrow with Blake, running a few errands. And then I thought we would make it to small group on Thursday night. Lots of plans. Dr. B called around 5:45 with the results. I got my first positive. What? Did he say positive? He did...

So, there is a 30% chance I will go into labor in the next 2 weeks. Great. Just in time for Dr. B to be out of the office! Needless to say, my plans were quickly changed and I will remain on the couch instead! As I have said before, this test is not a good predictor of going into labor. It is better at predicting if you will NOT go into labor. So, this little guy could stay put another 4 weeks. It is just that the chances are now a little higher that he won't.

If anything were to happen from this Wednesday on, all he will do to try and stop labor is fluids. Stronger meds are contraindicated beyond 34 weeks. If the little guy says put through next Monday, Blake will be responsible for giving me my last progesterone injection. And if I make it to Christmas day(35w1d), it will be the last time I take terbutaline and procardia.

I really, really, really, really do not want to go into labor the 19th-25th. Dr. B is in town and will have his pager. But there will be times he is unavailable. We have been through so much with him at our side. I think I would cry my eyes out if he weren't with us when this little guy is born. He said he would do the same! It may be a silly request, but please pray that Dr. B will be there when the time comes.

So there you have the latest news! I will post pictures from this past week very soon!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessings along the way

Over the course of the past 2 years, I have tried my best to understand why our life story had to include the loss of 2 daughters. The normal (according to books on grief) questions pop into my head. "Was it something I did?" "Is it because I didn't..." Knowing life just happens, the answer to those questions are very clear..."No!" I have had to settle with the fact I will never completely understand the "whys" I have been left with.

There is one "purpose" in this difficult journey I will gladly accept: reaching out to others in similar situations. I have come to realize there are families all around us who know the loss of a child. Actually, it seems like they are everywhere. Is this occurrence on the rise? Or are more people willing to share their loss openly this day and age? I tend to think the later. Whatever the case may be, it is very easy for me to connect with people who have walked a similar path as mine. These are a few connections that come to mind...


*I get regular comments from 2 families (that I am aware of) who lost children years
ago. They both sent letters telling me of their losses. I have met with one on several occasions, listening to her story and talking about the grieving process.

*In March of '07, a coworker told me of a girl in Mississippi who lost her first daughter to a placental abruption within weeks of losing Finley. We have corresponded on several occasions.

*Then there is Blake's family friend, Corey, who battled infertility for years, suffering
miscarriage after miscarriage. She became my sounding board after losing Finley. She was
able to hear all of my feelings and emotions without condemnation or judgement. She allowed me to express my anger, frustration, fear and disappointment because she understood. She was there once again when we lost Caroline.

*There are 2 girls I met at Stallworth who share the the same PAI-1 clotting disorder I have. It was reassuring to hear their plan for future pregnancies was similar to mine.

*There are 2 girls from church that have met with me on multiple occasions. One suffered multiple miscarriages and the other lost a baby shortly after birth. They have taken me to lunch just to talk. They call, email, and bring food. Anything to be supportive.

*There are 2 girls I have met through the blog. They happened upon my story "by
coincidence" and have diligently shared their lives with me, offering continual support.
One lost twin daughters during her first pregnancy. Erin The other lost a little boy around
the same time I lost Finley. She then lost a little girl near Caroline's birth and death. Shellie

*Most recently, I met a girl while waiting for an ultrasound. We had small talk about the the length of our wait. I blamed it on people like me, who had to be worked in. She was a work in as well. We see the same doctor and both love him to death. Then one of us asked the
dreaded question, "Is this your first?" (I think it was me) I am not sure why I asked it
because I hate that question myself. I have to tell the truth and I suppose my response makes
some people uncomfortable. I was surprised when her response was similar to mine. She proceeded to tell me she lost her little boy in March, right after we lost Caroline. Instant connection. Melissa

*And you have met Karen, Chad, Izzy, Max and Kate over the past few weeks. They
have been a source of encouragement during this pregnancy. We have compared notes along
the way. "Is your doctor doing this...? "How far did they tell you the babies would need to be before..."


I received an email this morning letting me know Melissa has been hospitalized. Several of my "blessings" are expecting babies within the next few months: Corey, Shellie and Melissa. All considered high risk pregnancies, they are in my thoughts and prayers throughout each day.


I sit here, 33 weeks pregnant, feeling pretty confident that we will bring home a baby boy within the next few weeks. Yet, there is a tiny part of me that cannot seem to fully believe it will happen. I don't know that I will until I hear him cry or hold him, breathing, in my arms. There is a little voice in the back of my head that knows something could still go wrong. Is it lack of faith? Maybe. Or is it simple acknowledgement of reality? Life happens and sometimes it does not turn out how we planned. It could be a little of both.

Each of my "blessings along the way" know loss well. At this time, they are all hopeful for the future. But there is still the inevitable worry, doubt, anxiety, fear and concern that all will not go as planned. It may not consume their thoughts, as it does not consume mine. But, it is there. I wanted to share these families with you. Just as I have been blessed to know them, I have been blessed by each and every prayer you have lifted on our behalf. I would ask that you remember them in the next few days, weeks and months. I want so desperately for each of our stories to be different this time. If you could pray for them as well I would so appreciate it! I don't think they would mind my asking this of you!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The latest news

It seems like I have one good report after another these days! Praise God! Things have been relatively quiet since Thursday. I have had contractions but not enough to cause concern. That being said, I was fairly confident that today would be uneventful. Sure enough, there is not too much to report! The most exciting news is that baby boy now measures 4 pounds and 5 ounces. That is right around the average weight for his gestation. My cervix was still short, 11mm, but no real change since last week. So, I will continue with the same med routine: terbutaline every 4 hours and procardia once a day. I get to go out for one brief outing and that is just to get a flu shot! Now that is exciting! I get to ride a half mile to Kroger and a half mile back! Believe it or not, it sounds like fun to me. I haven't been to Kroger in ages! Too bad I didn't make it to the hockey game Saturday night...I could have gotten one for! :) Anyway, if all remains calm, I don't go back to see Dr. B until Monday! I will do my best to make sure I don't see him before!

And just to clarify...If you read the Daily Herald, please note that "Blake" is not due in January!!! Just a type-o!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A few of my favorite things

Christmas trees!!! REAL Christmas trees! There is nothing better than the scent of a Frasier Fur floating throughout the house. I am the one who insists we get the tree the day after Thanksgiving. I am meticulous about stringing the lights around the trunk first and then around the branches, using about 6-7 strands of lights on a 7 foot tree!! Then, I usually get Blake to help me with the ornaments. He doesn't mind because they are all dated. We talk about where we were when we bought this one or that one. Fun to reminisce... Because getting the tree is MY favorite thing, I was wondering how it would all turn out this year!





Blake was sweet enough to pick up the slack for me. Not only did he go get the tree, he gave up an Iron Bowl ticket to stay home with me, "just in case" something happened. Of course, nothing happened, so technically he could have gone! Anyway, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, he headed off to Home Depot to get my tree. Once he got it inside, he spent an hour our so trying his best decorate it like me. I let him off the hook and we only used 4 strands of lights this year...too meticulous for him! I think the end result looks pretty good!


I was allowed to hang the stockings!


Another thing I love about Christmas is receiving cards. I am obsessed with checking the mail as it is. I take it to a new level during Christmas. So far, we have gotten 6 cards from early birds! It seems like we get more and more each year, which thrills me to no end!! As for our cards, I love to make them myself. Someone got me started with it the second year we were married. I have done so for the past 5 years. I looks like I am going to have to take this year off! I can't exactly make it to Michael's to pick out paper, ribbon, etc. I will have to make up for it next year!!! At least I got Blake to agree to a picture by the tree...

On a different note...

Fed Ex rang the door bell on Friday with a delivery. Looks like the little guy will have a place to sleep now! I ordered the crib on Tuesday from Land of Nod and it was here in 3 days! Pretty impressive shipping. Hopefully it will look good in the room. Everyone that has seen it says it looks great! I'll know soon enough...