Monday, November 22, 2010

One crazy, beautiful week!

November 22nd, 2010

1 week ago our little son was born! I still can't believe he's here, let alone it already being a week ago that I had surgery and met the most beautiful boy in the world. It's been a crazy week to say the least. Our lives have completely changed...but for the better. Asher has fully stolen my heart and I am so blessed to be his mommy!

I think I covered Monday pretty well in my last post! That was probably the most special and important day of my life...I will remember it always. Asher came into this world a tiny miracle!

Tuesday, Asher was started on some colostrum and did well with it. His breathing was being supported by a nasal cannula that was giving him oxygen and pressure to keep his lungs open. He was still getting antibiotics from the IV. There was talk about him going under photolight therapy because of his bilirubin levels but he was doing well. The hardest thing to see was how much he hated having the oxygen tubing on his face and that also that his eyes had been irritated by the erytrhomiacin that they gave him after birth. His eyes were red and swollen and he kept them shut most of the day. I got to hold him for over an hour that night. I just looked down at him and talked to him the whole time. I also changed his diaper and took his temperature for the first time. At one day old, he was my everything!

Wednesday, Asher was put under the lights and given some shades to protect his eyes. They were still irritated so again, we didn't get to see those big blue eyes all day. He didn't appreciate having yet another thing on his face. They started weening his oxygen from 2 liters down to 1 liter and they upped his feedings to 5 mls rather than the 1 ml they were giving him the day before. They also had to put in an NG tube just incase the increased feedings would poop him out. Yet another thing for those tiny hands to pull on! The little improvements made me so happy though, any progress was positive. At two days old, I was a very proud mommy!

Thursday, mommy got to be discharged from the hospital and go home. What a bittersweet day. I was so happy to get out of the hospital after being there for almost 2 weeks but I didn't want to leave my little pumpkin. I knew that the NICU was the best place for him, but to go home without him was so hard...little did I know, leaving him would get even harder and harder each time. Asher was still under the light therapy but I got to take him out that night and breastfeed him. He did really well for his first time. It was a learning process for both of us. His eyes were feeling better too so while he was eating, he looked up at me and it melted my heart. What an amazing bonding experience! They also decreased his oxygen again to .5 liters and upped his feedings to 10 mls. He is such a trooper! At 3 days old, my heart ached when I was away from him.

Friday, Asher was doing great! They upped his feedings to 15 mls and weened him completely off of the oxygen. We were so impressed with his improvements and I think he was happy to get the oxygen out of his nose. We were struggling with breastfeeding so we stuck to the bottle mostly. I tried to stay optimistic with it but it's a little discouraging when things don't work out instantly. But, Asher was still very little and I had to realize that it may take awhile for him to be strong enough. At 4 days old, I knew my prayers were being answered!

Saturday, Asher was taken off of the photolight therapy. He was wide awake and hungry when we came to visit in the morning. I was given a nipple shield which worked wonders. He latched right on and was a piggy! It was great to see his progress and it was very encouraging for me. Auntie Renae came to visit and we went back up to see him in the late afternoon. I think he was pooped out from earlier because he seemed disinterested in his bottle and just wanted to sleep and snuggle when we were there. Luckily, he did eat and they didn't have to use his NG tube. That evening he did a little better but I could tell he was still very tired. At 5 days old, I went home a little worried about the most precious thing in my life!

Sunday, Asher did great with his feedings. He was upped to 30 mls and had a standing order to increase it to 35 mls if he handled the 30 mls. He was also switched to intermediate care which meant they had to monitor him a little less. They finally put some clothes on him and were getting him ready to go in a crib! When we came to visit that evening, he looked like a new little man. He was fully clothed, hat and all...just adorable! The next step is recovery which is the process of getting him ready to go home. He just needs to start gaining some weight! They didn't give us a day, but we knew we were moving in the right direction. At 6 days old, I was excited and looking to the future!

Sunday........Today Asher is 1 week old! I cannot believe it. I am so amazed by the progress he has made already. I am so so in love and I'm very proud of my little son! I am happy he is in good hands but I cannot wait to bring him home and have him here with me. My heart is full of joy, I am so blessed to have such a beautiful son! At only one week old, I feel like he has completed my life. There is nothing better than the miracle of a child. I love you Asher Mitchell with my whole heart!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Asher Mitchell--Our miracle!

November 17th, 2010

Our beautiful, wonderful, perfect little miracle has arrived! Asher Mitchell Hermanson made his debut Monday morning, November 15th at 7:48 a.m. He weighed 4 lbs, 13 oz and was 17.5 inches long. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. He is amazing!

Sunday was my 26th birthday and I had quite a bit of company that day but I wasn't feeling very well. I was wishing the day would pass quickly because I just wanted to get to Monday so we could see the specialist. I was having contractions every 10-15 minutes and they were pretty intense so I was given a shot of Brethine at about 2:30 in the afternoon to stop them. The shot worked for about 5-6 hours and the contractions started to come back again. So at about 9:00 that evening I got another shot and they started me on some fluids. I fell asleep shortly after and at about 3:00 in the morning I woke up to more contractions. I also noticed that my arm felt really "tight." The nurse came in and said that the IV had quit working and that I needed a new one. While I was waiting for the Anesthesiologist to come in and start my new IV (for the third time) I got up to go to the bathroom and felt a little "gush" which soaked my underwear. I let the nurse know and she tested it and it was in fact, amniotic fluid. At this point, I was pretty upset. They did an ultrasound to check the fluid level and I just remember shaking and crying through the whole thing. The baby was still looking great on the monitor so the on-call doctor didn't act right away. At about 5:30 that morning, she wanted to check my cervix because I was still having contractions and leaking fluid. She used a scope and confirmed that my membranes had definitely ruptured at which point, she called my regular doctor who decided he wanted to come in and do a c-section right away that morning.

Needless to say, I was pretty stunned and very scared. I called Danny and my mom and they both came right over. It wasn't an "emergency" c-section but more of an "urgency." In a matter of minutes, I had three nurses in my room starting a catheter, IV fluids, shaving me, and getting everything ready for the surgery. I can't really explain how I was feeling. I was excited that I was finally going to meet my little one but I was so scared because he was coming too soon. It was a wave of emotions that I don't think I will ever be able to explain. I was taken to the OR and had a spinal. Then they brought Danny in and he sat by my head while they worked on getting the baby out. Danny was such a great support for me. He rubbed my cheek and kept me distracted....and when we finally heard the beautiful sound of our son crying, I lost it. We just looked at eachother and smiled and cried. We've been waiting to hear that precious sound for years....and when it came, it was more amazing than I could have ever imagined!

After they got him cleaned up, I got to see him for just a second before they took him to the NICU. Danny went with him. That was the point where my emotions went a little crazy again. I felt alone. I was so proud of that little boy, I just wanted to hold him and never let him go but I couldn't. I was stuck on that table getting stitched back up, not able to move. I kept pretty calm but I remember near the end, a moment where I got really warm and a little panicky. It was awful! Recovery wasn't much fun either. I was sweating, and shaking, and couldn't move my legs for a few hours. I felt horrible when all I really wanted was to feel fine and go see my perfect little son! When I finally started to get feeling back and was able to get up....Danny and I finally got to go see our little guy. We hadn't picked a name yet so that was also on the to-do list.

He was in the NICU, all hooked up to monitors and he had an IV and a nasal cannula for oxygen. He's so little at 4lbs 13 oz and 17.5 inches long but everything about him is just perfect. He has perfect features and he just amazes me! We talked to him and held his sweet little hands and were just in awe by what a beautiful little person we had created. And we could tell he knew we were there...he woke right up and was alert the whole time. He has gorgeous blue eyes and little peach-fuzz blonde hair. It took a while to decide on his name. We were throwing around 3 names but Asher just fit. He looks like an Asher and the meaning of "happy, blessed" is exactly what we feel having him here. So he is Asher Mitchell. Mitchell is in honor of Danny's younger brother who passed away 5 years ago.

Later on in the evening, my mom and dad wanted to go see him so they took me back to the NICU and I got to hold him for the very first time. Just writing about that moment brings tears to my eyes. I snuggled my little man and didn't want to ever ever let him go. I don't think I've ever had a more beautiful moment in my life. Holding him made all of my hurt go away. He truly is a miracle!

Today we went back to visit him and he's still doing very good for his size and gest. age. He's getting antibiotics and is still on oxygen. They are going to start trying to feed him some of my colostrum (sp?) and he may have to get some photolight therapy because he's a little jaundice. But he's definitely a little fighter and he's hanging in there! I'm just so incredibly happy and relieved that he is here and that he's doing well. He means everything to me! And one of the most amazing things I've witnessed is how much Danny is in love with him. It makes my heart flutter knowing that I have such an amazingly beautiful little family and I just couldn't be happier!

I want to thank everyone again for all of the prayers and support! Little Asher continues to need prayers though....he has a tough road ahead of him to continue to grow and get strong. They are thinking he will be in the NICU for about 2 weeks. I can't wait to have him home!

Here he is only a few hours old, alert and beautiful!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unexpected blessing in disguise

November 12th, 2010

Nothing ever seems to come easy for Danny and I. If you've been keeping up with my pregnancy, you know how stressful it's been for me. I guess I wasn't worried enough because things just got a little more complicated.

I worked last weekend and was feeling exhausted. On Monday, I left work early and decided to go home to rest but I just didn't feel right. I had noticed a decrease in movement as well as just not feeling great. I was scheduled to have my regular NST on Tuesday but I decided to call the clinic on Monday afternoon just to see if I should maybe come in earlier. Guess my mama bear instincts have already set it. They told me to come in for my NST that afternoon and the doctor decided he also wanted another ultrasound. I've had numerous ultrasounds now so I somewhat know what they are looking for but this time was a little different. The technologist was paying extra close attention to the placenta and the umbilical cord. When I met with the doctor right after the ultrasound, I already suspected that something was not right. He explained that they baby looks great but that it looked like there was a vessel that was unprotected by the cord or placenta and that it could cause serious complications. Instantly, my eyes filled up and my head started to spin...serious complications is something I don't know that I could deal with. He admitted me to the hospital to be monitored around the clock.

The complication is called Vasa Previa. The infant death rate is huge when not diagnosed because of how fast complications can happen. If the membranes rupture or the cervix begins to dialate, the vessel could be severed and the baby most likely will bleed to death. However, the chances for fetal survival are much better once diagnosed and this is why we are ever so lucky! God was looking out for us on Monday! The baby will need to be delivered by c-section so surgery is in my near future. We are all hoping that everything will stay calm and we are able to keep this baby from being delivered for a couple of more weeks to ensure that development is more mature. So for now, I am spending my days hooked up to a monitor so that I can listen to my precious little one's heartbeat at every moment.

They gave me two steroid shots to help with the lung development of baby and on Tuesday I was given a 24 hour dose of Magnesium Sulfate to help with the neurological development of baby. I can handle 2 shots in the buttcheek but boy did that Magnesium Sulfate mess me up! I had a headache, my neck hurt, my eyes were unfocused and blurry and I hardly had any appetite. Luckily when they shut it off, I began to feel normal again after a few hours. Thursday and Friday have been good days. I've had a few visitors which has been great. It's fun to see my friends and family and it definitely helps to pass the time. It's evident how important a solid support system is in a time like this. I don't know what I would do without the love, support and prayers of the people around me.

Sunday is my 26th birthday. Sitting in a hospital bed isn't exactly my idea of a grand ole time but knowing that my baby is being looked after is all the birthday gift I can ask for! There is nothing more important to me than bringing this baby into the world as happy and healthy as possible! So even though I may not be happy to be here, I feel blessed to know that we are being taken care of. I have an amazing doctor and he's very proactive!

Monday we will see a specialist from maternal medicine. I will be getting a thorough ultrasound scan of the placenta and cord to confirm or disprove the diagnosis. I'm hoping that it's possible that this vessel being unprotected just isn't the case. That would help me sleep better at night. But either way, I know the plan is still the same and I will be here until baby arrives. I will try update once we know more after that appointment.

For now, we just continue to ask for prayers for our precious baby! There is nothing more spectacular than the miracle of life. I am a mother and this baby is my world....I would do anything and everything to make it possible for baby to be healthy. God is good and we are optimistic!

Baby Hermanson, I know I am unable to wrap you in my arms tonight, but I am so grateful that we can wrap our prayers around you and know that God's hands are protecting you! You are safe in God's love.

Monday, November 1, 2010

BOO! A post full of scary...or maybe not

November 1st, 2010

Last night was Halloween, but it was VERY low key in the Hermanson household. We didn't get any trick-or-treaters so we ate candy together and watched the Vikings lose again (the season they are having is scary!) and the World Series.

On Friday I had another NST which baby again failed so I had to have another ultrasound. Each time baby doesn't pass one of these tests, it scares me. I'm tired of being scared with this pregnancy, but I know that it won't be over until baby is here in our arms- happy AND healthy! Anyway, baby passed the bio physical profile ultrasound so I was again very relieved. After the tests I took off for home. It was my beautiful niece Gianna's 5th birthday and I couldn't miss it! Who doesn't want to go to a Minnie Mouse party? It was a blast to see my nieces and nephews and spend time with family. I also got to see my aunt Mary from California so that was fun too!

Ealier on in the week we got more scary news. SNOW was in the forecast! The thought of it makes me shiver. Luckily, Fargo only got a light dusting but my in-laws weren't as fortunate. Eight inches of wet, heavy snow struck their farm making it hard for them to even travel. And travel was exactly what they were set on doing. They all hopped in Brad's (Danny's brother) pickup and faced the unpleasant roads all in the name of Pink Floyd (well, technically just Roger Waters.) They had gotten us all tickets to go to Minneapolis for a concert. Once in Fargo, the roads were fine and we made it to the concert in one piece. It was a very entertaining concert, one of the best I've ever seen (minus the "smoke"---if you know what I mean.)

Okay, so most of that wasn't all that scary. Probably the scariest thing for me right now is that we are now at the gestational period where we lost Gabriel. It happened between 32 and 33 weeks. I know a repeat isn't likely, but I can't help by worry. I pray that in 5-6 weeks we will have our little pumpkin here safely in our arms. Hopefully the next few weeks will pass by without anymore scares. Is that too much to ask?

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