Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bentley: 1 month old

I can't believe how fast the first month went by! I guess it doesn't help that the first two weeks were in the hospital so it really only feels like he had been home for 2 weeks. We have enjoyed every minute of him being home and it is so fun to watch his personality develop. When we first brought him home he would only cry when he was hungry or needed a diaper change. He is such a good baby and we can't get over how much he is changing every week.

Some facts about his first month:

  • When he was three days old he started trying to hold his head up by himself and each week his neck is getting stronger and stronger. 
  • He loves to be in his swing! There are times that his swing is the only thing that will get him to sleep.
  • He just recently started to enjoy his bouncer. He loves when I set it right under our skylight so that he can look up at the sunlight.
  • He loves sleeping on his belly. He takes after his mom in that regard. I am a little too paranoid to let him sleep that way at night but I usually let him take one nap during the day that way and that is the one nap where he sleeps the best.
  • He loves to cuddle with his daddy and lay on his chest. It is so cute to watch my two boys together I love it!
  • When I give him a bath he will be enjoying it and then all of a sudden he will throw both arms in the air and his eyes will get huge and then he will start crying. It is kind of sad but I always giggle at him when he does this because it is so dramatic haha.
  • He has just started to smile while he is awake and is starting to try to coo at me. I just love looking at his adorable smile!
  • He is still wearing size newborn clothes and probably will for a couple more weeks. I have tried putting some 0-3 month clothes on him and they completely drown him!
  • We weighed him at his blood work checkup when he was a month old and he weighed 7lbs 4 oz. 

Because he was in the NICU for so long we weren't able to get any newborn pictures taken but my awesome friend Julie Hale came over and took some one month pictures of him. I loved all of them but here are just a few.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bentley Keith Hall Part 2

Our stay in the NICU:

The next day they had taken Bentley into the nursery to do all the newborn checks on him and it took them forever to bring him back in. They finally did and then someone came and took him back again. Then the pediatrician came into our room. He said that the bruising that was on Bentley's face and back was caused by blood vessels breaking. They had pricked his little heel to do the normal newborn blood work and his heel didn't stop bleeding for almost 30 minutes. When they got his blood work back it was evident why. His platelet count was at a 14. Meaning he basically had no blood clotting ability to stop the bleeding. Also his white blood count was so low that there were basically no infection fighting cells in his entire body. He said that they had admitted him into the NICU because they had no idea why his levels were so low and there was no way he was going home like that. The dr told me a whole bunch of possibilities and some of them were pretty scary I am not going to lie.

When infants have low platelets and a low white blood count there are a series of infections that they check for because they are the most possible causes. One of those is an infection called CMV. It is something that the mother can pick up while she is pregnant and not even know it because it manifests itself in adults as just a common cold. They were going to start him on antibiotics for all these different infections because in babies it is best to get the antibiotics started before they even know what it is to give them a better fighting chance. Also, they were going to have to give him a platelet transfusion. Because of the possibility that he might have CMV they needed to get CMV negative platelets. The closest place that had these were salt lake and it was going to take 6 hours for them to get there. They had some other platelets on hand in case he got too worse by the time those got there but they were CMV positive so they really didn't want to have to give him those in the case of an emergency. The reason why they were so worried was because his platelets were so low that there was a possibility of internal bleeding.

 I think I was in shock that my baby was in the NICU. It didn't really set in until we were finally allowed to go in and see him and I saw him hooked up to all those monitors. It was such a helpless feeling. I wanted to just take all his pain away. He was such a good baby though. Through all of them poking him and putting IV's everywhere he barely cried and I think it was mostly because he just felt so crappy. My poor baby.

Because his white blood count was so low, he was in an isolated room all by himself in the NICU. All the nurses had to wear special gowns, masks, and gloves to make sure they didn't give him anything.But they also spoiled him pretty good. He got the platelet transfusion early Wednesday morning and by the afternoon he was already starting to act better. They did a head ultrasound to make sure that he didn't have any internal bleeding and it came back just fine.

I had to stay in the hospital through Wednesday because they needed to make sure my blood pressure went down to where it was supposed to be. Luckily it did and I got to stop taking the stupid high blood pressure medication. I was not looking forward to going home that night without my sweet baby. Throughout the day I had been going in every three hours to try and feed him and when it came to the final feeding of the night I was about in tears. We went home and I cried myself to sleep. I felt like such a terrible mom having to leave my baby at the hospital even though I knew it was what was best for him.

I went to the hospital every three hours throughout the day and night, only skipping one feeding at night so I could at least get some sleep. After I would get home from the hospital I would have to pump to make sure that he had some breastmilk that they could feed him if he got hungry in between feedings, then I would only have like 45 minutes and I would be back up there again. It was pretty taxing and so hard to have to see my baby hooked up to all the IV's.

They drew blood from him everyday to check and see where his levels were at. His platelets were dropping, which they expected because platelets don't last forever you are always making more, and his white blood count was about the same. Finally on Friday all of the test results came back negative so they took him off all the antibiotics. It was a good and bad thing that the results came back negative, good because it meant that he didn't have an infection, bad because it meant we still didn't know why this was happening to him. They were pricking his poor heels everyday to check and see what his levels were.

The pediatrician decided to schedule an appointment for us to go see a hematologist in salt lake the next Thursday to see if he would have any answers for us. He told me that if Bentley could get his feedings up to 60 cc in a 3 hour feeding then we could take him home. At this point he was maybe getting 12 to 15 because he would get so tired he would just have to stop. One of the nurses suggested to me to feed him with a bottle because he would get more faster and have to exert less energy. I was a little hesitant at first but I wanted to take him home so bad I was about ready to try anything. Plus since I was pumping he would still be getting breastmilk and not formula.

By the time Sunday rolled around I decided to stay the day at the hospital to make sure whenever he was hungry I was there to feed him because I had a goal of bringing him home by Monday. Unfortunately, as I was there on Sunday, his oxygen level in his blood decided to drop too low so they had to put him on oxygen. He was only 10 days early and so they knew he didn't have premature lungs and since he hadn't needed to be on oxygen before this they were worried this was a sign of an infection. So they put oxygen on him and drew some more blood for a blood culture and then did a chest x-ray to see how his lungs looked. I was so tired and overwhelmed at this point that I left the room while they did the x-ray and just bawled my eyes out. I was so worried about my baby and I just prayed and prayed that we would make it through this whole situation. They started him back on antibiotics until his blood cultures came back negative and I was told that there would be no way we could bring him home until he was off antibiotics and oxygen.

Once again I cried myself to sleep that night. Stupid postpartum hormones combined with the stress of having him in the NICU basically had me in tears all the time.So once again it felt like we were back at ground one. They had to give him another transfusion of platelets on Monday because his platelets had dropped too low again. The pediatrician on call scared me so bad because he said there was a possibility that we would have to transport Bentley down to Salt Lake to Primary Childrens Hospital. He finally got a hold of the specialist in Salt Lake and he said that if he was transported down that they wouldn't do any testing on him until he was at least a month old. So basically they would be doing the same thing as the NICU here was doing so there was no point in us being in Salt Lake.

 By Wednesday we had gotten his blood culture back and it was negative so they stopped him from his antibiotics and took him off his oxygen and he was able to do just fine by himself. We had ended up cancelling our appointment in Salt Lake since he was still in the NICU. Thursday morning they drew more blood and his white blood count finally had started to go up. Because of this the doctor told me that he was ok with Bentley coming home with us he just wanted to consult with Salt Lake first to make sure they were fine with him being home and continued to be watched. Finally some good news!

Salt Lake finally got back with him by our 4:30 feeding and we were able to start the discharge process. We were so excited! Because of his white blood count still being low the Dr wanted him to stay in isolation at our house until they found out more at his appointment on Monday. Coincidentally Thursday, the day we got to take him home, was his original due date the 18th. So finally after 10 days in the NICU we were able to go home as a family!

Poor guy the best veins they could find for his IV's was in his head...

One week old and bright eyed. They finally put some clothes on him when he didn't have an IV in his foot anymore. Unfortunately they all drowned him.

The two loves of my life!

I love him!

Being home:

After they sent us home they said we would need to go into the doctors office on Monday to check his levels. We got home and had to set up the playpen in our bedroom because we hadn't expected him to come home so soon. I was a little worried how the night was going to go because in the NICU they kept it super warm, they had his bed just how he liked it, and they had this heatrbeat white noise machine that put him to sleep at night, that we hadn't gone and bought yet. Also they had him  on such a  rigorous feeding schedule at the hospital that I had a feeling that now that he was home he was going to start eating as often as he wanted.

Needless to say the night was really rough and we could not get him to sleep. He was so grumpy because he wasn't sleeping so the next morning first thing I sent Josh to go get one of those heartbeat machines. The NICU had told us that they got theirs at Walmart so that is where Josh went first. It was nowhere to be found and the people at Walmart said they only sell it online now. So while Josh kept looking at other stores, at home I started calling a bunch of stores. Nowhere in town seemed to have what we needed! Josh thought he found one at Kmart but when he got home we realized it didn't have the heartbeat sound just a bunch of other ones. In my search through calling stores finally a really nice guy at Fred Meyer told me that he bought some for his kids from Bed Bath and Beyond. So I called over there and finally found one. I went to pick it up, got home, and it didn't work.... ugh so once again I went back and got one that finally worked.

It was really rough to try to get him on somewhat of a schedule but we are making progress. Each week when we have gone in for checkups his numbers have gone up and at our last checkup his platelets are finally at a normal level! His white blood count is still lower than it should be but it is slowly getting there. And his numbers looked so good that the Dr feels comfortable not checking him again until his two month checkup!

We love having him home and being a family and I will write a post soon about him being a month old! Time flies by so fast!

Wide eyed on his second night home, how can you not smile waking up to that cute face though?!?

My two boys

Uncle Mike was so excited to finally meet him!

Auntie Melissa and Bentley

Just chillin' out on grandma while we tried different hats on him.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bentley Keith Hall Part 1

This post is going to be more of a journal post for me to remember Bentley's birth story. It might be boring for others to read just to warn you.

First of all I decided to go with the midwives instead of an obgyn. I really liked how personal they were and I didn't feel like just another patient. I had a fairly easy pregnancy. I did get really morning sick the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. I only ever threw up about 2-3 days out of the week but I was nauseous all the rest of the time. When I was almost 33 weeks we had a scare and had to go into labor and delivery because I was getting contractions that were too close together so they had to give me a shot to stop them (see the last post) and I didn't have any issues after that.

About three weeks before my due date I went to one of my weekly checkups and had high blood pressure and protein in my urine. They told me I needed to come back the next day to get it checked again to see if it was still happening. When I came in the next day I still had the protein and high blood pressure. They had me do a bunch of blood work and other tests and then I had to come back later that day to get a non-stress test to make sure Bentley was still doing ok. They decided to put me on bedrest and just keep checking me to see if things got worse because at this point my blood pressure was high but it was on the low side of high.

At this point they had me coming in every other day to get checked and do more blood work and non-stress tests. By this point I was just ready for them to induce me because I was so miserable and sick of worrying all the time about whether my high blood pressure was affecting Bentley or not. This kept going on for a while and my blood pressure kept getting higher and higher with each appointment. They stuck me on high blood pressure medication and it made me so sick and didn't help my blood pressure to go down at all. At this point my high blood pressure made me super swollen and I would get headaches all the time. We went into labor and delivery a couple times because my blood pressure would start to get too high. By now the only thing that would make my blood pressure go down was going to be to have the baby. On Monday the 8th of April, I had just gotten some testing done and was at my appointment finding out the results when my midwife, Nicole, walked in and said "How about we have a baby today?"


From this point everything went by pretty fast. They sent me straight over to Labor and Delivery to get induced so I didn't even get the chance to go home and get everything. Josh was still at work and they said that inducing me would take a while so he might as well finish off working for the day. My mom stayed with me until he got there. They gave me the first cervadil at 1:30 pm. About two hours later I started feeling it working. At 5:30 they gave me the second cervadil and that's when the labor started. When they gave me the second cervadil I was only dialated to a 1.All of a sudden my contractions started being right on top of each other with no time in between them. They were extremely painful and although I was planning on not having an epidural the dr said if I didn't get an epidural there were chances that my blood pressure would get way too high because of the pain and I could end up with a c-section. Also an epidural was going to be the only thing that would calm down my contractions since the cervadil can make them very strong and painful and right on top of each other like I was experiencing. Josh was such an awesome coach and helped me breath and stay calm through the whole process.

The first epidural they gave me only numbed my right leg and that was it. So while I was still struggling through contractions they had to give me a second one to finally give me some relief. Holy cow was it night and day as soon as that epidural kicked in! The epidural helped my contractions to stabilize, the midwife broke my water and about an hour later I was dilated to a 10 and ready to get this baby out of me. They didn't even have to put me on pitocin which I was happy about.

When she broke my water she noticed that it showed signs that the baby had already had his first bowel movement from the stress of labor. They told us about all the possibilities of what could happen because of this when he was born, including him not breathing because it had gotten into his lungs. This made me want to get him out even faster. I only pushed for less than 20 minutes and our sweet Bentley came at 9:36 pm on Aprile 8, 2013, and he came out crying! Such a relief. Josh got to cut the cord and then they took him over to be weighed and stuff while I got cleaned up.

It was so adorable to watch Josh as they cleaned up our son. He was just beaming from ear to ear and I could tell he was already so in love with him. He weighed 5 lbs 12 oz and was 19 in long. The midwife says she didn't think I could've held a much bigger baby inside of me because I was so small. When the nurses finally brought him back over to me they said he had some petechiae bruising on his face and back but that the dr would look at it the next day so I didn't think anything of it. We were so excited to finally be holding our little man and he was so alert! The first thing I noticed was that he had really big eyes like his mom because he had them wide open the whole time.

Nicole was awesome by the way. She stayed with me through the whole labor and coached me through it. When I needed Josh to be two places at once she would help out and do exactly what I needed to have done. She made the whole experience as comfortable as possible and I am so glad she is the one who was on call when I was induced.  All of the nurses at the hospital were so nice and I felt very well taken care of there.

2 hours old

First family photo about 2 hours after Bentley was born. I am still super swollen.

Mom was so happy to have him here! It was really late so we didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked but we thought we would have the whole next day to take pictures with him. Little did we know....

My awesome midwife Nicole

To be continued in Part 2.....