Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Micah's first week at CHOP

We got to CHOP on Monday afternoon and the ambulance that Micah traveled in had beaten us there so we were very anxious to get up to her new room to see her.  Micah is a part of the East NICU blue team.  That means she will be taken care of by a certain group of nurses, fellows, attendings, and residents.  If this is your first time reading about these different doctors join the club, I was so confused when we first arrived.  Attendings are the Big guns, fellows are next in line and they consult with us about any genetic testing-MRIs-Xrays- etc,  then the residents work with the fellows to get these tests accomplished and the nurses(which we adore) are obviously the ones tending to Micah every day. Now that we are 2 weeks in to our stay at CHOP, it's even worse because our attendings and residents change every two weeks.  This means we have to be on our toes in making sure that we advocate for Micah because we, along with some of the regular nurses, are the only ones seeing her progress daily. 

My first time holding her while she was awake and happy! 

 Within the hour that we had arrived at CHOP we had already met EVERYONE I listed above.  It was amazing to see that many people at Micah's bedside. I felt like it was a team that was really going to HELP our baby girl.  It was the best feeling.  We also met the neurologist and his team(3 or 4 more doctors).  Everyone evaluated her tone and gave us a report right then and there.  It was the most information that we had received ever since Micah was born.  Within the first three days Micah's IV was removed, which was her only source of nutrition since she was born, her feeding tube was inserted and she was receiving continuous feeds of my breast milk (YAY- pumping has a purpose wahoooo), she had an ultrasound of her heart (which came back NORMAL- heck YEA), and physical therapy had come to evaluate her and they gave us some exercises that we could to help improve her tone. 

 The nurses told me I could bring clothes and receiving blankets for Micah the first night we were there and I was so excited. I had just assumed they would keep her in NICU clothing and use their blankets.  My first thought was, "oh shit I don't have any girl clothes or girly blankets" 
but thanks to great family and friends, who bought Micah clothes after she was born, I was able to bring her new clothes that next day.  

Here is a pic of her very first outfit purchased by her Mimi (my mom)
 and the bow is from my sister Holly and her two daughters.  We had to rock the asymmetrical look because she still had her IV on her hand at that point. 

Daddy's little girl! 
I know Micah will be SO IN LOVE with Bill and I cannot wait to have little conversations with her about how much we BOTH love him to death. She will hear me say how much I love him every day of her life.  Don't worry I will be doing an entire blog about how amazing Bill has been through this whole process, it will make all of your husbands/boyfriends look real bad =) j/k but he is really the most amazing person on the planet, next to Micah....lol

Some more pics of Micah throughout her first week at CHOP! All of the nurses and I are obsessed with these new onesie dresses.  It's an all in one combination and they are A-dor-ABLE!!!!

This is one of my favs....

Yes, I know this bow is bigger than her head but it's just so awesome isn't it?

By the end of Micah's first week at CHOP her tone was slowly improving. She was moving her arms and legs a lot more. She is having trouble handling her secretions (saliva) because she can't quite swallow yet and if she is swallowing it isn't a strong enough swallow to get all of her saliva down.  She had two genetic tests that went out the first night she was there. One was for Prader Willi and the other is a Chromosome test that we are still waiting for results on.  The Prader Willi test came back negative on Tuesday 7-24-12 which was a huge relief. Google it and you will see why it was a huge relief for us. 

Micah also had an upper GI test done on Friday 7-20-12.  They were worried that she was refluxing, which is VERY dangerous for her because she doesn't have a gag reflex so her reflux could end up in her lungs leading to pneumonia.  They did this test to see if she was refluxing and they also were looking to see if her intestines were malrotated. Thank god everything came back normal with the upper GI test.  Next step is an MRI of her brain during week 2. I'll blog about that next.

Here is a pic of Micah at 1 week... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICAH GIRL!!!!

We Heart Micah!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Micah at Virtua

Micah was immediately taken to the Special Care Unit right after she was born because of "low tone."  If you aren't familiar with low tone it is when babies have close to no muscle tone/strength all throughout their bodies(low tone also affects the digestive system as well as eating and sucking).  The minute Micah was born she couldn't move any of her extremities and she could not swallow or suck, this resolved the mystery to why I had so much fluid (she wasn't swallowing any of it in the womb).  The nurses then began to talk about transporting her to CHOP for further testing to figure out WHAT caused this.  We stayed at Virtua through the weekend because they scheduled her transport on Monday. That actually worked out great because I wasn't cleared to leave the hospital until Monday anyway.  At the same time those two days were torture because we just wanted answers.  We were so worried about what could be wrong with our precious little girl.  It was devastating to see her laying in her incubator NOT MOVING. I hated seeing the doctors evaluate her. They would pick her up and you would just see her head and extremities just flop down towards her bed.  It was also torture not being able to hold her whenever we wanted. 

 We did see some progress after the 1st night, she was starting to grip our fingers and it was the best feeling in the world. We knew from that moment on that she was going to be a fighter and she was going to get stronger and stronger every day.  

 Here she is, adorable as ever, in her cute little knit hat.   

 Bill and I were both able to do skin to skin (kangaroo care) twice a day but that was the only time we could hold her. I will never forget the first time we did it. I was terrified to pick up her little flimsy body.


We  want to thank everyone that came to visit Micah at Virtua. All of your well wishes and prayers have been greatly appreciated.  We also want to thank those who brought us clothes for Micah because we all know I had a fully organized closet filled with boy's clothes. It really meant a lot to have all of you there to support us, We <3 U!

Here are some pics of our little visitors....

Me and my 4yr old niece Anna (she can always put a smile on my face)


<3 My sister Julie and our niece Eva the diva <3

Back to Micah's Progress.....Monday came and we got the call early on that Micah would be leaving Virtua at 1130am.  We immediately went down to the special care unit to say goodbye to her and the CHOP transport team was already loading her into a travel incubator. It was so upsetting to say goodbye to her but we knew she was going to a great place. We then rushed back to our room, packed up and headed over to CHOP. We had no idea what to expect but we were excited to finally get some answers.  

I was actually sad to leave Virtua because I got so accustomed to our routine. (pumping, getting meds from my AWESOME nurses, taking a very short walk to go see Micah whenever we wanted, having family come visit me every day and just spending every second with the love of my life thinking about our new baby girl).  I was so torn about leaving because I knew it was going to be tough going to CHOP every day to be with Micah and trying to recover from a c-section at the same time.

Along with leaving Virtua here are some of my other low moments: 
 *pumping every 2 hours not knowing if Micah would ever be able to digest my milk
 *going to sleep every night feeling guilty that I couldn't be right next to her
*watching her lay there not moving and thinking is this it for her?
*not knowing if she is struggling or will struggle the rest of her life 
and worst of all...
 *feeling like it was my fault that she was born this way and wondering if there was something I did wrong during my pregnancy. 

I know you are all saying in your heads, "OMG Michelle, stop you are being silly" but I know it's normal to have those feelings and it's normal to get passed them, which I already have.  You just have to move on and focus on the positives.  Can someone please remind me of that every other day because I keep forgetting my own advice?

We Heart Micah!  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Micah's Birth Story

Micah's Birth Story........

Our crazy journey started with a 39 week ultrasound on Tuesday, July 10th.  My belly was measuring big so my OB wanted me to get an ultrasound to see how big my baby BOY really was.  If he was over 9 lbs they were going to induce me because they didn't want to give him another week to grow even bigger, because I really wanted to deliver him vaginally. So we go to this appointment SUPER excited to see our little man because the last time we got an ultra was at 19 weeks when we found out he was a BOY.  It was awesome to see how big he had gotten since our last visit. His head looked soooo big and I was SO worried about pushing him out. The technician starts to measure all of his body parts in order to get an accurate weight and we hear her say "SHE", we both immediately say "huh? sorry we are having a boy" and she said " well here's the labia so I'm not so sure it's a boy."  I immediately felt tears streaming down my face and from then on my WORLD completely changed in so many ways. I had the room all ready, I had 2 baby showers where we received all boy clothes and accessories.  OMG.....what the hell was I going to do with a girl? I cried for the rest of the day and then I got over it.  The next day I embraced the idea of having a girl and I decided to get a pedicure with some cute pink nail polish.  I am not a pink girl so that was HUGE for me. I've never been a girly girl but I just felt this overwhelming excitement to have a mother daughter relationship. 

Back to the ultrasound.... so we also found out I had about 2 liters of water inside my amniotic sac and my OB was worried that if my water broke that the cord might come flying out with it.  This is obviously really dangerous so I was scheduled for an induction on Wednesday July 11th.  Keep in mind we didn't tell anyone other than my sister Holly that Micah was going to be a GIRL.  We thought it was going to be an AMAZING surprise for our family and friends. Holly was going to be in the delivery room with us so we wanted to be able to freely talk about our little girl.  So Wednesday came and Bill and I both wanted to have a nice relaxing day before my induction. We went to my parent's house and layed out by the pool one last time then we went and bought Micah her first outfit.  Then we pigged out at Five Guys for the last supper.  

We didn't end up getting called into the hospital until 2 am (Thurs morning) because there were no beds available earlier.  They started me on cervidil within an hour and we both were so stoked to get the process started.  We still couldn't believe we were having a girl and a part of us DIDN'T believe it.  We kept saying "what if that technician was wrong and what if it's still a boy?"  I NO longer trust any ultrasound. So the inducing process went on all day and then by Thursday night they were going to attempt to insert the Foley Catheter( MY WORST NIGHTMARE).  Here are some pics from Thursday.....

They couldn't insert the foley because my Dr. couldn't get it back to my cervix.  All of the fluid in my uterus was weighing down on top of my cervix and it made it REALLY hard to reach it.  She tried for what seemed to be an eternity. I was screaming, crying and just trying to be a champ but it just hurt so bad.  After that experience I was not about to push a baby out because if labor is as painful as that then I want a C-section = Yes please!  But my Dr. insisted on trying the cervidil for another 10-12 hours to see if I would go into labor naturally. Friday morning came and I still wasn't even close to being dilated so they scheduled me for a 12pm c-section. THANK GOD!  At that point I hadn't eaten since Wednesday, I felt so gross and I had been hooked up to the IV and monitors nonstop.  When I got word that I was having a c-section my Dr. told me I could shower and relax with no IV or monitors. It was absolute HEAVEN. I was so excited for this damn c-section and I couldn't wait to meet my little angel.  If I hadn't gone through hell the day before I probably would have been SOOOO nervous about getting cut open but NOPE I couldn't wait! I was in such a good mood leading up the surgery......I was clean, my hair looked good, Bill was cracking jokes left and right and we were hours away from meeting our little ANGEL!!!!   Here we are....

My mom - Me- my sister, Holly

My hot Dr. j/k it's My Billy boy

I am ready to go....

Surgery was Awesome!!!!  I couldn't have had a better group of people working on me. It was a room full of all women and I just felt so comfortable with all of them.  We were joking and laughing the whole time especially when they cut me open and let all of the fluid out.  It came out like a fountain and they were all screaming and laughing about it.  They were shocked at how much was coming out.  I couldn't feel anything other than the sensation of the water splashing on my feet. So GROSS but so cool at the same time.  The spinal tap didn't hurt at all, it just felt like a normal pinch. The scariest part was waiting to get numb, I was so worried that they were going to start cutting and I would feel it.  So I made sure I told my Dr. how I was feeling and she took her time tapping me with sharp knives to see if I could feel it and OF COURSE I couldn't feel a thing. Another cool part was hearing them count the instruments over and over again to make sure they didn't leave any inside me.  They were a well oiled machine.  I was impressed the whole time. (Keep in mind I had never had any surgery or even broken a bone, so this was all new to me)

Here comes the best part..... right after all of the fluid came out they said I was going to feel a lot of pressure near my rib cage as they pushed the baby out. It was the best feeling to know I was about to hear my baby cry for the first time and before Bill and I could even look at each other we hear the most amazing sound on the planet, Micah's cry, followed by all of the women screaming "It' s a GIRL!!!! " We both just immediately started to tear up and Bill went right over to see how beautiful she was. I then hear him scream, "She's perfect Shush(my nickname)"  As he makes his way back to give me a kiss he by accident looks at my body and sees all of my organs on the table. GROSSSS! I had never even thought about the process of a c-section so when he told me that I for sure thought he was joking.  I found out he wasn't when he was really disgusted by it days later.  I still laugh about it.  I love when he tells people that part of the story.

 Here is our beautiful baby girl ......

Micah Dylan Turner, arrived at 1pm (1300 military time) on Friday July 13th. She was 6lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long.  I'm sure her favorite sports number will be 13 =)

We Heart Micah!