Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, the soothing tunes of Ms. Streisand....

I discovered something about our son today....Coulter loves Babs...I was singing Barbra's "Memories" as we were attempting to breastfeed (by now you have hopefully figured out that Nichole is authoring this post..) and he was giving me huge grins and his breathing was perfect. When I stopped singing, he got fussy. Maybe Coulter was a middle aged Jewish performer in his past life...?

If all goes as planned, we will have Coulter home in about 3 weeks. He is gaining weight nicely (4lbs. 1oz. today) and the doctor is feeling better about him each day. We are exhausted and are very much looking forward to not driving to the hospital several times each day. We won't miss the incubator or trying to snuggle the peanut while he is wearing 10 different wires and tubes. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bring on the Double Chin....!!





Much to our excitement, when we arrived at the NICU today, we noticed some extra padding on the little guy! Check out that chin and those beefy thighs!! We also talked to the doctor and received some good news...the caffeine dose will be stopped today as will the IV fluids. We will see how he does on the apnea episodes once the caffeine is discontinued.




Friday, April 25, 2008

You've come a long way, baby!!!!

It's good to look at these photos to remind us of all the progress the little peanut has made over the last three weeks. Coulter had a minor setback this week but it seems he is on the mend. His weight is up to 3lbs. 10oz. and he is maintaining his own temperature. Once he masters the suck/swallow/breathe reflex, we will fatten him up for sure!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Duck Lite


Just returned from the NICU. Coulter is back in the Ducks, but it sounds like it's "Duck Lite". Not exactly sure what started causing all the upsets, but the closest approximation is that he started to get the early stages of Necrotizing Entercolitis (NEC), a deadening of the gastrointestinal tract. For now he's off food and onto only an IV while his bowels and intestines get a chance to clear out and sort of reboot. Linda, one of the two nurses who try to work with Coulter, noticed that he looked a little dusky, a sign that he isn't getting enough oxygen. She then noticed that his belly was very distended. She luckily raised the flag and got medical attention going very quickly. They took X-rays, put him back on to oxygen, stopped feedings via tube, and moved him over to Ducks for closer monitoring.

The X-ray came back showing no obstructions (good news) but lots of air in his stomach which is causing pressure on his diaphragm making it difficult for him to breathe. Right now it looks like the problem with breathing is just a mechanical one, caused by the bloating of his stomach. Stopping feedings via tube and putting him on an IV for a little while (72 hours to 7 days) should help bring him back to normal.

A bit of good news in all of this - today he started taking to the pacifier like a mad baby. He's got the suck/swallow/breathe reflex and when he's back to food he'll probably be able to go to the bottle or breastfeed. Additionally, he's still gaining weight, despite the lack of food. He's up to 3 lbs 9 oz. The bigger he gets the more out of the woods he becomes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two steps forward...

We were told to expect this when Coulter was admitted to the NICU - two steps forward one step back. Coulter's stomach got distended this afternoon and he started to have some trouble breathing again. So he's back on oxygen and they are backing off his feedings and giving him dextrose via IV. The hard part about this is that he's been doing so well for so long, outside of Monday's hiccup, so this was unexpected.

This is a waiting game. There's nothing we can do at this point but wait. They are hoping that the dextrose IV will give his system a little time to clear out and let his GI tract start digesting more easily again. I forget how fragile the little guy is. If he were a normal baby he's still be in the womb for another 8 weeks, but he's starting everything early and it's taxing on his system. Quite literally he's a mature fetus living outside of the womb and can't handle what full term babies can handle. It's maddening.

We'll be at the NICU bright and early tomorrow morning. Hopefully everything will be back on track (tract?) by then.

Wednesday's Photos







Monday, April 21, 2008

New Pix




All Pooped Out

Coulter's going to be taking a little quiet time from visitors. This past week he got to meet a lot of new people which was very exciting for him. When Coulter gets excited he starts to do very exciting things. Right now in Coulter's world excitement is bad. Very very bad... and messy.

Coulter had a rough night as a result of the excitement. His apnea started up again. His heart rate did some bradycardia (drop rapidly). Then he blew chunks out of both ends a couple of times. All his outfits are getting good, deep washing.

The upside is that his weight is up to 1500 grams. We're limiting our holding time with the little guy for the next couple of weeks so that he can get more uninterrupted rest, fatten up faster, and come home sooner. Having a preemie is little like having a sore tooth. You want to keep touching but you know that the more attention means slower healing.

New photos of the little guy are coming soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day = Coulter's Portland Shower Day

Coulter had a big day today. He started the morning with a visit from his mom and dad, and then had a visit from his Grandma Anna, Aunt Cara and Uncle Kent. He's up to 1470 grams (3 lbs. 5 oz.). Later the doctor called and said, "Coulter looks awesome and is very cute. He's ahead for his gestational development. No changes to be made. The plan now is to just fatten him up." These words may make terrible lyrics, but they are music to Nichole's and my ears. It's been a wild ride to finally get to the relief that comes with those words.

Coulter looks awesooooooooooooooooooome
and he is verrrrry cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute.

Yup terrible lyrics.

Today was Coulter's Welcome to Earth Shower. Danielle and Tim threw an awesome Jack & Jill party. They wanted to create a party that was very Nichole and Sean rather than based on what it's supposed to be. Danielle is in the middle of moving houses and has a crazy work schedule so I cannot figure out where and or how she finds the time to do things like this. She sent out Sesame Street (circa 1977) invitations. She kept the Evite up to date amongst all the craziness and the unpredictability of the past several weeks. Organized a big event for Oprah at Nike (no kidding). Pulled together a funky & fun shower complete with wings from Fire on the Mountain, beer, wine, champagne, cajunized tots, quiche, bagels, and coffee. No lack of food. Heather, our amazing Cordon Bleu trained chef turned Nanny friend, made a cake and cupcakes. So rich and light at the same time - don't know how she does it. (We once bribed nurses in Labor & Delivery with her cupcakes for preferential treatment - completely worked)

Friends turned out en masse to Coulter's shower. They were incredibly generous. Not only with their love and support, but also with gifts of clothes, toys, books, and tools for parents (like the diaper pal and cloth diaper covers). Feeling very good about Coulter's nursery now. It's my favorite room in the house. I think we're going to be pretty well ready for his big day when we bust him out of the NICU. This is a far cry from the day we got admitted to the hospital 3.5 weeks ago. We weren't ready at all then, but we're good now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In the Blue Corner...

Weighing in at 3 pounds and 4 ounces. Up 5 ounces from his birth weight. Featherweight champion of the Legacy NICU. With a billirubin count dropping to the mid 5s. Defeater of Jaundice. Pooper of Pampers. Unflaggable and undefeatable! Coulter Torin Seidell!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Photos from Thursday

Long legs on the little guy.

Throw your arms up and testify! Can I get a witness?!

... and he's zonked out again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More new photos




Mom attemps her first post....

Coulter and mom spent almost 6 hours together today. We took a nap, changed many diapers and attempted to breastfeed. A very exciting day! We had many long talks and I asked him how long he thought it might be until we could take him home....now that he's gaining weight at the speed of light. I am aiming for another 4 weeks (which puts us at Sean's birthday)....I think Coulter is on the same page! Now, if I can only coax him the same way when he takes the SATs....but how will he show me 1600 with just 10 fingers? I'm sure I won't be perceived as overbearing....not at all :)

Counting down the days until our peanut comes home.....


3 lbs 2 oz, aka 1420 grams

He's broken the 3 lbs mark! He's enormous... relatively speaking.

Will post some new pictures of him later today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can't Touch This

I've toured around the world
From London to the Bay
It's Hammer, go Hammer,
M.C.Hammer, Yo Hammer
And the rest can go and play
Can't touch this

This is the song that was running through my head at the NICU this morning. Coulter's numbers look great. Good O2 intake, slow breathing, steady heartbeat, but when he got picked up today that all went wonky. During Kangaroo Care today his O2 uptake would drop, his breathing would get labored, and his heart rate would go erratic, so we put him back in the incubator a little earlier than planned. Once he was back in the incubator for a minute his numbers popped right back to healthy again. Can't touch this.

If this is how I react to critical situations I know that fatherhood is going to be a bizarre journey... mostly for Coulter. I already know that when Coulter gets out of the NICU I'm going to reenact dubbed Kung-fu movie characters by propping him up and moving his arms around while I talk in stilted, choppy English.

Coulter... When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave... aha planning on staying I see. You are not even moving towards the pebble. Do you know what a pebble is? Should we review the different names for rocks so you can more easily identify a pebble? Maybe after a nap you say? You are wise beyond your weeks.

I think I will start a counselling fund along with his 529 College Savings fund. He may need both.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Feeding Time


Coulter is doing great in Bunny. His O2 intake is up as his lungs get stronger. His Respiratory is lower as he labors less to breathe and his little heart is a steady 155 bpm. His feedings have been getting increased every 12 hours as he can handle it. So far he's been increasing 1ml every 12 hours over the past 6 days. Right now (and I may be off +/- 1ml ) he's eating 15 ml every 3 hours. For conversion sake that's 0.5 ounces per serving. These feedings mean that he's now gaining weight again. He dropped 6 ounces after his birth and during his time as a Duck, but now that his feedings are increasing in volume and frequency he's packing on the grams. He's up to 10 grams more than his birth weight of 1310. They also have him on a preemie weight gainer formula with extra calcium and protein. I feel like he now has something in common with the muscle-bound, strong men with a handlebar mustache in the circus in the 1920s.


Additionally he's beginning to really develop his suck/swallow/breathe muscles. According to Dr. Baxter, normally preemies begin sucking at 32 weeks, but at 30 weeks he's already working it. I think he may be gifted. I might need to get a T-shirt that reads something like: My Kid Sucks at 30 Weeks. I'm sure that everyone will understand what I'm referring to just fine.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

No Gnus is Good Gnus

Coulter had a good day in Bunny today. Nothing too interesting which is the most interesting part. He's been interesting for so long that it's exhausting. Interesting in the hospital equals terrifying. So a day of some tedium is thrilling.

We had a new nurse today that we hadn't met. Her name is Christy and I asked if it was the Barry Manilow fan nurse and they said that it's not that Christy. When Christy rounded the corner I heard, "Sean? What are you doing here?" Christy is a friend of mine from some years back that I'd lost contact with. Funny where you can cross paths. She took great care of Coulter today.

The results from Coulter's brain ultrasound came back. He has the slightest of bruises and Dr. Baxter is only noting it because it exists and she's dotting all the i's. She says that it will heal on it's own and it's absolutely nothing to worry about. Coulter brain work good.

One other thing. He's wearing clothes now - which means that his nudist days are effectively at an end until college.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hopping Down The Bunny Trail!

Big news today. Got a phone call from Grandma Eleanor and Dani at about 4PM today. They went down to visit Coulter at the NICU while Nichole, Jim and I prepped the house for his pending (someday... sigh) big arrival.

The NICU is divided into 6 sections:

1. Isolation: Oh man... send them all of your good thoughts.
2. Ladybug: Send them your good thoughts when you aren't thinking of the Isolation room.
3. Butterfly: Hang on kiddo. Let the doctors do their thing. We're all pulling for you.
4. Ducks: You're critical, but you're looking good. Be strong. Hang in there.
5. Bunny: You are out of the woods. You're stable, but you're still in the NICU. You've got a ways to go, but your vitals look good and the doctors are seeing you as a success story.
6. Lambs: You are getting ready to go home. Let's pack on some pounds and blow this joint.

Coulter got checked in as a Duck (not a nod to U of O) when he got admitted a week ago today. It left our hearts in our throats, but it gave us a lot of hope. Reasonably worried but not overwhelmed. Duck parents walk the line of having a hopeful heart and steeling their heart against that dark chance of things going south. Duck stories are often two steps forward and one step back. You just have to roll with the punches. Today, perhaps as I write this, he being moved from Duck to Bunny!

Bunny boy! Coulter is out of the woods! Nichole, Jim and Eleanor went down to the hospital tonight to see the little guy. I took a dog walk, a hot tub, a and glass of Ravenswood Zin to let all of that stress just drop away and celebrate in my own little way. My little man is going to be okay. He's got a little apnea so they are going to give him caffeine for the seven days (his parents will join him each morning doing the same). His brain scan today discovered a brain bruise, but according to Dr. Baxter this is very common among preemies and is nothing to worry about. I mean really who is genuinely hooked on phonics. He's going to be just fine.

Coulter and the Nuk Nuk

Photos of the Last Few Days













One Day

I miss one day of posting and so many things change. I got swamped with hospital time and baby prep yesterday and by the end of the day and I was back from the evening visit to the hospital I didn't have the energy to post.

Coulter is way up in feedings. He's up to 6ml milk every 3 hours. 48 ml a day. He's coming off of his 2nd treatment of light today for the return of some jaundice and was down to single power light yesterday. He's still off the CPAP and usually breathing between 88% and 98%. However I'm not even talking about the most exciting thing that happened yesterday - Coulter started to breastfeed. He's developing his suck-swallow-breathe ability. Yesterday he latched on and suckled yesterday for the first time. It wasn't a full on feeding, but it was a start. We gave him food via tube while he fed to try to create the association of boob equals food. As I'm sure you can imagine we don't have any photos to post of the big event.

Last night we went back to the hospital for some Kangaroo Care and he fell fast asleep on my chest. He'd been breathing at about 88% when we came in and by the time he fell asleep on me he was breathing at 96%. He just does better with skin-on-skin contact.

Jim and I got Coulter's room prepped, scraped, and mostly painted with zero VOC paint. Actually it's not paint it's liquid clay. It's bizzare stuff. It's starting to peel and crack in places, but I'll get back in to it today and see if I can't scrape, prep, and re-paint those sections. The room is looking really sharp. Very bright with big windows looking out on a red smoke tree, lawns, and ferns. I think it'll be a nice environment for Coulter to begin to see shapes from.

More photos from Eleanor's camera later today - picked up the missing camera/computer cable last night.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nap Time


Coulter on Air

What's missing in this photo?
Answer: The CPAP!

This morning during Coulter's tube-removal/diaper change/inspection/temperature/blood pressure check Dr. Baxter said, "Let's take him off the CPAP. It looks like he's ready." Last night they lowered his CPAP to 3 which is pretty minimal assistance and he did great, so this is the next step in the process. His oxygen uptake stayed in the high 90s to 100% and his breathing isn't labored so, hopefully, this is a new permanent development. His feedings have doubled in volume (2ml of mother's milk every 3 hours instead of 1ml) and his weight is coming back up (2lbs 11oz from a low of 2lbs 9oz).

Enough of the medical and more about him. He's flopping all around. His arms and legs are flailing. His eyes open and he looks around as he tries to identify where voices are coming from. He's wearing a shirt now. He's got his first piece of clothing. It's huge on him. He looks good. He looks more like a healthy baby every day. It's pretty thrilling.

About Visiting: We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful, supportive people in our life, and we love that so many of you want to come meet the little guy but the NICU isn't really set up for visits outside of immediate family. It's a clean room and critical care environment so visits aren't encouraged by the doctor. Unlike a regular newborn, these little guys need all of their energy to grow as if they were still in the womb.

Nichole and Sean have family from Philadelphia in town and are just trying to 1) Get things ready for when Coulter finally comes home (we were caught a little off guard by his early arrival and thought we had another 10 weeks to prep) and 2) We are very supported by family right now, but we promise to get back in touch with everyone when we finally come up for air. Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers. It has made all the difference.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

30 weeks



News from the NICU

He's doing really well. Dr. Baxter (the one who delivers all sorts of horrible what if scenarios when you first arrive in the hospital) came to deliver some good news today regarding Coulter's health. She said that it looks like he may be getting off of the CPAP tonight. They are going to turn it down and monitor his breathing and if he doesn't labor too much and is still processing O2 just fine then they'll take him off the CPAP and let him breathe on his own from here on out. He beginning to digest food more easily too. His body wasn't expecting to use its GI tract for another 10 weeks so food is a bit of a jump start. What happens is a little bit of food gets introduced to his system and then he begins to learn how to process it. He's now processing most of what gets administered to him and Dr. Baxter is going to increase his feedings. He's lost a little weight, but he's getting stronger every day. Nichole is now able to produce milk for Coulter and has a love/hate relationship with the Medela Breast Pump. It's a source of relief and it's source of discomfort. Sean says she looks beautiful.

We're back again tonight for some more Kangaroo Care. He takes to it really well. He just falls asleep and gets into a deep, rhythmic breathing pattern. It's amazing to feel his little body pushing against my hands and chest. Being a dad is the most important position I've ever held. I never expected to feel the way I've felt since Coulter's birth. It's an amazing feeling to define myself as a father & husband instead of with a job title.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kangaroo II

Nichole and Coulter "Kangarooing"

Kangaroo Care is integral to Coulter's development. They say that it's wonderful for the little guy to get the skin-on-skin contact, but I really think that we are the one's winning out - holding the little guy close to the skin in just the best feeling in the world. Usually I feel like there's more that I can be doing and something else that can be multi-tasked, but while holding Coulter the rest of the world melts away and nothing else trumps Coulter's care. It's a rare feeling to be the in the exact right place doing the exact right thing.

Eyes Wide Open


Jeepers Creepers check out them Peepers

We hustled down to the NICU for Coulter's 8AM daily tube removal and examination, and we got a big surprise - Coulter opened his eyes for the first time! He heard Nichole's voice, turned his head and looked right at her. It was an amazing moment. He's there. He's responding. He's very much alive and alert.

All sorts of new developments today and last night. Coulter's jaundice is under control and since he's having "BMs" he's no longer in need of light therapy. His white blood cell count is normal so he's off antibiotics. His oxygen uptake is between 96% and 98% when off of the CPAP, and about 98% to 100% on the CPAP, so his lungs are developing nicely. His breathing is deep and rhythmic. His heart is strong and regular. He's a champ. We're looking forward to the day we get to bust him out of the NICU.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kangaroo Care

Nap time with Dad


Kangaroo Care is the best. It's when you get to get skin-on-skin with the little guy. He settles in and falls asleep. Today he got his very first meal - colostrum aka liquid platinum. Coulter has to use a feeding tube at this time, but he'll graduate soon enough.

Nichole's doctor sprung her from the hospital a day early! She said that Nichole could get released on Sunday as early as Midnight. After talking a little bit more she turned to Nichole as said, "I think you might do better at home in your own bed next to your husband. Do want to get out of here today? Yes? Okay, I'm discharging you right now. You're free." Oh so good to have Nichole home. Good sleep, good food, and Cara, Sean's sister from Seattle, came down to be an amazing help.

Nichole and I had nothing when we got home. No energy, no food in the fridge, no ability to clean, no breast pump... nothing. Cara rocked it and did everything and just let us recoup. We were so tired we didn't even know what we needed. She was a god send. She made dinner, cleaned, ran to the store several times, cleaned the house, did laundry, made breakfast, made lasaugna that's par baked and sitting in the freezer, brought us coffee in bed, walked the dog several times, mowed the lawns. She's leaving for home in Seattle today. How will we live without Cara? How can we go on? It's been so so nice to have her helping hands.

Coulter got something new today. IVs on little guys tend to fail in a matter of days sometimes hours, so they recommended that he get a Heart PICC Line. A Heart PICC Line is a tiny tiny tube that runs up a vein in the leg or arm to the heart to directly administer food and medicine. Coulter's heart pick line insertion went great and he doesn't need any more IVs - a little discomfort to prevent a lot of discomfort. They can feed him food and medicine right through the pick line. A little scary in its concept but the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Updates from the doctor - Coulter's white blood cell count is back to normal and there doesn't seem to be any sort of infection. He's not ready to get off the CPAP yet but the good news is that he's just on room air. He's got a touch of jaundice but it's getting combated with light therapy. The jaundice isn't so severe to need UV light therapy, just a strong lamp. In short, for a 29.5 week baby, he's doing better than average.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Photos




He's got hair.

CPAP

Today's word is CPAP. It's not a rap artist - it's the name of the breathing apparatus that is pushing air into Coulter's lungs to help keep them open.

Last night the NICU had him on mostly oxygen and some room air when he got in and the CPAP was set at a force factor of 5. He's responding beautifully to everything and he's now on only room air and the CPAP is set at 4 which is pretty gentle puff. He's breathing mostly on his own now. Later today he'll get the tubes out of his nose and he'll get a little face mask with some pushed air.

Nichole kept waking up and sneaking out to see him last night. The NICU is 24 hours so it's fair game. I think she's had 4 hours of sleep over the past 2 days, but it's all just so amazing who needs sleep? (I'm sure she'll nap today.)

Today we get to do what's called "Kangaroo Care" which is skin on skin. We haven't gotten the chance to hold him yet so we're pretty excited about getting to hold him for the first time.

The doctors are still trying to figure out why we went into early labor. They sent the placenta in to the lab for examination to try to ascertain if there was a reason. If there is a reason then maybe it's something that can be avoided next time. The idea of "next time", at this point, is just a concept, not a plan.

Friday, April 4, 2008

All is Good!



Little guy may look a little funky right now, but he's just getting a little assistance breathing in the NICU since he's just a little guy at 29 weeks. He's healthy. He's fiesty. He's just the most amazing thing in the whole world.

Big Birthday!


COULTER TORIN SEIDELL
4:53PM 04/04/08
2 lbs, 15oz

Ripple Effect


Lots of contractions. Both stronger and more frequent. I'm going to be surprised if this doesn't happen by Sunday. Coulter is healthy. Nichole is healthy. It just looks like this is how it is going to be. I may not post for a little while. I think I'm going to be a little busy. This is good. It's going to be just fine. Coulter is just really ready to be here with us.

A Wet Day in Oregon

We started this rainy Oregon day with a visit from Dr. Williams who recommended that Nichole would feel a heck of a lot better with a hot shower and a day long visit from Morgan the Wonderdog (apparently you can bring your dog in the hospital if 1. it's a temperate breed & 2. they've had all their shots and aren't carrying anything.). Like all well laid plans in this pregnancy it, almost immediately, went awry. Ten minutes later Nichole's water broke.

Yesterday evening, while Sean was at the Parenting class, Nichole had trouble breathing. She was on a pretty high dosage of Magnesium Sulfate and had been for more than a day. The Magnesium causes all of the body's muscle groups to deeply relax, so as a result, blood pressure gets closely monitored, vision gets blurry, rubber legs are de riguer, and whole body just acts like a wet noodle. One of the side effects is that it can become difficult to breathe as the diaphragm relaxes. Just as the parenting class was letting out the hospital PA system announces, "Sean Seidell please immediately come to Labor & Delivery". You never know how fast you can run until moments like those. Nichole was given oxygen and taken off of Magnesium while they checked her blood levels for saturation. The blood test came back with high Magnesium but not toxic. They lowered Nichole's Magnesium dosage and she maintained approximately 2 contractions per hour throughout the night.

Right now Nichole is completely sleep deprived. She didn't get any sleep last night. Machines were beeping at the exact wrong time, oral medicine was getting administered, her teaspoon sized bladder (caused by the uterus pressing up against it) made her take numerous trips to the bathroom, plus she just felt cruddy from the Magnesium. At 6 AM this morning they took her completely off Magnesium so she could feel better and maybe get some sleep.

We're back in Labor & Deliver Room 1 with the amazing view. It's the closest to the NICU so we're lucking out in two ways. Nichole is finally zonked out and hopefully will stay that way for most of the day. No more Magnesium here on out. Just some antibiotics to stave off infections. At this point we're looking at days until we get to meet Mr. Coulter Torin Seidell.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Going for days... maybe weeks


We're in the Labor & Delivery and we're back on Magnesium Sulfate and introducing Indomethazone. The contractions are on and regular, but not labor contractions, just pre-labor contrations. The doctors are throwing the kitchen sink at her. One doc said, "We're gonna give her enough Mag to make her puke." When Dr. Williams told us that it was just a figure of speech, the nurse piped in that Dr. Colman (the puke doctor) probably meant exactly what he said.

Last night was a rough one. Nichole didn't get more than a few hours of sleep. She was up with big cramps and contractions. She was just uncomfortable the whole night through. Kate, the awesome night nurse, was on last night which helped Nichole's emotional state. We had one nurse who was trying to tell Nichole that she probably didn't notice these cramps and contractions over the past weeks because she would have been distracted by day to day stuff. Nichole had to tell her that these contractions were crippling and would knock her out of her chair if she were at work - not something that would overlooked by "distractions". We won't be seeing that nurse again. Kate is great for many reasons, but one of the big reasons is that she listens and then tries to figure out how to make it better or ascertain if this is something that needs a doctor.

Right now we're shooting for days. The possibility of a 6 week stay for us is pretty much off the table. Even a three week stay carries some pretty long odds. Realistically we're looking at days. Maybe another week. Past that is gravy. Every day Coulter stays inside equals 3 days not spent in the NICU. We'll be at 30 weeks on Tuesday. Like it or not it looks like he's going to spend some time in the NICU.

While writing this the Magnesium has been taking effect on Nichole and she's responding beautifully. The contractions have settled down. If this pattern can hold then we can buy more "in the womb" time.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Down with the Humps


In many ways we're back to the beginning. Back in Labor and Delivery, trying to stop the contractions, on super strict bedrest, working on getting the right mixture of medicines into Nichole, and keeping spirits up. The contractions are more frequent and stronger, but still less than 8 per hour so apparently we are still in the clear.

We're together so we're good. We're both up watching the show on The Learning Channel about the couple that had twins and then sextuplets (6) and I think we're both thinking "Oh thank god we're having just one." Helps keep everything in perspective.