First Xmas

Piper has a foreign exchange sister Nao from Japan. It was her first christmas too. Piper and I were also in a car accident the week before christmas so we lost our SUV and her newborn car seat! She is now in a big girl still read facing carseat! She likes it as she can see out window now. Since we lost the car seat in accident she now sits in her stroller with out infant car seat attached. She loves walks now because she can be so nosey. She loves to look at everything! We enjoyed her first Xmas and have come to the conclusion next year she just needs paper! Aunt brig is home from Australia and has been getting to know me better! I think she loves me! ;)


Pics of Piper

These pics are the past week of kangrooing, first bottle, and first breast feed successfully! She pulled out her feeding tube last week so they have now taped it across her face! Hopefully we will be getting that out sooner than later!!

My favorite pic is of daddy covered in her blanket kangrooing her! The man who disposed pink is now covered in it.. By choice. We went to the store yesterday to pick up a baby first kit with clippers, thermometer.. Etc.  There was two kits and one was cheaper by five dollars but it was white. The more expensive one was pink. I told Nate let's just get this one.. He said no she's a girl she needs pink!! This is the man who told me not too much pink in her room!! Haha!! 

Daddy already spoils her! He also loves kangroo care so much he asked jokingly so we do this till she is ten right?! 

Our new world..

Since I've had Piper, it's been intense nonstop action. I'm exclusively pumping to feed Piper breast milk (BM) thru her tube which takes so much energy out of me. I'm pumping every two hours.. Learning how to function after bedrest is exhausting enough. Walking the first week was so hard. Learning to drive again.. It's all a lot! 
In addition, we finally are home in our house (piper is still at hospital). We lived at my moms for two weeks as I wasnt capable of stairs yet and needed help getting to the hospital since Nate was working. Now that we are both on summer, we are at the hospital as mich as we can, but coming home was a huge ordeal because we haven't been here in two months. So there are piles of gifts, mail and books for Nates business.. as well as household chores that have been neglected. Literally our living room has exploded, kitchen table is liked high with laundry, bills on the dining room table. But I expect this is normal for new parents except leavibg your baby at the hospital every night. 

We also go to hospital daily which is at least an hour drive each way. It's just exhausting.. We have a to do list a mile long because the two months I was hospitalized Nate was there with me & now were trying get it done prior to Piper coming home as she can't be out and about exposed to germs. The first year is so critical for preemies- she can't get sick. A normal cold could kill her or send her back to the hospital. 

Yet,  We can't complain our dream of a baby has come true.

So on our lil pip Sqeak. She stayed 9 days in NiCU. She was only one day on oxygen (CPAP) and since has been breathing all on her own! She does sometimes DSAT which is where their oxygen levels go down below 80 but she always recovers on her own. She also has occasional Brady's which is where Er heart rate drops below 70. They say it is super typical for preemies and she will outgrow it. So since Piper was doing everything a premise should she was moved to the NSCU floor. Which is considered a typical nursery floor for babies who just need more time to grow! She has now been on this floor for 12 days. At 31 weeks she was able to get her PIC line out so she isn't on any iv fluids and she was able to start wearing clothes (we also moved floors that week). Than at 32 weeks she had her feeds increased. She is now at a full feed of 34 cc every 3 hours!! She is gaining weight and doing great! She was also cleared of any brain bleeds. They say if she hasn't developed them after 14 days we are safe!! She isn't in the clear yet for NEC which is a instestine disease that kills all the gut till 34 weeks but she isn't showing any signs of it! NEC is terrible disease that kills many preemies and docs don't know why or how it starts other than an overgrowth of bacteria. We pray she doesn't ever get this!!

 We are now at 33 weeks and she started bottle feeding. The doctors were very surprised she was rooting for food this early and told us she prolly won't even successfully eat a bottle till 4 tries. The first try Piper ate half The bottle! The next day they gave her one and she ate all of it. So they moved her to two feeds a day by bottle and she did excellent! 

Today since she did so well feed breast milk by the bottle they recommended I also try the breast. She was feed twice on the bottle and once on the breast. She has eight feeds a day and they want her to get to fully eating by breast or bottle before going home. But they increase slowly since its a lot of work for a baby whose suppose to be still in the womb and they don't want them to lose weight in the process! Piper did excellent on the breast and feed for twenty mins! 

In addition Piper is getting moved from her isolate to an open crib soon!! 

The big things to go home are:
1. Breathe room air-check
2. Eat all meals by bottle or breast-in progress
3.maintain body temp and be in open crib-in progress
4. No DSAT or Bradycardia (she has to outgrow this) for 7 days! 

So please pray that Piper remains healthy (no NEC)! Pray she continues to make progress towards going home and for her medical team. Thanks to everyone who prays for her and has supported us on this journey!! 


Piper's Birth Story

Friday the day I turned 30 weeks I started having a tissue spotting that was slightly pink. I had been contracting on and off but they weren't too concerned. They said the tissue matter was minimal and was my cervix possibly changing. I also started walking to the nurses station since I the plan was to go home in a week or so. They wanted me to test the waters in the hospital. I walked once a day. We thought hey it's fine my cervix was the longest they ever measured.. 

For two days straight Sunday and Monday I would contract for hours. They checked me once and my cervix had not dilated. We thought ok we can make it to 32 weeks. Tuesday at 1 am I awoke to go to the restroom and I had blood.. In addition to the blood I had the most clear mucus I've ever seen. Which I had been slowly noticing since Friday, but when mentioned they said it was possibly my mucus plug due to the tissue matter too. But I knew something was definitely wrong, I yelled for Nate to get the nurse right away. Ive never seen Nate spring up so fast from a deep sleep. My nurse Jenny who we loved came rushing in. They called the dr on staff but they didn't want to check my cervix. I bleed till 6 am when the UT specialist came in. I told them what was happening. One resident thought it might be placenta aburbtion, slowly tearing away from the wall. The dr wasn't concerned he thought it was just my cervix changing. Nate actually thought about going into work but I was freaked out. They ordered a biophysical ultrasound. As the ultrasound tech was looking she was assuring me baby is ok and placenta is not tearing.  But I requested they check my fluid. Sure enough I saw the fluid was low. As soon as we got out of ultrasound, we roll past Sandra's office and I tell her that my fluid is low. She said  "ok honey we will do the amnio test." She rushed to get the test. Tested me and sure enough I was leaking and ruptured. I was ok till Sandra left the room. My mom had drove down and arrived at like 5 am. She could tell I was about to break down. Some woman can hang on ruptured but I was having intense back contractions (active labor) plus bleeding. The contraction device toco wasnt picking up my contractions due to the fact that they were in my back. So the staff thought she will hang on. I knew we weren't going to hang on. I cried.. I keep saying I wasn't ready yet.. We needed more time. I finally got it togeather and the nurse came in to tell me they were moving me to labor. They weren't going to except that my mom insisted to Sandra that she had no contractions that they could pick up on her just back labor and that I was born in 45 mins. If my mom wouldn't have insisted that my labor was replicating hers who knows what could have happened. She also insisted they start my IV fluids for antibiotics and mag for brain protection for Piper. 

Before they moved me they checked my cervix once they knew I was ruptured. I was 3 cm dilated at 12:30 pm. Once moved into the labor room, I just kept having back contractions about 5 mins apart. Dr Gei came by and said he thought I could hang on a little longer. My nurse insisted I wear these hideous huge panties and a huge pad.. I literally couldn't stop laughing at it. But soon after my whole bag of water broke and the room suddenly got chaotic. I started crying and yelled Dr Gei lied. Dr Gei was already back in Bellaire and wasn't going to make it. When they checked after my water broke, I was totally effaced and dilated and Piper was in the birth canal. They prepped the room for delivery. It was tense because I was in such denial she was coming. I just made my mom and Nate repeat natural labor, no drugs, csection only if its an emergency. I got my wish for natural labor.. But at one point I wasn't sure I could do it any more. My mom had one leg and nurse Jessica held my other leg. Nate was by my head coaching and trying not to stress too much. 

But after being told for two months never to bear down or push it was intense to push using muscles I forgot I had. One of the residents who thought I might have abruption, wasn't pleased the way my labor was progressing even though I was moving fast and was being so rough. I think if he had stayed he would have fore me. He also told Nate that there were too many cooks in the kitchen and to be quiet. 

Luckily he left the room shortly, Dr Barren and Dr Burg both female docs were gentle yet reaffirming in my ability to go natural with no meds.  They didn't have a time table they just coached me thru pushing. After 20 mins of pushing with contractions 4 mins apart, they gave me pitocin. Because the contractions were so far away Piper wasn't moving down the birth canal. Once the pitocin took effect they were the same intensity yet closer togeather. Piper was born 25 mins later. Once her head was out they said stop pushing. They slowly eased her out and Nate cut the cord. 

Once the cord was cut she was taken to a room right off of ours that I could see and the neonatal team started on her. Her apgar at one minute was 6 and at 5 mins she was an 8 (10 is perfect and many full term babies don't receive that). 

She was put on CPAP to help her lungs fill and taken off to NICU. We had to wait an hour to meet our little girl! 

Next couple pics are from her birthday. 

Piper Makenzie Embley
Born 5/21/13 at 30 weeks 3 days
Weighing at 3lbs 4 oz and 14.9 inches long. 

We are so incredibly blessed.. Please pray she grows and is healthy enough to come home soon.