Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Lauren

Lauren's party was a big success yesterday. She had her first true taste of sugar (as in PURE SUGAR mixed with BUTTER) and, needless to say, she loved it. She was trying to shove it in with both hands!

As we opened her presents, I had LOTS of help. From 2 up to 12, every kid at that party was ready and willing to tear into those gifts, even if what they opened were tiny little girl clothes. As they opened what was essentially an entire wardrobe that Lauren's Grandma got her, they squealed, "they're so tiny - they look like Build-a-Bear clothes!"


So to continue the saga of what was happening a year ago... Sunday Morning, I was still on the Labor & Delivery floor, recovering from the night before, mostly calm and sleeping. At 9am, a nurse rushed in and said, "roll over, the baby doesn't like that side". Apparently Lauren's heart beat had dropped and wasn't coming back up... then more nurses... I was bleeding too. Then a swarm of doctors and nurses... time for an emergency c-section. I was in a bit of shock. I looked over at Chuck and said, "I love you Honey", as they wheeled me away.

They had me out cold and had the baby out within about 20 minutes. Lauren was born with an APGAR score of 1 and a collapsed lung. They performed miracles and got her stable. She needed lots of blood and had to go on a respirator. She was 2lbs 2oz. She would spend the next 7 weeks in NICU.

As for me, I would end up having additional 3 hours of surgery. The placenta was attached too deeply to the uterus (placenta accreta) and I was losing a lot of blood. The doctor had been at Church, got paged, and arrived just in time to put a ton of stiches in and prevent the need for a hysterectomy. I got 7 units of blood that day. I think he brought some extra help from Church.

Those several hours were easier on me than they were on Chuck. He saw his tiny, frail baby - a bit deformed from being smooshed in utero without fluid for 5 weeks - being wheeled by to NICU... and had to keep signing consent forms for my surgeries and blood transfusions... and, for a time, I'm sure he thought he might lose both of us. Jenny came to the hospital and really held it together for Chuck. Later, at home, not so much... but she was strong for us when we needed her most.

I remained unconscious until about 9pm that night, when I woke up with a breathing tube in my throat, unsure of what had happened. Chuck told me the baby was doing ok, so I was relieved. He didn't give me a true picture of her situation, knowing that there was nothing I could do and worrying wouldn't help her or me.

But, as you can tell from the beautiful picture above, Lauren improved. I had a couple set backs with blood clots and a near mental breakdown, but I got better too. And through it all, Chuck was a saint, taking such good care of me and Lauren.

And all this struggle was worth it. Slowly, the stress diminshed to the normal level that every parent has over a child... the fun is now growing each day as she does new things, starts to talk, and forms her personality.

We will never forget the difficult start, but we pray that the good times will far outweigh the bad.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A year ago today, I was in the hospital, 29 weeks pregnant. After 4 weeks on bedrest at home, my water had broke Christmas night, and I had laid in the hospital for 5 weeks in a constant state of worry that I'd miss signals from my body that things were going awry. They kept telling me, "oh, YOU'LL KNOW"... but on that day last year, I didn't REALLY know, I just felt a little off and wasn't feeling the baby move much. Sure enough, when they put me on the monitor, I was having contractions... and with each contraction, a big dip in Lauren's heartrate ( a decel, as they call them). They moved me over to the Labor and Delivery floor, where they monitor you constantly. Chuck and I watched the monitor for hours, focusing on the number for Lauren's heart rate, anxious to see it go back up after each contraction. The contractions got further and further apart. They almost sent me back to my room, but decided to wait until morning... thank GOD they waited. If I hadn't been being monitored, Lauren would not be here today.

Friday, January 26, 2007

While Lauren was playing with the newspaper (yes, I was letting her wreck the place), I noticed that she kept leaning over. Then I spotted the pic of President Bush and realized she was kissing his picture! She continued to do it over and over again. It was hilarious. I grabbed my camera, figuring it would be, at the very least, interesting as part of future history.

I'm not sure what drew her to it, I haven't seen her do this to a picture before... regardless, I opted to have a bipartisan response and find it adorable.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Brave or Stupid?

And now for my next family story... about my older brother who lives in Vegas...

He was coming out of a grocery store a little after midnight one night last week... he noticed a seedy looking guy, so he was wary as he walked up to his truck... sure enough, the guy ran up to him, pulled a gun and demanded money.

Here's where a normal person would have handed over their wallet. My brother is not normal.

So he grabs the guys arm (the one holding the gun) and "swoops" the guy - body slamming him to the ground. The guy got up and ran away, but before he got too far, he turned around and pointed the gun and my brother and mouthed "pop"... as if to tell my brother that he could blow him away but is choosing not to...

My brother ran in to the store, told them to call the police and about the tempted robbery, only to find out 2 other people had been robbed earlier that week. The police arrived quickly but couldn't find the guy. So my brother's been trying to get the market to step up security and catch the low life.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Crazy Aunt

Have I ever mentioned that I have a crazy Aunt? I think she was normal at one point in life (if you call taking the doll clothes my Mom had stolen from the five and dime and sneaking them back into the store normal), but then she got in a very bad car accident, almost died, and had to learn to walk and talk all over again. Since then, she has been a little off, in the I-bought-you-a-singing-stuffed-rose kind of way.

So the other night, in the middle of the night, 3am-ish, she went to Wegmans to buy hot dogs for the next day. When she got home, she found that she could not get her coat unzipped. This I can relate to - I have a puffy coat and a puffy vest from the Gap that have gotten stuck before. Once Jenny & Aaron had to fight with my pocket zipper - of which my cell phone was trapped - for over a half hour before my phone was freed. I haven't zipped the pocket since...

so anyway, it was 3:30am and Aunt Del was stuck in her coat. A normal person might decide to sleep in the coat and deal with it in the morning, but not a Crazy Aunt. Crazy Aunt heads out to the nearest police station for help. She couldn't find a doorbell at the police station, so she went to the fire station. They had a doorbell. She rang it (remember, it's about 4am now). A fireman opened the door and she said, "I can't get my coat unzipped".

I'm sure this fireman was thinking one of two things... a) this lady is crazy or b) this lady has been watching too much late night cable and is trying to get lucky. Either way, I'm sure he was worried. So he woke up his partner and another Firefighter showed up, bleary eyed and sleepy.

Together, they tried to unzip her coat, but couldn't get it. They pulled out the heavy artilery (pliers) and freed my Aunt from the confines of her puffy coat... and sent her on her way.

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Am I terrible or what. Just seems like no time to blog. Or nothing exciting to blog about. But this weekend was good. Went to Vegas to visit dysfunctional brothers, who were actually mostly normal for the few days I was there, and to hang with Jenny.

We went a little crazy and even played some QUARTER slots ;-) My personal faves are the nickel video poker machines, five bucks can last over a half hour. That's alot more fun than dropping 20 bucks in the span of, oh, about 3 minutes. That's when I get a sick feeling in my stomach and walk around angry for the next hour. But $5 for half an hour of poker... it's worth the money in entertainment value. I actually hit four Aces twice on this trip, won about $40, not a windfall, but better than losing. I then popped some of my winnings into the Megamillion machine ($3 a spin) to try to win $11 million... but as I'm sure you can guess, no such luck.

Little L had her 1 year follow up at the NICU today. I can't believe it's been a year since the ordeal! The first couple months were very rough, but the little one is doing so well now and is so much fun. She tested very well today and is not developmentally delayed for her adjusted age (9 mos). Whew. We got lucky (and blessed) with this baby, in many ways.

They say she should be talking soon. I'm sure that will be fun too, until the day she says, "I HATE YOU MOMMY". Though honestly, I never even had an INKLING to say that to my Mom and I don't think Lauren will say it to me. Though I am going to be much more strict than my Mom, who was letting me drive her Dodge Charger 2.2 around without a license when I was 15!