Monday, December 31, 2007
Now than Alan has made it home safe and sound, we've had a great deal to be thankful for. But such is life, nothing is just right. Paddington, our enigmatic and extremely lovable cat, has not been heard from since we left for the hospital last Wednesday morning. He does live outside, so this isn't a situation that is dire...yet. Paddington spends a great deal of his time near our home and to not have seen him in so long does concern us.
In other pet news, Alan's introduction to our family and into our home has not disrupted anything as far as the pets are concerned. The curiosity is palpable, but nothing out of the ordinary to report, and we couldn't be more pleased.
Alan has fought the fight and turned some heads in the NICU with his quick recovery. We spent last night in our own beds, and by spent the night I mean mostly awake as you parents know. Alan is pictured above before his first car ride.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Our moments of pleasure in the hospital are few and far between, but last night we were visited in our room by a nurse from the NICU who brought us news of a breakthrough. Alan has begun to process his sugars more consistently and has maintained levels satisfactory enough to have been disconnected from his IV yesterday afternoon and continued progress enough to be released from the NICU and spend the night with us for the first time since he was born. Everything is going very well, and all of his test results are further indications that he may very well have put the NICU behind him for good and we may even be released from the hospital today and spend the night at home!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Today marks Alan's fourth day in the NICU and progress has slowed. From what we can understand we'll likely be discharged from the hospital prior to his release from intensive care. Its a bitter blow for us, especially Angie, who in spite of her cool exterior is truly hurt to think we may be going home without him.
On Being A Parent
Becoming a parent gives you a true moment of clarity. It’s very lonely and isolating but its like becoming a different person and achieving a new level of growth. However, with Alan being in the NICU we feel detached, and in some ways, not parents at all. We sit in our hospital room by ourselves, resting and watching movies as if the whole thing never happened. We visit him every 3 hours for feeding and then start the process over again.
His condition is a fairly normal one for children in the NICU, but most cases are not for term babies. He is healthy looking, feeling and is feeding well but in the end he’s still just a few days old and his system is still recovering from stress in utero. His system is still growing and maturing and the organs that are used to process sugars are getting in line every day. It looks as if we’ll be leaving the hospital on Monday, but we’ll be leaving him behind if he does not make big strides in the next 24 hours. The nurse practitioner encouraged us and gave us a lot of positive energy, but told us that in the event we do leave the hospital without him it would be “the worst day of our lives.”
Being a parent has been wonderful but full of emotion and confusion. We can hardly sleep between times we visit him and nervously await his next progress report.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Today is Alan’s third day in the NICU. Progress is slow but sure and if not for all of the equipment he’s attached to he’d look healthy and happy. He’s feeding very well and controlling his own intake nicely. However, he’s not holding on to his blood-sugar as well as yesterday and looks to have had a step backwards. But we have definitive goals for him and are working really hard to help him to achieve them. His condition continues to baffle the nurses and we can’t help but get frustrated by the circumstances. Angie is doing a really great job and motherhood is coming naturally. She took a walk out of the hospital today for the first time since we got there Wednesday morning and she’s coping really well with the situation. Our stay at the hospital ends for sure on Sunday and we anxiously await every glucose test result, for which he has had countless pricks to his little heels. The tests are very tough for us to stomach, and there’s no telling what he must think, but he’s tough and we know when he gets out of this he’ll be stronger than ever.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Oh, Boy! Alan Wyn did not come quietly into the world. Well, it depends who you ask. Angie woke up to what felt like water breaking at 4 o’clock on the morning of the 26th and we headed to the hospital full of hope that it was finally the day we were introduced to our son. Upon entry to the hospital, we got a negative result for water breakage, but through the various devices she was plugged into, it was noted that in response to contractions, Alan’s heart rate would drop at a rate of concern to the attendant nurses. As it was early, we awaited word from our OB/GYN as to the next step to take. Pitocin? Patience? We were in no rush, but we were the only ones, and at the nurses and our doctor determined that a Cesarean Section was needed to relieve Alan of this stress. By , Angie was prepped and ready for surgery.
21 minutes later, Alan arrived. He has a full head of long, dark, straight hair and didn’t so much as utter a sound upon entering the world, but for a small cry. His quiet disposition led us to believe we may have a laid-back little guy, and we were happy to have him here with us in any case. He came back to the room with Robert as Angie was finishing up surgery and met his paternal grandparents while getting a run of tests. He weighed 6.9 pounds and was 19.5 inches long, but he was critically low in blood-sugar and as fast as he left the operating room, he was put in the NICU, where he remains today, trying his best to get back to a blood-sugar level that can set him straight and get him back with us where he belongs.
Becoming a parent is scary, no question. But there is no book or life experience that can prepare you to see your child hooked up to myriad devices and tubes before you can even put him into his mother's arms for the first time. It hurts, deep. But he’s tough as nails and has taken everything from a feeding tube down the nose, an IV, periodic pricks to the feet for blood-sugar testing and a number of different nurses attending to him all in stride, and with very little complaining. He’s our little hero and we know that sooner rather than later he’ll be here with us to share in his mother’s recovery and get the stores of love we’re ready to give him. But he’s here, showing us what it takes to have strength and have life. Nothing is easy and we all have our fights to fight. He’s winning his, and we’re having the time of our lives supporting him.
Alan’s Story (Part 2)
Alan continues to persevere in the NICU today, and Angie has recovered enough to join him from time to time. His blood-sugar is steadily rising and he’s getting a good deal of nutrition, even some from Mom herself. He’s taking slowing to breast feeding but is a quick study. By the end of today he will have gone from not opening his mouth enough to full on feeding in sometimes 15 minute intervals.
Angie has really bounced back from the C-Section and is walking on her own through the hospital and to the NICU regularly to spend more and more time with Alan. They’ve begun to form that wonderful bond; you can see it in each of them. Alan does sleep a lot, but you can tell that there is no place more comfortable for him than with his Mom. She’s much happier now that the numbness has worn off and she can begin to heal, and the smile on her face when she’s with Alan can light the whole building.
Alan has graduated from the heat-lamped crib to a regular crib this evening and is steadily getting through this difficult patch. His blood-sugar has risen from 13 to as high as 67. No concrete estimate has been given for his release date but we are ever hopeful he’ll be spending the night with us tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Great success! Angie gave birth to our son today at 10.51am via Cesarean Section. More to follow, much more.
"I think my water may have broken."
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Our favorite Green Bay Packer, Atari Bigby, is still at it these days. He's a part of one of the NFC's best defensive units and part of a team that has already clinched a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs. This week, Atari was named the NFL Player of the Week. A great honor for a great guy, he's as hard working as they come and his efforts are being noticed. But it didn't hurt to have 4 tackles and 2 interceptions on national TV! Congratulations Atari!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
While we're waiting at home for AWM to show up, we decided to do something while we're doing nothing. So we've taken to doing some do it yourself projects. Our first project has been to get around buying the mostly overpriced and in some cases unnatural baby wipes. Thanks to our new online resource Z Recommends, we've found a nice recipe for homemade wipes that cost as little as .06 cents per wipe when compared to store bought brands that can cost around 2.6 cents per wipe. Score! We've made our first batch, and they're not only soft but smell very nice and contain no alcohol.
Our other project has been to make a homemade mobile for the bassinet in our bedroom. As we've crammed through books leading up to this delivery, we've learned some valuable lessons about the first few weeks and months of life. It's been noted that an infant's poor vision and awareness may be better suited for brightly-colored and simply-shaped items such as human faces. We've made an impression of our little family to which AWM can acclimatize in his early weeks.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Our communication with friends and family is approaching absolute zero. Any call originating from us gets people excited and anxious hoping for news of labor and/or birth. AWM is seemingly very comfortable, but he's the only one. Angie is increasingly on edge, never getting comfortable and with constant back and hip aches. We're ready to go with our bags packed and tanks full of gas, but it doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere right away. And we aren't calling anyone with no news, its disappointing more than anything. More to come later....we hope.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Angie had her 38th week appointment today and learned that things are moving along surely. AWM has lightened and is engaged, meaning he's on the cusp of his 0th birthday.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
One year ago today we left the comforts of home and family on a trip into the unknown of Swansea, Wales. The photo above was in one of our original blog posts (all of which can be found in the 'blog archive' section of this page, in the menu on the right) from our trip abroad and shows our marina home near Swansea Bay. Just writing of this experience brings memories flooding back, and lots of emotions. We found a bit of ourselves we didn't know in Wales, we discovered a passion for adventure and a hunger for all things not us, a new culture and new friends. We often think of our time in Wales and long for the days we'll be able to return, this time for a different sort of homecoming...for AWM, our little piece of Wales we brought home with us.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
"The feelings of anxiety I'm getting as I lead up to this delivery are quite similar to those that I've had as I've approached a marathon with minimal training."
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
So are the days of our lives as a couple, as in two. Things are changing around here. All the nursery needs is a baby and we love the smell of Dreft. What more is there to do? Oh, yeah...the birthing. What may have been Braxton Hicks contractions have begun and Angie is increasingly irritable and uncomfortable;
AWM should be here any day now.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
We took a break last week and headed up to Dallas. Since Angie's parents moved from Dallas a little over a year ago, we haven't had much reason to visit. That was until the Green Bay Packers came to town to play the Dallas Cowboys in the game of the season thus far in the NFC. Atari is now an established member of the Packers secondary and this would be our first time to see him play professionally. We met up with Angie's dad and had an amazing time watching Atari play in the biggest game of his young career. We had a great experience in the stands as well, sitting in the player's family section with kick returner and defensive back Tremon Williams' father and kicker Mason Crosby's sister.
Atari had a good game in spite of the narrow defeat (the Pack unfortunately lost 34-24) and we're grateful to him for giving us the opportunity. Thanks Atari!