Saturday, July 28, 2012

Maxwell is home!!!

The past two weeks have been a whirl wind of visits to Maxwell in NICU, the joy of bringing him home this past Wednesday and caring for him ever since. It has been exhausting, wonderful and everything I have wanted!

I am feeling so lucky on a variety of levels...I have my sweet boy at home, he is pretty easy going, he has a reasonable eating schedule as a result of life in the NICU and is way better at breastfeeding than I am! Basically not only is he a dream come true but he is a dream baby to care for...I know that could change at any moment but the last four days have been amazing.

I could gush on and on but really... The photos speak for themselves.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My joy

Maxwell is doing well in the NICU but there are tiny hiccoughs in his progress (jaundice, not gaining weight). I absolutely am not complaining because so many others who have experienced much scarier things. I have learned in the last 6 days that my expectations and hopes of bringing Maxwell home sooner rather than later take the backseat compared to doing what is best for my Lil man.

I thought i would share some pictures of my joy!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Empty Arms

Life with Maxwell has been moving at a breakneck pace...he is 5 days old today and I'm not sure how that is possible!

I was discharged from the hospital on Monday but Maxwell is still in the NICU. Thankfully he is doing well but having to walk out of a hospital with empty arms...again...was awful. It brought back so many memories and emotions of having to leave a different hospital without William and Ethan.

But this time it is different. I can go back each day and see, hold, love and and kiss Maxwell. Each time I leave my heart breaks, but I know I can go back or call at any time. I still worry that I'll get the dreaded phone call like I did for Ethan...every time my phone rings I hold my breath.

Even walking in to the NICU I hold my breath which I know is a hold over from having to walk back into the NICU that final time to see Ethan, knowing he was already gone. Again...this is a different NICU and a different story, but the fear is there.

Two days ago I walked in and the baby in the space neighboring Maxwell was gone...she was born over a month who and probably at the youngest age (27 weeks) that this NICU will admit. She is very very tiny. Seeing her spot empty threw me into a panic and knowing they would not tell me where she was or what happened (patient confidentiality). For two hours I contemplated talking to Maxwell's nurse even if it was to reach out to this baby's parents because I know something about their pain.

You can imagine my relief when I walked through the NICU and turned the corner to head to the rest room and there she was! My relief was so intense I started to cry. When I got back to Maxwell's spot I had to tell someone so I unloaded on our nurse. Thank goodness the NICU staff is so understanding and supportive! She explained how they like to shuffle spaces around based on need and variety. Whew!

I repeated this mantra to myself throughout my pregnancy and continue to do so...this time is different.

(ps- thank you for your many kind words and congratulations. They are appreciated beyond measure! Specific updates and photos on Maxwell will be posted on his space will continue to be William & Ethan's space, my grief and related topics which will undoubtably include Maxwell.)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

William & Ethan's Brother Is Here!

Say hello to Maxwell Alexander!

(you can read more over at

Hello baby!

Yesterday my doctor decided it was time to bring Speck into the world! The induction went reasonably well (birth story to follow at a later date) and my beautiful baby boy made it safely in to my arms. Hearing his cry was the most beautiful, heart-lifting sound I have ever heard...I was crying as much as he was!

After much debate, and the suggestion of one of the NICU nurses in attendance at the delivery, we used our top two choices to name our adorable Maxwell Alexander. He has quite a bit of dark hair, a dimple on on his right check that turns me in to goo every single time I see it and makes hilarious faces already.

For being exactly 34 weeks, Maxwell weighed in at 5lbs 1oz and was 18 1/2" long. He's a small fry (for now) but I dread the idea of how large he could have been if I made it to full term! Right now Maxwell is in the NICU and will be there for a bit. He didn't need oxygen support and hasn't needed feeding support so far. He is jaundiced and needs a course of antibiotics since my water broke 2 1/2 weeks ago. Those two factors will keep him in NICU for at least 3 days. I'm guessing a minimum of a week but only time will tell.

My heart is so much lighter and at the same time I miss William and Ethan so much more. This is an interesting place to be...and unlike anything I could have imagined. I yearn for what could have been while falling head over heels in love with what I have. I thought that all of these feelings would conflict but they just are and feel somewhat unrelated.

Any way you look at it, Maxwell has captured my heart!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eviction Notice

Speck has received his eviction notice from my doctor...I will be induced sometime this coming weekend. Being a planner it is nice to know then when, but not knowing the specifics is making me a little stir crazy! I know the timing depends on the available beds in labor & delivery, my doctor's availability (active labor trumps my induction) and other factors I can't imagine at this point. What's important is he is going to be born this weekend!!! Sunday would be fun because it's my Dad's birthday (and a few other friends as well).

I have been doing my best not to completely freak out. This is scary stuff, even if Speck wasn't going to be premature. There is a PTSD creeping in with a flood of memories of William and Ethan's delivery. Then there is the fear of something going wrong for Speck either during or after delivery. And let us not forget my fear of being induced and all the craziness that can happen there...labor progressing slowly and lasting an eternity which could lead to a c-section or on the flip side labor progressing rapidly with crazy intense contractions. I still, without a doubt, feel that I'll do anything to make sure Speck gets here safe and sound.

Yesterday I got to take a field
trip to the NICU...hooray for leaving my room for the first time in 16 days! It did ease my mind a little to see it (I am not in the hospitals where my twins were born or where E spent a day in NICU) but it brought back more memories that choked me up and later brought on a the tears. I think the hardest part was wheeling by (I am not allowed to walk further than my bathroom so I was in a wheelchair) a bassinet with a decorated name tag that said Ethan. I couldn't actually see the baby inside, but it was a punch to the chest just the same. It is amazing how fast and furious grief and memories come flooding back.

While I wait (anxiously, nervously)for Speck I am trying to focus on the love and excitement and less on the scary

He'll be here soon...holy cow!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yes and No

I am still on bed rest in the hospital...the baby has stayed put for nearly two weeks and so far so good!

Being in the hospital I have met lots of nurses and staff. Being here for an extended length of time the people I've come in contact with start to be social and ask questions. Being on the L&S/post-partum floor there are lots of questions about the baby...and of course the question every pregnant after baby loss mama dreads, is this your first?

I've come up with a workable strategy for answering. If the person is involved in my day-to-day care (nurses, techs) I reply "yes and no" and only give more details if they ask additional questions. For the food service, house keeping and random engineering staff (my tv remote w/ built in speaker broke) I usually reply "hopefully." This answer seems to satisfy the curiosity of many.

In my heart I still feel that these answers are an injustice to my first born sons. There just aren't the kind of words that easily express what I've lost. We know what orphans and widows/widowers are...if only there was a title for baby loss mamas/papas so I could say, "no, I'm a ______." it would be universally accepted and understood without explanation.

It has been nice to talk about William and Ethan when the opportunity comes up. I miss them so very much.


I am coming up on two weeks of bring in the hospital and bed rest isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Thankfully Speck has been able to stay put and continue to grow to give him every possible advantage when he does finally get here. I also love having three NSTs a day ...nothing in the world sounds better to me than that galloping heartbeat!

I do know that some time in the next 2-3 weeks Speck will be here. That is such a mind boggler! Obviously I much prefer he spend as much time baking as possible, but if we make it to 35 weeks I'll be induced and that kind of freaks me out. My "birth plan" went out the window when my water broke but preference is still for a natural, spontaneous birth. What trumps everything is Speck's well being so if that means induction or c-section then so be it.

Since my water broke so early I am no where close to being ready for Speck's arrival. Well thats not 100% true. We do have a car seat, we ordered a stroller and it arrived, my parents brought down a refinished cradle that was mine and last week I ordered a custom mattress for it. The crib is out of the attic (a hand-me-down from my sister in law) but no mattress or sheets, no clothing other than the two take home outfits I bought, no diapers, no bathing supplies...luckily you don't need very much for a newborn, but some things are essential!

My darling hubby and my family (in town for a visit last week) have been wonderful about getting Speck's future room cleared out so it can be set up (it is our old office).

So much to do and so little time!