Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is a big deal in the Haake house. It's only surpassed by Christmas. So, it was not a surprise that we dressed the girls up. They did pass out a few pieces of candy and went to two houses (our neighbor Jeff and Cheri's). Otherwise, they stayed inside sleeping through the trick or treaters.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wow, a month old already....

Last Saturday the girls turned one month old. Where has the time gone?! At their last doctor's appointment Emma weighed 5lb 14oz (my birth weight) and Katie weighed 6lb 3oz. In one week they had gained 8 and 9 ounces, respectively. I hadn't realized how much they had really grown until I was looking back at their newborn pictures. Wow, what a difference. Not only have their appearances changed some, but their personalities have changed as well. Both are still pretty relaxed babies, but Emma has found her voice and is a little impatient. When she wants something she wants it right now. Katie patiently waits for whatever she wants. Unless, it is the middle of the night and she wants her binky. Yes, the binky. In general they don't want them much during the day. However, once the 9 pm feeding hits, they start getting tired and want them. I find it to be bizarre, but I would rather limit the binky to night time then all of the time. That being said, if they are super cranky (like they have been today) then I am okay with letting them have them. I've also noticed they are having longer wake periods. Poor Katie has reflux. I am suposed to give them a multi-vitamin, but that makes it worse for her. So, I give it to her every other day. She also is now taking Zantac. Oh, I hope it helps. The poor baby just screams. You know it hurts.

I'm enjoying the time with them. I only have a few more weeks left before I go back to work. I won't pretend I want to go back. I've always wanted to stay home with my children. I think it is important to give them that the first 5 or 6 years. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. Instead, Derek will be home with them until he finds suitable employment. I'm a litte angry/envious of that.

Last night we carved pumpkins for Halloween. We bought each baby a pumpkin. Emma's has a princess crown with an "E". Katie's is a lady bug (I call her Katie Bug) and Charlie's has his name and angel wings. We also bought a couple big ones. We will call those the "mommy and daddy pumpkins".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our first week at home...

We have been home a week today. Truthfully, it hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to. The girls are on a pretty strict schedule. I think that has helped tremendously. The four of us have a little routine so far. Now mind you, their idea of a routine is eating and sleeping. However, we all seem to be adjusting fairly well. When we brought them home we introduced them to the dogs one at a time. As I suspected, the babies are not really our babies. They are actually their babies. Teaghan is peticularly protective. He gets quite upset when they cry. I will admit, once the babies were born the animals were knocked down the totem pole quite a bit. I never thought I would let that happen, but I suppose it is just the nature of things.

This weekend Derek's brother was married and all of his family came in to town. We had a parade of visitors all weekend. Additionally, my mom, Mike, Cass, and Scott were here visiting. Of course, I sobbed when my mom left. I really miss my family. Derek's parents just left. Derek went with them to grab dinner. All of the sudden my house seems very empty. It is just me and the girls. Feels strange.

How am I coping is hourly. Some days are better than others. This past week has been really rough. I'm not sure why, but it seems I have been crying more than not. The roller coaster of emotions is probably the hardest. I have these two amazing and beautiful little girls whom I adore. But, my heart still aches for their brother. I should be focusing on what I have and not what I don't. I am grateful that these girls are healthy and perfect, but some days it is very hard not to focus on the loss. I look at his pictures every morning and every night. Today I looked at the pictures we took of him and us in the hospital. He really was beautiful and just so amazing. I am sure with time that will become less frequent, but for now, it helps me. Tomorrow is going to be the first meeting of a support group for parents who have lost babies. I am hoping it helps.

I have a million pictures to upload and to email out, I will get to it. I promise.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The girls are going home...

It is hard to believe it has been two and a half weeks since our babies were born. Their stay in the NICU is almost over. Thank goodness!! Tonight Derek and I have a series of videos we have to watch. The girls have to pass a car seat challenge and then tomorrow once the docs round we will get to bust out of here.

The girls have changed so much already. Emma started out at 4lb 7oz. As of last night she was 5lb 1oz. Katherine started out 4lb 12oz. As of last night she was 5lb 4oz. Both have just about grown out of the preemie clothes. Not as much in weight but in length.

Derek and I were holding the girls last night and started talking about Charlie. We were wondering what he would look like. Would his personality be like the girls? The girls are so docile and easy going. Palliative care brought me the 3-D impressions they took of Charlie. I am so grateful to have them. I look at his pictures every day and now I can touch his hands and feet.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The best and worst day of my life...

You all know our beautiful babies were born on September 23, 2010. This day was the best day of my life and the worst day of my life. Our first daughter, Emma was born at 12:57pm weighing in at 4lb 7oz. Katherine, came at 12:58 weighing in at 4lbs 12oz. And our beautiful son, Charlie, was born at 12:59 weighing 3lbs 12oz.

The plan for that day was NST, lunch, and Dr. Stewart. We really had no reason to think anything was going to happen any differently. I was tired and moving slowly, but the babies seemed to be doing fine. They were moving and Baby B had the hiccups. We started our NST. Marty got baby A on the FECG, then baby B. When it came time to find baby C time seemed to stand still. She couldn't find him. She took us over to the ultrasound room where I heard the words "baby C has expired". Those words will forever be burned into my soul. Derek and I held each other and sobbed. Our vigorous and active little baby had died. What happened? That is all I could say. They called Dr. Stewart and he ran over to us. I called my mom. Within the hour we were going to meet our babies.

They took me to pre-op. Derek ran home to get our video camera and our camera. After all, we weren't planning on any of this happening. I remember filling out a ton of paperwork. They put in my IV and got me prepped for my c-section. I felt like I was in someone elses body.

Derek got to the hospital about 5 minutes before I walked back to the OR. He put on his garb for the OR. I walked back. They put in my spinal. And it was off to the races. Dr. Stewart pulled out each baby and showed them to me over the curtain. First was Emma, then Kate, then Charlie. All three were beautiful and perfect.

Derek filmed it all. They took all three babies to another room. Emma was fine. She didn't require any real additional assistance. Katherine was intubated and given a dose of surfactant. And Charlie was dressed in a little hat and gown for Derek to hold. Derek told me he sat and held Charlie until they wheeled me into recovery.

I sat with my perfect little boy in my arms. He was beautiful. He looked a lot like Katie. They think he rolled on his cord. His cord was small and short. They said when that when the cord is small it doesn't recover like a fatter cord. That he probably rolled and pinched it for just a second. They brought Emma in for us to hold. I held Charlie on one side and Emma on the other. Then they wheeled Katie in so we could see and touch her. We took a photo of the 5 of us. Our family. I held Charlie for 8 hours. Those were 8 of the fastest and most precious hours of my life.

Emma and Katie were transferred over to Akron Children's NICU. Emma went along for the ride more than for the support. Katie was given another dose of surfactant and extubated the next afternoon. They are doing very well. They are really just kind of hanging out in the NICU growing a little bit. I'm hoping their stay is going to be a short one, but they say plan on them coming home some time around their original due date. I go up to the NICU everyday and spend as much time with them as I can. When I am with them, my heart doesn't hurt. I tend to forget for just a little bit.

I stayed in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. We had a funeral for Charlie on Wednesday. My mom flew home to St. Louis on Friday. Derek and I flew home and buried him on Saturday. I feel like a third of me is missing. I keep wondering how you can miss something so much that you really never met. I hear the pain never really gets easier it just changes. You learn to stop focusing on the loss and redirect it. There are times I can't breathe thinking of Charlie. I ache for him. I am lucky, I still have these two amazing girls. They are amazing gifts and it is my job to take care of them and love them.

I'm going to keep posting to the blog. I'm not going to change the name. I carried and delivered three perfect babies. They will always be my three beans.