Sunday, March 28, 2010

Because You Need Pictures of Us Eating

Last week was my father's birthday. He was in Bethlehem, PA for a work thingy-ma-bob and so we met half way to enjoy a Birthday/We-don't-get-to-see-you-that-much dinner. Oh how I love PF Changs. And my Dad. He's pretty rockin'. Just ask Caleb.

Thanks for meeting up with us and for letting us waste your evening.

Happy Birthday, Pops.

Caleb, showing Grandpere how to use chopsticks

Caleb and Grandpere, blowing out candles

This happened several more times, Caleb wanted the candle to be lit again and again.

Peter, Caleb, Grandpere and Amanda.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things Caleb Says

These days, Caleb's saying a lot of cute things:

"It's too big, I can't hold it." (in reference to large trucks, trains, elephants, tigers, or anything he doesn't want to touch.)

"Hide, Daddy. Be a lion." (Peter and Caleb play a game of Daddy pretending to be a lion.)

"Baby Sister drinks breast milk, I drink cow milk."

"Good job, Mommy, good job helping." (Pretty much anytime I do anything).

The other day, Peter was painting. Caleb came up to him and said, "Whatchya doing, Daddy?" "I'm painting, Caleb." " Ohhhh, Painting? Great job Daddy, it looks very nice."

Yesterday, at the Y, Caleb was getting his diaper changed. He looked up at the lady and said, "I love my Charlotte. She's at the hospital to get all better."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Moving On

This morning I'm getting ready to head over to a baby shower for a dear, dear friend. This friend has struggled with health problems for years and has suffered a lot when it came to getting pregnant. And so to have a party to celebrate being 34 weeks pregnant makes sense.


Emotionally, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to handle it. I don't know why even. But I'm going. Because I know that even if I'm not ready for this, I have incredible friends who will let me be that crazy person who's crying over baby socks. And that's the beauty of our situation. Sometimes this whole thing makes me a mean, crass person (a whole 'nother post) but sometimes, most of the time, this situation makes me better. It helps me to see how much we really have-- how blessed we really are. We have been given so much, so very much.

And that's a gift.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Words Peter Doesn't Need to Hear:

"You were right."

He'd been telling me all week to go in and see my doctor. "But it's just a stupid upper respiratory thing," I'd claim. Besides, I knew that they would just say that it was viral and I'd be over it in a few days. "But you're fever is not consistent with a URI," he'd claim (what a medical student).


Finally after I'd started an antibiotic for the upper respiratory thing-y-ma-bob and my fever still wasn't going down at all, even though I'd stopped coughing, I was willing to concede that there might be SOMETHING else going on. But Peter still wasn't "right".

"I think you have an abscess," he'd say. "But remember Caleb's abscess? It was all red and puffy. My incision looks perfect," I'd counter.

This went on for 3 days.

Until Sunday morning when I woke up with a red and puffy abdomen.

So instead of a nice and simple office visit, I ended up in the ER for 7 hours. I had to drink contrast, get a CT scan, and let the doctor slice me back open to squeeze out some junky stuff. And I have to pump and dump. Stupid CT scan.

And I still have to go back into the office to have it checked again.

But I'll still never say it. He doesn't need to hear it. He already knows.

And that's dangerous enough.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Caleb getting ready

Caleb getting ready, originally uploaded by afknick.

Caleb thinks that he should be able to get ready just like Mommy. He also wants to put on make-up. I don't know if I should be worried or not...

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Caleb: No, Daddy, NOOOOO!

Me: Caleb we don't tell Mommy and Daddy, 'no'-- Daddy is trying to help, OK?

Caleb: No. No OK.

Peter: Yeah, he got that loud and clear.

Don't worry, we're writing down all our parenting secrets and planning to have them published to help all of you out who are just not as good at this as we are.

We do what we can.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary to My Very Best Friend

Among other things, today is our 4 year anniversary. We celebrated like party animals. I took some percocet and slept and Peter tried to put our lives back together. Tonight, we'll put Caleb in bed and head over to the hospital. Woohoo!

Despite the lack of festivities, I cannot imagine celebrating this day with anyone else. Especially in light of recent events, I am so glad that I have such an incredible man by my side. Peter has always been amazing, but he's out done even himself in the past few months.

If I have to spend today in the NICU, I'm so glad I get to do it with my best friend by my side-- cause that's what marriage really is, right?

PS-- Her blog is up. We'll be updating over there from now on. Stay tuned here for all our other antics.

the lonely trip home from the hospital.

She is doing as well as we can hope for. She lives in the incubator pictured above where the temp is ~95 degrees and the humidity is 85%. She has a light shining on her constantly to help reduce the biliruben build up in her blood which causes jaundice in most a lot of newborns. Her head is pretty much completely covered with a hat and blinders so that the light will not damage her fragile eyes. She is on the Ventilator on CPAP (Continous positive Airway Pressure)settings with either a nasal canula or a face mask strapped to her head. CPAP works like blowing up a balloon. It is hard when you first start blowing it up, but after a few breaths it gets a lot easier. The CPAP keeps the lungs from completely collapsing with each breath making it much easier to take the next breath. This is a good sign because it means that her lungs are doing most of the work, they just need a little help vs. on ventilator settings where the machine is doing most of the work.
She likes to move her arms around and usually has one hand resting on her chin.

The next big test will be whether something called the Ductus Arterious will close. The ductus is a blood vessel that reroutes the blood away from the non functioning lungs during development in utero. It usually spontaneously closes in most term infants after they take their first breath. Failure of this shortcut to close within 24 hours of birth is concerning because it can lead to very high pressures in the lungs and ultimately Right sided Congestive heart failure. This morning they said that it was not yet closed and that they would give her medication today to try and speed up the process of closure. If the medication does not work, it will require surgery to close. Hopefully it decides to close on its own.

Amanda: She is doing well considering what has happened in the past week. She is currently in a Percocet induced deep sleep. She is in a good deal of pain from the C-section. She was discharged today and it was tough to watch the other mothers leave with their happy sleeping newborns, while we left without Charlotte as she clung to life in the NICU. We were happy for the other mothers, it was just hard to have the difference in our situations so clearly displayed.

Peter: I am discovering that it is a lot more fun to be on the doctor side of things then the patient side. The first class in medical school where you dissect a cadaver from from head to toe teaches you, among other things, how to objectify the HE-- out of any situation. Instead of a patient being a father of four with a loving wife, he becomes the 35 year old Caucasian male with presenting with chest pain, shortness of breath and diaphoresis .....
It has been hard not to objectify what is happening with Charlotte. Hard not to become preoccupied with the ventilator settings, oxygen saturation, or the tower of different drugs/nutrition that is running into her IV's. I have to catch myself and remember that it is my daughter under all of the tubes and wires and not just another interesting patient.

Caleb: He has been doing remarkably well. We are thankful to all of the people that have extended offers to watch him as we go through this. He loves to play with other kids and asks us every day whether he can go and "play with kids" today. He says that he has a baby sister, but I am not sure how deep that understanding goes. We were practicing her name today with him and he seemed excited about it.

I think that Amanda is going to setup a separate blog for all things Charlotte while she is in the hospital. She will post a link to it here when she does.