"What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless." -Blessed John Paul II

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gianna 6 months old

I don't know if this counts as a post or not, but I only have a few minutes to type before she awakes.

Feb 18th was her 6 month birthday. Crazy. It was Jan 23rd of last year that I had my positive pregnancy test. And 13months later she is 6 months old. Crazy how fast those 13 months went with her after she skipped a couple months in my belly!

What she has accomplished: rolls from back to front and front to back. Scoots on her knees and forehead to get toys the bigger kids place in front of her. Smiles. Coos. Gargles her saliva.
Foods: We have made homemade baby foods and she has loved them. Butternut squash, zucchini squash, carrots, bananas and applesauce. She gobbles it all up.
Sleep: Slept 7 hrs straight the other night! Best sleeper yet! Of course the big kids were up sick all night, but she slept! So there is hope in our future of a restful night! She does like to stay up until 11:30pm, because after the big kids go to sleep at 8, of course it is her time to shine and hog all of mom and dad's attention :)

Gianna, I love you. I am so proud of you. You have beaten the odds as far as being born so prematurely. You are ahead of all the milestones for a normal infant, far exceeding the milestones for premies your same age. You have been relatively healthy all winter and so far we have escaped nasty bugs. You are such a joy to us all. We love you so much lovebug

Love, Mom

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thyroid Cancer Part 2

So 7 days after receiving my cancer diagnosis, I went into the hospital to have my thyroid removed. Josh was to have his PhD defense the next day. It was a big week. My parents came up to take care of you kids. I still was in a whirlwind, so it was all business to me. I was familiar with the hospital, familiar with health histories, the questions doctors and nurses would be asking, the process of everything. I was all business, let's get in there, get this thyroid and cancer out, and get home and back to life and work. So we went to the OR and a few hours later I woke up in the recovery room. I remember everything here after waking up, I started having some bleeding complications and we had to go back to the operating room. That part was slightly overwhelming, but I won't linger on it here. I was discharged from the hospital the next day and Josh went to defend his dissertation. He did a phenomenal job (I heard) and he passed! It ended up being a very successful week!

Because of the complications, I had quite a bit of bruising from my chin down onto my chest. I was very sore. When the kids got home from daycare Tuesday and saw me, Joseph didn't seem to notice anything strange. But Miriam, you seemed very unsure of why mommy looked funny. And you kept staring uncomfortably at the incision on my neck. My mom had offered to take you guys to Hastings for a few days, and at first I didn't like the thought of missing you, but after realizing I wouldn't be able to snuggle you and my incision was scary to you, I thought it might be a good distraction for you to have some grandparent time. So Gianna stayed here with Josh and I since I was breastfeeding her and you two big kids went to Hastings until Saturday morning.

The following week I met with the surgeon again and found out that they had removed the whole thyroid as well as 2 lymph nodes. The pathology came back showing the nodes to be clear of cancer and that the tumor was all contained within the thyroid gland, so I was cancer free! I still have to have followup visits with lab work and scans every 3 months for the next year at least. And I will meet monthly with an endocrinologist until we get my thyroid supplement medication dosed appropriately. But I am cancer free :) Josh said that I "kicked cancer's butt", but I don't see it that way. I let them cut into me to remove some cancer that I only knew existed for 7 days. At this point they don't recommend radioactive iodine treatment, which is good because I wouldn't be able to breastfeed anymore and I would have to spend more time away from children and work. But if my tests indicate any remaining thyroid cells in my body then I will have to have the treatment at a later date.

At this point it has been 5 weeks since my surgery. I'm still feeling pretty wiped out. They checked my labs and my thyroid levels are within the normal limits. The endocrinologist says sometimes your labs normalize before your feelings do so hopefully they catch up soon. Since my diagnosis, I have completed quite a bit of research on thyroid cancer. Rates have increased more than 274% since 1997. Middle age women, ages 20-45 have a 3 fold increased diagnosis rate. I updated friends and family with a post and recommended that everyone assess their own necks. One of my old coworkers contacted me a couple weeks later and said that after seeing my recommendation, she found a mass in her own neck and she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a week later. She's 28 and has twin 9mo old girls. Her husband just battled testicular cancer 3 years ago. And I had a patient at the hospital whose mother also found a mass in her neck after hearing my story from another coworker of mine. She is having half her thyroid removed next week after also receiving a thyroid cancer diagnosis. It is scary how common this has become.

All I can say is that you need to be your own advocate. You need to be vigilant, but don't be obsessive. There is not a lot of sense in being overly paranoid, but you do need to be aware of yourself. Having worked in the healthcare industry, doctors (and nurses for that matter) are not experts in everything. They are not gods. Find a physician you can trust that will admit when something is out of their scope of practice and refer you to someone who specializes in the information you need. Be aware. Be curious. Don't just read a pamphlet or take a doctor's word always. Do your own research. With the internet and access to research journals and databases, you can educate yourself.

I hope that this is the end of my personal cancer story. And I hope that my children never have their own. But if any of you find yourself with a cancer diagnosis, know that I have been praying for you since I typed this post. I have been praying that you have strength, wisdom, courage, and humor and that those carry you through your situation. Know that you are loved so very much and that I will always be thinking of you my loves.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thyroid Cancer Part 1

Hey Kiddos -

So I have debated back and forth the benefits of documenting this recent health scare, and I have come to the conclusion that seeing that you all come from my gene pool, one of you might find yourself in a similar situation and it might be helpful to know that your mama has been there too. Proceed with caution, this might get emotional for me as I try to describe my own thoughts and fears :)

Shortly before Halloween of this year, 2013, I was brushing my teeth and looking in the mirror and I noticed a lump to the left of my esophagus, right above my collar bone. I figured it was just a swollen node, as we had all had recent head colds, so probably just related to that. But I kept my eye on it for the next week and it didn't go down. I emailed my doctor, to see if it was anything worth making an appointment for, and he replied that he would see me the following day. He too felt and saw the lump so he set me up for an ultrasound of my neck. I watched the screen out of the corner of my eye as the technician focused in on the mass. I knew I couldn't ask her what she was seeing, as only the radiologist can confirm the findings. But I knew, having worked in the industry, that her focusing in on the lump and taking that many pictures, that something wasn't quite right.

The radiologist called that afternoon and said that there were "some concerning findings" and he wanted me to go see a Head & Neck Oncology surgeon the following week. So on a Thursday I went to see him and his initial thought, due to the fact I was newly postpartum and so young, was possibly Hashimoto's disease, which could be ruled out by a simple blood test. He said that there were indications from the ultrasound that it could possibly be a benign or cancerous tumor, and suggested we also do a biopsy to rule those out. So we did the biopsies right then, where they stuck needles in my neck 4 times, wiggled them around a bit to make sure they got cells, then gave the samples to the lab tech. (I'll give you something to tease your dad about, after the doctor was finished, I hopped out of the chair because I was in the middle of my work day. When I went to tell Josh to come along, even though he hadn't watched or felt the needles, he was white as a ghost and said "I don't think I should stand right now". hehe) That was a Thursday and the following Monday we would hear the result.

So all weekend I tried not to fret or stew on what the results would be. By nature though, I am a planner. I ward off fear with planning. So I had to hope for the best but plan for the worst. I have a full time job, 3 children, and a husband who is about to defend his dissertation.... I have a lot of bases to cover if I potentially have cancer. Monday came and I was on my way to pick up the big kids from daycare and take them to swimming lessons. The surgeon's PA called me and said "the results came back consistent with papillary thyroid carcinoma". "Oh, okay, sounds good!" I said. "Um.... that's cancer" she said after a shocked pause. Then it sank in. I had cancer. I had prepared myself to hear the words "Oh it was nothing, everything came back clear." so my response was what I had prepared beforehand. Then I struggled to absorb those words "I have cancer", as the PA continued to talk on the phone. She said the surgeon wanted to see me the next day to make a plan of action and I agreed and hung up the phone.

I don't think it really hit me that I had cancer. I still don't think it has hit me completely. It is a weird concept complicated by a few factors. First, this type of cancer has a 20yr 99% survival rate. So as they say, it's an "ideal type of cancer to have if you're going to have some". Yet, at the same time, it is cancer. There are mutated cells in my body that could be lethal if not addressed. It took me two days to say the phrase "I have cancer". And that was only when Joseph laid a bomb of a diaper and Josh said "Mama's turn!" and I said "Hey! I have cancer!" in a sarcastic tone. It made us laugh. I found myself when talking about it though, saying "It's cancer" as if it were not a part of me. And in a sense it wasn't. I didn't want it to define me. I didn't want my friends, coworkers, and family look at me with pity. I don't like being seen as weak or damaged. Second, after meeting with the surgeon the next day, we planned surgery for 6 days later. I had daily labs and pre-op physicals and scans to do every day as well as work until surgery. I also had a lot of other stuff to do. So it was such a whirlwind that I didn't really have time to think about it. Which is probably a good thing.

I didn't want to be morbid, but I wanted to be realistic. I was about to have surgery. That carries risks, even little ones. I know that I have a higher likelihood of dying in a car accident, especially with my lead foot, but at this time, I am the main provider for this family and I have 3 children and a husband in grad school. I need to make sure my bases are covered, I need to be realistic. So I spent the next few days making sure bills were paid, paperwork gathered, babysitting covered, insurance taken care of, and then I sat down and completed the hardest task, I wrote you kids letters. I didn't want them to be sappy "goodbye letters". I just wanted something physical that you could hold onto, if ever, whenever anything happens to me. You are all so young right now, I wanted you to have some personal message from me, letting you know that your mama loves you. So I wrote you each a letter and left them in the filing cabinet for if ever they are needed. They are more "thinking of you" letters instead of "goodbye".

I'm splitting this story up before the post gets too long.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Five Favorites

I decided to make a note of the kiddo's five favorite Youtube videos (who knows if the links will work someday when the kids are old enough to read this blog, but we'll give it a shot)

1. This kid is adorable. I want to adopt him. He has 3 videos we all can't get enough of:

Also see his Spinach/Spanish and Karate Kid videos

2. The Talking Twins

Joseph just giggles and giggles when he sees these babies.

3. The Evil Eye

4. The Elmo Slide

They love to dance to this. And since it's a variation of the Cha Cha Slide (which I am a sucker for after a few drinks), we all enjoy participating in this version of the slide.
This is our other favorite dancing video....

5. Laughing Quads

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick Takes

Quick Takes time

1. Being outnumbered is and isn't as bad as I thought it would be. The worst part about managing a third child so far, has been the fact that she only eats 1oz at a feeding. So every time I nurse her, I have to finish by pumping. And during her one 4hr nap stretch a day, I have to pump in the middle. I am constantly pumping or feeding her. Which leaves little time and no hands to manage the other children. That has been the worst part so far. Luckily the older kids still go to daycare during the day so it allows me time to do a few minutes work around the house in between feeding/pumping sessions.

2. Good news is though that my work in not in vain! Gianna is back up above her birth weight! Porky is weighing in at 5lbs 4 oz this week and her bilirubin levels are down so she is growing beautifully!
Miriam adores Gianna. I love it. I am storing these moments to show her when they are a freshmen and senior in high school and Miriam claims to hate her little annoying sister :)

3. Joseph is a chatty kathy these days. It's hilarious. He commentates everything. This morning as Josh was getting him ready for daycare, I hear Joseph say... "Socks, shoes, socks, shoes. Toes. Joseph toes. Daddy toes. Joseph toes. Nose. Eyes. Daddy shirt. Joseph shirt. Chair. Shoes. Sissy shoes...." and so on and so on. The really funny part is that to the untrained ear, it all would sound like absolute gibberish.

4. I've gotten rehooked on Project Runway since my bedrest in the hospital. Stupid cable tv shows. I really miss my Bravo. And HGTV. And Game Show Network. Oh Supermarket Sweep....

5. It only took 2 weeks, but I braved my first adventure out of the house with the 3 kids all by myself. We went to the park to wear out the older two. As soon as we got there, little Gianna decided she wanted to belly up to the boob and spend the next 2 hrs there. So I'm sitting there at the playground nursing her and Miriam runs past me on her way to the car in the parking lot, full sprint, shouting "I have to go poop QUICKLY!" I whip my head around shouting "Miriam! Out of the parking lot!" and tweek my neck. Badly. So I sprint after her, baby on the boob and all. She drops her pants in the parking lot and lays a big ol' turd. When I get to her, she pulls up her pants, says "I have another turd coming" and I say "go by the tree!" and so she does. Like it's nothing. She just drops her pants at the tree, squats down and leans back against the tree and finishes her business. Then pulls up her pants and looks at me innocent as she says "I need germ-x" Oh parenthood. 
I really never pictured picking up my kids turds with a wipe out of the parking lot and playground like you would a dog. And for the next 36hrs I was unable to look up because my neck was spasming so badly. I had to go get a quick massage the next afternoon which kind of fixed it but still left it very sore. Yep... I think we'll allow some recovery time before braving adventure #2 solo with my posse. 

6. I always think the professional newborn pictures are adorable. I wanted them with the first two children but they are too expensive and so I invested in a really nice camera instead. I haven't regretted it. But with Gianna, I wanted to capture her tininess. My friend Diana has a really nice camera and is trying to start up a photography business so I asked her to take a few photos of G. I really liked the first couple she has shown me.

7. I think the biggest challenge I've faced as a parent is the battle to eat dinner. The kids prefer to stick to the basic requests of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, corn dogs, and hamburger pizza. It is a battle every night to get them to eat "just one bite" of anything else. I read Parents magazines and blog suggestions but I'm almost just resigned to the fact that I have bred the most stubborn children that have ever inhabited this planet.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Our NICU experience

Little miss Gianna graced us with her presence on Sunday Aug 18th and she spent the next week in the NICU showing off. I had mentioned in her birth story post how the doctors had warned us that babies born in the 33-34 week range were kind of hit or miss when it came to health. Being born right at 34wks, the realities we should prepare ourselves for would be that because she was so skinny, she would have difficulty maintaining her temperature so she'd likely be in an incubator until she could hold her own. Since she had gotten the steroids for her lungs, she would hopefully not need a ventilator, but she may need to be on CPAP to help her adjust to breathing on her own. And babies at 34wk aren't used to feeling the sensation of hunger so she may not know that she should be eating every few hours. Because of this she may not be interested in nursing, and she may likely need a feeding tube placed down her throat to give her boluses of breast milk until her appetite increased. And lastly, since my water had been broken now for 5 days, she and I were still at high risk of infection and so she would need labs drawn and antibiotics given and closely monitored for signs and symptoms of infection. My mom had brought us some Holy Water earlier in the week so Josh was prepared to baptize her if anything went wrong.

So while I was confident in the doctors and nurses, I think sometimes that being a health care provider myself, having seen all the ways things can go wrong, knowing what can all go wrong, sometimes it isn't good. Sometimes I think it's better to be naïve and not know what all can go wrong. But I knew that there was nothing I could do at this point other than pray and believe. I had done the best I could growing this baby, keeping this labor away for a few extra days so she could grow and get those lungs opened up. I had prepared myself for a few days now, trying not to let my mind wander and trying not to look to Google for risk of seeing thousands of scary stories. I had to focus on our daily goals, which every day was "stay pregnant" while I was on bed rest. This baby was going to come and together we would face whatever the next chapter brought us. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

So when I got to hold little miss Gianna for the first time before they whisked her away to the NICU, we still hadn't decided on a name. Cora and Gianna were our choices. And so I looked at her and asked her, "Do you want to be Cora?" and she laid there with her eyes closed. So I asked "Do you want to be Gianna?" and she opened her eyes and looked right at me, I swear right into my soul. So I handed her back to the NICU nurse and said "Her name is Gianna and I love her very much. Please take care of her." The Nurse Practitioner said "She is a beautiful Gianna, she looks strong so she'll do well" So they took her away to the NICU and Josh went along after making sure that I was in good hands and stable. I still had to finish up with my own doctors, get cleaned up and transferred to the postpartum room before I could follow her to the NICU. I also knew that upon admission to the NICU, they would be poking her for labs, and an IV, and I knew that my fragile state could not handle seeing her in pain like that. So I was okay waiting a few minutes to go.

When I got to the NICU she was still on CPAP and Josh was holding her. She had had her labs drawn, her feet poked for blood sugars, she had been stuck 3-4 times for an IV which was in her left hand. She was hooked up to some Dextrose to help maintain her blood sugar until she got a few feedings under her belt. She was also getting IV antibiotics until they received back the results of her blood cultures as being all negative.
I got to hold her and they took the CPAP off and she did awesome so they let me nurse her for the first time. She latched on right away and nursed for a good 10min. The Nurse Practitioner was there in case her oxygen dropped and she needed put back on the CPAP, but she was amazed as well at how well our little one was doing on room air. After I nursed her she needed put back in the incubator because her temperature was getting a little low. They sent me back to my room and Josh and I were so exhausted we went right to sleep until my alarm went off a couple hours later and we went back to the NICU to see if she was ready to eat again.
Admiring my sweet little girl and her tubes
 That morning my sister brought the kids up to meet their little sister. We got our first family of 5 picture.

Miriam and Joseph with the poster they made for their sister

I don't think she's ever looked at a birthday or Christmas present with more excitement in her face than this expression

Holding her baby sister for the first time

He was only interested because Miriam was holding her :)

 Monday and Tuesday Gianna and I spent most of the days and nights nursing and snuggling. There were multiple case managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Lactation specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, associate manager, social worker, etc etc stopping by to see us and introduce themselves. I got the impression that since most babies and parents spent weeks in the NICU, they liked to introduce themselves and make some connections. I was encouraged to do Kangaroo Care with G (I sent so many text and email updates she quickly became "G" to save me a few key strokes) where she lays on my bare chest. The closeness would help her body figure out how to regulate itself and she could also hear my heartbeat and stomach noises like she would've inutero. They encouraged me not to use scented lotion, body wash, shampoo or deodorant so that she would smell my smell and that would help her connect to me and help her smell my breastmilk and stimulate her appetite. It was so neat to hear people talk about how much I could do for my tiny little baby simply by being present. And it's so amazing to consider the connection between a newborn and its mother and how biologically perfect our bodies can connect and regulate each other. Having her lay on my chest would help with milk production and my body would be able to sense her body's temperature and so adjust the temperature of the milk and my body to help regulate her body temperature. Amazing. I had taken my laptop, some books and magazines to the NICU to keep me occupied but I spend all my time just staring at this amazing little girl. She was so perfectly tiny and so perfectly formed. It was amazing to think that she was still supposed to be inside me growing for 6 more weeks. No wonder those kicks and somersaults hurt so much, I could see those knobby knees and sharp elbows in person now.
snuggle time, and a glimpse at her 24guage IV
In the NICU I started reading the Little House on the Prairie series to her like I did for Miriam when she was nursing. Having her hear my voice and the inflections and rhythm of language is very good for a baby's developing brain and since she listened to my voice for the last 34wks, I want her to continue to hear me and feel my presence. I introduced her to the Baby Beluga song that I am sure she will hear frequently from her big sister. (And sure enough, since we've been home, whenever Miriam senses that Gianna is about to cry, Miriam starts singing Baby Beluga :) )
Tuesday we had to start some phototherapy because her bilirubin levels were rising.


She didn't seem to mind sunbathing too much. I was discharged from the hospital Tuesday and was then faced with the decision to stay with Gianna in the NICU rocking chair all night or go home. I had been away from the older kids for a week now and knew that I should probably take advantage of the excellent and capable nurses who would be watching over my little girl at night. So the next few days I would go home for dinner with the kids, then head in to nurse Gianna and come back to put kids to bed and then get a few hours of sleep (interrupted by a midnight pumping session of course), before heading back to the hospital around 5am to get Gianna her breakfast and check in on morning lab reports.
so tiny, yet so perfect
By Thursday the words "get ready to go home" was mentioned. Gianna had maintained room air all week without problem. She was eating and maintaining her weight. She was moved to a little crib and was maintaining her body temperature. She just needed to keep her bilirubin level down and then we would be good to go. In all honesty, Josh and I were nervous to take this tiny little girl home. She was down to 4lbs 11oz because all new babies lose a little weight in their first week. But being under 5lbs was just intimidating. And her siblings were big and didn't understand the concept of being gentle so we were scared for her.

Friday we had more snuggle time and they discontinued the phototherapy. We rechecked her Bili level Saturday morning and while it was still elevated, it hadn't risen much without the therapy so the neonatologist gave us discharge orders. She spoke to us about how impressed she was that Gianna, at only 34wks and 6 days, was doing so fantastic and holding her own. She said that we have a very strong little girl and that she couldn't have done a better job in the 6 days she spent in the NICU. So we loaded her up and brought her home!

sibling love :)
Joseph 22mo, Gianna 1 wk, Miriam 3yr 5mo

sunbathing to decrease bili levels
It's been wonderful having her home. And one thing this experience has taught me is to savor these kiddos. There were plenty of other babies in that NICU who were 1 lb, on ventilators, had poor prognoses, multiple surgeries, and very scary diagnoses. We were lucky. Yes I spent a week on bedrest trying to grow a baby for a few more days, and yes, our baby spent 6 days in the NICU, and yes, the hospital bills will be ridiculous. But we are so lucky, so blessed, and so supported by family and friends. Maybe this is why Josh hasn't gotten a job and moved us away, because God knew we would need our families close to help with kiddos and my friends close to visit me and keep me sane. He knew we'd need our familiar OB Dr. H so we'd have a friendly face to turn to with our questions and fears. I hope that when I look back on these past two weeks I always remember that theme.... we are blessed. And we can do more and tolerate more than we ever thought possible. We have our heads still on our shoulders and we have 3 beautiful healthy children. So blessed.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gianna's Birth Story Pt 2

Sunday, August 19th
0600 The doctors arrive and we get the show on the road. Pitocin is started to get some contractions going. I am starting out at 3-4cm so they are expecting things to go pretty quickly considering my last 2 labors were 4 hrs and 1 1/2 hrs. So we are excited to get to meet this little lady before noon today!

0800 Still not feeling any contractions. Still no progress.
1000 Slight contractions, coming every 2-3min, no progress but I get an epidural because I don't think I can remain sane in this bed any longer so I better get comfortable.
1200 Little progress, but contractions irregular and not very strong, we are maxed on Pitocin and not getting anywhere fast. They were having difficulty getting the contractions to show up on the monitor and baby is having some heart decelerations so they are getting a little nervous.
1400 They try to place some intrauterine pressure monitoring device but after a few attempts they can't get it placed. It was supposed to better monitor my contractions. It felt like they were sticking something all the way up to my shoulders. Not a pleasurable feeling. Baby is having more frequent heart decelerations so I am thrown on oxygen and not allowed to sit up at all as it is compressing on baby too much. So flat on my back I go, rolling from side to side, trying to find a position that baby likes.

1600 Since they are having so much difficulty monitoring my contractions and baby's heart rate, I hear the nurse and resident mention the words "C-section". I was keeping my cool. I figured all I can do is follow the instructions of the expert nurses and doctors so that was what I was doing. But at this point, I am getting nervous and even though the idea of surgery scares me, I also just am ready to see this little girl and know she is safe. It's been a long week of worry about her so I am willing to do what it takes to get her here. They try to place the intrauterine pressure monitor again but it isn't recording correctly so it is removed.
1830 I am finally feeling some pressure and a desire to push so my day nurse Jill calls the doctors. They are in another delivery so I get another test in patience. (I think I had a few decades worth of lessons in patience this week)
1900 Doctors come in and determine I am (finally!) ready to push. With Miriam, I pushed for over 2 hrs and with Joseph I pushed twice so I am anticipating this 3rd delivery and this tiny premie will come out pretty easily. I was wrong. I push and push and then it's discovered that this baby is sunny side up and crooked. She's stuck. The attending physician comes in and gloves up and shoves her back up inside me, rotates her little head and I have to push her down again. NOT FUN!

2118 She's here! Tiny little Gianna Elizabeth finally makes her debut screaming! They had warned me before that being this early, they would whisk her away to be evaluated by the NICU team so I wouldn't get to hold her :( It was a good thing they did though because she dropped her oxygen down to 65% and had to be placed on CPAP to help her breath. They got her into her incubator, loaded up to be transported to the NICU and stopped into my room so I could see her. The Nurse Practitioner said some of the most beautiful words...."Oh, let's get her out so mom can hold her"

She was beautiful. 5lbs even. I don't know how long because they whisked her away before announcing all the details. They took her to the NICU where they had to draw blood cultures to make sure there was no infection, labs, start an IV, and titrate the CPAP down. After I was ready to go, I was able to walk (attempt not to run!) to the NICU to go see her. Josh had gone with her. When I got there they took her CPAP off and she was doing so well on room air they allowed me to try to nurse her, so long as she kept breathing while she nursed. So I nursed her and she latched right on and went to town. She kept her oxygen up and the doctor was very impressed with her. They predicted she'd rock through this and they were right. She is one amazing tiny little girl. I can't wait to brag more about her :) I will write about our week in the NICU in another post to come.