Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drew's First Bath

Here are some pictures of Drew's first bath. (Notice the strategic placement of the wasn't even planned!) And Ryan, being the great big brother that he is, had to help!

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Drew's cousin (or twin) has arrived! Malachi Milillo was born at 3:59 pm yesterday. He weighs 7 lbs 4 oz and is 20 inches long. We are referring to Drew and Malachi as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2"...since they were born so close together...they could practically be twins!

Here is a picture of "Papa Duck" just as proud as he can be...holding his "twin" babies!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drew's First Girlfriend

When I was in my recovery room, there was a lady named Jamie next door to me. She had a little girl, Griffin, on Tuesday. Both of our babies were admitted to the NICU on Friday. And, ironically enough, they ended up as next-door-neighbors on the 4th floor. All of the NICU nurses referred to Griffin as "Drew's girlfriend." They were joking about how he followed her up to the NICU. We were truly blessed by all of the nurses that took care of our baby while he was there.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Headed Home!

Today was Drew's BIG DAY! He got to come home. We were up at the NICU before 8 this morning. I brought along the bottles of milk that I had pumped in the night. (I figured a little "reverse psychology" couldn't hurt...if we brought the milk, we could go home....if we left it at home, he'd have to stay and we'd need to go home and get I was prepared!) He was REALLY ready to eat when we arrived. I quickly fed him (you don't keep a hungry newborn waiting!)...and then the real waiting game began. On Friday, when he was admitted, they took his blood at 9:55 am. They were doing a 48-hour blood culture. To my knowledge, 48 hours after 9:55 am on Friday would be 9:55 am on Sunday....but not in the NICU. Their definition of 48 hours is really 52 hours...speaking from experience. We sat around in the big, comfy green chairs waiting on the test results to come in. At 1:55 pm, the good news was in! The culture had come back negative! So we were headed home...again! By the time we had "signed" for our son, it was almost 4 pm...and Drew was a free man! We are now home...and adjusting. Ryan absolutely LOVES his new baby brother. (Hopefully the excitement lasts!) He has had so much fun holding him, burping him (he gets REALLY excited when Drew actually burps for him!), and he is a super-big help with diaper changes.

A cute story...
Right after we got home, Ryan wanted to show Baby Drew his new bed. He took us into our bedroom and told us to put him in his bed. Then he stood there and rocked his cradle for a while. I told him that Daddy was going to get Baby Drew's monkey blanket out of the car. Ryan ran into Drew's bedroom and got the blanket off of his crib to cover him. Drew was still in the cradle and started crying. Ryan immediately dropped the blanket and sprinted back into our bedroom. When I got in there, Ryan was standing next to the cradle rocking it...and Drew wasn't crying. Ryan is such a great big brother!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last night....

I can tell you that last night was the WORST night that I have experienced in my life. For the last 9 months, Drew has been with me 24/7. I have known of his every move...all night and day. And last night I had to leave him! I can not explain the emotions that I experienced. Driving away from the hospital without my baby was extremely upsetting. I have decided that they need to have a special "discharge class" for parents of babies that aren't going home. It's nice when you're taking your baby home to hear about bathing, eating, sleeping, etc. But when your baby is going to be spending the next however-many days in the NICU, you need to hear a different type of to deal with the emotions of leaving without your little one. We had been all ready to be discharged. Had the room packed up, the flowers in the car, the car seat ready to go...and then we had to put the car seat back in the car EMPTY. Lots of emotions there! Just a thought, but it would be nice to hear how to deal with all of those emotions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby Drew Update

Good news! Rob and I went to see Drew in the NICU around 11:00 today. They pumped his tummy and found only milk and stomach juices. They also inserted a tube all the way down to his belly. They were able to hook a syringe to the end of the tube and suck out anything that his stomach might produce (looking for any more blood clots). When we arrived, he was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and was in a heated bed to keep his temperature up (it had dropped a bit this morning). The doctor came up and told us that they had tested the blood clots, and that they were maternal...meaning they came from me. Whew! She said that they have two theories of what could have happened. First, I could have had a cyst that popped while he was nursing, and he "sucked" it out while eating. Second, (they said this isn't unheard of in preemie babies) he could have swallowed some of the blood from the c-section...and it just took several days for him to spit it up. This is extremely good news! They are still keeping him in the NICU for at least 48 hours. They have taken some of his blood and sent it off to be cultured (which takes 2 days or so). They said with little ones, you have to be especially careful. They are checking to make sure he doesn't have any type of infection. While we were there, they sucked out his tummy several times...and everything was clear (literally), so they took out the tube. At 2:00 today, I get to begin nursing him again. I will be able to feed him every 3 hours. However, we get kicked out of our room at 11:59 tonight, so we will be having to head home...without our baby. I will be coming back up here first thing in the morning to continue feedings every 3 hours. (He will have to have a bottle of pumped milk while I'm away. Boo.) But there's nowhere for me to I guess I'll be sitting in a chair next to his little bed from sun-up til' sun-down...until he gets to come home. Please continue to pray for us. It's really beginning to hit me that we will be leaving without him. Pray that we would trust the doctors to take good care of him while we are away. Pray for us to have the right words to explain the situation to Ryan. Pray for Drew's test results to come back quickly. Just pray for God's peace to be with us through this crazy time. Again, thanks for your prayers. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!

Please Pray!

Well, we were practically on our way out the hospital doors this morning...ready to be home and back to "normal." I had just finished feeding Drew and was wrapping him back up in his blanket, and he started spitting up blood clots. The pediatrician had not yet checked on him this morning, and she walked in shortly after. She checked his mouth to make sure he hadn't cut the inside of his mouth...and didn't see anything. At this moment, they have a neonatologist looking at him. They are going to move him up to the NICU sometime soon. They will be running tests. First to find out if it was my blood or his (since I had just fed him). If it's mine, I guess we will be good to go. If it's his, they will have to figure out where it came from. They are going to be putting him on an IV for fluids...and he will be "NPO" (which means "nothing by mouth"). Please just pray that the doctors would be able to find out what caused this. And that we would still be able to go home today (with our baby). Ryan is really missing us, and we're missing him! But we want Baby Drew to be okay. I will keep you updated as I know more. Thanks for your prayers!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Introducing the New Little Nordlander

Well, Drew decided to make his appearance a bit sooner than we had expected. On Monday, January 19th, I went in for my normal weekly doctor's visit. She did an ultrasound and saw that he was still in the breech position. She also checked to see if I had progressed any, and found that I was 2.5 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Her response to this was, "Looks like you're having a baby today!" I was totally not expecting came as a complete shock! This was about 11 or so that morning. She scheduled me for 12:30...only an hour and a half to process what was going on! (She saud that I had to go straight to the delivery floor. I wasn't allowed to go home and then come back. In her words, "If I let you go, by the time you could get back here, you would have a foot hanging between your legs. You'd be running into the ER like a crazy woman with a leg hanging out!") Rob hadn't come to the appointment because he had some things to take care of at work. I had to call him and let him know those things might have to wait. I had no bags he and my mom shifted into overdrive and threw some things together for me.

Fast forward an hour or so...

I arrive at the delivery floor of Memorial City Hospital. They told me that they had to push my surgery back to 1:30 because I had eaten a Pop Tart earlier that morning. So I went to wait (all by myself) in a room. My family started showing up. My doctor came in to check on me and I asked if I could have some pain meds...because by this time I had started having some pretty serious contractions. She said that there were 3 c-sections ahead of mine (which would push mine back to sometime around 4 or 5 o'clock), but between the first and second ones, she would come back in and give me an epidural for the pain. We waited about an hour for her to come back into the room. She sent everyone out so she could check me before giving me the meds. It was at this time that she realized I was already 4 centimeters (and "will be 6 if she sneezes") and in active labor. She stood me up and said, "We're taking him right now!" With a breech baby, it's obviously not a good thing for you to go into labor. So, my "you-can-wait-awhile" c-section turned into a "you'd-better-get-up-and-go-right-now c-section." She rushed into the hall and got Rob. (He was on the phone cancelling some meetings he had at work.) We walked across the hall...and the rest is history!

Fast forward another hour or so...

At 2:16 pm, Drew Jeffry Nordlander was born! He weighed in at 6 pounds 4 ounces. He was 18 3/4 inches long. From the moment his mouth came out (which was last), he was screaming! It was the most beautiful sound. I hadn't gotten to "know" what was going on throughout the surgery, so to hear him cry let me know that everything was okay! We can't wait to show him off to all of our friends and family. (He's WAY cuter in person! The pictures don't do him justice!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Second bath

Drew got his second bath today. The first one doesn't do much besides clean off all of the goo from birth. But the second is a miracle bath. As you can see from the picture, his hair gets "puffy" when it's clean. Maybe he will have thin hair like Mommy, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The itching....

Okay, so there is one major drawback to having a c-section...the itching! (I had been warned about it, but had no idea how serious of an issue this would be!) As the spinal wears off, the itching begins. It starts as a faint itch. Then turns into a constant itch. And slowly makes it's way down your body. First with your nose, then around your mouth, then your neck and chest, then all over. And nothing they can give you (Benadryl or even stronger drugs) can stop it. In many of the pictures from the hospital, you can see how I have rubbed my mouth raw from constantly itching it. (I liked to use the pink hospital it was rough and seemed to help at the moment. But did horrible things to my face!)

Friday, January 16, 2009


It's crazy to think that in only a few short weeks our family will no longer look like this! My hands will be full with a two-year-old and a newborn. (So much for swinging Ryan in between us!) I am feeling "done" already, but I know that God has a perfect birthday in mind for Drew. I am anxious to meet him...and to begin the adjustment that I know will take place once he is born. Please continue to pray for Rob and I as we take on the responsibility of caring for two of God's precious children. Also, pray for Ryan...that he would adjust well to being the big brother (and having to share!). I know that he is excited. He's been playing "baby" with all of his stuffed animals. Changing their diapers, wiping their bottoms, feeding them, putting them on the potty, etc. It is so cute to watch his innocence. I know that he is going to be a great big brother. Daddy better get the "park" put together...because before too long we will have two rowdy boys to play on it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How do you turn a breech baby?

This kart-wheel was my attempt at "turning" Drew. We had an ultrasound recently that showed that he's in the breech position. The doctor has told us that if he doesn't turn, I will have to have a c-section to deliver him. (Don't you can see, Rob is there to "spot" me in case I were to fall on my head!)

At my next doctor's appointment, she felt my tummy...and was convinced that he has turned. Maybe a kart-wheel really does work!

Or not! On Monday, we had another ultrasound. Drew has turned around again, and is back in the breech position. The doctor will continue to do an ultrasound each week to check his position. Please pray that he (eventually) cooperates and turns into the correct position!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Say "Goodbye" to Nice Things (a quote from Uncle Steve)

This morning, I left Ryan watching Shrek in the living room while I took a quick shower. I was impressed with how quietly he was sitting and watching the movie. I got out of the shower and got dressed. He was going to go play with Ghi and I was going to visit a friend. We rushed out of the house, as I was running late. When we returned home, I went to turn on the tv...and this is what I found. He WASN'T sitting quietly watching the movie...he was drawing (with a permanent marker) all over the tv screen. (Maybe he was trying to trace Shrek....but he kept on moving!) After three phone calls (one to Best Buy, one to Toshiba, and one to a TV specialist), the only advice they could give me was to use a soft, dry cloth. Tell a soft, dry cloth any match for thick, black permanent marker??? I don't think so! Surprisingly enough, Rob was the calm one. (In fact, his exact words were, "Well, it's just a tv. If it's ruined, it's ruined." My response was, "It's not just A tv, it's a tv we just paid off!") Anyways...without going into a long, detailed's the solution: As a teacher, when we would accidentally use permanent marker on the board, we would color over it with a dry erase marker and then erase it. I decided to try it...and it worked! So, for anyone who ends up in a similar situation...there's the solution that no "specialist" will tell you! (I never thought I'd be sitting and coloring on the screen of a $3,000 tv with a marker! I guess kids make you do some CRAZY things!)

**In the photo, I had already started cleaning the bottom right corner...just to make sure it worked. But I wanted his daddy to see his beautiful artwork. Papa now refers to Ryan as "Ryan van Gogh." Hee hee.**

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Where's Baby Drew???

This picture says it all! Any time you ask Ryan, "Where's Baby Drew?"...this is what you'll get. He is convinced that his little brother is in his tummy, too.