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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Sunday, February 27

4 weeks

Can it really be 4 weeks already since Korrigan was born? Man, that seems so crazy. I noticed while I was feeding her the other day that she seems bigger, so I weighed her on our scale at home. It isn't exact, but according to our scale, she weighs 8 1/2 lbs, which means she has gained one full pound since she was born (well, and really a pound and a half since she lost so much right away). We'll know for sure what she weighs on Wed when I take her into the doctor.

Your Baby: Week 4 Time to break out your silliest faces -- baby loves watching you make funny expressions. [Korri is starting to track objects and clearly starting to interact with her surroundings. I love when she looks at me like she really sees me and knows its me.] She's also drawn to contrasting patterns and light sources, so pick up some mobiles and baby toys with complex shapes for when your facial muscles tire. [oops, we don't have anything like that!] If baby seems a little cross-eyed, don't be alarmed -- she won't be able to focus on things further than about 12 inches from her eyes until she's three or four months old. She's also starting to learn some sweet new sounds like "coo" and "ahh." [she makes the cutest noise after she sneezes...I'd LOVE to catch it on video, but short of taping her for hours on end, I don't see that happening.]

Grandma is here! My mom came today and is staying for a few days. Jim had to travel for business, so I really appreciate the help and companionship. I also really appreciate that this is the first trip Jim has had to take considering that Korri is already a month old! We called grandma this morning to see when she would be coming and after talking to her, all day Finn kept saying, "Gwama is coming for a visit." So cute!

We noticed in the last few days that Finn's sentences have gotten much longer! This morning at breakfast, Finn said a seven word sentence (Jim counted!), which I think is really good. And then tonight, he said two sentences consecutively that related to each other, so who knows how many words that was?!?! The hard thing about his language skills, is that he is still only two years old! He will come up to us and say, "I want." We'll say, "Want what?" And he'll say, "Want what." Not understanding that we need him to explain what he is asking for. Argh! Because he talks so well, I think he should just be able to say and understand everything. But he quickly puts my feet back on the ground ;)

Saturday, February 26

Dump truck

Okay, we all know that Finn is fairly articulate, but every once in a while, he gets consonants mixed up and says funny things. Yesterday, he picked up his dump truck and let's just say he mispronounced it. If you change the "p" to a "b" and the "tr" to and "f", I think you understand what he said instead. And then, of course, because we laughed (how can you NOT?!?!), he kept saying it over and over. Oh, thanks for the laugh, buddy! Jim got it on video, but I haven't uploaded it off the camera yet.

Friday, February 25

Copy and paste

So that is what sleep feels like! My wonderful husband kept baby up until 2am last night (or at least took care of her until then!) so I got FOUR uninterrupted hours of sleep. And then, she slept 3 hours in between and I only had to get up at 5:30! If it were possible, I would totally copy and paste last night and redo it every night until she can go longer than 4 hours between feedings. I even woke up before her this morning! I'm not naive enough to think that one dose of the Zantac helped that much, but whatever it was, I hope it continues. And I feel like I've accomplished so much today...partly due to the extra sleep and probably partly due to not having Finn here! I love him, but he takes up a lot of my time, and rightly so.

I don't think I've updated how feedings are going lately. Things are 100% better. She still sometimes won't latch on, but I can usually figure out why (she is gassy or in the wrong position or something). My friend Julie, (who happens to be a lactation consultant!) kind of told me to stop worrying about how long per side (the hospital told me 15 minutes per side, which she still can not do because it is too long for her) and just watch her queues. Since I've started doing that, feeding sessions have been much more relaxed. I still like to note the time, so I know if she'll want to eat sooner or last longer between feeding, but I don't worry about it as much. I was worried about my supply if I didn't feed her exactly every two hours for 10 minutes per side, but so far, my supply seems fine. I hope that continues (you'll remember with Finn, my supply started to dry up). Thank you Julie!!!

Thursday, February 24

Sleep is for the weak

Last night Laura and Matt came over and brought dinner for us! It was really good...but I can't remember the name of the place they ordered it from. Otherwise, I would highly recommend it! Laura is due the end of April, so we had a good time talking babies; they held ours and I recommended baby products for them to get. Oh, and Matt and Jim downloaded live backgrounds for their phones...lame!

We had ECFE this morning. During parent time, I think everybody was a little concerned about me and my lack of sleep. Apparently, I'm not my usual bubbly, talkative self. But I reassured them that my mom is coming next week, so we all know I'll get a nap or two in! Yay.

Speaking of lack of sleep, I talked to Korri's pediatrician today (she, herself, actually called me back...that NEVER happens!). We talked about some of Korri's symptoms and while she isn't positive Korri has acid reflux (could also be gas), she sent over a prescription for Zantac to try. I REALLY hope this helps with her being uncomfortable and seemingly in pain but also I hope it helps her to sleep better at night. She also suggested having Korri sleep in her bouncy seat since that is inclined to see if that helps (if you prop up her bed, you run the risk of her rolling down and getting stuck!). So, I feel like we have a couple tools to use and hopefully Korri can sleep longer than 30-45 minutes at a time at night!

And the best gift: Auntie Becca stopped by today to pick Finn up for a sleep over! She has tomorrow off, so she, Austin and Finn are having a fun day. So nice. Man, having one kid to take care of is totally different than two (when one of the two is a two year old!). THANK YOU AUNTIE BECCA!!

Wednesday, February 23

I can see clearly now

Finn, Korri and I went to Finn's eye doctor appointment this morning at 8 AM! Our house is NOT used to getting up, ready and out the door by 7:30. The appt lasted an hour and a half, which I was not planning on, BUT...Finn has "normal" eyes and eye sight! If you remember, he had been testing as being severely far sighted and they were watching that as well as other problems that could develop. However, Finn was a rock star today and did everything they wanted him to do and the doctor said that while he is still far sighted (I guess most kids are), the degree has improved and he is well within the normal range! And to make mommy even happier, we don't have to go back for 18 months!!!! Yay, one less appointment I have to remember to schedule regularly. Super excited.

NeNe came to visit today and brought Finn and I Qdoba for lunch. I'd never had it, but it is very similar to Chipotle and really good. Finn LOVED the salsa verde and chips (of course!) and even ate the salsa out of the container. Seems to be a recurring event with him...but there is far worse things for him to eat and love! I don't know how he became such a spice lover, but since both Jim and I are, we are happy that he is! The best part of NeNe's visit...I got to take an hour and a half nap this afternoon! AWESOME.

Jane from EI came while we were having lunch which gave us a chance to discuss Finn's NICU follow up results as well as the recommendations from the Orthopedic Specialist we saw. It was a good visit and I love that she always has Finn's best interest at heart and really cares that he receives all the help he needs. She played with Finn after lunch for a while, which Finn obviously loved.

Monday, February 21

Perspective

I'm sure you're expecting something profound, but don't hold your breath! I want to talk toilet paper. I think it is funny how life teaches you lessons and gives you perspective. We have a membership to Costco and try to save money on household items by shopping there (who wouldn't?!?!). Well, we were very spoiled in regards to our toilet paper preference and realized as such when I bought a jumbo package of the Kirkland brand (Costco's generic in-house brand) TP. We hated it with the heat of a thousands suns. So, when we were getting low, I went back and got a national brand name instead...only to find out it was even WORSE than the Kirkland stuff. This new stuff isn't even two ply, at least the Kirkland's was. Who cares about that expensive stuff that we used to get; now I'd be perfectly happy trading all of the Scotts (don't EVER buy it!) for Kirkland and calling it a day. Jim was wondering if we could donate it to some high school kids to use for TP-ing somebody house!

We had a good weekend. Memere was here visiting, which gave me a little break from "holding Korri" time. Finn LOVED having her here, as he got tons of attention. Uncle John and aunt Kelsie came over for a bit, too, so Finn got lots of basketball time with them, too! Sunday, the five of us ventured out to church. This was Finn's first time in a LONG time, but we figured with three adults, we should be able to handle two kids. Korri was fine, but just wanted to be held, which Jim quickly volunteered for. Memere did a good job of keeping Finn contained until the end, at which point he had to go out for a time out. Maybe this will help?!?! He just wants to talk and move around all through church. It is frustrating.

Finn fell into his toy box this morning! I thought it was hilarious, but he was honestly freaking out. I was feeding Korri, so I had to deal with that first and then go help him. He had leaned so far forward that his top half went in and his feet could no longer reach the floor and he couldn't do anything about it. Poor guy...but I wish I'd had time to grab the video camera!

Holy snow storm. Yet again, we got dumped on with 12 inches of snow with this one storm. It started yesterday while we were in church and it continues to snow now, but just very lightly. It was hard to handle when last week we were in the low 50's and it felt like spring. Argh. Spring will be here eventually, right?!?!

Oh, I updated the picture website, so have at it. It should be current through yesterday (I had THREE WEEKS to upload, so it took almost all day yesterday, especially since our internet wasn't cooperating). No new videos yet, though. They take much longer to edit and upload. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19

Retraction

Okay, my husband pointed out that I was WRONG. At Finn's 2 year well-child appt, he was 31.2", not 30.2". So, he didn't grow nearly two inches in a month, but rather 1/2 inch. Oops. Too many things to keep straight...I'm only human. Still, I'm happy he is growing, so I'll take it.

We had a nice day yesterday. We didn't have an appt for once, so we could take our time getting up and ready. Korri even got (a much needed) bath! She didn't like the beginning, but once she was submerged in the water, she calmed down. I'm not really sure if you are supposed use lotion on a newborn or not, but her skin is so dry. I put a little on, hoping it would help, and not hurt her in some way. Funny how you forget all the "rules" even when it has only been two years since you had a newborn!

A huge thank you to our friends Amanda and Gavin for coming for a visit and for bringing lunch. They brought Subway, which is a favorite of mine that I don't get very often because Jim doesn't like sandwiches. Finn decided he just wanted to eat chips, but I'd given him apple sauce and cottage cheese before they arrived, so I guess it wasn't that bad. They brought Finn a Mickey Mouse from their trip to Disney World, which Finn LOVES! He even got apple sauce all over it becuase of the excessive hugs. They also got Korri a Vikings jersey for next fall...they know us so well! It was a great visit.

Aunt Kelsie, uncle John and Memere came for a visit yesterday! Finn was excited and had to tell daddy that uncle John was coming as soon as Jim walked in door. Guess Finn must miss him. And he freaked when he saw Memere. I think he knows he gets special attention when she is here! And a HUGE congrats to aunt Kelsie for finishing her clinicals yesterday!!!! That means she is all done with school FOREVER :)

Sleeping beauty:

Friday, February 18

Due date

Well, today is the day...my due date. So weird to think about. So much has happened in the last three weeks (okay, month and a half!). Considering the feeding problems we had/have, I do wonder how different things would have been had she been born closer to 40 weeks, but I guess we'll never know and ultimately, it doesn't really matter. She is here and we hardly remember what our family was like without her (except at night when I'm up every hour, then I remember fondly my full night sleeps!!).

Fittingly since today was her expected arrival date, her newborn pictures are ready for viewing! Warning: these are ridiculously good and yes, while I am her mother, they made me super emotional. I know I say this every time, but Jess continues to amaze me. What would we do without her and her amazing talent in our lives?!?!

Sneak peek:
To view the rest, click on the link: www.jessicahislop.com/clients/Korrigan. If you'd like to order pictures, view the proofs or make a "favorite" list, click on "proofing" and the password is: Joyce.

Thursday, February 17

Keep walking

Yesterday we had Finn's appointment for his feet assessment. Overall, I was SUPER happy with the results. They think that his feet will correct themselves the more he walks and since he is able to walk even with how they tilt, they would prefer not to interfere with braces or shoe inserts. He has what they call a "flexible" arch, which is what they like to see.

They took x-rays of his hips, something that apparently should have been done over a year ago and never was. His hips are not "normal" however, they are "normal" for somebody who was as delayed as he was with walking. They hope that with continued walking, they will start to correct themselves, but at this point, are not a cause of major concern.

She also noticed the asymmetry in his face, probably due in part to his plagiocephaly. She said that best and probably only thing to do about it would be to see a pediatric dentist, which we are trying to do (insurance issues at this point!).

She said that she is extremely pleased with where he is at. I had mentioned that I'm waiting until the day when I stop thinking of him as a preemie and she said that day is probably near. Of course, there are still things that need special attention, but he is so healthy and progressing so well, which I need to be reminded of some times.

Having a little set back with the baby blues today. Of course, being up with Korri every hour and from 3 to 6:30 this morning, probably isn't helping my mental state in general. I don't know if maybe she isn't getting enough milk from me or if she is in some kind of pain or whatever. Our sweet, sleeping little girl is quickly turning into a non-sleeping fussy crier. I was going to call the lactation consultant today, but I weighed K on our scale, which said she was exactly 8 pounds...with a full belly and diaper on. So, she is gaining weight, which is good. These things are just so frustrating sometimes. Jim's mom is coming to visit for the weekend, so at least I should get a little break and some help!

Oh, I wanted to mention something Finn has been doing lately. When he notices new things, he speaks in a voice full of wonder, as if almost a whisper. I need to get it on video because it is so cute. Like today, we were walking into ECFE and he would point to the water puddles with wonder and say, "Look, water!" Or notice the birds or whatever. I just love it. He has such a sweet, empathetic soul. Gotta love my big boy!

Wednesday, February 16

Two inches in one month?

So, apparently finding time to go on the computer takes a major hit when you have two kids! Ha. Things are going really well this week, even though we are super busy. Seems I schedule every appointment possible this week. Oops! Hey, I didn't know if/when baby would be born, so I think I was trying to be optimistic and schedule things before she arrived...so I was a little too optimistic! Oh, well.

Monday, we had lunch with aunties Becca and Kristine. It was a nice treat and Finn LOVED the attention. After lunch, Finn took a nap and then his friends the Arks came over for a play date. We usually go over there (they have a little more room to play!), but it was a nice change to have them over here. Finn loved showing off his new kitchen and work bench. Later in the evening, the four of us packed up and went to Jim's basketball game (yes, for those of you paying attention, his league scheduled games on Valentine's Day!). Auntie Becca and Austin were there, so again, Finn had a blast. He kept shouting, "Go, blue, go!" and pumping his arms. I guess cheering is an option for him!

After we got home and Finn went to bed, Jim made pan fried fish (yum!) and had gotten champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Super yum. My, how things change when you have two kids and a tight budget! But I loved it and wouldn't have changed anything. Also, thanks auntie Becca for the box of chocolates. For some reason, I've been craving chocolate (which, if you know me, NEVER happens!), so she got me a sampler box! I had to share with Finn and Austin, though ;)

We had Finn's NICU Follow Up clinic yesterday morning. While he couldn't join us, a big huge thank you to daddy for helping us get ready and out the door on time. They used the Bayley Scales of Development to measure Finn on Cognitive, Language and Motor skills. They assess him based on his adjusted age, which is 22 months. He scored at the 25 month level, 84th percentile, for cognitive (how you perceive, think, and gain an understanding of the world). As a comparison, last year he scored at the 50th percentile.

He scored at 26 months (84th percentile) for both receptive and expressive communication, same percentile as last year. Receptive communication refers to the way a listener receives & understands a message from a communication partner. Expressive communication refers to how one conveys a message to a communication partner by gesturing, speaking, writing, or signing.

He scored at 26 months and 14 months (27th percentile combined) for fine and gross motor skills, respectively. He scored at the 8th percentile last year and had the biggest category improvement with fine motor (I even made her recalculate his score because I didn't think he could really be that high!). Fine motor skills are small movements—such as grabbing something with your thumb and forefinger—that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Gross motor skills are the bigger movements—such as walking and climbing—that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.

Overall, they were very pleased with his progress and said that other than gross motor, he scored at or above his chronological age. Everybody fell in love with him and the nurse even asked if she could take him home with her. In the OT's notes, she said, "Delightful little boy. Very smart and engaging." Hey, I'll take that! She also commented that because he is so smart, he is able to compensate for his physical delays, which makes progress even more difficult. She also recommended switching to Children's for continued PT, since I had expressed some concern about his care at Gillette. They have a waiting list, so she suggested calling now and planning on going in some time in April, after Finn has had the chance to "practice" walking a little more. They will see him again in a year (it is my understanding they only evaluate until 3 years, but I could be wrong).

I was a little frustrated with the testing (it is standard, I know, but still!), only because they started with things that were so ridiculously easy for Finn that by the time they got to the challenging things (they were testing him for almost TWO hours!), he was bored and simply refused to cooperate. One example, he wouldn't clap his hands, which he has obviously been able to do for a long time, so it gets marked as unable to complete. They also told me we need to work on his coloring since he didn't/couldn't draw a straight line. Oops...my bad on that one!!

They also took his stats. He weighs 27 lbs, which is the 50th percentile for his adjusted age. He was 31 3/4 inches tall, which is the 5th percentile for his adjusted age. His head was 49 cm which is the 65th percentile for his adjusted age. I was surprised by his height because that means he has grown almost two inches in a month since his well-child appt. No wonder he has been waking up crying...growing pains, hello?!?!

Sunday, February 13

A sweet shower

Can you believe baby Korri has been with us for two weeks already? In a way, it feels like she has always been part of our family and at other times, I still wonder where she came from and if her parents are coming to pick her up. Ha! Luckily, she's ours to keep forever :)

I consider Friday a success strictly based on the fact that I was able to achieve taking a shower while having both kids! Now, I don't think it happened before Noon, but I'll take what I can get. And it helped that Jim came home early from work, so I even got a little snooze in, too.

Yesterday, Angie and Erica dropped my mom off after their girls' night, so they got to see baby, and we got more time with my mom! Then, Becky and Pete came over to have dinner with us. A very nice evening was had and I even got a small glass of wine...wow, does that taste strong when you haven't had any for so long! Oh and I "made" Jim watch Die Hard. Yes, he grew up in that era and had shamefully never seen the movie. He wanted to not like it, but I think in the end, he didn't mind it. It isn't like it won any great acting awards, but it is a good high adrenaline action flick (and I happen to like Bruce Willis, too!). Now I need to get him to watch Breakfast Club. Did he live under a rock or what?!?! A few years ago, I made him watch Dirty Dancing. I wonder what other films he needs to be introduced to from the 80's...

I had two postpartum successes today...I finally fit into my shoes and "real" jeans! My swelling was so terrible after giving birth, that I've had to wear Jim's boots...yes, Jim's boots because even my boots wouldn't fit! My OB said it usually took about 10 days for the swelling to go down and I notice yesterday or Friday that it was considerably better. And today, I fit into pre-pregnancy jeans...albeit they were my "fat" jeans but I'll take it...for church and thought I'd test my luck with my shoes, too! Yup, both fit. Yay.

Thursday, February 10

Back to reality

Well, reality hits tomorrow. Nobody at home but me and my kids. It is still weird to speak in the plural. Thankfully, I am feeling much better in regards to the baby blues and only have occassional mild bouts (like last night when we were watching Criminal Minds...really?!?!).

Mom left this morning after helping me get the kids ready and out the door to ECFE. Finn missed class last week, so it was important to me that we go. Holy cow, getting two kids ready takes a LOT longer than just one, especially when one of those kids eats for 30 minutes before you go. I'm thinking Jim is going to have to help out more in the mornings, since I schedule almost all of our appointments in the mornings. Just one more thing to adjust to.

Auntie NaeNae came to babysit all of us today and arrived just after we got home from class. Finn was super happy to see her and kept her running around the whole time she was here. Except during his nap when she "had" to hold Korri...Korri was apparently calling to her! Ha, ha. I appreciated having the extra person around, as did Finn. I even was able to run to the store quickly, which would not have been "quickly" if I'd had to take both kids with me.

Wednesday, February 9

Back to life

Jim went back to work yesterday. Weird. He said if felt kind of "normal" but it was weird for us at home. Thankfully, my mom is still here, so I don't know what "normal" will be like yet.

We had Korrigan's 2 week well-child appointment today and her pediatrician said that she looks perfect! Love to hear that and put my mind at ease. She now weighs 7 pounds 4 ounces and is gaining one ounce per day without supplement, so we don't have to supplement any more! Yay. The dr also said to stretch her feedings out to 2 1/2 hours if she still seems too tired to eat after only two hours. Unless we see signs that she is having problems eating or gaining weight, we don't have to go back in until her 2 month well child check.

Aunt Kelsie came over last night to visit and see the kids and brought us dinner from LeeAnn Chin! So nice and so yummy. Thank you! Not sure what I'm going to do when we have to plan a full week of meals all by ourselves.

Finn seems to be adjusting very well to baby Korri. I'm not naive enough to think that the adjustment is over and everything will be peachy, but overall, he doesn't pay a ton of attention to her unless he wants to kiss her or say, "hi baby" from across the room. However, it seems ever since we came home from the hospital, Finn isn't sleeping as well as he was and usually wakes up inconsolable. Hard to tell from what, but I'm thinking the adjustment might have something to do with it. I have to say, I miss my hour and a half to myself in the mornings when he was sleeping, especially since Korri seems to eat around 6am and then likes to sleep in (a common theme at our house)!

Korri is a really good sleeper, just like her brother (so far, anyway) and seems pretty laid back. She sleeps a lot during the day and until last night, has only woken up to eat two or three times at night. Last night was a different story. She seemed to want to eat every hour or two hours! Yikes. Makes for a very tired mommy by the time morning comes. Hopefully it was just a fluke and she goes back to three to four hours instead!

Monday, February 7

Plus two!

Korrigan and I went to the lactation consultant (LC) this afternoon and she gained two more ounces since yesterday! Needless to say, the LC is VERY happy with her progress. She is gaining double what she should be, which is good because that means she is also making up for what she lost. We have Korri's two week well-child appointment on Wed, so until then, if Korri's eats well, she doesn't need to be supplemented and if she doesn't, then I'll pump and give her an ounce or two. Yay! Korri still tires very easily and has a hard time staying awake for a full feeding, but the LC said that is VERY normal for her age and by next week, should be much better. Double yay! So happy things are going in the right direction. Oh and the LC suggested putting cabbage leaves in my bra to help with the engorgment pain (helps with the swelling!). We'll see!

Prior to our appt, Korri had her newborn pictures taken with Jess! Jess said Korri was one of the easiest newborns to shoot...she just snuggled in and slept most of the time (except when I took her diaper off and she pooped and peed on the blanket...oops!). We were able to get a couple open eye pics, too, in addition to some with big brother, alone with mom, alone with dad and the four of us. Can't wait to see them!

My mom is back! I'm so happy. She is staying until Thursday AM and then auntie NaeNae is coming to babysit up on Thursday. I'm feeling much better in terms of the "baby blues" but still want and appreciate the extra help and attention. If nothing else, Finn really needs a little extra attention, which he is definitely getting.

Sunday, February 6

One week and four ounces!

Korrigan is one week old today. My, what a crazy week it has been. We are so truly blessed and happy.

Two firsts: last night Korrigan had her first bottle!
Daddy gave her a bottle while I pumped. She did okay after a little bit of coaxing and took just over an ounce. I figured I don't want to end up with a baby who will only eat from me. I need a little freedom eventually, too!

And her second first was that this morning, she got to go to her first church service! This is Korri ready to head out to church.
I think Finn's first trip to church was at his baptism when he was nearly 6 months old. Another example of how different this time around is! My mom, Jim, Korrigan and I all went to church together. The weird part, I delivered her during what would have been church service last week, so she actually "turned" one week old while we were at church! Big brother, Finn, wasn't there because he got to have an over night at auntie Kristine's last night.

The home health service nurse stopped by this afternoon to take Korrigan's weight. I was nervous for this because I had a lot of emotions bottled up in what the results revealed. I was hoping for 6 lbs 14 ounces, knowing that between 1/2 and 1 ounce a day of weight gain is what they want to see. Well...she was just over SEVEN POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!! She gained an average of just over 2 ounces per day since we started working on this problem. I am so happy. The lactation consultant said that stopping the downward spiral would be the hard part and once we could get on the up swing, things would be easier. Hallelujah! We have a lactation consult/weight check tomorrow and her 2 week well child appt on Wed, so we will be watching it closely, but I'm very hopeful at this point. Oh, and while the nurse was here, her belly button cord fell off! It has been loose for a day or so and it just fell off. What remains looks a little tender still, but that is to be expected.

A HUGE thank you to my mom for coming yesterday morning. It helped to have her here in so many ways, even if it was just to have somebody supportive to cry to and express my crazy emotions to. Not to mention all the million other things she did that were a huge help. Gotta love mom!!

Saturday, February 5

No/Yes

Finn is full into the "no" stage of being a two year old. He will say no even if the question isn't a yes/no answer. And even if it is something he wants, he will say "no" and then whine when he doesn't get it. Needless to say, it is very annoying. Jim has been working with him on this and sometimes it is hilarious. Last night Jim played a "game" with him where when Finn says "no," Finn gets a candy taken out of his candy dish and when he says "yes" one gets put back in. I don't know how much of the rules Finn really understands, but he did say "yes" five times in a row so he got five pieces of candy in his dish for snack time (then followed with a "no"!).  And later, he said, "Yes...candy!" Ha, ha. We also are big on telling him how nice his yes sounds. Maybe some of this will sink in eventually :)

Breast feeding continues to be hot and cold. I felt yesterday afternoon/evening went really well. Last night was so/so and now this morning, she just won't wake up enough to eat. I told her I wish I had the same problem: would rather sleep than eat! In a way, I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me to get her to gain weight so when she has a bad feeding, I fall apart. (Logically, Jim would rather just bottle feed her than worry about her weight) I do feel like it is getting a little better in that her latches seem to be a little better and she isn't unlatching nearly as much. Now if I could just figure out how to use the feeding tube without drenching both of us! Oh and now she seems to be getting a little stuffy...I don't know how she could miss getting sick with all the germs going around in our house this past week!

My wonderfully supportive mom rearranged her schedule this weekend and next week until Thursday so she could come and help out. I was just so overwhelmed and Jim is planning on going back to work on Tuesday, which the thought of nearly sends me into a panic. If baby was just eating well, I think I'd be able to relax a little bit. One day (or one feeding!) at a time. I really do feel like we will get there, but it is the "getting there" that is tough.

Here are a couple good pictures from yesterday:




Friday, February 4

Working on it

I brought Korri in for our lactation consultation today. It was not what I was expecting, but not necessarily bad. She weighed 6 lbs, 12 oz again today, so at least she didn't lose any more weight! The lactation consultant said that she was not worried about my supply (duh!) and that Korri is acting like a typical 37 weeker...tires easily, would rather just have the food put in her tummy that working for it. Okay, I know 3 weeks isn't that early, but I wish somebody had mentioned she might have a few characteristics (such as feeding!) that aren't that same as a full 40 weeker. I mean, when you go from having a 25 weeker, when you hear "full term" you make certain assumptions about what that means. Maybe I wouldn't have been so quick to blame myself. Oh, well. She showed me how to use a feeding tube (VERY similar to what they used for Finn when in the NICU!) to put in her mouth while she is latched on and sucking. We've done it three times today and seems to work. At least we know she is getting at least one ounce with each feeding. Because Korri has lost 10% her birth weight, she scheduled home care to do a weight check some time this weekend and we have a short appointment with her on Monday for follow up. She said she is very confident that things will turn around in one to two weeks (which consequently is when Korri would have been 40 weeks!). I'm hopeful and feeling better about the whole situation (I just want her to "get" it so we can move forward). Now if I could just figure out this whole "proper latch" thing.

Finn is still not feeling 100% and we are going past two weeks since getting sick. He now seems to have bloody snot in the mornings along with massive snot all day and today when Jim asked him where it hurt, he pointed to his head/sinus area. SO, Jim called the nurse's line and they said to use a warm wash cloth over his forehead and try to elevate his head while sleeping (easier said than done since he doesn't use a pillow yet!). But they said his symptoms aren't urgent and to talk to his primary care next week if things don't get better. I really just want him to feel better because I don't know if he is being super whiny because he is not feeling well or because Korri is here and I don't have as much attention for him as I used to. Hmmm...

I also wanted to thank everybody for their help/support this week. Kelsie brought Finn back home and hung out for a while and Becky cleaned (!) and hung out with us on Tuesday, Lorry brought me Chai Tea Wednesday morning (my fav!), NeNe brought us Panera for lunch on Wed (again, one of my favs!), Becky, Pete and Austin came to visit and brought dinner and dessert Wed evening. Laura and Matt were going to visit and bring dinner tonight, but we had to reschedule. It is nice to feel so loved and taken care of!

So weird to think we would have been 38 weeks today!

Thursday, February 3

Tough day

I have to say, I'm overwhelmed today. We had a doctor appointment for Korri for a weight check and bilirubin level test that lasted over THREE hours and should not have lasted more than an hour, including lab and waiting for the results. By the time we left, I was so engorged, I could barely carry anything, let alone focus on anything other than the need to pump. They weighed her first and she has lost another ounce (now at 6 lbs, 12 oz). Overall, an ounce in two days isn't terrible, but she should be gaining weight right now, not losing (brought me right back to when Finn was 6 months old and losing weight when we stopped supplementing with Neosure). On the good side, Korri's bilirubin levels have improved, although she is still yellow, so not sure if there is reason for future follow up or not. We have her 2-week well child appointment next Wednesday with our regular pediatrician.

While Jim took Korri to get her labs, Finn and I stayed at Children's to I wouldn't have to walk around so much. While we were waiting, Dr. Mackey saw us and stopped over. So, of course, I start bawling uncontrollably. She asked a few questions and quickly told me that all of these things are very common and should be easily fixed.

Also, I realized over the last day or so that the "baby blues" have hit. With Finn, I had them the day after giving birth. We are on day four with Korri, so I thought they would pass me by this time, but not so lucky. I am an emotional person by nature anyway, however, I am not a big crier, so bursting into massive tears for little reasons is tough. The lack of sleep is also catching up with me, so I'm sure that doesn't help with the emotions.

It isn't helping that the reason for Korri's lack of weight gain is her inability to successfully latch on and when she does, it is a shallow latch, which means she isn't getting very much anyway. I know it isn't "me" per se, but it is so hard when I'm the one feeding her and I feel like if I "just got it" so would she. Every time she has a bad feeding, it hurts me so much (well, both physically and mentally). But tonight, she has had two really good feedings and I pumped until my breasts were finally starting to soften a little bit. So, I guess we'll see. Oh, and they scheduled a lactation consultation tomorrow for Korri and me, so I'm hoping that will help, too. One day at a time, I know. These things may all be very normal, but they are also overwhelming when you are already going through such a big life adjustment.

Wednesday, February 2

Peek-a-boo, I see you

After going back and forth (and back and forth again) after Finn was born, we decided we didn't NEED to get a video monitor for him. Well, several times over the last year and a half, we've wished we had one. SO, when I found the deal of the century on a really good video monitor, we got one for each child! Jim set them up last night and instantly said, "Man, we should have gotten these a long time ago!" I have to admit, it was very convenient to just take a peek at either of them before getting up to check on them. It is a little creepy, though, like on a horror movie when somebody goes into a room and you can't do anything about it. Hopefully we don't have to worry about that, though ;) Now I just need to figure out how to adjust the volume, so when Finn wakes up too early, I can mute him!!

Here is wide awake Korri yesterday before we left the hospital to go home:

This is Finn welcoming his baby sister home with a smoochy. So precious.

We survived our first night home. Jim is sick as a dog, so after being in bed for an hour, I asked him to sleep downstairs, for both of our sakes. #1. Baby would have kept waking him up all night and I figure he needs good sleep to get better AND #2. once I'm done feeding her, I need to be able to fall asleep right away, and Jim's snoring and sweaty body weren't conducive to that. I'm very proud of myself because after several initial crying bouts, I waited in my room and baby calmed herself within 2 minutes almost every time (unless her arms had come out of her swaddle)! I hope that continues for sure. I set my alarm for every 4 hours and she always woke up ready to eat before the alarm went off, which is good. We had two really good feeding sessions and a couple others that were okay. Now that it is day time, she thinks she needs to sleep, but I'm hoping to keep her awake a little more today.

Finn still isn't feeling well, but a dose of ibuprofen did wonders when he woke up. Lots of snot but less coughing. Hopefully he is on the mend. If baby doesn't get sick with all the germs in our house right now, it will be a miracle.

My milk came in early last night. By bedtime I was full and in a little pain. After baby's last bedtime feeding, I decided to pump to get a little relief. Now I'm struggling with if I should keep pumping to get some relief or to just try to feed her often to balance out supply and demand. It would be kind of nice to have a bottle or two in the freezer for future needs, though. Argh! I want to be done making decisions. It's somebody else's turn.

Tuesday, February 1

Home at last

We are home and have been since about noon today. They retested Korrigan's bilirubin levels (I think they did a blood test instead of the one on the skin) and her levels were much lower than they had been. So they were comfortable with her going home with the stipulation that she be seen by her pediatrician in two days. I'll take it. We have an appointment on Thursday morning. Hopefully all is well and she is gaining some weight back by then.

My milk has either come in or is super close to coming in. Most moms out there will understand when I say my boobs are hard (not painful yet!) and huge! Now I just hope she gets the whole latching on thing soon so she can get some nutrients and I get some some relief before things get out of hand.

Aunt Kelsie and Finn met us at home. Finn's first thing, "Hi baby Korri!" So cute. Then about half an hour later, he fell apart. We don't think he is feeling well. He will be fine one minute and then lose it for no apparent reason the next, almost as if he is in intermittent pain. He napped for almost 2 hours, which is great and is a crank right now. Jim and I are taking turns trying to make him feel "special" but I really don't think the majority of his mood is from Korri. I'm really looking forward to Finn's bedtime, so we can relax a little bit.

Going home?

Today should be the day for us to head home. Yay! I miss my boy. He had another sleep over with aunt Kelsie last night and she is taking a little time off work this morning to watch him until we get home. Thank you SO much! We were in a bit of a pinch, so we really appreciate it :)

The reason I'm not positive if we are all going home today is because they are a little concerned about Korrigan's bilirubin levels (what makes a baby jaundice) and her weight. She has lost 8% of her birth weight which apparently raises some red flags. The one thing that helps with both of these issues is her ability to breast feed (both sucking and getting fluids). She has been doing much better for the last three feedings or so, but they are wondering if she still isn't latching on properly. So, the next time I feed her, the lactation consultant is going to help (but Korrigan always does well when she is here...of course!). One of two things will most likely happen: 1. we will have to start supplementing her feedings with bottles. And if any of you remember us doing that with Finn, you will understand why I really don't want to do that! 2. However, the alternative would be that she has to stay here longer until her levels even out and she is eating better. I REALLY don't want that. So, I guess we will see. They are trying to get us discharged and on our way this morning yet, so fingers are crossed that all goes well.

And of course, this is the weather advisory for the day I bring my baby home: WIND CHILL ADVISORY IN EFFECT; WIND CHILL VALUES WILL AVERAGE BETWEEN 25 TO 35 DEGREES BELOW ZERO FROM 9 PM TO 12 NOON. Here's hoping we get home soon and can snuggle in for the rest of the day! Oh and at the end of the adivosory, it says, "IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS... MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES." Um, thank you for the tip?!?! Ha, if you don't already know that, you should NOT be living in MN ;)