Thursday, December 24, 2009

Millie Says...


Have a Merry Christmas!

Rock-a-bye Baby


It's true, I finally got to hold Millie. And I have a video to prove it! I've been trying for days to post this video, but I haven't been successful with blogger. Thankfully YouTube likes me, so you can find that video here.

Here is a picture to tide you over:


Warning: I was under the impression I wouldn't be holding her until that night so I was still in my PJ's and not showered (those 7 am hospital visits require PJ's), and we didn't bring our video camera so we borrowed Buck's Mom's digital camera. And yes, I purposely make my hair look that good.

What an ordeal just to hold a baby, huh? She loved it and I promise she fell asleep in my arms if only for a second. It was great.

We were given the okay to hold her twice a day, so Buck got to hold her for the first time Wednesday night. He, of course, was all showered.


We originally just held her as pictured above for 30 mins, but her doctors think she would benefit more from us holding her "skin to skin" for an hour twice a day. This means we put her on our bare chest and let her sleep. I keep it pretty modest, so this is me doing "skin to skin."

Touching her skin felt like a pony's nose (or so Grandpa LaMar says). Trust me, it was the softest thing I've ever felt. I loved every second of it.

Oh yes, one of the nurses went out of her way to find a premie outfit that would fit Millie. I wouldn't say it fit well, but Millie has a PICC line in her head so her outfit has to be put on without pulling anything over her head.

By the way, the outfit clearly has another baby's name printed in it. Kind of reminded me of Great Grandma in the nursing home. Sometimes we saw other patients wearing clothes marked "Mary Kendrick" across the back.

Thanks for the onesie Kajah!

And Millie had her picture made with Santa! I think it went well.


By the way, we had a fabulous Christmas. Millie got more gifts than anyone, so thank you everyone! We all received tons of nice, thoughtful gifts. One of my favorite gifts (I loved it all, I promise!) was a pink bell with hearts on it for my bike from Buck's parents. Pretty soon here I'll need a seat attachment so Millie can ride with me. Oh yes, and I got to talk to Xan on his mission, but unfortunately he's completely forgotten all the lines to Elf. I think I know what we'll be watching when he comes home (January 6th). See you soon Elder K!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snug as a Bug: Happy 4 Weeks, Millie!

You might not be able to tell her size here, but she has passed the 2 pound mark! We're so proud of you, Millie. Thank you, Ahbi, for Millie's Christmas quilt.


She LOVES sleeping on her tummy wrapped in a blanket. Heaven for Miss Millie.


What's not to love?


It's hard to believe she is 4 weeks old already. Last night she moved to a new spot in the NICU that gives us some more privacy and quite. She also switched ventilators, and is slowing being taken off of this one. We're really excited about her breathing on her own soon hopefully!

Tonight I was supposed to hold her for the first time, but the professional opinion of the evening shift though it would be better for us to wait until tomorrow. Boo. She needed her oxygen turned up a few times and she began feeding again today. I was extremely disappointed, but I want to do what is best for her.

Her doctors have decided to try feeding her formula for a week to see how she digest it. There is a theory that she might be allergic to something I am eating. In the mean time, I have been put on a dairy-free diet. After a week or so, we will try feeding her my milk again. In addition to no milk, I'm also supposed to be staying away from orange juice, nuts, and eggs. Any ideas for breakfast? It looks like I'm now limited to oatmeal. Anything for Millie!

Tomorrow I truly, truly, truly hope I get to hold my baby. We promise a video of it whenever it happens! Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Millie Getting a New Hair-Do!


It might not look like much hair to you, but around here it's enough for a bow.

Enjoy!

By the way, it's a little long. I haven't figured out how to shorten the videos on my computer yet.


video



Thursday, December 17, 2009

3 Weeks and Counting!

Millie couldn't decide between them.


This was the first time we weighed her all by ourselves! Well, we were supervised of course. 1 lb 13 ounces.


As a special treat, Daddy got to brush her hair! Yes, I realize she looks very tan. I swear Buck is the father.


We're currently in between Internet providers so our posts are a little delayed. Sorry about that.

Millie is having some lower GI tests tomorrow that will hopefully provide some answers (or dismiss concerns) so she can start taking milk again. She will also be getting a new PICC line, poor thing. I hate getting poked, and can remember it vividly (from just 3 weeks ago) so I really feel for her. She's a good girl, she never complains.

She had another clean brain scan today! Last night we joined the Parent's Network for a pizza party. We met several couples that have babies currently in the NICU. We, of course, have the youngest and smallest child. We feel really blessed though. The entire group got on the topic of brain bleeds, and I got the impression that nearly every parent there had experienced their child having one. They provided some comfort just in case Millie has one. Just when you think you are already counting your blessings...

We were also warned (from the parents) that Millie will most likely go home on oxygen and a monitor. Don't worry though, it sounds like she will still be able to travel with all this equipment. That was our biggest concern. We need to get this girl to the south!

I'm really excited about her hitting the 1,000 gram mark so I can "legally" touch her without gloves. For those of you that aren't used to grams (who is?!?), she currently weighs 835 grams.

I love being around this sweet little girl. She is beginning to look a lot like Buck to me. I actually have to resist the urge to kiss her, and my heart keeps telling me to pick her up! Wish I could.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Love at First Sight

Oh my heavens, she is beautiful.

Clearly we adore her.



Accomplishments of the week:
1. Millie weighs 1 lb 13 ounces (almost 14 ounces!)
2. She has upgraded diapers to the 2 lb size because...
3. Two of her diapers (that I changed) weighed over 1 ounce each
4. She skipped out on phototherapy for 2 days
5. She is starting to love opening her eyes when she hears her parents (or so we think)
6. Her hair is looking lighter since she isn't wearing her hat as much (when she doesn't have phototherapy)
7. Her lungs are in great shape. I can't talk the medical lingo, but we hear they are lookin' good!
8. She is "27 weeks" today.
Oh we love her.
Look for her 3 week picture soon!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bright-Eye'd and Bushy-Tailed

Millie had a really big week. Here are a few of the highlights:

Millie is now official to the U.S. Government! I'm not going to say her number, but I want you to know it's an easy one. We're proud.

(I did have a picture of this piece of mail, but publishing my address like that might not be so smart!)

She is now sporting this lovely robotic arm. At least I think it looks that way. Her arm is still there and just dandy, she now has an IV that requires all this extra whiteness.


After I told her about her Uncle Xan's recent root canal, she insisted I take a picture of her tooth brush to encourage his good oral hygiene. It's HUGE, but yes, we clean her mouth with that.


And the moment we've all been waiting for....

Millie opened her eyes for us!

video

Favorite quote of the movie: " It's true, you have eyeballs."

I'm so eloquent.

Hope you enjoyed sharing our special moments with us!

Millie is still growing and doing wonderfully. You may notice her feeding tube is looking a little on the green side in some of the pictures. She may have an infection (she's already on antibiotics) in her tummy so they have stopped her feedings for now. We hope to get to the bottom of this tonight. Everyone seems calm about it, like it's a common situation, so we aren't too worried. Please keep her in your prayers, I know she will get better!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy 2 Week Birthday, Millie!


She's come a long way, so to celebrate we decided to give her a photo shoot with her boyfriend!



Does she look any bigger? Do you recognize the handsome man in the plastic bag?


Recognize him now?
That's right folks! It's Edward Cullen, Barbie Style. Perfect for Millie, I'd say! Matt and Jessica, Millie told me to tell you "Thanks" for the Birthday present!


The good news is that she IS bigger! Millie now weighs a whopping 1 lb 11 ounces! No longer can we compare her to a pound of butter...she's much more like a pound and a half of butter. What? You don't think of your child in terms of butter?

In other news Millie is testing out a fancy new monitor for the hospital. It was time to change some of her lines anyways, so this was an appropriate move. She also got a new breathing machine. I think that means we are closer to being able to hold her but I'm not sure. She is taking my milk well, and I heard tonight she is close to opening up her eyes!

Buck and I are still doing great. It is getting harder for me to be away from her. Did you see her picture? Then you understand. She's adorable and I love her. I try to limit my visits because she grows when she is deep in sleep. Distracting her too much could prevent her growth. Heaven knows I want to bring her home, so I certainly want her growing! It's not too hard to limit my visits since work keeps me busy for most of the day (and night sometimes). Buck is staying busy with his school work. We are both trying to avoid getting sick so we can visit her.

Thank you all so much for praying for us. She is a miracle, and I know Heavenly Father has heard all of these prayers in our behalf.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Granddaughter Like Grandfather


Grandpa LaMar with his lovely facial hair


Millie with her peach fuzz


So cute.


One of the nurses made her this cute hat out of two hospital hats. I love it, but she does remind me a little of Aunt Jemima now.


She can almost suck her thumb!


This is her newest monitor. It is to measure her brain activity for seizures. Thankfully it will come off today so I can hold her sweet head again!


Thanks for visiting Grandpa LaMar. We miss you terribly already. We love you and hope you and Millie won't always have facial hair in common.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy 10 Days Millie!


Isn't she a beauty? She LOVES tummy time.


For kicks we tried Buck's wedding ring on her. She just looked like she needed a little jewelry!


It makes sweet little bracelet for Millie.


When she was born, our doctors explained some of the milestones we should be waiting for. The first one was the 48 hour mark, and the second one was the 10 day mark. That's today, hooray!

She's doing great! She looks healthier all the time. We are planning on trying to feed her more milk this weekend. Other than that, we hope her weekend is uneventful and full of rest.

Happy 10 days Millie! We love you!

Beautiful

Sorry for the lack of pics, stay tuned for some this weekend! I just wanted everyone to know that Millie is doing great. Truly she looks so happy and healthy. After all the tests, blood transfusions, and doses of plasma Millie has stopped bleeding. We're still scratching our head as to where and why, but the important part is it's over and all her organs look beautiful (via ultrasounds). We're happy.

Buck gave her a bath last night! I wasn't able to be there because I was working (yes, I've gone back mostly), but I'm sure she loved her Daddy/Daughter time.

My Dad is still here with us. My Daddy/Daughter time has been fun, and I'm so thankful he has been here to support me. We're looking forward to some sweet potato pancakes tonight thanks to my step-Mom, Vivian.

Last night I spent time with Millie in the hospital after Buck and Dad went home. She was sleeping on her belly and looking beautiful. I mean really, take away the stickers, tape, IV, etc and she looks like something straight for Anne Geddes. I'm so proud. And in love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Millie-date!

It's like an update, only better!

Millie is doing great. She had her heart surgery on Sunday and is recovering beautifully!

Here she is looking like a real baby laying on her belly.


That funny looking spot on her back is the incision from the heart surgery. Amazing, right?!?


Here is Dad implementing what we learned in our NICU parenting class. He is keeping her calm by pulling her legs to her belly, aka the fetal position.


Here she is modeling her new hat from Aunt Betsey and blanket from Aunt Ruthy. She told me to tell y'all "Thanks!"


We told her to pretend she was a Barbie and this is what we got! This is her at exactly one week old. To us she looks different already. We're planning on taking a weekly picture with Barbie to keep everyone up to speed on her growth.


We're still waiting for our new camera charger, so forgive the poor quality of these pictures. We've been using Buck's cell phone.

So for the medical update, Millie is still recovering from the surgery. She got pretty swollen (which was sure hard to look at) but is looking much better. She carries all the swelling in her chin now which is pretty funny looking. Everyone keeps commenting on how healthy she is looking. They've been so impressed with her recovery that they decided to feed her some of my milk today. They also decided that she didn't need to be under her lights for the entire day so she got a little break from sunbathing.

On a slightly-worried-but-not-panic-just-yet note, she did have a poopy diaper tonight with a small amount of blood in it. The doctors asked us to come back around 10:30 PM to talk about some tests they are currently running on her. As Buck put it, "I guess this is the roller coaster they keep talking about." We'll add an update tomorrow when we know more information.

Thank you for your prayers! I know they are helping our sweet baby.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Millie


Welcome to the world Millie Bagwell!

Enjoy a peek into her world.

She spends her days in this "Giraffe" at 95% humidity. We like to think it's preparing her for life in the south. It makes it hard to see her sometimes, but we don't give up.


For her first 24 hours, her wardrobe consisted of a gallon sized zip lock bag! It helped keep her tiny body warm and damp.

She's already made friends!

Every once in a while we get to see her sweet head. Her eyes haven't opened yet, and we can't wait until they do.

She has sweet nurses that check on her all day long.



Her heart is having a little bit of trouble, but we are hopeful it will be healthy very soon.


Although her body is tiny, to us it's perfect. Look at these darling feet!



And those hands!

The Birth

On Friday, November 20th I started feeling a strange pain. I blew it off for Cafe Rio and New Moon. On Saturday I was still in a little pain so I called my doctor. Together we decided it was probably nothing, but I was to go to the hospital if my symptoms didn't stop. I wanted to wait it out for our Ward activity Saturday night. It was a Holiday Dinner and Talent Show...who could miss that? My symptoms were still very much present, but I honestly didn't feel like I should go to the hospital. That night I noticed a few other things and got a little nervous. I slept on it until Sunday morning when I woke Buck up to take me to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital unsure of where to go. Emergency room, or Labor and Delivery? We opted for Labor and Delivery to avoid the $100 ER co-pay haha! It turned out to be the right choice. We explained my symptoms and asked for an ultrasound and exam. I was admitted into a room and asked a bazillion questions. The nurse was pretty sure it was nothing until she did my actual exam. She noticed right away my water had dropped. In her calmest manner, she ran out for another nurse and to call my doctor. They determined that I was completely dilated and our baby was coming.

I was in this "ready to burst at any second" state from Sunday morning until Tuesday. That means contractions, liquid food only, a catheter, and no getting out of bed that entire time. During this bed rest I received steroid shots to help Millie's lungs. I made it through both rounds, and we attribute that to how well she is breathing today.

Early Tuesday morning (like 1 AM) I finally got the nurse to order my epidural. That provided enough relief for me (plus Buck and my Mom because of my crying from the contractions) to get a few hours of sleep. About 5:30 AM my doctor arrived to break my water and get things going. I was rushed to the OR with Buck (decked out in that fancy sterile white outfit) for the delivery. Millie arrived at 1 lb 4 ounces and 11 inches. Because she was so small her body ended up turning sideways during the delivery. So if you think delivering a small baby is easy, I can assure you delivering a small, sideways baby is not. She also arrived with one hand above her head, doing her beauty queen wave.

I was only 23 weeks and 4 days along when we got to the hospital so the NICU was brought into the loop immediately. They had everything she needed ready right away, so her transition from birth to incubator was smooth. I was told so many times that 24 weeks was the "safe zone" and even just a day short of that was very dangerous. I was never promised her health (or even resuscitation) but for some reason I was calm and confident through the whole thing. I later found out that she had a low chance of even being resuscitated, so I can honestly say she is a miracle.

Millie made it through the 48 hour "honeymoon" phase beautifully. The doctors keep waiting for some major medical problem to arise and we still don't have any. She has had several poopy diapers which the doctors are amazed at. She breathes on her own occasionally, which is great. The only problem is her heart. She is receiving surgery right now that will close an area that needs to be closed. It isn't open heart, so it isn't a major surgery. It is a surgery performed in her bed through an incision in her side that places a tiny clamp to close up the open area. After this is finished and she recovers we should be able to start feeding her! Up until now she just takes fluid and vitamins basically.

The next benchmarks we are looking for is her 10-day mark, and then her 4 week mark. We expect ups and downs daily, and promise to update everyone when there is something major. We want to be with Millie as much as possible so we will be adding visits to the hospital daily to our already busy schedule. This means we may have less time to call our loved ones as often as we have been. Please know we love you, want to keep you informed, and are just trying to keep up with everything right now.

We are told to expect to bring her home about her due date, March 17th. I am beside myself excited to hold this girl in my arms. Having her sleep in our home will be like a dream. I really look forward to just the three of us spending time together.

This concludes her birth story and update. Thank you everyone for your prayers and love. Below is a message for my pregnant friends. Love you girls! It's just some personal emotions you might want to prepare for.

Just a side note to the soon-to-be-mom's out there:
Prepare for some strong emotions. I still haven't held her and it was days before I got to even touch her foot. I felt pretty distant from her at first because of this, but I know it was for her safety. It was really hard for me that Buck got to be with her right away while I had to deliver the placenta. I was wheeled in there to look at her, but I was still pretty out of it and exhausted. During my recovery it was also hard for me to watch the grandparents spend hours by her side learning about her and getting to know the staff while I was stuck in bed. I felt terrible for barely knowing my own daughter, and jealous that everyone else seemed to know her so well. If the birth was normal she would have been mostly by my side, instead she was barely by me. It was also hard for me that everyone else got to sleep at home in a normal, warm bed and shower daily!

Don't get me wrong, we love our parents. We're so grateful they all made it out to be with us and welcome our daughter into the world. I was just unprepared, exhausted, and emotional. The grandparents were a big help in many ways. We have been fed and entertained well, plus they have helped keep the rest of our families up to date. That is something I've been terrible at. Plus without Buck's parents specifically we wouldn't have any pictures of our baby girl. My Mom was great in the hospital prior to delivery, and my Dad has been such a good translator for us to understand all this medical stuff.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baby Bagwell is a...

GIRL! Isn't she beautiful!?! Haha!

Seriously though, we learned a lot from the ultrasound. She is healthy and has all the body parts she is supposed to. We're very excited.

Just so you know, finding out the gender was a little surprising for me. For some reason I was expecting a drum-roll or some sort of lead to the big announcement, so Buck and I were kind of taken back by the casual announcement. "There is the head, arm, leg, it's a girl..." Then I, of course, quizzed the poor girl on how sure she was. She then gave us detailed pics to prove her announcement. I got so tickled from this news that between a few tears I got the giggles. I really don't have a big belly yet, but when I got the giggles I seriously felt like Santa and his "bowl full of jelly." Having the ultrasound thingy on my tummy plus me shaking and it being very obvious on the TV screen made it even worse! The whole event revolves around you holding still...how can you hold in the giggles knowing that!?! It wasn't too bad though, I got over it quickly.


Here are some other things we've been up to:


Temple #10 of 12: Vernal

This Temple was constructed out of the local Tabernacle. It was small but beautiful.
To kick off the fall we finally made it to the local corn maze with the Ostler's.

This picture with little Evie makes me so happy.
Poor kid.

Buck was really proud of this one.

So that's it. Baby Bagwell is a healthy girl so far, and we're really excited! Just a word of warning though, Buck and I can't seem to agree on a name so don't expect a name announcement before she makes her debut.

Now it's full steam ahead on picking out things!