Friday, September 26, 2008

The Past Few Days


Hard to imagine that on this day one week ago we were just getting settled in our room at the hospital and Grace was knocking on the door to come on out! The last few days have gone by fast but they have been great days. Here's a quick rundown...

On Tuesday we gave Grace her first bath at home - they had given her one at the hospital the day after she was born - and lemme tell ya, she did not enjoy it too much! She's not a big fan of stripping down to just her diaper, but I'm not going to complain about that... I had to end up consoling her towards the end by letting her have a grasp of one of my fingers in each hand, while she sucked on my pinky finger at the same time.

Grace had her 2nd doctors appointment on Wednesday and everything checked out fine. Her slight jaundice still wasn't of a concern and it has started to go down since then. Next visit is now scheduled for October 3rd (2 days before her original due date!) Also on Wednesday, Stacey was having some pains in her abdomen so we took a trip to her doctor and they said she had a bladder infection and her stitches were starting to get infected. Originally she wasn't going to go, but its a good thing she did as it could have progressed into something worse.

Sleep during the night has much improved since night #1, as Grace has been doing a good job of usually only waking up when she is hungry or can't stand being in a dirty diaper anymore. She has definitely taken after me in the way she sleeps - mouth open, arms spread way out, and twitching every so often. We keep her bassinet out in the living room and Orville's (our first dog) new favorite thing to do is keep a watchful eye over Grace. We did not expect Orville to be so protective / curious out of all three of our dogs as usually he is really laid back, but his new favorite thing to do is jump up on the couch on the arm rest and stick his head into the bassinet for a few seconds, make sure Grace is inside and asleep, then jump back off. I snapped a pic of him yesterday in the act.

Nothing else too exciting to report though, which I suppose is a good thing! Grace doesn't really fit into any clothes right just yet - they're either too big or the legs on her "preemie" outfits are too short - but I don't think she really minds... Other than that, we are wishing everyone from my Dad's side of the family safe travels to and from Virginia this weekend for my cousin Mike's wedding - hope it is a joyous time and we're bummed we couldn't be there to celebrate. --- Be sure to keep checking the online gallery for new pics, I'll try and post some every couple days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1st Doctor's Visit, 2nd Night Home, & New Pics

Well we had a great 1st visit at the doctor's office. At least we thought it was great, but I don't think Grace really agrees with us on that one! We talked with the doctor about Grace's rough night and he thinks that she may have been allergic to something that I ate the night before. When we arrived home from the hospital, I had a glass of milk and a blueberry muffin from Wegmans. He gave us a list of foods to avoid or try in moderation to determine if your baby is allergic to them or not. I was a little disturbed when I realized that half the things on the list were given to me in the hospital. So for future breastfeeders make sure you know what these foods are and do not trust that the hospital is feeding you breastfeeding - friendly food (Even if they are a so-called "Baby-Friendly" hospital). We also learned that Grace jaundice is very mild so the doctor did not need to even test her to make sure her levels were good. When we were discharged from the hospital, they said that based on her physical Sunday morning she was down to 5 1bs. 4 1/2 oz. Yesterday she was up to 5 1bs. 9 oz ! We were really happy to hear this especially after our difficult evening. She will need to go back to the doctor's office on Wednesday for a weight/jaundice check , but it seems like she is doing a lot better now!

Now for our 2nd night home. It was glorious! Grace was able to sleep in her bassinet without any problems. She was also able to nurse without any problems and she hit her wet/soiled diaper goal by 7am this morning! I don't think she will have any problems gaining weight before her visit tomorrow. We were able to get a lot more sleep and things are very peaceful around the house this morning (thus the ability to actually get on the computer). Jason was also able to go into work for a few hours today to work on some things. Hopefully everything will continue to move in a positive direction and we will update you after our appointment tomorrow to let you know how Grace is doing. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! We really have appreciated all of the love and support that we have received over the past few days from all of our family and friends! We are so happy to share our wonderful miracle with you!

Here's a few new pics, but be sure to check the online gallery (link on the left <--- ) for more!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, Sleepless Night

We made it back home around 7:30p last night with Grace! She did great in the car on the way home, didn't make a peep. We were very interested to see how the dogs would react to this new being in our life, so Stacey went in first, and I followed a few minutes later with Grace in my arms. To everyone's surprise, the dogs were calm as can be - we've never seen them that calm and not barking and running everywhere / going crazy after we had returned from a long time away! Patty had brought home a receiving blanket from the hospital and cut it into three pieces for them to play with before we got home and that may have helped some. Either way, they accepted her right from the start, only very slightly curious, and very much welcomed her home.

Grace was great and took in her new surroundings like a champ. We had been waiting for her second soiled diaper of the day to come, otherwise we would have had to call the doctor very early in the morning, but she finally did her business an hour or so after she was home. Everything was going great until it was time to get some sleep - and that's when the fun began... or not.

We put her down in bassinet #1 but about 15 minutes after, along came the wailing. We went through this all night long - holding her, rocking her, trying to feed her every 2-3 hours, checking her diaper, putting her in her crib and other bassinet - pretty much everything we could think of. She would be totally fine whenever in my arms but go to put her down and a few minutes later shed start to cry. We thought maybe Stacey wasn't getting any food out, as Grace wasn't latching on like she usually has, so we fired up the breast pump, but that wasn't the problem. We even fed her some breast milk out of a glass dropper like the nurse at the hospital suggested - and she would down all of it - but still, couldn't get to sleep on her own. I think we each might have slept off and on a total of 2 hours-ish. Was frustrating because she had been perfectly fine at the hospital and home up til this point sleeping on her own. Finally when it was time Stacey called the doctor to get in for an appointment this morning (we had one planned either way), and one of Grace's nurses at the hospital called at well, and it was determined that Grace probably had a belly ache from the dairy Stacey had eaten last night. So, hopefully that is the case. We are off to the doctors here in a few minutes - 11:30 appointment. Will update more on our return!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Discharge Very Soon!

Looks like we are all headed home sooner rather than later - probably after Stace gets her last meal around 5pm. Going to fill out Grace's discharge papers very shortly and then we will be pretty much set to go!

Patty brought a receiving blanket Grace used for a bit home to the boys so they could get some of her scent. Should be interesting to see how they react to the new inhabitant in their domain, and them getting a little lower on the totem pole. I'm sure they'll be very excited to see us, so Stace will be going in first and I will wait with Grace downstairs. Once we are home safe I'll be sure to let ya'll know.

Might Be Coming Home Today!

Great news - we have a good possibility of getting discharged today with our little one! They are allowing her to stay in our room pretty much all day today and only has to go back down to the SCU for a couple quick checkups and take any medicine she needs. We were not thinking we'd be able to take her home until at the earliest tomorrow morning so this is definitely awesome news!! She has one test that still needs to come back to be sure she is clear of infection, and should be hearing on that in the next few hours.

Grace is still doing rather well with her feedings as she has had a few more wet diapers - which she absolutely hates to be in and cries if she is. That is pretty much the only time she really cries so far except if she is really hungry and Mommy's food is taking too long to get to her mouth! Her favorite thing so far seems to be sucking on our pinky fingers - which she probably would do for who knows how long before we pulled them out. Also, she still has her little IV in her hand, which they had to switch to her other hand last night as the other one was leaking. Hopefully that will be out soon enough. Will post again either from home or when I know more about the discharge.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Trip Out of the SCU!

Yay! Grace is now able to come down to our room for feedings and stay for a little while after! Here's a few pics from the first time (2:00p)... she's back down here again now and sleepin (5:25p).

Well, I went to post this and just before I did we had some issues trying to feed her and she was starting to get a little fussy. Couldn't tell if she wanted to eat, sleep, or was messin a diaper. She is however, already a Daddy's girl as she stopped fussing as soon as she was in my arms :) Shes back in the SCU now as we eat and rest til the next feeding... (btw 1 soiled diaper and 3 wet so far!)

New Life... - Concluding the Birth Blog

FYI: Posted a bunch more pics - just click here to view!

I'm sure many of you are wondering how it all went down last night after my last post around 7p...

An hour after Stacey had been dilated about 8cm (6:30p), I left Sue in the room with Stacey (about 7:30p) and went downstairs for some air and to use the restroom. Upon arriving back in to our room, the curtain was drawn, the doctor was in and prepping to start active labor. I could not believe it! The doctor was great and really wanted to see us have a natural birth and not have to go to have a C-section (Stace was dreading that - and I think with our normal doctor, he would have opted for the C without a doubt - that's how much of a fine line we were walking on). So, we had to move quickly as there was still some complications with heart rate a bit high, Stace having the fever, and the possibility of infection.

Active labor started around 7:54pm. They turned off the epidural once labor started and the contraction measuring device was not working at all for some reason, so we had to go by feel for each one. Stacey was a champ, and really pushed awesome and strong for being so tired. I took position on her left side, holding her head forward and left leg up during contractions, as well as rotating counting to 10 three times for each one with the nurse (who was on her right side). Sue was helping me at the head of the bed with ice water washcloth duty and Patty was also on leg support. The doctor had told us this stage usually takes around 2:30 hrs so we were ready for the long haul. I hadn't had a chance to eat any dinner besides a pear and a couple chips so at this point I was just hoping not to pass out as I had a pretty bad headache as well.

After about maybe 30 minutes of pushing, Grace had really started to get close to emerging, very much to our surprise! The doctor started prepping for delivery at this point, readying the table, and getting all of her instruments together. This was such good news as it was pretty much confirmed we would not have to go for the C-section, however the doctor said she would like to use a small amount of suction to get her out as soon as she could and because of Stacey's smaller pelvis. Patty had moved to the other side of the table holding Stacey's right leg, and after a bit Sue moved down to help with her left leg as the table was gone now so Stacey didnt have anywhere to set her legs down.

Around 8:37p Grace was on the verge! Stace was pushing strong like a champ and really impressed everybody in the room - the doctor, nurses, and of course, myself. The doctor used a slight bit of suction and after really only after about 5 minutes of pushing, at 8:45pm our little Grace was born! I recall the first thing I said to Stacey as soon as she came out was, "it's a girl!!!" (definitely exciting because we had been kind-of dreading it would be a boy at this point after we had gone all-girl on everything, clothes, decor, and of course, the mural!) I was able to cut the cord, which was pretty cool and something I hadn't been expecting to do, and then they turned the baby over to the other nurses / doctors in the room for the initial cleaning and tests.

I then left the bedside and went to take pictures on the other side of the room where they were dealing with Grace (the birthing suite was quite large - there was probably 15 people or more in the room at points). It was such an awesome experience and a great blessing that the delivery moved along so well once we were in active labor, as she came much faster than anyone had expected which also we hope helped vastly improve her chances of not getting any infection. I guess after I left the bed they removed the placenta and discovered Stace had 2nd degree natural tearing and they had to stitch her up which took a bit.

I was over at the warming table snapping pics and watching as they tested Grace. She did not cry much at all and was so attentive - eyes wide open the whole time looking around and barely fussy. Everyone could not believe how awake she was as she couldn't stop taking in her new world and staring at yours truly. They did her weight, her footprints, and attempted to get her dimensions. After that I was able to hold her for the first time - I dont think she took her eyes off me the whole time. However at this point I wasn't feeling so hot, just light-headed from not eating, a bit exhausted, and sweating some from the heat in the room, so I had to go get some fresh air. I did not think I would expend that much energy but I really should have eaten more - oh well, now I know for next time!

When I came back up, Grace was on her way over to the Special Care Unit and everybody (New Grandparents Patty, My Dad & Sue - Carrie, Stacey's Aunt Karen, and Kasey) was leaving for the night. Headed back to the room to see Stace - there was still quite a bit of blood on the floor - but she was doing very well and eating a sub! After that Staceys Dad and Pam, who had drove up from Virginia during the day and arrived in time for the delivery, took off and we were finally alone together... just missing our baby down in the SCU.

I went down to check on Grace about 15 min later, it was maybe 10:30 at this point. The doctor said she was doing great and everything was looking to check out, they just wouldn't know about any infection for 48 hours. I was able to spend some time with Grace before heading back to the room. Stinks she could not be with us in our room but as long as she is healthy, that is all that matters - and we do have the rest of her life to spend with her! I think that's where I left off last night... I'm sure I have forgot some things and it all seems like a bit of a blur at this point, but that should be the jist of it! We are now proud parents of an adorable baby girl and could not be happier!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Grace --- The Big Reveal!

...And here she is! I will upload more tomorrow, as well as pick up where I left everybody hanging on the running blog. I was just down in the Special Care Unit for a bit with Grace and she is doing very well. They won't know about any infections for 48 hours, but the nurse said she is doing great and she kept sticking her tongue out at me, mouthing like she is ready to feast on Mommy!! (as soon as Stace can make it down there). Thanks again to everyone for their support, every bit of it helped get us through the day. K, time to try and get some sleep!!!

11:51pm Update: Check that... we are going down to the SCU to see if Stace can give Grace some good eats tonight!

12:46am --- First feeding went pretty well, she did some good sucking for quite awhile, and of course seems like it will be a pretty trying process. I think she was as wiped out as we are from today's events! Okay, NOW it's time to try and sleep... til the nurse sounds the morning feasting horn...

She's Here!!!!

Grace Isabella Gringer --- 6lbs, 2oz - About 19"

Stacey is doing very well and she did so amazing!!! Will post more and update the running blog when I get a chance. Grace had to go to the special care unit because she was early and Stacey had the fever / possible infection, so they have to run some tests to make sure Grace doesnt have an infection and run a bunch of tests. Stay tuned for the pics - we love you all!

New Life Decides to Come Through the Front Door --- A Running Birth Blog


FYI: This is a running blog I am attempting to keep on today's events, leading up to the birth of our first child! It's not going to be an exact science but I will do my best to keep everyone informed. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers!

7:05pm --- Fever has gone down! I have been on ice-washcloth duty switching out washcloths bathing in a bowl of ice water, onto Stace's forehead and neck. Now around 37.4 C and dropping!

--- 8 cm dilated - Nevermind... still has a slight fever and if the dilation doesn't continue to progress and the fever doesn't go down much we may be looking at a C-Section as Grace's heart rate is still high.

--- And looks like those worked... temperature starting to drop.

--- Up to 7 cm --- Temperature has been up a bit over the 38 degree Celsius mark (fever) so they had to give Stace some Tylenol and antibiotics to try and keep any infection down if that were to happen.

--- We've hit the 6 cm mark... heart rate back on the rise however.

--- Quick update if I scared anybody with the last post... BP seems to have normalized now, and heart rate has stabilized for both Stace and Grace. Pitocin is back on.

4:26pm --- Dozed in and out for a bit and when I woke up Stacey's blood pressure was having some issues... very low and her heart rate was up a bit. They say usually that happens right after the epidural and weird it has happened so far after. Stopped the Pitocin for 30 minutes or so and they gave her some new drugs to hopefully help get her BP back up... hasn't been working so well but they seem to finally be getting somewhere. She is shaking quite a bit from the meds, they say - hope to turn it around soon by next update. Stay tuned... Also just wanted to say thanks for everybody's comments and encouragment - very much appreciated!!

3:10pm --- Started the Pitocin - or "Vitamin P" as they call it here... and Stace is doing real well. Grace's heartbeat has been steady for the most part all day, just went down a bit after the 2nd epidural and they had to give Stacey a bit of oxygen to help with that. Also, happy to report she does not need another dose of the Cytotec! Our nurse, Linda, is hoping we have the baby by the time she has to leave (7:30p) as the same thing happened to her yesterday with another lady - went all day and missed the birth! Everyone in the room here (Sue / Patty) agrees that would be a good thing (only 4 more hours of labor). Might try and take a nap here if possible --- only had 4 hours of sleep last night. Not good.

--- 4 cm dilation - After many trials and tribulations, the anesthesiologist had to redo the epidural, as it wasn't in the correct way the first time and Stacey was still in a great deal of pain and able to feel most of her body, having some very painful contractions. Now that it is back in correctly, seems to be much smoother sailing and Stace is actually talking and laughing some. Trying to get a bit of rest now...

--- 3 cm dilation - Epidural is only working on the left side of the body, trying to figure out what is up with the right side...

--- Epidural has been inserted - they seem to be having a busy day here with other couples as well... Dilated over 2 cm, 90% effaced, -1 position.

9:00 - 11:00am --- Moved into our room now, met with a doctor from Stacey's office (ours is not on call today), and they gave her a Cytotec pill to help "soften the cervix" and hopefully help get some dilation working. This dose will take about 4 hours and then they'll see if she needs to take another round of it. Stacey is having a lot of back pain and back labor along with the contractions which isn't helping much, however the labor actually seems to be progressing a lot faster now the meds have set in and the contractions are getting a lot stronger. Wasn't the original plan but will probably soon be going for the epidural...

--- Arrived at the hospital (Rochester General), went to triage unit. Everything checked out well - They told us we wouldn't be going home, Grace is head down, vital signs good. The nurses kept saying "what a happy baby" according to the heart beat. However, it seems like we are only dilated a tiny bit, which means we will be here quite awhile... The nurse couldn't get the IV in so well in either arm (veins collapsing) so they had to call up a IV specialist.

6:50am --- Leaving for hospital now!! --- Contractions ~5 min apart lasting ~56 sec

5:04am --- Contractions about 6 minutes apart and lasting around 53 seconds each.

--- Stacey's water breaks --- (see post below) Oh my, a little over 2 weeks early. Well, away we go...

We're Having a Baby (A lot Sooner Than We Thought)

Just wanted to let you all know that my water broke this morning at 4 am! What a shocker that was! I called my doctor and they said that to take my time and shower, pakce and eat some breakfast and get to the hospital by 8 am. It looks like we will have our little girl within the next few days!

FYI: Jason is going to have his laptop at the hospital and will attempt to keep a running blog of the events to keep everybody updated. Not sure how well this will work but he will try...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

37 Week Appointment

I had my 37 week appointment today! The baby has started to drop. I had a feeling that she may have started to drop yesterday since I was having an easier time breathing while laying down and I also had to make many more trips to the bathroom. Dr. Ogden also checked to see if I had started to dilate yet, but no such luck there. Which is fine with us! My Group B Strep results were back too and I tested negative. That is also great news. Other than that he said I am having a perfectly normal pregnancy and normal does not mean boring! So I will go in on Monday for my 38 week appointment and update everyone then!