The past 22 days have been a whirlwind of emotions.  From the day we checked in to the hospital to the day we brought our baby home.  I am officially emotionally drained!  However to see all three of our children in the same room is priceless.

The first night was rough!  We hardly slept at all.  She did not like being her crib at all.  The only way she was content was while being held.  I know these days won't last long so as difficult as it can be I'm trying to cherish these moments.  Welcome home baby Reece!



Our Baby girl is two weeks old!
Day 15:
She is still doing so good with feedings.  So good that the doctor said maybe she will come home this weekend!  We're trying not to get our hopes up but we know it will be very soon!
All the nurses fell in love with her so they don't want her to come home.
She is up 15 grams.
Today she had her biggest serving of 40 ml in her bottle.  She only had 10 ml more to go.
We are so proud of her!
Today she had a full out cry for me with a quivering tongue and all.
This picture is a bit blurry but... she is now recognizing that she is hungry and wants milk!

Day 16:
Baby girl did awesome with her feedings.  She had two bottles in a row that she drank the entire bottle!  It took a lot of work but she got it done.
Shawn took Friday off of work so we spent a good amount of time with Reece while the Ava and Adisyn were in school.
The nurses joke that I have enough breast milk for the entire NICU.  So pumping is going great!  Now that I've established a supply the first few weeks I've started to skip a session in the middle of the night to try to get 6 hours straight of sleep.  Usually I wake up uncomfortable and have to pump anyway but I'm taking advantage of a slight break until she comes home.
I couldn't help but to call the NICU last night to see how feedings were going.  She didn't finish the entire bottle but almost half of it.
I'm certain now she won't be coming home this weekend but hopefully Monday or Tuesday.  A Mom can dream!
We keep her car seat in the car in the event they say she's ready for her car seat test.
We ended up getting Ava and Adisyn new booster seats that are much slimmer so they can more easily fit in the back seat.  We could get a new car with 3rd row but we are really trying hard to pay it off so we will make it work.

(These pictures aren't the greatest, the lighting in the NICU is not photo friendly, plus we're not supposed to use flash as it could startle her)

Reece is starting to get chunky and its the cutest!  Even though she is the second youngest baby in the NICU she is the biggest!

Day 17:
She's up 25 grams!
She has also nipple fed her last two bottles.  She didn't do as well last night which could be because she was so worn out.  It's a lot of work for a preemie to eat!
We started using the Dr Brown bottles at feedings.  She does so much better with them.  She has been super gassy too so hopefully that will help.
She was even more awake than usual after a feeding.  I just couldn't leave her until she was peacefully asleep.  So I stared obsessively until her precious eyes closed.

Day 18:
Reece has been doing so well with her feedings I couln't wait to call the NICU once I woke.  We knew she needed to get all feedings by bottle and gain wait for 24 hours before her feeding tube could be removed.  She did it!  Sunday she had her feeding tube removed!

First picture without all the tubes, tape, and IV.  She even posed so cute for me!

Day 19:
She gained yet again!
Feedings have continued to go well.
Her doctor personally called me for an update and to send her well wishes.  She was simply amazing and really formed a bond with Reece.  I am forever grateful to her.
She passed her hearing test.
Today we brought her car seat in.  As the car seat test was the last test she had.

Day 20:
I knew it was either today or tomorrow she would be released.  I had an intuition to go earlier than usual.  The doctors do their rounds in the morning typically.  It's a good thing I was there because Reece was still doing well and passed her car seat test but unfortunately dropped 5 grams.  Her doctor wasn't crazy about it but did understand at this point there wasn't much they were doing that we couldn't do at home.  After a talk together he felt I was prepared to take care of her considering we had preemie twins.  That was that we were released by her doctor.  I kept my composure until they left and a gust of emotions hit me.  So many thoughts were going through my mind.  Nervous, excited, happy.  I broke down and cried.  I couldn't hold it back as hard as I tried!  I immediately text Shawn the good news he hurried home and we drove together.  I wanted to sit in the back with her on the drive home.  Just like with our twins Shawn drove extra slow and cautious.

Her outfit was just a tad big!  How fast she will quickly out grow it.



Reece is one week old!

Reece is the most amazing baby!  I am definitely obsessed!  Everyday has been easier knowing she's not with us at home.  I thought I would be prepared since we had to do the same with our twins but no one can ever prepare to leave your newborn baby in the care of someone else.  The first few days were the worst, I couldn't go more than 30 minutes without breaking down to cry.  My heart felt empty and literally ached for her.  I know she is where she needs to be and soon she will come home to me and I won't have to miss her anymore.  On a more positive note.  MY BABY BREASTFED!  I can't believe it.  Yesterday the lactation consultant came in the NICU to help me.  She latched and was there for about 30 minutes (most of the time she just laid there, which still helps with stimulation and milk production).  The nurse came in to observe once we were done the rest of her milk was given through her feeding tube.  The nurse for Reece the past few days we really connected with, she's amazing!  Before we left she said "well I'm not sure we'll see each other again I'm not scheduled until next Thursday".  Does she really think my baby will be coming home by next week?  
We came straight home and finally ordered her stroller and car seat.   

I could not be more proud of our angel girl!  I'm getting laundry detergent for her blankets and clothes as she could be coming  home sooner than I prayed for.

Day 9:
We spent several hours snuggling our baby today.  Something about holding her is so relaxing and we can't help but fall asleep.  Today was the first day we felt a let down.  Really for no good reason other than the nurse that she has seems (this may be harsh) lazy!  Yesterday Reece had her entire bottle and breastfed.  Today the nurse said she just doesn't seem interested and only had maybe 6 ml.  Every other nurse that Reece has had really encouraged her and us to challenge her limits (to an extent).  We want her to thrive not just survive.  We'll see how tomorrow goes but I will definitely insist she needs to at least try to nipple her milk prior to giving up and just giving it through her feeding tube.
She did go down 10 grams in weight (which is really nothing).
She is getting bigger I think every time we see her.
Today we brought our boppy pillow.  What a difference!  So much more comfortable trying to nurse her and holding her.  Love that thing!
Reece is our shining light and I never thought I could love someone as much as I do my other daughters but its possible!
She got the cutest Halloween outfit and I'm really hoping I'll be pushing her in her stroller while her sisters go trick or treating.  That would just be amazing!  Time will tell until then we are so proud of our newest angel baby girl.
It's very evident that she is most comfortable in the arms of Mommy or Daddy!

Day 10:
One of biggest things we've learned having a baby in the NICU is what a roller coaster of emotions it can be!
Reece is up in weight by 5 grams.
We attempted to breastfeed again but I've made the decision I want her to get used to nippling her bottle first and once she gets the hang of it then I will start attempting breastfeeding.  She gets so tired with feedings and I feel like I want her to get the most of it with the least amount of work.  Breastfeeding is so much harder for her.
They've added some neosure formula for some added calories.  The goal right now other than getting her feedings down without a tube is gaining weight.
We also learned forcing feedings can increase the chances that your baby will develop an oral aversion, a condition where babies don't like anything in (including a bottle) in their mouths.  The biggest thing we've learned is to let her make the decisions.  It's all up to her!

Day 11:
Today we got to talk with the Doctor and PA.
They explained she is doing great and agreed with us that in the beginning she was thriving so much that we all had high expectations for her.  Now she has slowed her progression down a bit however is still behaving the way they would expect for her gestation age.  We are so proud of every advancement that she makes.  Although we can not wait for her to come home we need to be patient with her and let her decide when that time will be.  They told us that once she gets the suck, swallow, breathe down that she will catch on quickly and soon be ready for home.
Today she is up 45 grams in weight and her feedings are up to 48ml.
She did well for me with her feeding but still needed to put the rest in her feeding tube.  She seems to be a lot more alert when it gets closer to feeding time.
I don't mean to brag but she is the most calm baby in the nursery.  She gets the least attention from the nurses because she is so chill and her monitor isn't going off like all the other babies around her.
Poor girl has more of an upset stomach with the neosure calories they are adding to her breast milk.  But it's a necessary evil.
She also pulled her feeding tube out yesterday and today.  The nurse said soon enough she'll pull it out and they'll leave it out and she'll be on her own for feedings.

She loves to kick around and stretch.  Which isn't surprising as she did the same thing in my belly.

Reece and I had a little chat this morning about her getting her feedings down soon so we can bring her home!  Hope she listened.

Day 12:
Today was the first day Shawn didn't go see our baby girl.  With trying to get back to somewhat of a normal schedule its difficult for us both to go everyday.
Today she got a head ultrasound.  The doctor assured us she doesn't expect to find anything especially because she was born cesarean but they are very thorough.
She is down 5 grams today.
Feedings have improved some but still not where she needs to be to come home.
Pumping is still going great even though I don't have my baby with me.  Unless you've experienced separation you wouldn't understand.  So I'm proud of myself.
As I've mentioned before she is having some high calorie formula added to her milk so she has been making a lot more facial expressions.  They are adorable but at the same time I feel for her because shortly after she gets a big poop or gas.  At least that is all in working order.

Every day at 3 pm volunteers at the hospital bring freshly baked cookies.

Day 13:
Baby girl is up 45 grams.  Seems like every time I see her she getting more chunky.
Today she did so good with her feedings.  She had most of her bottle.  Yah!
We talked to the NNP today and she said its just going to take more time.  She is perfectly healthy she just needs to be more independent with her feedings and not get so tired and sleepy.  (when we brought the girls home that was a struggle so hopefully once Reece is a little more consistent she will be able to come home)  I'm trying my hardest to be patient but I want her home and healthy and our family together so badly.
Head ultrasound results came back normal.
She seems to be a lot more alert now and opens her eyes more and more everyday.

She does not like her arms tucked in her blanket.  She likes to stretch all the time.

Day 14:
Baby girl is really grasping the suck, swallow breathe.
She is nippling more than what is being put in her tube!  Yah!
Once 24 hrs passes that they don't use the tube at all they will remove it!
She's up 30 grams.
The doctor does hear a very slight murmur.  She explained sometimes she can hear and sometimes she can't, so its very faint.  It was explained that its typical in most preemies and that she will likely grow out of it.  If the murmur is still present after 37 weeks then it would be more concerning.
She is at the borderline of needing iron supplement but the doctor doesn't want to change her feedings at all because she is doing so well.  When she leaves the hospital her pediatrician will follow up as needed.  She is also getting Vitamin D which she will likely get for a few months.
She is much more alert before feeding times and even cries sometimes.



October 1, 2015 | 5:17 AM | 5 lbs 2 oz | 18 inches long

Day 1:
Reece shocked everyone with her size and how well she looks for being 33 weeks.  
Her apgar score was 8/9.
Reece has been breathing fine without any oxygen however she was breathing faster than she should so she was placed on a vapo machine to help keep her lungs inflated some so she doesn't have to work so hard.  Her sugar levels were low but were easily fixed within a few hours after birth.  

Day 2:
We took our first nap together.  I got to hold Reece skin to skin for 2 hours!  
Still on vapo machine.
Minor jaundice so she lays on a light therapy blanket.
She's been fed colostrum on her gums to help coat her tummy for actual feedings.
The girls were able to sneak in the NICU for a few minutes to take a peak at their sister.  Ava does not like hospitals.  She was nervous to even come near me.

Day 3:
I got to hold her again for 2 hours skin to skin!
Vapo levels went down to lowest setting.
Feedings are 6ml every 3 hours
She had two IVs placed
Some struggling with feedings.  She consumes most of her milk from bottle but struggles a bit so a feeding tube was placed to help her get the necessary calories she needs.  Most of her nutrients are from her IV although in efforts to get her to gain weight she needs milk too. 

Day 4:
Off Vapo machine.
I got to change her diaper and feed her from a bottle. 
She is up to 9ml every 3 hours but still has to get half of milk through her feeding tube.
The doctors think she will need IV fluids for another 6 days and therefore she may need a pic line because she lost two IVs on day 3.  
When I was feeding her the doctor was over my shoulder guiding me through signs that she needs a break and helping me to not over stimulate her.  She was so impressed by how well she was doing for being only 33 weeks.  All the nurses that have taken care of her have said she's quite the baby.  Lots of sass already.

Day 5:
We were lucky enough to talk to the NICU doctor just before she left for the day.  She explained to us that Reece will no longer require the IV.  Yah! She is getting enough nutrients from her feedings so the plan is to keep the IV she has for another 1 1/2 days then remove it.  Her feedings got upped again she is now getting 15ml every feeding which they will increase by 3ml every other feeding.  They did run out of breast milk and had to supplement with a few oz of formula.  I brought them plenty to give her through the night and tomorrow until I can go back to see her.  She is eating so much now I'm hoping I can keep my supply up.  I rented a hospital pump and have been getting my 3 hour sessions in.  I see why so many women quit.  Its tough but I'm determined this time to provide her with breast milk until at least 6 months of age.  She went up in weight by 40 grams.
Today Shawn held her for the first time.  I was able to snuggle her for 1 1/2 hours, changed her diaper, and fed her.  We are trying not to get our hopes up but if she continues with this track we'll be bringing her home sooner than expected.  Time will tell.

Day 6:
She is off the lipids and only has small amount left of her TPN and then her IV will not be used. They are going to keep it in place just in case.
She gained 60 grams since yesterday.
The doctors are still impressed with how she is doing.  "She forgets how old she is until it's time to feed" Some of her milk is still going into the feeding tube because she gets so tired with the amounts she is drinking now.
Bilirubin test was done again today and she passed.
I got to feed her again and of course hold her, kiss her forehead and stare at her for a few hours.  It's the best!

Day 7:
As soon as we walked into the nursery and looked over at our angel tears swelled in my eyes.  Every time we get to see her she is making new strides.  Today she graduated to a big girl bed! So proud of you darling baby girl!
Her IV is gone.  She has a few monitors and her feeding tube and that's it!
She gained 60 grams and is just barely above her birth weight.  5.3 lbs
She is now at 37 ml of milk.  45 is the max.  Once she is eating her entire bottle and consistently gaining weight for 48 hours straight then she can come home!
She is maintaining body temp and striving more everyday!
Shawn fed her for the first time today.
Her and I snuggled for awhile kangaroo (skin to skin).  Afterwards we attempted breastfeeding.  She was too tired to stay awake.  She would lay there with it in her mouth.  We would squirt little bits of breast milk from a syringe, she would swallow that and then just lay there.  It was an incredible bond and we're going to try again today.  If she never does latch I'm okay with it as long as she is still getting exclusively breast milk.  It is exhausting pumping every three hours but more so it is rewarding and empowering!  I'm happy to lose sleep for her!


Still can't believe she's here!...     {Warning: this may be TMI and lengthy} 

Last Monday was just like every other day for the exception of  the girls being out of school on fall break.  We had an uneventful day grocery shopping, cleaning up and my nurse came for my weekly shot.  It was towards the evening at this point and Shawn and I were working together to get dinner made.  I laid down on the couch and when I got up I had some clear fluid leaking.  It wasn't much at all and we had the same exact scare at 16 weeks so initially I wasn't too sure whether to be concerned or not.  I decided to take a shower, we ate dinner, relaxed and went to bed.  I woke up about 1 AM with some very minor cramping.  At about 5 AM I got up to use the restroom and when I wiped I noticed a pink tinge.  I immediately knew we needed to go to the hospital yet again.  We called for Shawn's Mom to come hang out with the girls.  We left with just the basic necessities not knowing what exactly was happening.   We got checked in quickly and they begun their assessment and tests.  They tested for so many things one of which was if my water broke.  Sure enough it did.  Shawn and I looked at each other in disbelief.  We both knew we weren't leaving the hospital until she was born but weren't exactly sure when she would come.  The contractions were picking up (so they said I didn't feel them at all) they started my IV and quickly began steroid shots and Magnesium.  We were shortly admitted.  They gave me a large dose of Magnesium to stop the contractions.  I wasn't responding the way they hoped so I was on a higher dose of Mag than most people and was also getting shots in my arm that would help to relax smooth muscles.  Finally towards the evening they were able to get the contractions to slow down a lot.  I was feeling much more comfortable and was cleared to eat something (it had been close to 12 hours since I had any food).  The next day it was much of the same I would have maybe one contraction every hour.  As the day progressed contractions started picking up again.  They hit me hard with meds and I was given the next steroid shot.  Our goal minimum was to make it past the 48 hour window so the steroid shots would help to develop Reece's lungs better.  Reece shocked everyone!  With the amount of meds I was on typically most babies heart rate will drop significantly, nope not my angel, she was very active and had really no changes at all in her heart rate.  Towards the evening of the second day my body was starting to feel the effects of the heavy doses of meds I was given.  My vision was very blurry and had some tightness and difficulty breathing.  The magnesium relaxes the entire body even the lungs.  My nurse decided to call my doctor.  It was decided to turn the medication down some.  My vision and breathing improved quickly and along with that came more contractions.  I was at this point having contractions about every 10 minutes.  They kept adjusting the medication in efforts to keep me pregnant.  At about 2 AM I woke Shawn up because I couldn't handle the contractions alone any longer.  They were doing everything possible to get them under control.  Most of the contractions I was having were not picking up on the monitor but by the look on my face and gripping the bed rail it was obvious I was in pain.  My nurse explained that preterm contractions are very low and wrap around to the lower back.  That is exactly what I was experiencing so they are sometimes difficult to monitor.  It was at the point I cried to my nurse begging for some kind of relief within 15 minutes my doctor was in the room.  The pain I was having was at my incision from the last c-section so my doctor was concerned about what was going on inside and insisted surgery could not wait any longer.  I was so nervous about getting a contraction during the spinal but everything went well.  The staff was so great and talked me through everything.  We missed the 48 hour goal mark by 3 hours (so thankful it wasn't any sooner).  Surgery went well.  I heard Reece cry and was overwhelmed with emotions.  My nurse was laughing at the fact she was crying before her legs were completely out.  Once they got her wrapped up and assessed and Shawn cut the cord they brought her to me.  It was the most magical moment ever.  I got to kiss her forehead and stare at her for a few minutes.  Shawn went with Reece to the nursery while I got closed up.  Just like that she was here!

We spent the following three days at the hospital recovering.  It was kind of perfect timing that the girls were out of school and Shawn's Mom was able to take care of them.  Otherwise I'm not sure what we would have done.  The recovery process was so much better this time around.  There were no complications at all and my blood pressure was perfect.


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