Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jude in the NICU

So much of Jude's 10 days in the NICU is a complete blur to me now. While in the thick of it, it was all that consumed my mind and now I guess I've just blocked it out!

Lets go back to when Jude was first taken to the NICU. After delivery I was able to see Jude for just a few seconds while I was still on the operating table. He was tiny and adorable and nothing seemed weird to me. Looking back at pictures that Cameron took I now see how purple he was! I'm so glad I wasn't able to see him like that or I would have been even more of a mess then I already was.

He was taken up in his isolette and was put into the B pod #28. I swear we had some of the best nicu nurses in the whole hospital. By the time I was able to see him he was already hooked up to all sorts of monitors -- O2 monitor on his foot, CPAP for his oxygen, chest monitors to check his heart rate, iv for fluids, and a feeding tube. So much for such a small boy! And to top it off, the top of his isolette was down to help keep his temperature up so it felt weird and almost like a casket. Sorry that's totally morbid, but it was so hard to see. So when I first saw him I was still in a bed because my spinal was still wearing off. I was able to put my hands through the side holes to touch him. My natural instinct was to gently rub my finger on his head, belly, back or arm which I was chastised about a couple of times. I was told to just put one hand cupping his head and the other on his feet and just sit like that. NICU babies prefer to have constant pressure rather then the stroking which can irritate them. This was so hard for me because he was making a whiney sound which happens when they are struggling to breath. I just wanted him to know I was close and that I loved him so much. It felt so impersonal to just sit with hands on either end. How would he know it was me? Could he hear me talking to him through the thick plastic of the isolette? Could he tell the difference between my hands and the nurses? How can I just let this nurse who looks like she's younger then me with no kids take care of my baby? (No offence to Danielle, she was amazing!) But really -- that was my job. I was his Mom. I should know what it best for my baby. She was telling me everything that I could and could not do with my  own (third) baby! Then comes the worst part - how do you decide when is a good time to just leave your struggling baby so you can just go sit in a cold empty hospital room? I felt like a failure.

I visited Jude a couple times that first day. Having him in the NICU got me up and moving after surgery really quick. The first couple times I would have the CNA take me in the wheelchair, but that just became really inconvenient. I wanted to go when I wanted to go. Not when they had time. So I would push the wheelchair myself and have Cameron push me back if I was too tired. Back and forth we went down the empty hospital halls from my post partum room to B28. They would allow 4 people to be at his bedside at a time so usually Cameron would go and take guests to see him. Our parents were able to go without us, but that was it. Everyone else had to be with either Cameron or me to be in the NICU. The nurses were all very used to us and knew to always give updates!

The next day I was finally able to hold Jude doing Kangaroo care. I put him against my chest under my hospital gown. His heart rate got more regular and his breathing slowed. He knew his Mama. Finally, I was holding this boy who I had been carrying for so long and he felt so perfect in my arms. I didn't even care about having to work around all the cords and hoses - he was mine and he was perfect. Putting him back in his bed was SO hard! I just wanted to steal him, but I knew that he needed to stay there and get stronger.

That night when I went to visit him the night nurse (who I hated) had lowered the isolette top because his temperature was a little bit low. I was so angry at her and I just stood next to his bed with my hands in the holes bawling my eyes out. That was probably the lowest point for me with the whole experience. The nurse wouldn't tell us what was going on, she seemed distracted, and didn't care about my baby. Brenna, the day nurse let me hold him, so why wouldn't this evil witch? Harsh I know, but seriously she was awful. We didn't stay long that visit because it was killing me having the top down and not being able to kiss him.

After 4 days he was taken off CPAP thanks to Lynn and Shannon, our amazing nurses that decided to try and lower his oxygen to see how he would do! No more nasal cannula or annoying oxygen machine going constantly! This was a HUGE step! Now he just needed to start eating enough and he would be able to go home or at least that's what we thought. He was quite jaundice so he ended up being in a light blanket and having the light shine on him which meant we didn't get to hold him much.

Shannon let me nurse him and he latched quickly. I was so nervous because it had been days and he hadn't been able to try. And with him being early, we weren't sure how his sucking reflex would be. He did great, but tired very easily. They thought the best thing would just be to continue doing the feeding tube so we could see just how much he was getting and hopefully he would be able to come home sooner. He was only being fed breast milk through the feeding tube, which I was very specific about. I was producing plenty so there was no need to feed him anything else. Heck, I could feed the whole nicu with how much milk I was sending to them!

Now I was being discharged. After 5 days I wasn't going to just be down the hall and able to walk to see him whenever he had a care time. I was a blubbering mess. How could I leave him in this big scary hospital?! How can I just go home and sleep through the night and doing normal things with the older boys and just act like I didn't have a brand new baby? And how on earth could people ask me if I was so glad to be home?! Who would be glad to be home and leave their baby in the hospital!

Trying to figure out a schedule of going back and forth between Cameron and I was tricky. He was amazing and would go before work, on his lunch break with me, and then after the boys were in bed. Jude did better taking a bottle from him and wouldn't fall asleep as quickly if Cameron was there. Plus, I was super emotional and going to the hospital to leave again was super difficult for me.

Jude was then moved to a less intense part of the NICU now that he wasn't on the oxygen and didn't need help regulating his body temp. He had his own room that had a couch and tv so we could hang out in there. This was much easier to take the boys to visit. One of his nurses on this side decided that on day 8 she would take out the feeding tube. He just had to be able to drink 50ml in less then thirty minutes at each feeding. And he couldn't lose any weight; and they weigh in grams so even 1 gram down could mess everything up! If he could keep this up for 48 hours then he could go home! Finally a light at the end of this long dark tunnel.

Day 9 he was given his circumcision and Hep B shot. This was it -- the only do these things when they are planning to discharge the baby soon! He was going home tomorrow as long as he didn't lose any weight! We also were told to bring his car seat in so they could do the car seat test. He had to sit in the seat for at least 30 min attached to the monitors and couldn't have any de-sats. He passed the test with flying colors. Patty our nurse weighed him and he had gone down 2 grams. I was freaking out!! She reweighed him a couple times to see if it would be different, but it wasn't. Were they going to make him stay again?! The doctor came in and asked us if we felt like he was ready to go home. Of course we said yes and he agreed that he was going to be able to go home the next day around noon! HALLELUJAH! He would finally going to graduate from the NICU!

The next day was May 21, 2015. Still 22 days before my due date and 10 days after he was born and he was coming home! I kept my phone close by and on loud until I got the call from the nurse that she was ready with all his discharge papers! She finally called just as we were going to lunch. I figured it would be better for everyone to eat so that way no one was grouchy at the hospital. We ran to Jason's Deli with the boys and my parents and I was so excited I could hardly eat!

We got to the hospital and the boys were so excited! We kept telling them they needed to walk down the hallway, but they just wanted to run to see their brother! We got to his room and the nurse started emptying out his crib, giving us left over milk, and let me get him all dressed in his coming home outfit! It was still giant on him! He was only 6lbs 3oz! Patty took pictures for us and then it was time to put him in the car seat WITHOUT all the monitors! Cameron went to pull the car to the front and the nurse and I got the boys down to the lobby! It was such a surreal experience putting 3 boys into our super cool minivan. We took a selfie in front of the hospital to send to our families and you can see how happy we all are! We finally made it -- Jude was finally coming home!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Jude William Mitchell

Jude William Mitchell
6lbs 10 oz, 18 inches
May 11, 2015
It all started on Mother's Day, May 10, 2015. I was 35.2 weeks pregnant and had already been having symptoms of preeclampsia. I had gone into the hospital prior to this day because of high blood pressure, but when my labs and urine came back okay they sent me home. I think I was paranoid and scared that I would end up getting sick again - just like the 2 times before. This is just how my pregnancies go. Dr. Wilson and I had a plan to get my vba2c and I was so scared that it wasn't going to happen because my body wouldn't cooperate.
So mothers day I woke up swollen, just like I had for a couple weeks now. Checked my blood pressure and it was still high, but not high enough to go to the hospital. I was told that unless it reached 160/100 then I shouldn't go unless I had other symptoms. So off to church we went. Asher was finally in primary and I was SO EXCITED for him to sing on the stand for mothers day! I made it just long enough to hear him sing and then I went home. I was so sick and uncomfortable. I rested until it was time to go to the in-laws for Sunday dinner. We went over and the whole time I didn't feel good. I had a pounding headache that medicine couldn't get rid of. I checked my blood pressure and it was 162/106. I told Cameron I didn't want to go to the hospital because I was sick of them looking at me like I was crazy. I was just going to go home and soak in the bath and try to get my body to relax. Jeni told us to just go to be safe and she would keep the boys. I figured it would be an hour or two and then we would be home.
On the way to the hospital I called my mom who had just flown up to Utah to visit Courtney and Tyler. Why wouldn't she travel, I wasn't even full term yet! I told her I would let her know what they said after I got checked out.
I got to my triage room and hooked up to the monitors. My blood pressure was still high so they drew labs and got a urine sample. My urine had slight protein in it and my labs came back high, but nothing alarming. I figured I was just going home to rest until my appointment with Dr Wilson on Wednesday. The next thing I know the on call doctor is in my room telling me that they are going to deliver him and asking when the last time I ate was. They planned on doing surgery around 3:30 am as long as the anesthesiologist was available. Cameron was so confused and I was in shocked. I started shaking uncontrollably and crying like a baby! He asked if the doctor could call Dr. Wilson and see what his opinion was. I desperately wanted a vba2c and I figured there was no way that was going to happen. She called him and he agreed that we needed to deliver right away before I got any worse. She also checked me to see if they could possibly start a foley bulb induction so I could have my vba2c. I wasn't dilated at all. I was having another C-section. Luckily Dr. Wilson said he would come in at 5 am to do the surgery. Cameron called my mom and she was freaking out! How could I have a baby when my mom is in a different state?! She said she would get back as soon as she could.
I was moved into a LDR which I had never been in before so we could get a couple hours of sleep. Cameron called Chase to bring us a few things since we didn't go prepared at all. I hadn't even packed a bag! The nurse came in and started me on magnesium. Let me tell you, that stuff sucks!!! I tried to get some sleep before it was go time, but I was so scared so there wasn't much sleeping going on. Dr. Wilson came in to talk to me as I was getting prepped. He calmed my nerves and made me feel like I was doing what was best for me to keep me safe and healthy. It 5am and time to go to the OR.
The doctor that did the spinal was super rude and made me feel stupid so luckily that was quick and he left. Now its go time. Dr. Wilson and all the nurses started counting everything, saying my name, what we were there for, etc. Cameron was brought into the OR shortly after. I told the doctor to just make sure that me and the baby didn't die. Dramatic, I know. I remember it smelling horrible and it was taking forever! I was so nervous because it was 5 weeks early and I just wanted my baby to be okay! He seemed to be having a hard time getting him out and even asked for the vacuum at one point.  Jude was born at 5:27am . He was so cute! They took him over to evaluate him and put him on oxygen immediately. They weighed him and he was 6lbs 10oz. Everyone was shocked that he was so big for being so early! Cameron went with him as he was rushed up to the NICU while I was finishing surgery. The surgery ended up taking much longer then usual because my bladder had adhered to my uterus so when he pulled it away it got a hole that he had to repair. By the time I got to recovery I was able to move my legs because the spinal was wearing off. I ended up throwing up a few times in recovery which never happened after the other deliveries.  Jeni and Amy came and visited while I was in recovery and Cameron was able to take Jeni to see the baby. Amy came to the nicu when I was being moved from recovery to my post partum room. She was able to take pictures that I will cherish forever. Seeing my sweet boy hooked up to so many monitors was such a different experience. I wasn't able to hold him or feed him because he had a feeding tube. Having a baby in the NICU is so different and something I hope to never have to do again. More on the NICU later, I need to go snuggle my baby now!


Monday, May 6, 2013

a special day

Riggs was blessed by his Dad on May 5, 2013. Cameron did a wonderful job giving our sweet boy his first of many blessings he will receive throughout his life. I'm so thankful that Cameron is a worthy Priesthood holder who is able to give our kids blessings. He is such a wonderful Father and Husband - I definitely hit the jackpot with him!
We are so grateful to everyone who made the trek out to support our family. We love you all so much!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Riggs Hudson Mitchell

|The birth story|

On Monday, March 18th I had my 38 week ultrasound to check baby's size. He was weighing 7lbs 11oz give or take a pound. I was shocked! How could I have such a small baby!! My C-section was scheduled for Friday the 22nd. I thought he'd be for sure 8lbs by then if not bigger.

On Wednesday I had my weekly appointment with Dr. B. Judy checked my blood pressure and it was 157/94. When Dr B came into my room she asked how I felt about having a baby that day. I told her I was fine with it because I was so done with being pregnant. She asked when I ate last which was around 8am so I had to wait 8 hours before they could do the surgery. She called the hospital to let them know I was on my way. She sent me straight over there to get all my labs and everything so I would be ready for surgery at 4pm. WHAT?!

When I got to the car I was literally freaking out. I could not believe that I was having a baby that day. I called my mom and told her to meet us at the hospital to pick up Asher. As I sat in triage I just kept crying. I felt like such a terrible Mom because I was going to have to share my attention and Asher wasn't going to be my baby anymore. The nurses and Cam kept assuring me that everything would be fine, but I wasn't having it. Then Asher started coughing and one of the nurses told me that he shouldn't come back to the hospital and he would have to wait to see the baby til I got home. I LOST IT. I was so looking forward to Asher being able to meet his little brother and she just told me that its not a good idea. I finally got calmed down and had all my labs done and was just waiting for 4:00 to roll around. I had my IV and I was taking medicine to help with the awful cough that I had. I really didn't want to cough through the surgery and mess her up.

Just after 4:00 the anesthesiologist came into my room to tell me it was go time. I walked into the OR and came went to the recovery room until everything was ready. I was the first person in the room. Umm... I'm pretty sure I'm about to have a semi major surgery and there is no one here. The had me sit on the table and started the spinal. I kept feeling it in my right side. I don't know how many times it took them before they got it in the right spot. At least 10 - no kidding. Then it was time to lay down before I was completely numb and couldn't move. Soon enough I figured out that coughing was not an option. Its nearly impossible when your diaphragm is numb. Talk about an uncomfortable feeling. Cam came in and sat down by my head just like he did with Asher. We talked about random stuff that I can't even remember anymore while the time past. Both Doctors started rocking me back and forth trying to get the baby out. They were out of breath and had to take a break cause he just wasn't wanting to come out! Finally, at 4:36 pm my sweet baby was born. The doctor had came stand up to take a picture and then he went over while the baby was being cleaned up and weighed. He weighed in at 7lbs 15.3oz and 21 in long! Not even 8lbs! I didn't know that was even possible for me!! While they finished closing me up Cameron was back in recovery. Finally just before 5:00 I was wheeled in to recovery and was able to feed my boy. He latched perfectly and was perfectly calm. We had a couple of hours there just the 3 of us before we had any visitors.

Once I got to my post partum room my Mom, Asher and Courtney came to visit. Seeing Asher with Riggs was so sweet. He was so amazed for about 5 seconds and then just wanted to explore the room! We had more family come that night and the next couple of days. We had some awesome nurses and some I could have done without. Being a mom to 2 definitely takes a little getting used to. Its been a month now (already!) and I think I have the hang of it. At least for right now!

Pictures will be posted as soon as I figure out how to put them on this computer!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Boy oh Boy oh Boy!

Thats right, were having another boy! I can't believe I'm going to surrounded by ALL boys in my house. Even both dogs are boys! What am I getting myself into?! Asher and baby brother will be about 20 months apart and hopefully will be best friends! When I ask Asher where the baby is he just points to himself. I guess he's 100% correct with that, but it makes me sad to think its only for a few more months!

As of yesterday I am 24 weeks, so I guess that makes me 6 months along? I feel huge already and still have a way to go. I guess I'll just embrace it and know my baby is growing healthy and strong!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


We are so excited for Asher to be a big brother! I'm due only a couple of weeks after my little brother Tyler comes home from his mission. He wasn't here when Asher was born so I'm excited that he will be here this time.

Cheers to the next 6 months!

Monday, July 16, 2012


My baby is not a baby any more. He has changed so much in the last couple of weeks.  On Wednesday he took his first steps! I was so happy I was there. He has gotten better at it everyday, but would still prefer to crawl to get places quick. On Thursday he started blowing kisses to me from the back seat! I had tears in my eyes  as he looked at me all smiley while blowing kisses! I love that baby so much.

Update on the house... we are waiting to hear back from the bank [still]. ugh. I seriously loathe short sales. In the end it will all be worth the wait though cause we will get a screaming deal on our dream house. We can't wait til move in time!

Asher's birthday is in less than a month! What?! We have been planning his party for a little while now and can't believe its going to be here before we know it! I'm going to have a one year old who walks around. Am I old enough to have a kid thats 1? Apparently, since I do.

Cam and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary last weekend and it was much needed. It is the first time we left Asher so I had a hard time, but we were able to facetime with him so I got my baby fix. We stuck with tradition and went up to the Biltmore again. I drove a Maserati!! It was sweet! I'm not sure we will be going back though. This year was the worst of the 3 times we have been. They normally treat us exceptionally well, but this time was just whatever. I was so glad I was able to spend the weekend with just Cameron. He is a great husband and father. I am so grateful for him!