Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Morning Updates

Esther is doing really well this morning!  She's off oxygen completely right now - they even took her tent away!  She's currently in an isolet (I called it an incubator yesterday) as she was not staying warm after they removed the tent.

She's down to just one light for her jaundice and her numbers have come down from 19 late yesterday to 13 this morning on the biliruben count - that is great improvement as well.

I got to change her diaper again this morning, and talk and touch her and she responded to me nicely - she even took her binky for a while and it seemed to really sooth her.

She did have an eventful night - she had been placed on her tummy and  ended up stressed due to breathing difficulties because of being on her tummy with the feeding tube and around 1 am her oxygen levels dropped and she was having a lot of trouble breathing - some mucus was making it tough for her - they ended up removing her feeding tube and calling the pediatrician in, by then she had been able to get past the mucus, they took chest exrays and her lungs were clear.  She soon stabilized and by the time we got her she was off oxygen.

The weird thing was, I woke up about the exact time I woke up and just couldn't stop thinking about Esther and feeling like I should go to the hospital - I woke Daryl up and we talked and he told me to try to go back to sleep, but that if I was still awake after an hour, he'd take me down - I was able to go back to sleep after some reading and praying.  So when I got to the hospital this morning and heard about her problems during the night, I was so surprised that I had somehow been that in tune with her even though we were separated by 30 miles!

Right now she's sleeping peacefully and holding her own.  I'm not sure if/when they'll be placing the feeding tube again as they don't want to stress her now that she's just been competely weened off the oxygen.

Also, I decided that since she has a stronger sucking reflex than we expected, and I found out that breastmilk is so much more important for down syndrome babies that I am going to attempt to get as much breastmilk for her and also to breast feed her (it will help to develop muscle tone in her mouth that can help her in speach development later on).  I started pumping yesterday afternoon, but so far I've only gotten a few drops.  I have exclusively breastfed all but Elizabeth - I had to suppliment with her just due to low milk - she had trouble gaining weight her whole first year.  I did breastfeed her the entire year, but had to suppliment the entire time.  This is probably due to my age.

This morning I had to go to my Chiropractor, Dr Dan - last night I ended up carrying my bag to my 'camping room' and did something really bad to my back - I've been having major back issues for the last 6 weeks (it even got so bad that Dr. Dan sent a walker home with me and I even had to use it a few times!) .  So last night I was having muscle spasms and roaming pains through my legs, back, neck and head.  I got in right away this morning - my neck was so bad I couldn't even be on his table at first, so I had to lay on an ice pack while he adjusted Daryl!  After icing I could finallly comfortable be on his table and he "fixed me up".  I'm still having some back spasms - especially when going from standing to sitting, but this should improve over the next couple of days.

I'm also struggling with sever fatigue and my skin is quite pale, so I'm going to try to get some blood work done today to get my blood count.

So today's prayer requests -

Esther's biliruben counts continue to go down

She can maintain her oxygen levels  on her own from her on out

That she'll continue to get stronger so we can begin to work on the feeding - that's the last big hurdle for her now - she can't go home until she's bottle feeding sufficiently to maintain her blood sugar levels on her own.

For me -  that my milk will come in and that I can pump successfully for Esther (I've never had good experiences with breast pumping in the past),  my back will heal quickly, and that my energy will return quickly.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and encouragement!


PS - I left my camera in my camping room - so I'll take some pics later today and add them then!


  1. Ruth, you look fabulous! Esther is such a beautiful gift. I keep praying for you guys. :) Pumping is hard--make sure you do it frequently and on a strict schedule, just like you would be if you were nursing. This will stimulate the milk production. If there is a lactation consultant there, enlist her help. Otherwise check out the la leche league website! Hugs, Steph

  2. Ruth- I have been praying for you and Esther. I will definitely lift your milk supply up in prayer. I am currently pumping and paid extra to rent the hospital grade medela Symphony pump. It is a huge difference from the medela one that I got at Target. Maybe that will help out a bit? What are your needs right now? Can you use a gift card to a certain store? Love you & praying for you all!
    Delia (deliarose from Hearts of the Home)

  3. Ruth and family, I was thrilled to hear about the new addition to your family. Esther is adorable. I am glad to hear she is improving. You are all in my prayers.

  4. Thanking our Lord Esther is doing so well!! Keep pumping Ruth. Every drop counts. =) Praying for you and sweet Esther!

  5. I was speechless when I saw the picture of Esther, she's absolutely beautiful. May both of you continue to regain your strength, and I look forward to hearing more of her progress. God Bless. Crystal (fellow momy of 6)

  6. Hi Ruth - just checking on you today :-)

    Some things that might help you r milk supply (And won't hurt!!)

    Alfalfa tablets or tea - really helps my "older" moms.
    Fenugreek - capsules or tea - enough to make you smell like maple syrup.

    Oatmeal - even oats in cookies - it helps.

    I second the hospital grade pump - they are MUCH better. My second choice would be a Medela pump in style...

    Hugs - and keep on mama!! You are doing a great job... At the same time, please be gentle with yourself - there is a LOT of stress right now, PLUS postpartum hormones - don't be afraid to ask for whatever help you need. ((((hugs)))))

  7. Ruth, I was also referred here by Susie. I've read your most recent posts and just wanted to say congratulations on the birth of your beautiful little girl. I'm so glad to hear that she is doing better... isn't it interesting to look back on the events of the day and realize how much of it was God directing events? He knew. You will all be in our prayers over the coming weeks. Ps. 23:1-3


  8. Hi, I saw your blog link on the MOMYS digest. You probably know this already, but it helped me when I had a similar experience with my 4th baby (the hemorrhaging) to be reminded that our body makes br*stmilk from our blood, so if our blood count is low, so will be our supply. I drank lots (quarts) of nettle tea, chugged the Floradix (herbal iron), took alfalfa tablets, and most helpfully, took an herbal formula from Pure Herbs called M&B. The milk was very slow to come in, but by 2 weeks was at a normal level. (I'm 35, btw) My midwife was impressed that there was no need to supplement, given I had lost over 1/2 my blood volume.

    Oh, and you definitely know this, but I will remind you ;-) : rest, rest, rest. Nourishing, easy to digest foods--homemade broths, raw liver, raw butter (for the Vit. A to help your iron levels) Do whatever you can lying down, as much as possible. Since your little one is in the hospital, it may be easy to want to jump back into the role of doing everything too soon. For the sake of your little one, your milk supply, and your future health, don't. The Lord will meet you in your limitation.

    Much grace to you in this challenging time, and congratulations on your precious new girl,

    ~Michelle in TX