Welcome to our new page!

Posted April 26th, 2011 by Jennifer

Hello everyone!  As I had told you all on the old blog page, I was moving…  Here we are.  I am re-posting all of the old blogs here, in fact, after this welcome message.

Following is the story of Dakota’s coming into the world, starting with the first post January 9, 2011.  I started to cry a bit last night when I was copying the blog into a word.doc so that I could move it easily.  I still feel like it wasn’t a big deal and that I was not that sick after I had her, but I know it was difficult.  I also know how horrible I felt and knowing that if I had not gone to the doctor that Weds after I went home from the hospital, I might not be here with her now.


01/09/11 Well, it has been a long week to say the least. On Tuesday, 1/4/11 (our wedding anniversary), my water broke at work. I had no idea what was going on because this had never happened before. I freaked out and went to the hospital. Being only 25 weeks along, it scared me to have this big rush of liquid. As soon as I got to the hospital, they tested the liquid with a little strip of paper and it turned blue with even barely touching me. Needless to say, I got transported via ambulance (my first ride and boy was it bumpy) to UNC Chapel Hill. After being awake all night, it was determined that there were no contractions, no bleeding, but also that the water did in fact break.

After being in triage all night, Weds morning I went downstairs for an ultrasound. Thankfully have been watched by the UNC Specialty Woman’s Center this whole time. What I found out is that I am a week further than I was told (yay 25 weeks and 4 days!) which was great. The other thing I was told is that Little Miss Dakota is being a “Wolfe” and being stubborn. She is laying on her side with her head on my right and her bottom on the left. Her little legs and arms are up towards my ribs. They said she looked good, but she wouldn’t move, which scared me. It turned out this was due to the magnesium they had given me for 12 hours in the IV.

So, here I am, sitting at the hospital, worried about Dakota and myself and missing my family. Each day is a milestone for us and we are hoping to make it to 34 weeks when she will be delivered. With much patience and luck, she will be a March baby instead of April. We made it past the 72 hour mark on Friday and I am anxiously awaiting Tuesday afternoon so I know it will have been a week.

This pregnancy sure has been different for me. I had a procedure done almost 2 years ago that scarred the uterine lining, but by some miracle, we now have Dakota growing in me. She truly is a miracle for us. With out her, we would not have found out that I had a large cyst on my ovary (which was removed the day before Thanksgiving). I just really hope that she hangs in there with me and grows to be big and strong like her brothers and sisters!

Wow, this is the first time I have said this much detail and the first time I have cried about it…

01/10/11 Dakota and I have made it through another day. We hit the seven day mark a couple hours ago. I spoke with one of the NICU doctors today and it scared me a bit, but I would rather be told what to expect. I plan on taking things as easy as possible, with the exception of two walks or so a day on this little ward (I have to stretch) and focusing on staying healthy so she will grow. So far they said her growth is great and she does have really good chances of survival. She also has a good chance of staying in me for a while.

Little Miss gave me quite a scare last week and I am still scared. I do know one thing though, she will be born and we will make it through all of this. I am so happy to have John as my husband because he keeps telling me that we will work through this and things will be okay.

I found out all the things she will need to do before she can go home, but I also found out that she probably won’t go home with me. They told me about a place I can stay close by so that I can spend as much time with her as possible and still provide her with breast milk. It is really hard because I am already away from home for a long time, but I also want to make sure she has the best chance possible.

Well, here is to making it another day, maybe another seven and a half weeks. Btw, John said Dakota is grounded when she comes home!

01/11/11 This afternoon marked 8 days since my water broke and I was admitted to the hospital. Thankfully, Dakota sounds great on the monitor and still no contractions, bleeding, or fever. She has been told to stay put for a while :)

I spoke to the doctor this morning because I had two different due dates and wanted to know which one they were going with (I am really looking for some control… I hate not knowing things, esp dates). My OBGYN gave me 4/22 and the specialty center gave me 4/16. My doctor here looked at all the data and ultrasounds and said 4/20 is they date they are using. If that holds true, 34 weeks is on March 9 and I will hit 26 weeks tomorrow. 8 days down, 56 left to go.

I still am worried about having Dakota early, but I have finally given in and started to buy certain things for her. Last night, John and I sat in Yahoo together sending links back and forth for car seats. The original plan was to buy a convertible car seat, but seeing as she will be early, the NICU doctor said she really needs the infant car seat. After going through Amazon and Target, I found a car seat that I loved at BabiesRUs. It is pink with a soft floral pattern. I think it will go well with her name. John said he liked it too!

Since there was a special for shipping, I had to get a couple things in addition for free shipping. I found 3 little preemie pj’s that snap up the front so she can wear them in the hospital. I fell in love with a blue one with little pink butterflies. I am very hesitant to buy too much, but John and I are making sure she has her basics ready for when she comes.

I am feeling a little sad today, as well, because I miss John and the kids. It is hard sitting here all day without seeing them, but I know this is the best place to be right now. I keep busy with the internet, email, some television (now I know why I don’t watch a lot of it…), and homework. I had to make the decision to give up doing the PTA newsletter for a couple of months, but they don’t mind a bit. It would have been something else to keep busy with, but it is really hard to do on a laptop without the big screen hooked up. I did volunteer to take it up as soon as I get home and for next year too.

Well, since we have hit another day of waiting, here is to the next 56. As long as Dakota behaves herself and stays put, daddy may not ground her when she is born :)

01/12/11 9 DAYS DOWN, 55 TO GO!!!

Today has been a good day. John came to visit and help me wash my clothes. It was funny to think that both of us had to figure out the washer/dryer. Dakota is still doing well. She has had hiccups 2 times today and her heart beat is hanging around 150. I also found out that if Dakota hangs out until March 9, she will definitely come that day. If she stays laying the way she is, it will be by c-section but that is okay. I just want to make sure she is healthy.

Still no contractions, fever, or bleeding, so I am starting to let myself get hopeful that Dakota will make it a long time. Tomorrow I am going to ask a good question that John came up with. I had not thought about if she goes to NICU for an extended stay to see if she can be transferred to a hospital closer to home. REX has capabilities to care for preemies that are 30 plus weeks and that is on the way to work for both of us. That was where she was supposed to be welcomed to the world, but she decided she wanted to come here at UNC. The nurse said that parents do that all the time and it totally is not an unreasonable request. Plus, we will be able to get our favorite pediatric office in her life early on.

Well, that is all for today. I need to eat dinner and get back to homework. At least I am finding ways to stay busy here :)

Btw, thank you to all my friends for the supportive messages in the guest book. They mean a ton to me :)

01/13/11 10 DAYS DOWN, 54 TO GO!!!

I found out today that yes, Dakota can be transferred to Rex if she comes after 30 weeks. That is so awesome because it is half the drive. I also found out that if I am still hanging in there around 32 weeks that I may be able to transfer closer to home to have her. Have to figure out if I want another super bumpy ambulance ride :)

No changes today. No contractions, bleeding, or fever. My manager from work, and another manager as well, came by to visit me. It was really nice to have them stop by today. Thank you for the magazines!

I still miss the monsters at home, but John got the webcam set up for video conferencing. I got to hear all of them, but they could not hear me. It was really neat though. Matthew was making faces at me and Ash was showing me the art she did. Deanna came by and said hi really fast after she realized she was on camera. Then Matthew started to mess with her hair and attack her, good boy!

It is about time to lay down for the night and get some rest. I am trying to focus on Dakota right now and helping her to grow, but I think I ate too much today, hehe. I know the best thing I can do for her right now is get rest. At least I have almost all my Economics homework done. I can read a book all weekend when John and the kids aren’t here with me.

01/14/11 11 DAYS DOWN, 53 TO GO!!!

Another day come and gone, thankfully :) Dakota is still hanging in there. My pulse has been high, but the nurse thinks it is a mix of needing more water and being on my back when they monitor the baby. I have hit the water all day, but broke down for the Dr. Pepper at dinner. I needed some flavor…

Dakota’s car seat arrived today. John opened the box and showed me via web cam. It is a little lighter than I though it would be, but it is very pretty. I also finally broke down and shopped on eBay some tonight. I found a lot of newborn clothing 3 minutes before it ended. Bidding wars are so much fun! I won at the last second getting 54 pieces for under $25. Now we just need to get some preemie clothes to hold her over for a little bit and she is good.

I still miss everyone. I suppose that is how I will feel the whole time I am here, but I know I am here for a good reason. I can’t wait until Sunday to see John and the monsters. I get them on Monday too!

Signing off for tonight! Be back tomorrow night for another update :)

01/15/11 Midnight marks 52 days left to go!!!

I got a little stressed tonight because I had a very light pink tint to the water. The staff here says it is normal and only to worry about red. No contractions or fever still, but my heart rate is still up. Turns out that is most likely due to being anemic. When I did a web search for anemia, I could not believe my eyes. I wonder if this has been an ongoing issue for me because I have had many of the symptoms for a long long time.

I am excited because tomorrow morning John is bringing stinkerbell and the mashleys to come see me. I have not seen the kids since last Sunday.

Time to get to bed. I am super tired tonight. Even with sleep stuff I am waking up in the middle of the night and finding it hard to get comfy. Maybe if I wear one of John’s t-shirts tonight I will be more comfy, plus it is his shirt, and that is the closest I can get to him right now.

01/16/11 Good evening! The problem from last night seemed to stop on its own. This morning, when the doctors were making rounds, I asked them about my high pulse. They checked my iron and thyroid, as well as ran an ekg. Everything came back normal, so it is just a high pulse due to pregnancy. They cannot find anything else that would cause it.

John, Matthew, and Ashley came to visit me today. I guess Deanna was sick so she could not come. It was really nice to have them here. John slept for part of it since he was up all night working (on call weekend). My nurse even brought a blanket and without him knowing she covered him up. I sat in bed watching tv with the kids. They took turns either sitting with me or playing on my laptop. Ashley even told me that she has been crying because she missed me. Matthew said he can’t wait for mommy and Dakota to come home and be with him :)

I found out today that my next ultrasound will be on Feb 3 at 8am. They are going to check Dakota’s growth and the placenta. As long as we are still here (hoping) and she is growing well, back to my room I go. I believe that I will be 29 weeks at that time.

Time to go relax for a bit before I get hooked up to the monitor tonight.

01/17/11 Guess what? I am almost at 27 weeks and tomorrow marks 2 weeks that I have been here! Yay! Now for Dakota to listen to daddy and wait a bit longer…

Tomorrow I get the glucose test and sure hope it comes back good. I don’t know if I could live with a very limited diet :( Then again, I would do what I need to do to make sure Dakota is healthy.

John and the two little ones came to see me today. It was nice to see them again! They took me downstairs for a little bit in the wheel chair to get me out of the room. I can’t wait to see them again on Saturday. I hope Deanna is feeling better so she can come too.

Off to go do some more reading for Economics. I have quite a bit of homework to do this week.

01/18/11 It is now the eve of 27 weeks! I have to say that today I was a little disappointed as I failed the glucose test by one whole point… I have to fast tonight and get started at O’dark hundred, I mean 6am, with drinking the yucky stuff (100g of glucose in a little bottle instead of 50g like today) and having my blood drawn four times. Good news is I will get to eat at 9am :)

Dakota is still doing well. She gets tons of hiccups and moves like crazy. She still won’t get off of her side, but we still have time as there is no fever, no contractions, no bleeding. She seems content where she is, which is good.

I am missing everyone at home more and more, but at least John brought my gaming headset so that I can video conference with them on Yahoo. It is nice being able to talk to everyone and watch them on the computer. In fact, that is how John showed me what the car seat I ordered looked like in real life.

I found out today that I can stream Netflix on my laptop and it works pretty darn well here. I think there is a way to hook my laptop up to the tv in the room, but that is ok. I can get my Zombieland fix on the laptop. At least this way I can keep headphones on and not bother anyone in rooms around me (unless I am laughing too hard). It is kind of nice to have a selection of movies I can watch so I don’t get bored watching silly tv shows.

Gotta go for the night. It is almost time to get hooked up to the monitors and hear little Dakota roll around and get her heartbeat.

01/19/11 Today is 27 weeks, but today has been a bit hard for me. Everything is good with Dakota and still no contractions or anything. I failed 3 out of the 4 blood draws on the test today. I felt silly getting upset about this because I started crying when I was telling John about it. So starting tomorrow I have to make some changes. I will be getting the finger pricks four times a day for a few days to see how I do with the changes and if diet helps control the blood sugar. I have an appointment with a nutritionist tomorrow to help me go through what my food choices are on the menu and how to pair foods up. I am being saved from having to do the diabetic diet by working on it this way. Hopefully I get 7 weeks practice in here so I am successful with weight loss when I go home (that has been a huge struggle for me).

Dakota is still laying transverse, but sometimes she moves up towards my belly button. It feels good when she is up higher because it takes pressure off of my back. Little Miss has discovered she can stretch though, which sometimes hurts me. At least I know she is growing :)

I did have a really good moment today when I won an eBay lot of clothing for her. I am finally feeling okay about buying her things. I know she needs certain items when she goes home and some items can wait a while.

Guess I should go and try to relax some since I have been up all day. I think maybe I couldn’t get any sleep this afternoon because I was nervous about the test. It is said and done now so I should be able to sleep tonight. And thank you John for being such a great husband and daddy. Sorry I cried on you today, but I think I needed it.

01/20/11 Today has been pretty good. Dakota did really well this morning on the monitor. I am still having no contractions, fever, or bleeding.

It was so hard fighting temptation today though. I was offered something for lunch that I love to eat, but turned it down for lean meat, said no to the bread, no to the pie, no to juices, but I did try a Sprite Zero (not bad for a diet drink) and sugar free jello. I played with what the nutritionist told me I was allowed carb wise. I ordered just under on the carbs so I could eat a piece of candy this afternoon. I was only above my limit on blood sugar by 8 after dinner! I think that was pretty good considering I had 3 carbs at dinner.

I still miss John and the kids. John was going to come up here and visit me tomorrow, but then realized the little monsters have early release, so he would not be able to stay very long. I will see all of them on Saturday and Sunday. For the next three weeks I will get to see John and the Mashleys on Weds too! The little ones are tracked out.

I also created an Excel spreadsheet today to track my blood sugar levels and what I eat. The doctors all saw it this morning while I was working on it and asked if I would email a copy for them to give to other patients to use. It took me a while to get it how I wanted it, but it can be personalized. I thought that was pretty cool. Now I am trying to figure out how to graph it with how I have it set up.

It is time for me to go relax before they come in and do my vitals and hook me and Dakota up to the monitor for a bit of time. Hope to get some sleep tonight too.

01/21/11 Today was another good day. Dakota is doing good still. I still don’t have contractions, fever, or any bleeding. Dakota is having temper tantrums already in the morning because she isn’t getting her juice. They start early…

I did well today with blood sugar. For some reason I run high in the morning before I eat, but I watched carbs today and kept all the after meal levels at 110. I am going to be experimenting a bit with meals for a while… So far it seems that juice is what gets me.

John brought the three preemie outfits that I got online to show to the nurses (they have been asking to see them). Today was the first time that I took them out of the plastic. I am finally feeling more comfortable with Dakota being okay. I truly love the one outfit that has the pink bows on the snaps and the butterflies.

Time to get homework finished so I can relax for the weekend!

01/23/11 Today’s update:

So far everything has been okay since I got up this morning. I pretty much spent the day in bed resting and it seems to have helped. Dakota still sounds good on the monitor too :)

John and the kids came up to visit today. John laid down with me in this tiny little bed and we fell asleep for a while. I woke up to Deanna asleep, but Matthew and Ashley were playing on my laptop together. It sounded so cute to listen to them :)

Well, I need to get back to resting. I figured I would spend the next day or two in bed and see where we go from there. So far it has really helped a ton.

01/23/11 Sorry that I did not put a message in last night. I was hooked up around 8pm so Matthew and Ashley could listen to Dakota before they went home and I ended up hooked up until around 1130 last night. I started to have irregular contractions that turned into every 2-5 minutes. For now they seem to have stopped, but my lower back and front are sore/crampy. With the monitor this morning I was feeling some more, but they weren’t as often as last night. For now I am stuck in bed resting, sleeping, and drinking so much water I am going to turn into a fish.

So far Dakota is doing good. Her movements and heartbeat are great. This does not seem to be bothering her. The doctors came in this morning and let me know this is exactly why I am here. This way they can monitor changes and make sure things are okay.

I feel bad because the kids wanted to hear their baby sister, but then it turned into me being up half the night. I didn’t want to worry them and now I feel bad because I did.

This is all so hard to go through and it is hard not to break down and cry sometimes. I am worried and nervous again, but there isn’t anything I can do other than rest all day, drink water/diet juice, and depend on others to get me things (which anyone that knows me knows it is hard for me to depend on others…).

Well, I will write again later so that I can have the daily update after I get through today. For now I am just going to try to lay down and rest.

01/24/11 Wow,I have been here about 3 weeks now. Only have six weeks and one day left!

Today went good. I started out with a surprise ultra sound study thing that checked to make sure I did not have any blood clots in my legs causing my pulse to be high. The tech said it all looked good.

Dakota is doing really good. She has the wiggles and I realized tonight that she gets hiccups at about the same time every night, 730ish. She also got to enjoy some chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and diet mountain dew. It was the first time since the night I left work so quickly that I have had any form of mountain dew. I wonder if the bottle is still on my desk… And yes, I know, chocolate cake… For some reason chocolate does not seem to affect my blood sugar, knock on wood. I think I really needed that little break from eating so healthy. Dakota sure did like it too. She started to move around a bunch :)

One of the auctions I won on eBay came in today. John showed me a bit of the box. Omg, the outfits are even cuter than I imagined! She even has some cute little shoes that she can wear as soon as her little feet grow. They are soft on soled so they won’t mess her feet up.

I also spoke to one of the nurses that is at our insurance company today. They have a cool program called healthy moms that I joined back in August. John’s company and the insurance company started this program up as a test and it is pretty cool. The nurse called today to see how I was doing and updated my information. Since I am participating in it, we can get reimbursed for some cool stuff, like a jogging stroller :)

See, today wasn’t so bad! Time to start relaxing so I can go to bed soon…

01/25/11 Today is the first day of week four in the hospital and the eve of 28 weeks gestation! I got good news again today too. If we are still sitting here at 30 weeks (Feb 9) the doctors are going to start the process to get me transferred to Rex Hospital when there is an open bed! I will be half the distance from home than I am now! Yay!

Dakota is still doing good. She is kicking my laptop right now since it is invading her space, lol. We are both still hanging in there and doing good. I am even getting ready to start getting more of the things she will need when she gets home.

I started to work on the baby registry I have set up at Target.com. John recommended I put certain things on there that we need to purchase too so we don’t lose the links (or my bookmarks get wiped). If anyone wants to look at it, it is registered under my name and email, but you can find it through John too. It is fun, as well as passes a lot of time, working on it.

Well, it is getting to be about the time for me to go lay down and rest a little before I get monitored. It seems to help my back if I rest on my side for a bit first.

01/26/11 There is not too much to report today. So far things are still going okay. They said my blood pressure was low tonight. I am not sure why, but at least it wasn’t high. I also found out that english muffins are a no go for breakfast too. They raised my blood sugar really high…

I ordered some more of the items that Dakota will need when she gets home. John, Matthew, Ashley, and I all voted this morning on the bedding (not like it wasn’t already picked out by me and John). It seems as though monkeys are the winner. I am glad I ordered it tonight because it is not going to be delivered until the beginning of March. John and I have also finally agreed on a diaper bag. This company, called Diaper Dude, makes daddy friendly diaper bags. I found a black on with three skulls on it. Who would have figured I would like that (rolls eyes).

I also put the meaning of Dakota’s first and middle name on a post it on my desktop. Dakota means “the allies” from the Sioux language and her middle name, which has not been released yet, means “pure” and is of Irish origin. I love her name and the meanings behind it.

Btw, I am 28 weeks today! That means two weeks away from starting the transfer process closer to home (as long as there are no issues to prevent me moving) and 6 weeks away from when Dakota will be allowed to come into the world, since daddy grounded her :)

01/27/11 Today got back to normal on breakfast blood sugars, yay! The doctors are also putting in to do the finger pokes less often, which is awesome. It seems I have the blood sugars under control with diet, which is great. That means there is a higher chance that I will go back to normal after Dakota comes.

She sounded great again on the monitors. It is so funny listening and seeing her hit/kick the things they put on my tummy. She really does not like her space invaded. Her daddy said she better get over that fast lol!

More of Dakota’s clothing came in the mail today. John showed me some of them through a video call on yahoo im. What I did get to see was super cute! I finally talked him into bringing all the clothes here so I can inventory and separate them by size. I know he needs help and that is something I can at least do from the hospital for him. I feel so bad for not being there to help. I also miss him a lot; I miss them all a lot.

Guess it is time for me to get to bed. My stomach didn’t settle too well with dinner and sleep hopefully will help it. I look forward to Saturday when I get to see everyone again and I am sure Ash will help me with my little task.

01/28/11 Wow, they just took me off the monitor and Dakota has got the wiggles now that I am sitting up! Today was a good day again, no contractions or anything. It was even better because I started to have two finger pokes instead of four!

I found out that some moms hide food in their rooms when they have GD or other issues that limit their diets. I understand why, but for me, I worry more about Dakota than I do about eating a blueberry muffin (which I found out raises my blood sugar as bad as orange juice). The nurses all know I have a half eaten box of chocolates, vitamin waters, and a case of diet mountain dew. I just manage what I eat and drink, plus, diet sodas are freebies :)

I have now been here about three and a half weeks. I also made sure there are no Friday the 13′s coming (John…) and there is only one full moon (John again…) between now and March 9th. I think we have the majority of the big items now that Dakota needs too. I can’t wait for her crib set to get in. It is really cute with four monkeys on it. I love that it is bright and has a great deal of contrast. We wanted to make sure she had something special since Ashley still has her “blankie” from her crib set. We don’t know if Dakota is going to have a security blanket, but just in case, she will have her own thing going on.

Time to head out for the night. It is later than normal for me to post, but I have been doing it after the night monitor so I can give the most updated Dakota information. Anyways, tomorrow is an early start and I need to work on some homework too.

01/29/11 Monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys! I keep finding the cutest monkey stuff for Dakota! It seems to be carrying over from her crib to her clothing… But monkeys are so darn cute when they have a little flower above their ear!

Dakota behaved today for monitoring. John and the kids got to hear her when she gets a bad case of hiccups. It was so funny to listen to when she was on the monitor.

I got to go through the clothes that came in from ebay today. She has quiet a collection of clothing. I am looking for some newborn clothes now to hold her over until 0-3 month will fit her. It will be so wonderful to be able to take her home and use all of these cute things we are getting for her. I sure hope she likes the monkey mobile :)

It has been a long day and I need to get to bed here soon. I just wanted to make the daily post so that everyone knew that Dakota and I are still good and hanging in there.

01/30/11 Today was a good day again. I got to see John and the kids. I also had no contractions, no fever, no bleeding. Counting down the days to being here 4 weeks, being 29 weeks pregnant, and having my ultrasound on Thursday.

I did get Dakota some of the monkey pj’s I found and some monkey one pieces with matching pants for when she starts wearing six month clothes. I sure hope I keep finding this cute little girl monkey stuff :)

Other than drinking a ton of water, not much else is going on here. I am looking forward to seeing John and the Mashleys on Weds.

01/31/11 Just a quick note tonight as it is late. All is doing good still. Dakota sounded good on the monitor. Her heart rate was lower than normal, but the nurse said she was fine. Maybe it was a mix of me being tired and the time of night. They usually monitor me at 8 or 830, not at 9 something at night.

Looking forward to seeing John and the Mashleys on Weds.

02/01/11 Wow, I cannot believe today is 28 days, or four weeks, since I have been here! Let’s keep on going Dakota! She did good on the monitor again tonight. Dakota even kicked it a few times, lol. Maybe she is getting excited because I am starting to let her have some different foods, plus she must know she has lots of things waiting for her at home.

My blood sugars are still doing good. I even found out that I can eat cheesecake again! It seems that since I have been watching my carbs, dairy doesn’t seem to upset my stomach that much. I really wonder if it is just certain types of sugars that are getting to me. I can eat cake and candy, but I cannot eat muffins or juice. Strange, isn’t it?

Tomorrow marks week 29 of the pregnancy. Dakota and I only need to hang in there for another five weeks :) I am hoping that next Tuesday I find out that there is a spot at REX for me. I am not looking forward to the ride in the ambulance down 40 again, but I am looking forward to seeing John and the kids more often. I am preparing for the possibility that I will have to go over the birth plan again when I get there (if I am accepted).

It is time to relax so I can get to sleep a little earlier tonight. John and the two little ones are coming up tomorrow to visit me. I hope to go outside since it is supposed to be a really nice day. I also hope that someone remembers to get “Let Me In” and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I looked up the carbs online hehe).

02/02/11 Wow, 29 weeks today! Yay! I have my ultrasound tomorrow morning and hoping that Dakota is growing well and everything looks good.

I got to see John and the Mashleys today. They are starting to wear me out when they come visit. I think being on bed rest ate my energy up, but as long as Dakota is healthy in the end, all is good. John brought me two very important things today, “Let Me In” and the peanut butter cups. I can’t wait to eat one tomorrow! “Let Me In” was a bit different than I expected, but it was good.

Well, I need to get ready for bed because I have an early start tomorrow. The nurse said she will be in around 6am to listen to the baby really fast, then finger poke somewhere between that time and 7, then breakfast and going to the appointment downstairs, back up here for monitoring, and before I know it, it will be time for lunch…

Btw, thank you husband for the spoilage today :)

02/03/11 Today started off good, but quickly turned into some craziness. I went to my ultrasound, which sounded like it went ok, but apparently when they do the scoring at the growth ultrasound, Dakota scored a 4 out of 10. She automatically would lose 4 points, if not the six, because there is no fluid around her to measure, it is hard for her to move because of lack of fluid, and she was not practicing breathing… This scoring happened after the doctor came and introduced herself and said the baby looked great; she also said Dakota is a good 3.5 lbs already! So… this sent the doctor team into craziness, ordering me to be hooked up to the monitor to make sure she is ok and moving, almost getting an iv hooked up, and almost having her tonight… To make this already long story a little shorter, turns out that the point thing is not accurate for someone how has pPROM. They came in and did another ultrasound around 230ish and she got the 6 points they thought she would get, after I moved to my side that is. So, I got saved from the last minute IV and got to eat again..

My next craziness was my post dinner blood sugar was high. I couldn’t figure out why either. I thought it might have to do with eating lunch at 230/3 and then having dinner at 430. Then I was on the phone with John and realized, duh, they gave me a steroid shot in the butt cheek. The steroids will throw my sugar levels off for a bit no matter what I eat. I was told yesterday that they don’t normally give pPROM moms the shots after the initial two when they get here, but the team talked about it and decided that it would be beneficial at this point. Needless to say, I get another shot in the butt tomorrow on the other side, then I am done with those (stop laughing John).

Now it is almost time for my night monitoring and then hopefully I can crash. It has been so crazy today and very stressful/scary. Just trying to relax right now.

Oh yeah, she moved from transverse! She is now breech. The doctors did say they prefer breech to transverse because her little butt will act like a plug, which will help keep the placenta from slipping.

Off to go relax some. She has her little head sitting at my ribs, so it is a little harder to get comfy, but shoot, at least she isn’t stretching across my lower abdomen now :)

02/04/11 Today was rougher than yesterday. I woke up at 230am and started having back labor at 3am. To make this quick, since I am exhausted from being up so long, I got watched all day, second steroid shot, and magnesium that made me feel horrible… I remember that from the first night at the hospital… So, they got the contractions to settle down after the magnesium was started since just giving me an iv liquid didn’t do squat. So, I am now back in my regular room and trying to keep relaxed and rested. I really don’t want to be here any longer, but at the same time, I know it is better for Dakota to hang out longer.

After all that mess and being faced with a possible c-section today, I found out I get insulin shots for a week since the steroids messed my blood sugar up.

Since I am exhausted, I am out early tonight. I sure hope I get some sleep…

02/06/11 Just a quick note, since as soon as I laid down last night I was asleep… Everything is still okay. Dakota is doing well, I am just exhausted still from the magnesium on Friday. I plan on doing some homework this morning (since this week has been nuts it has not gotten done) and relax some more. I want to be able to still get that transfer on Weds. I should know on Tuesday if Rex has room and will take me. Keeping my fingers crossed. Off to do homework, but I will make sure I write tonight.

02/06/11 Okay, so tonight I have contractions again. Hopefully it is nothing because they don’t hurt. They let me off the monitor with a promise to tell them if they hurt or don’t stop. I am really starting to get upset about all this. I have been here for almost five weeks and the last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions. I have stayed in bed like John asked me to and done pretty much nothing. I had no problems yesterday or today… until about an hour and a half ago. I really hope it is nothing because I don’t want to go back upstairs and be hooked up on the magnesium again. I also don’t want to have to go through the doctors saying, “we may have to have that serious talk” then coming back and saying everything is okay. I know it is better for Dakota to stay put, but it really is putting an emotional toll on me. Well, I guess I need to get back to doing nothing. I will post an update as soon as I know anything.

02/07/11 Quick update… Everything, knock on wood, is ok this morning. Dr. Wolfe said we are still on for transfer if Rex has a bed and is willing to take me. Here is to keeping fingers crossed.

The day after tomorrow is my 30 week mark. As much as I am starting to feel the negative affects of being away from everyone, I know we are inching closer to the finish line. I also know that in a couple days I may be a lot closer to home so I can see everyone more often.

I promised John I would stay in bed all day today, so I plan on doing reading to get ahead in my economics class. I am very thankful for having the professor I have. He is so understanding of the situation. He is even going to release the last two projects early so I can get them done. I realized this weekend that I will be in week 33 and 34 for those projects (as long as we hang in there) and probably won’t be able to finish them before the quarter is over.

Well, I will work on getting back in here tonight and posting again. I hope this isn’t too much, but I really need an outlet. Also, this way Dakota gets to see how mommy felt.


02/07/11 Second post for the day. Both times I was monitored things went really well. I am also feeling better from the magnesium drip I got for 7 hours on Friday. The last couple of days are the first time this whole pregnancy that I am just starving… Maybe she will get bigger than 5lbs when she is born…

I won’t stay here long tonight. I got ambien to help sleep and guess since I am feeling better, it is knocking my butt out, but Dakota will still play as I fall asleep. I can’t wait until I get to see her waiting up for her night owl daddy when he gets home in the mornings. :D

02/08/11 I found out this morning I move to REX tomorrow!!! How cool is that?

02/08/11 It is 30 week eve!!! Since I posted earlier this is a quickie. Dakota looked great on the monitor tonight. When I was finished, I reached for my night snack and she got hiccups and started with the wiggles. Think she knows I was going to eat? John told me earlier today that we had another eating machine on our hands, lol!

02/09/11 Today is the 30 week mark, only four left to go. I am starting to feel depressed from being here for so long and away from John and the kids. I have been here now for 36 days. I am just trying to keep my head up for now. If I have made it this long, I can make another 28 days for Dakota.

I was going to get moved today, but when the call came in to schedule the move, another one came in to say there wasn’t a bed for me. The doctors are going to try again tomorrow. It is a little upsetting that the doctors were told on Monday that there as a bed for me, but then for some unknown reason, today there wasn’t. I know things happen… Just keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow or Friday.

Dakota is still looking good and I ordered the last of the big things she needed at home last night. I also ordered some cookbooks that go with my Cake Doctor Cookbook so when I get home, once I feel well enough that is, I can make a cool cake or some cupcakes.

Well, that is all for today. I am just trying to relax so I don’t have any issues like last week.

02/10/11 I got to REX tonight, finally. I was so happy they put me in an ambulance for the transfer… I really didn’t want the helicopter that it would have been yesterday.

I now have to adjust to a new routine, new people, and the fact that I can only get out of bed to go the bathroom or take a shower. I also have to get used to blood sugars 2 hrs after meals instead of 1 hr, but darn, that one will be easy. It is the not being able to walk around the room and stretch part I don’t so much look forward to.

I get to talk to my doctor (yay regular ob/gyn, no switching around in a team) tomorrow to ask hundreds of questions. I want to know if he is going to go with the plan I had set up at UNC or if the date and plan will change. Oh, and since I cannot get up and about in the room, John gets to unpack my stuff tomorrow. I managed to get the important things like toothpaste, toothbrush, laptop, cell phone, and homework out before the orders came in from the doctor lol!

Well, I am outtie for the night. I have a late night ahead of me, but lots of homework to do to get ahead in my class.

02/11/11 Awesome, awesome, awesome! Talked to my doctor today. He answered every question I had and I even found out that he is on hospital duty the day that we will have Dakota should she not be born sooner. I should be getting my final ultrasound (baring the one I will get before delivery to check her presentation) in two weeks. I sure hope she is almost five pounds for that one at 32 weeks. I also got wheel chair privies so John can take me out of the room for a little bit.

I also so the dietitian today. She upped my carb intake for breakfast and lunch. She was going to up dinner too, but I know that would be way too much food. I had too much today between lunch and dinner as it was lol!

John brought the two little monsters up here to visit. It was really nice. The kids brought three of my Eeyore’s up to visit me too. They do that because they say Eeyore misses mommy. Last weekend Matthew brought his Snoopy and said Snoopy missed mommy. They are so sweet :)

02/12/11 Wow, I cannot believe that in less than a month we are going to meet Dakota. I can’t wait to see if she gets hiccups after she is born as often as she gets them now hehe.

Everything today has gone pretty well. John was a bit grumpy when he came with the kids today, but I think he is really worn out. I sent Deanna an email with a list of things to help John with and so far it seems as though she is doing them (webcam lol). I even told her to ask Ashley to help sort laundry so John has an easier time of doing that too (Ashley loves to help do that).

Dakota sounded good today on the monitor. She had the wiggles so I had to lay here for over an hour, but that is ok. I got to hear her and make sure she was ok. My blood sugar has been doing really well and I have been eating more carbs than at the other hospital. I sure hope it goes away like the doctors are thinking once Dakota comes. I am so wanting to go to McDonald’s for a double cheeseburger combo with a regular coke… and to get some donuts at some point. I will probably do like I am doing now, just to help me with diet and exercise after I get home, but at least I will be able to eat some sugar.

Well, I need to get some more homework done (getting ahead) and call John soon to wake him up. It is his on call weekend and he has something scheduled at 10. I just know he needs to get some sleep, so instead of calling him now, I am enjoying watching the kids do what they were asked to do. I sure hope that helps John smile when he wakes up :)

02/13/11 I am super tired tonight, so this post may not be long. I woke up at 4am to get vitals and blood sugar done. Then at 430 I had five things of blood drawn out of my hand (I have been told today that those blood tests will happen every three days).

John brought the kids up again today. They took me outside for some fresh air today. That was only the third time I have been outside in the fresh air since I have been in the hospital. Boy did it feel good.

So far Dakota sounds good and there haven’t been problems. Focused right now on getting her past the full moon on the 18th.

Off to bed now and hoping she stays put for another three weeks or so :)

02/14/11 Only a few more days until the full moon! Hoping Dakota isn’t going to try to be like her daddy… :D It is also three weeks and 1 day until I will either be induced or have a c-section. It is coming up fast now.

Dakota finally let her daddy feel her move today. He put his hand on my tummy to feel her hiccups today and she wiggled… He has been waiting a long time for her to move for him.

John came up and had Valentine lunch with me. It was nice to have a little time alone. I miss him and the kids still, but I get to see them more often at least. I know it will be nice to get home in a few weeks. We are hoping Dakota can come home with us, but Dakota may have to stay here for a little while.

Sorry this is a little short tonight, but I want to go lay down and stretch a bit. Not being able to move around so much is starting to hurt.

02/15/11 Today has been a good day. Noelle and Mary came to visit me from work. They brought me diet dr pepper too :) Dakota did good on the monitor and I have read almost a chapter and a half for my homework.

I get to see John tomorrow morning for a little bit. Tomorrow is a big day for us as it marks 31 weeks. Today marks 6 weeks in the hospital. After we get through Friday (full moon) the goal is to hit March 9. I just hope Dakota listens to her daddy.

I am off to read a little more before I go to bed. I am trying to get an additional assignment done this week (so two…) and then another next week. I am just trying to get ahead so I don’t miss any big assignments when we have Dakota.

02/16/11 Dakota did good again today and she is a little hiccup machine. A nurse told me today that she sounds like a pistol (John started saying that about her when my water broke lol). Had my blood work done today since it was the third day… I also discovered I have to be careful with the hamburger buns here. Strange, I ate two pancakes with sugar free syrup for breakfast, but a cheeseburger put my blood sugar up. hmmm…

John and I got a tour today of labor and delivery, the special care unit, and the little nicu (hidden in the special care unit). It was actually a nice tour. I know where I will be put if I am induced as well as if I have a c-section.

Just three weeks left…

02/17/11 I cannot believe that in 20 days Dakota will be here (if she stays stubborn still). It is almost unreal that this is almost over and soon our little woops will be here. I also cannot believe that I should be home three weeks from Saturday, at the latest. Hopefully she does well and comes home with us.

John and I were comforted yesterday when we were told that the Mashleys can come visit their little sister if she has to stay here. Poor Matthew almost started to cry when he was told at the other hospital that he would not be able to see her in NICU because of his age. At this hospital they can visit Dakota as long as they are five :) Awesome! We are still hoping we don’t need to worry about that though.

The doctors continue to watch my white blood cell count to make sure I don’t have an infection starting. So far so good, knock on wood. Just a little bit longer is what I keep telling myself. if i can get past the full moon tomorrow, I am good to go.

I need to get to homework. I finally finished reading for this week and need to work on the assignment for this week and week 10 of class. Next week I will do the assignment for week 9. I am just trying to get ahead so I don’t run into any problems the last two weeks of class if I am not able to get them done (since Dakota will be born during week 10). I am very thankful for a good understanding professor :)

02/18/11 19 days left and three weeks from tomorrow I should go home! If Dakota has to stay here after I go home, that is going to be hard, but I know it would be best for her. I am still trying to hold onto the sliver of hope that she will be well enough to go home.

Speaking of Dakota, she is still doing good. She gets hiccups every time I eat now. She also has her head up on my ribs and is being stubborn. I tried to rub her and push her down some, but all I got in return was some little arms hitting my hands lol. Gee, I wonder who she takes after (points at daddy).

I managed to get all of my homework done for the week and even got 100% on my assignment. It took a while to figure it out. I also got a comment of “excellent” on my discussion post today! I was really happy since I spent 2 hours working on it and making the table look all pretty. I even made myself start working on one of the other assignments. Getting ahead is a lot of work…

The bonus today was that I didn’t forget to order my snack (I forgot last night…) and when I ate my orange today, they quartered it perfectly so I didn’t get a lot of juice on my fingers. Since it didn’t sting, I noticed that Dakota loves oranges. I knew she liked apples, strawberries, and Dr. Pepper, but fresh oranges are new to us. They are so much better than the orange juice I try not to drink :)

02/19/11 I got to see the kids and John today (John I saw twice since he stopped on his way home from work). Ashley started singing some songs and Dakota started to wiggle a bit. I think she really liked the singing. Deanna talked today, which was a change for her and Matthew finally laid down and went to sleep. The poor little guy was sleepy. John rubbed out some of my sore spots for me too.

Tomorrow I get to see how Dakota likes Wendy’s, as well as how my blood sugar does with it. After a lot of research, I found that Wendy’s is pretty much the only fast food that I can eat a whole meal and stay under my carb allowance for a meal (I just have to give up the bun on the double stack to get nuggets with sauce). It will be nice to eat my first not hospital food in six and a half weeks.

Today is 18 days away from when John and I get to meet this little wiggly girl. We are excited but worried at the same time. We know she will most likely have some additional hospital time, but at least she will be safe. I am really hoping she doesn’t have to stay too long after I go home (which is at latest three weeks from today).

02/20/11 It is getting so close to the time to meet this little Diva! Yay! I also should be getting a growth ultrasound this week. It sounds like it happens on Thursday. Hopefully she is still growing good and looks healthy. We don’t want to have her too early.

I got to see John and the kids again today. They got to eat Hostess and I was very good. I got Nutter Butters because they fit into my carb intake. I only ate one and have three left. I think Dakota liked it. I also fell asleep with Matthew in my bed next to me for a little bit. After he was done curling up with me, Ashley hopped up and we laid here together for a little bit.

I got my first taste of some fast food today in over six weeks. I gave up the bun on my burger so I could eat chicken nuggets, but Wendy’s burgers taste good without the buns. It was so nice to not eat hospital food for a meal. Thank you dear!

Dakota sounded really good on the monitor today. I was on it for an hour partly because she is not a morning person. She started to wake up towards the end. She takes after her daddy :)

17 more days to go!

02/21/11 Today has been good except for Dakota having her head really high up on my ribs when I was trying to eat. The rocking chair got her to wiggle off for a little bit.

I am starting to get nervous as the day comes closer to have her. I am scared of having a c-section (even though I have known that was pretty much what would happen). I am also scared of leaving her here when I go home. It makes me really sad to go through all this and have to wait to bring the prize home.

I have my last ultrasound scheduled for Thursday morning. I am so hoping that she is growing well and is still on the same track of being in the 5lb range when she is born. I also hope that they see her practicing breathing so we only really will have one obstacle left to tackle, feeding. I hope she is an eating machine like Ashley and perhaps she will be able to eat on her own quickly.

This is totally a different experience than anything I have ever gone through. I have been almost on eggshells about Dakota since Jan 4… almost seven weeks ago…

16 more days to go

02/22/11 15 more days to “D” day, 18 more days until I go home, 87 more pokes in the finger, and 2 days until the growth ultrasound! Finally getting there…

Dakota has behaved today. The paper on the monitor jammed and the alarm didn’t go off, so I didn’t know… The nurse came in after an hour and said “you are going to be mad at me. We need to do this for another hour.” Umm, yeah… I laid on my back for an hour and was starting to get sore. Luckily it turned out to 45 minutes. I am going to start asking for the monitor to be turned so I can see it so that doesn’t happen again.

I am waiting for my dinner to come up right now. You would think today is Monday or something hehe. Who ever delivered it delivered it to the wrong room. I got an apology and had it resent.

The vampires came to visit this morning too. John came in at 430 am and I had just fallen back asleep from the vitals at 4am. I wasn’t expecting him this morning so I though, “Oh, the vampires are here to test my blood.” Nope, I was greeted with a hug and kiss. That was a nice surprise, but the vampires still came in this morning around 6am.

I guess I should finish up here. When dinner gets here I need to eat, plus I have some chapters to read for class. Hopefully tomorrow is an ordinary day lol!

02/23/11 Two weeks from now John and I will have met our new little girl! Hopefully the kids can come see her too. I hopefully will hear that she is practicing breathing and nice and big tomorrow.

Dakota received her second sports item today. We already had cute, fuzzy Browns booties for her. Today she got a bib for the Carolina Hurricanes. I figured since we didn’t have a house hockey team, we might as well start the three little ones with their home team. The reason I found this bib was because Matthew’s class needed items to stick in a Hurricanes themed basket for a fundraiser. I thought a bib was something other people wouldn’t donate.

I talked to two people about their c-section experiences today. It definitely helped me relax some. I am really scared of it. It is something I have never been through before. My sister said when she had her son that they gave her this sour green apple tasting stuff to keep her from vomiting. If I get a wiff of it, I will vomit. the last time I drank was not a good experience and it just happened to have the green apple stuff in it. I have to remember to ask about that tomorrow.

Here is to resting up tonight and hoping tomorrow goes well!

02/24/11 As you see on the front page, I had one 3d picture from the growth scan today. Since there is not a lot of water around Dakota, they only got really good shots of feet. The picture I posted is of her foot, over her head, blocking her face… Someone said she was going to be shy… I don’t think so lol!

Dakota is getting bigger. They said she measures to 4lbs 11oz with an error of 20%. If it is an error less, then she is already over five pounds, which is awesome! They also saw her with sustained lung movement! I feel so much less worried (I will still worry though).

I talked to one of the doctors in the practice I go to and they are going to check on what times are available for the OR on March 9. I sure hope there is an early time available. I also am hoping she doesn’t have to spend much time in the special care nursery.

13 days from now and we will have our little Dakota :)

02/25/11 12 days left to go and only 44 more finger pokes! yay!!!

Dakota is doing good today. Her monitoring did well and boy does she like diet Mountain Dew. It woke her up quite nicely for the monitor today.

I had some really good reassurance today. One doctor told me about the person that was in the room on the other side of mine. Her water broke at 18 weeks and she made it to 33 weeks. Her baby was about the size Dakota is now, so not quite 5lbs, but everything else was perfect. The nurse I have tonight also told me about her. That made me feel good hearing a 33 week old came out screaming. I kind of expect that of Dakota since I have learned her personality hehe.

I have been tired today, so no homework really got done. I decided if I was that tired I had better just lay down. I can always do the rest of the homework tomorrow.

I got to see John bright and early this morning, well dark and early. After he got here, they came in and did my vitals (since I was up), and then the nice vampire came in and took some donations, I mean the lab tech took some blood for blood tests.

John finally found my breast pump from Ashley and I got my replacement parts ordered. I figured I might as well get them now so I can use it if she sleeps through a feeding or has to stay here. He found I had stuck several of the Medela bottles in the box with the pump, so that was cool. Those silly little bottles are expensive! We also talked about getting some pacifiers for her just in case. All the kids, with the exception of Ashley (she loved her thumb from day one), loved their pacifiers. We figured it was better to have a couple just in case she likes them. I kind of hope she does because I found the cutest holder to clip on her clothes so she doesn’t lose them :)

That is all for tonight… Just counting down the days and waiting :)

02/26/11 It has been kind of a strange day, but I had Ashley and Matthew both fall asleep on the bed next to me. It was so cute! It has also been a long time since they have done that.

Dakota was giving me some trouble earlier today, but it seems that she just moved and moved and moved and put pressure in an odd spot. I got a monitor done for an hour to make sure there were no contractions. They also checked me and said everything still looks good.

We just have to make it 11 more days! I might start popping tylenol for the next 11 days, but that is ok. My joints are really starting to take a toll, especially when Dakota has the wiggles really bad.

02/27/11 First thing today, thank you husband for taking me outside in the sun for the first time in at least 2 months! It sure felt good! Today was nice and warm, no jacket or sweat shirt needed!

I also realized the last two days how much I miss sleeping with the little guys. Last night Matthew and Ashley fell asleep on my hospital bed, one on each side. Poor Matthew was snoring and each time John tried to wake him up, he would curl back up on my bed and go back to sleep. Today Ashley and I fell asleep on my bed while Deanna and Matthew were watching videos together on my laptop.

Dakota is still doing good. She keeps getting in these really strange positions and sometimes hurts me pretty bad. She plays games with her daddy too. He rubs my tummy and she sits still. After he takes his hand off, she thinks it is time to play Alien and pushes something where it sticks out a bit until he puts his hand back on her. Silly… We can totally tell her personality already. Watch out Ashley!

Only 10 more days until “D” day and 13 until I go home :)

02/28/11 9 more days left!!!

Today my tummy has been tight unless I lay down. It seems that Dakota is needing more stretching room, but unfortunately, I can’t eat while laying down. That would be a bad thing. She did go at it during the monitoring today. Her heart rate was anywhere between 120 and 180!

I am so looking forward to having her and having my stomach back for food. I just don’t feel like I can eat enough right now because she thinks when I sit up it is time to use my ribs as her pillow.

I am guess I should finish up here and move. There is a nice thunder storm that just started and I am right next to the window. That might not be a good thing. Keep your fingers crossed that Dakota waits just a little longer!

03/03/11 Dakota Kaitlyn Wolfe was born on 3/1/11 at 11:15AM. She weighed in at 5lbs 1oz and is 17 3/4 inches long. She is also so beautiful!!! She acts like her daddy with the temper and has his dark hair (which I touched today and was so soft). Miss Dakota didn’t like the chosen c-section date, so she decided to make up her own.

Tomorrow I go home, but she will need to stay here for a couple of weeks. It is going to be hard to know she is here, but at the same time, I know she has really good doctors and nurses taking care of her. She has a little tube in her chest to help her clear out some air that shouldn’t be there, but as soon as they can take the tube out, we can hold her. We are hoping for holding her tomorrow.

I just wanted to post today so those of you that didn’t know about Dakota’s birth will now know. It has been a bit rough on me, which is why I have not posted since Monday. I am waiting on lunch, pumping, then going to lay down. I lost a lot of blood on Tuesday and had some other things happen during the c-section so I need to make sure I rest up. Even with all that happened, I would not trade any of the experience for this precious little girl John and I now have!


03/03/11 I just got back from visiting Dakota. I am going to miss my one hour visits with her at night, but in my heart I know she will be home soon. Dakota was sleeping, but I got to touch all of her exposed skin. Her nose and chubby cheeks felt so neat! I even touched her chin, legs, belly, toes, hair, and the best of all, I got to feel her little fingers wrap around my thumb. Even though it was hurting me to sit on the edge of the wheel chair and stretch a bit to touch her, it was so worth it!

I also talked to her nurse while I was down there. Dakota has a little feeding tube in her nose to see how she does with the breast milk. At 8pm she had 3ml of milk and held it down. She gets some more at 11pm. Guess the pumping schedule I chose was perfectly in line with her new feeding schedule.

I am so glad we went through all this mess to have her. She is truly a miracle baby and so amazing already. By the way, she has the start of one little fat roll (anyone that has seen baby pictures of Deanna knows what those are…) on her right arm just down from her hand. I hope this experience makes her a strong little girl and someday woman. I still can’t believe she is here now. I just can’t stop looking at my pictures of her!

03/05/11 Wow, Dakota is five days old today! I can’t wait to go see her today. I woke up this morning at 5am to take my medicine and realized that Dakota is not the only person that I can have skin to skin contact with to get the milk to come in. I originally promised not to pump at 5am so that I could get some rest, but to my surprise, I needed to! That was so totally awesome! Hopefully at 8 or 9 am I do the same thing. Dakota needs milk for her little belly…

I got to hold her two times yesterday, once before I came home and then again when we went back to see her. Since John’s manager is awesome, his on call got switched, so we will go see her around lunch time and then tonight around 9pm so we can stay longer. We can’t wait to bring this little bundle home with us.

Dakota attempted to breast feed yesterday, but the lactation specialist just kept pushing it with Dakota. I know this is my one and only preemie and things start a little different with them, but how is feeding her this way going to benefit her if she can’t breath while she is feeding? I can’t help that I am big that way. Hopefully today I can get her close again, if not latch on for a little bit. She knows what to do because I felt her yesterday sucking. Apparently she also likes to suck on her pacifier, so that is great. We know the sucker is working, so now to get enough contact that she can do it straight from me so I don’t have to pump so much.

Well, my meds are making me sleepy so I need to finish up here so I can get her milk in the freezer and go back to bed. I do really also want to thank all of my friends and family in helping me to get through this time. It has been a rough eight and a half weeks. Without you all, I don’t know what I would have done…

03/06/11 We went to visit Dakota two times yesterday. The first time we went, she did the “lick and learn” for preemie breast feeding and then took a whole bottle of breast milk. She also absolutely loves her pacifier. I think she met the mile stone for being able to feed.

The nurse, last night, gave John and I each one of the blankets she had been swaddled in. It is really helping me with pumping the breast milk. I was having trouble at first because my hormones are all screwy but the milk finally came in while I was pumping the last two times. I was scared I would not be able to keep up with the supply and demand part of pumping. When they told me how much I should have as an output within ten days of her birth I about freaked out. It seems like a lot, but at the same time, this is her primary source of food. I want to do what is best for her. This morning I was able to pump 60ml of my goal 70ml per pumping session. I think having a blanket from the hospital really helped since now I have something of hers as a focal point.

Our neighbor, Debbie, made us dinner and dessert for last night. That was so sweet of her:). We really do have great neighbors and friends here. Everyone is concerned about me and Dakota. The burritos she made were so good and she also gave Dakota a present. The little outfits she got for Dakota are so cute!

We are hoping to get Dakota home with us soon. I am hoping that when I start physical therapy, that maybe we can incorporate some exercises with her in it to help. Dakota also will have a little bit of physical therapy herself starting on Tuesday this week. The therapist came in as we were getting there yesterday to check her over and see if there was anything she might need help with developmentally. She has a little bit of a club foot on the right, but the physical therapist is very confident that it will be fixed with some stretching exercises, at worse, a pair of DR. Brown shoes. If this is the only issue she has from being born so early, I am totally good with it. The nurses will do the exercises with Dakota, as well as John and I when we are visiting.

Well, I need to get moving. I was not feeling well last night and promised John I would stay in bed or on the couch almost all day today. I want to make sure that I take care of me so that I can take care of her.

03/07/11 John and I got back a bit ago from our late night weekend visit with Dakota. We got there in time for her feeding, so I was able to hold her close to me and let her explore for a little bit. Then she took 7ml of breast milk out of a bottle and the rest was in the little tube. She did great!

I learned a new way to hold her in front of me tonight. Just being able to hold her with my left hand and her bottom on the Boppy, I was able to feed her out of the bottle so much easier. It was cool too because she had her eyes wide open looking at me the whole time. She sure is a happy baby :)

I am about to go to bed here in a few minutes, but wanted to brag about this little girl. She was wearing clothes for the first time tonight, swaddled in her blanket, and already bathed. I just could sit there and enjoy her. I took in her baby scent for a while and just enjoyed being close to our little miracle girl. I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.

03/07/11 Today we went to go visit Dakota and guess what? She was about to graduate from NICU to Special Care and we got to see it! It was such an exciting moment for us. Plus, I got to change her diaper for the first time! I was so scared at first because she is so little, but it turned out to be a fun first experience.

After Dakota was moved, I was able to do the kangaroo hold with her for an hour and a half. The lactation specialist was really pleased with Dakota’s progress, as was the nurse. John looked up at the clock and said, “she is right on time” and I didn’t realize what he meant. Right at 11:30 (feeding time) she started to bop her little head around looking for lunch. She found the spot on her own, but is still not sure of how to really do the whole breast feeding thing. Everyone that witnessed it as amazed she is doing things like this already. I did learn a couple of new ways to feed her, like the football hold, that help me because she is small. I did end up giving her a bottle, which was fine. She drank just over 20ml of breast milk before she tired herself out and had to finish on the feeding tube. I am so proud of her for doing all of these things. She is so awesome!

Anyhoot, we are finding she will fit in to the Wolfe house very well. That little girl sure can burp and fart! Her burps almost sound like Matthew and she ripped a big on today that lasted over a minute! Hehe the things we find funny…

We were told today that she will need to be supplemented for at least one feeding a day on a special formula for preemies to help her close the growth curve with other babies her age. I am so glad they told us why they were supplementing her and let us know exactly what with. I have a case coming to her soon so she is ready when she gets home :)

I also wanted to say thank you to my mom and Pam for the gift they sent for Dakota today. They sent some bottles that we love to use on the kids because the little ones don’t normally get gassy from them or have any feeding issues. It was such a wonderful surprise when John opened the packages and I just really wanted to make sure you were thanked!

03/08/11 We just got home from visiting sleeping beauty at the hospital. She didn’t want to wake up today, but rather cuddle on my chest. She then started to bop her little head around and worked herself over to where she knew lunch was waiting. We got her to breastfeed for two minutes today, which was awesome. She then drank about 15ml out of her bottle and had to have the rest through the feeding tube. We are getting there.

I have a follow up appointment on Friday with my doctor to talk about physical therapy, my crying bouts, and the blood loss from last week. I am going to have my blood tested to see if my body is correcting itself or if I need to in for a transfusion still.

I think I decided to sleep most of the rest of the day today because I don’t feel very well and I am really worn out. I guess I did too much last night for laundry, but I wanted to make sure things were washed and starting to be organized (for the other kids too…I honestly don’t know how they find their clothes in the morning hehe). John did a wonderful job and getting as much done as he could and that includes organizing Dakota’s clothes and blankets for me, but we have gotten more things and need to reorganize to make room for the new stuff. I figured when Ashley starts to do her clothes, I will tape post its to her dresser so she knows how it is supposed to be put away. The girls room really needs help lol! Plus, we are trying to fit one more in there :)

Before I go for the day, I wanted to give a special thank you to Grandma Wolfe. We have her special Snoopy waiting for her and will put it in her crib as soon as we get the bedding washed and set up. Also, thank you for all the cute Minnie Mouse outfits for her! I had actually looked at several of those before and you picked out the one sweater I really wanted to get for her! She will be so adorable in Minnie Mouse :) If she keeps growing well, she will come home in one of the outfits with Minnie on it!


03/11/11 I am so sorry I have not posted in a few days. I became very ill a couple of days ago and was readmitted to the hospital. I had a kidney infection and my white blood cell count was at 28,000. I got a phone call on Weds night to get here as quickly as possible to start antibiotics in the iv. That was so hard to do because I had just gotten home. The two little kids were crying, as was I.

Weds night was long because I just felt horrible. Dakota is right upstairs, but I just couldn’t go see her. I could barely tear toilet paper off of a roll… John went to feed her for me, which gave them bonding time. Needless to say, after being turned into a serious pin cushion, it turns out my kidney infection moved into my blood. I am still waiting for the doctor to come in and tell me what strain of blood infection I have so I know if I have to stay here longer, go home and have a nurse visit to do iv therapy, or take antibiotic pills for a while. The doctor did tell me that since my blood is infected now, I be on antibiotics for a while.

Well, I will write more later. I need to get back to sleep so I can start all over again.


03/11/11 Dakota did good today, from what her nurse and John told me. She has done her last 4 feedings fully by bottle.

I have not been up to see her today because I am not feeling well at all. This afternoon was really hard for me. I found out that it is a strain of ecoli that I have that got into the blood and made me so sick. All of my meds have been changed up now too. I have two different antibiotics to take through the iv, stool softners, laxatives, blood thinner (darn pokes in my stomach!), norco to help with the pain of everything starting to work again and to help with the last little bit of pain from the c section, potassium (disgusting), and magnesium. I am sure I am missing something, but oh well… My poor arms looks like bruised up pin cushions now too. I hope I can go home early next week with the antibiotics and get on with my life…

Dakota might go home next week too. They are watching her over the weekend to see how she does. It would be so awesome for us to go home together. John brought me a cute picture that was taken of Dakota today in the special care nursery. I cannot believe how beautiful she is! Every time I look at the picture, I smile :)

03/14/11 I can’t take too long as it is really late and I am getting used to this new thing in my arm. Today was a big day for me. My white blood cell count is down to 11k from 28k on Weds. I have been having tons of issues with having IVs placed so they gave me a PICC Line, which will allow me to go home and have John help me administer the antibiotics I need. Hopefully all my labs go well in the morning. I know I am going to be a hermit for a few days once I get home with this thing because I do not want it infected and don’t want to get sick anymore.

I was told by the doctor to take three walks today through the halls, so I did just that. The first walk was really hard to do because I have been down for the last four days in bed sick as a dog. I walked down the the C Pod (which happens to have the room I was getting prepped for the c-section at). The second walk I took with John and the kids and walked to the elevators, turned around and went to the C Pod and back to my room in the middle. That walk really hurt because I realized that having been down for a few days, the c-section healed up tight… The third walk took me to my prize. John held my hand and walked me upstairs to see Miss Dakota tonight. She is the cutest little thing! People come in my room all of the time and comment on the picture I have of her saying how beautiful she is. I can’t wait for her to go home too. We are on crunch week so hopefully this week she gets really moving on those bottles! Every complete bottle down is a step for Dakota to get out that door!

03/15/11 Today was very eventful. We let Dakota have her favorite milk back and she loves it! We just got back from her midnight feeding and she ate the whole bottle. She would not let that thing out of her mouth. We also left her car seat there so they can do her car seat test. We are so hoping she comes home soon.

I also got to come home today. When I got home I was exhausted and it was sure nice to curl up in my own bed with my big pillow and go to sleep. To my surprise, it was 7pm when I woke up. I am still trying to find ways to be comfortable with this thing in my arm. Tomorrow John and I will learn how to use it and all, then we get to go see Dakota for her noon feeding :)

I am now toying with the idea of getting energized and putting this experience into book form. My grandparents have actually said it would make a good book and help others. Guess I need to take a vote on a title… How is “The Rocky Road to Dakota, a Preemie Experience”?

03/16/11 Dakota is getting that much closer to coming home! Last night at her midnight feeding she took a huge bottle, but then got hiccups… imagine that lol! I am finding it a little hard to hold her for too long with this thing in my arm, but I do start her feeding off before giving her to John for a burp and to finish the bottle. I just love to be near her.

I drove for the first time today since Jan 4. I was a bit nervous, but luckily it was just around town here and John was behind me for the first part of it. We had appointments this morning to get our eyes checked. I found out that Matthew and I have almost the same prescription and can see through each others glasses lol! After that, I took Matthew to help me pick some things up for Dakota that we still needed. He hates going to Kohl’s, but once we got back to the baby department, he was shopping for her when I wasn’t looking. He picked out the cutest little onsie for her that has long sleeves and a kitty on the front. He can’t wait for her to come home and is going to be an awesome big brother (not that he isn’t already).

John and I had the first time for the PIC line today at home. He did a really good job with it, even with me being nervous as heck. I had everything pretty much ready to go, all he needed to do was prep the saline and stuff and get the iv going. I am so glad he pays good attention when people teach him how to do these things. I don’t think I would have been able to do it as well as him.

Gotta get moving. I am doing my easy one handed chores around the house that I can do sitting down. With Dakota coming home any day now, it is crunch time. Wouldn’t it be cool to have her home tomorrow? I know wishful thinking, but it will be St Patty Day!

03/17/11 Dakota had a bit of a hiccup last night, so we are looking to bring her home early to mid next week. She is doing very well and growing tons. She is already 5lbs 6oz! When we went to see her last night, she was wearing the one outfit I have been waiting to see her in and was absolutely adorable.

We went to see her today at lunch and she was happy and hungry. Today was the first time in over a week that I have tried to breast feed her and she did very well. We did that for a little bit and then gave her the bottle to work on. As soon as she was done eating, to sleep she went.

As for me, I over did the work at home today. I was getting tired of telling the girls to clean their room, so I went in armed with garbage bags and away goes four bags… It looks nice in there now though. I had to sit while I worked on it and try to remember not to use my right hand (really hard to do). At least that is one more task completed.

I still need to write the one paper for my class. I almost want to take a C and call it a day. My mind is on so many other things right now I just can’t seem to focus on class. I am not sure what to do at this point. There are only two more classes in my master program and I don’t have a C at all so far. I just kind of want to sit back and relax when we are not prepping the house for Dakota and visiting her. Plus, I am still recovering from that horrible illness and want to sleep a lot more than normal.

Until tomorrow…

03/19/11 I am still feeling tired and worn out, but much better than I felt a week ago. I can actually eat now! I wanted to thank John for an awesome cheeseburger tonight for dinner!

We went late to see Dakota today because mommy just couldn’t get out of bed this morning. We usually go for her noon feeding, but today we went for the 3pm one. She was laying there with her eyes open a bit and her tongue hanging out ready to go. That little girl sure likes to eat!

As we have been doing, I gave her the first half of her bottle and daddy finishes. I have a hard time holding her for too long with this thing in my arm. We didn’t work on breast feeding today, but we will see how she is doing tonight when we go at midnight. I just wanted to hold her and look into her pretty little eyes. When I have her in my arms I forget about all the things that happened to get to this point. She is such a precious little gift that we almost didn’t have.

The nurses keep telling me that I am doing a wonderful job keeping up a milk supply for her too. They can’t believe that with all that we have gone through, then me getting as sick as I did, that I am keeping up with Dakota. I am surprised too. Some days I just feel like I don’t want to mess with the pump any more, but then then I remind myself that this is what is best for Dakota. She will be so much better off later on for the effort I put forth.

I am thinking I should get moving away from the computer for now. I need to pump and maybe go through some things so we have a cabinet to put Dakota’s bottles and formula in. Even though she is going to breast feed, because she is a preemie, we still have to supplement with Neosure just to keep her growing like a weed. She is already 5lbs 7oz!

03/22/11 Sorry it has been a couple of days since I posted. We have been waiting to get word about Dakota coming home and been busy getting ready for her. Dakota passed her car seat test and will hopefully be coming home today. We can’t wait!

Her feedings have been changed, so we missed two of them. Even though we missed feeding her, it was so nice to go in and just hold on to her. We didn’t have to stress about if she is eating enough of her bottle or if she needs to burp. John and I could just hold her in our arms and talk to her. Soon we will be able to do that as much as we want :)

Off to eat something before we put the rest of her bassinet together. We have to get up in a few hours to get monsters off to school and get my IV going, plus stop at a couple of places on our way back to the hospital. Today (since it is technically today at almost 2am) is going to be a very busy one, but it will be a good busy!

03/22/11 Today was a bit of a bummer. Little one was all set to come home, but we got a phone call around 9am saying that she had a really stuffy nose and they wanted to watch her for a couple of days to make sure she was okay. The good part of it was that she tested negative for RSV and seems to have cleared up before I got there to visit her today. We are now hoping for Thursday or Friday for a homecoming.

John tried to cheer me up by saying that if she doesn’t come home until Friday at least I will have this line out of my arm so I can hold her better and start feeding her again. That thought helps a little, but I am so ready to have my little girl at home and be able to hold her as much as I want. She is so sweet and adorable; I really think she is the therapy I need right now. This has been such a rocky road and I am so ready for it to end happily.

I am starting to think of what will happen when I go back to work too. I am getting an extension on my leave because of getting so sick myself (two extra weeks of my life ill and on IV meds), but I wonder if I will still have a job. I am not stressed about it, amazingly. I am sure it will be there, but if it is not, at least I am almost done with my MBA. It just feels so strange to not be worried about this. I guess I am spending all the worry in me on Dakota and myself. It must be a good thing that there isn’t enough worry to go around because that added stress probably would not be good right now.

Time to finish my dinner so I can pump and get ready to see Dakota. Her feeding times have been changed to every four hours so she eats at 10 instead of midnight. John and I might actually get some stuff done when we get home, if we don’t pass out first.

03/24/11 Dakota is home finally!!! After a crazy morning, John and I got to Rex just in time to feed Dakota. The doctor came in and spoke with us for a bit and asked how we felt about taking her home today. Omg, we were not expecting to have that happen, so things around the house are still in shambles and we didn’t have a blanket for her, but she came home. The nurse gave us a really pretty blanket to put over her in the car seat to keep her warm.

I am so happy she is home and we are complete now. With her at home, she actually breast fed for ten minutes, which was amazing. It has been hard to do the feeding because of my PIC line, but it comes out tomorrow! I just can’t believe the difference it made trying to feed her at home verses at the hospital.

Tomorrow she has an appointment at the pediatric office. So far she is doing great, so hopefully tomorrow goes well too.

03/26/11 I woke up to a surprise this morning. I went to change Dakota’s diaper and surprise! There was no umbilical cord. It appears she has an outtie, but we will see when she is all done healing there.

It is great having her at home now too. I am exhausted from getting up with her at 2am (long time because this is when she likes to cuddle and make cute noises) and 6am. I know after about a week of this we will have it down. I am trying not to bother John at the 2am feeding because he will be at work and I will have to do it on my own.

We took Dakota for her first doctor appointment yesterday. People kept saying how cute she is and commenting on how tiny she is. One mom told her son that this is what a newborn looks like. I felt bad for doing it, but I told them she was actually a preemie and three weeks old. The look of surprise was something else! Dakota did gain another ounce since leaving the hospital though. As of yesterday, she was at 5lbs 13oz. She goes back Monday for another weight check.

I got my PIC line out yesterday. My arm is still a little awkward, but it is nice having the freedom to hold Dakota however I want. I don’t have to worry about her putting pressure on it or pulling on it. It even makes it easier to feed her.

It has sure been a long road to get here, but now the prize is at home. I have a beautiful little girl sleeping behind me in her playpen. I can’t believe we came so close to losing her and that we overcame the odds. Dakota is here with us, at home, and doing great :)

03/28/11 We took Dakota in this morning for another weight check and she was 5lbs 15oz. That made me feel better because I know we are feeding her correctly since she gained two ounces this weekend. It was strange getting the growth charts today too. Her weight doesn’t even show on the growth chart and she barely made it on head circ and length. She does have some catching up to do, but I know she can do it.

I am hoping that I can get an extension on my leave. I called today and spoke to my case manager who is reaching out to my doctor. My doctor said he would extend me because of the blood infection issue and to give me extra time to recover from that. I also need to build up some muscle (since mine is pretty much gone) and get my emotions worked out. I was hoping that having Dakota home would help, which it has some, but I still have crying moments.

I think my biggest issue right now is that I am beating myself up because things did not go as expected with the pregnancy or even after Dakota was born. I keep telling myself that everything happened for a reason and I did the best job I could under the circumstances, but I still feel like I didn’t do good enough. I feel like I got cheated out of part of the experience and Dakota got cheated out of having her parents there for the first three weeks of her life all the time. I am now dealing with the emotions from having to pump instead of just breast feeding her. I am disappointed that I can’t breast feed her for long, if at all. I pump so I can give her the best thing to eat, but it just isn’t the same. I am scared that I won’t be able to keep up with her and that once I go back to work I won’t be able to pump during the day.

I am also scared that I will still have these emotional issues when I go back to work, but I can’t just say “excuse me, I need to transfer this call so I can go cry.” I just really feel upset, confused, disappointed, and down sometimes. Other times I know we beat the odds and I am proud of what I did to help bring Dakota here with us. Are these all natural feelings to be having? This whole experience has been so completely different than any other kid and I just don’t know. Guess it might be time to start taking that anti depressant the doctor prescribed to me…

03/30/11 Today has been a lazy day for me. I have been over doing things around the house and hit the wall that said stop. All I have done today is take care of Dakota, take a short little nap, and play a little Rift.

Right now I have Dakota sleeping on me. She choked while eating her bottle (which was why she stayed the extra couple of days at the hospital). Apparently she has that issue depending on what position you are feeding her in. It scared me, but I know how she gets when it is about to happen. I took care of her and changed her feeding position and all was fixed. Now she is sound asleep with her head on my shoulder and curled into a little ball.

Today has been good in the sense that I have not cried about anything. I think I am just too worn out to really think about it today. I am trying to take things as they come. I also look at Dakota and think about how we almost lost her and I am very thankful we did not. She is our little miracle baby and I know she is here for a reason, but not what it is yet.

I also think about how this was a true test on John and my relationship. We were faced with some huge challenges the last few months, but we are still here and together. The hugs he gives me mean even more than they did before. I only wish I could spend more time with him.

It is about time for me to go for the night, as I need to get three little kids ready for bed. Sleep sounds so good about now…

04/02/11 Wow I am feeling exhausted from lack of sleep. Dakota has now been moved to eating on demand, which means I am up every three hours feeding her. She is starting to eat almost 3 ounces a feeding too.

Dakota had her first major outing today. Matthew and Ashley had karate, so we took her with us. It was the first time I had gone out with her and had no daddy there. She got lots of attention at karate and I got to see people that I have missed the last three months. I just can’t believe we found such a wonderful group of people! They have all been very supportive with everything that has happened the last few months and are very happy all has turned out well.

I found out yesterday that physically I cannot run. I was locking my car up and Kallie (my outside cat) stuck her paw in the door just as I was closing the door. I didn’t have my keys on me and had to get inside the house so I could help her. I had it set in my head to run, but my body just didn’t want to do it. I still feel bad for the kitty (even though she only likes John) because she had to be like that longer. She is okay though, but my car has some serious scratches now.

It is about time to eat special John pizza (he really is a great cook). Tomorrow we are taking little one shopping, just the three of us. The Mashleys are going to hang out with big sister while we are gone. John needs some new Levis and I have a big coupon for something I want (hehe not necessarily need).

P.S. I am still debating on the whole breast feeding thing. I might stop and get some herbs that will help with production tomorrow.

04/04/11 We are awaiting Dakota’s first big storm tonight. I hope the power doesn’t go out or I will be running to my car to plug in the bottle warmer so she can eat.

Yesterday Dakota went for her first big shopping trip with Mommy and Daddy. We took her to the new Tanger Outlet Mall. She slept almost the whole time and did well on the hour drive each way. John was happy because she slept through the Coach Outlet hehe. Not too bad being 1 month old and going to Coach. He took her into the Oakley outlet, so we are even :)

Dakota has been eating a ton the last couple of days. She had me up until almost 3 this morning because she didn’t want to go to sleep. She would eat and then lay in my arms looking at me, but then want more to eat. I hope to get some sleep tonight since we did the awake cycle this afternoon, but we are supposed to get a big nasty storm. Guess we will see what happens.

I set my first appointment for physical therapy up. I go to that on Weds, so I am sure I will be super sore on Thursday. I have lost a lot of weight from the bed rest, diet change, getting so sick, and breast feeding. I hope that physical therapy will teach me some ways to strengthen but keep the weight off. I think that the biggest thing that kept all the weight on in the first place was soda… When my diet was changed in the hospital, I changed to diet so I could still have it. I have stuck with that pretty well since being home (except when I get a Coke).

Time to get laundry done and Dakota washed. It is bath night :)

04/07/11 Dakota is laying on my chest resting right now. She has her beautiful blue eyes open and is looking around. She seems to be having a tummy ache today and I think it has to do with some herbal supplements I am taking to help with breast milk production. I am not able to produce enough for her right now so I tried taking Fenugreek and Alfalfa, but it looks like I might have to stop taking them. Looks like she is going to have to do a mix of breast milk and formula.

I started physical therapy yesterday. I found out a couple of bones were out of place, so those got fixed and now I am working on some simple core exercises to help me get back to normal. I will be going twice a week for four weeks then once a week for a month. I was so sore yesterday from the alignment and learning the exercises.

Tonight I am going to work to get Dakota to sleep and then take my first bubble bath since December. She will be close by in case she needs me, but I look very forward to the nice hot water.

I need to get moving so I can change her diaper again. I wanted to make sure I posted today since I have not for a few days. I didn’t want anyone to think something had happened.

Good Night :)

04/09/11 Yay! Dakota breast fed tonight! I have been waiting almost six weeks for her to get it and she finally did. I hope she keeps it up so that I don’t have to pump so often :)

She got a bath tonight as a last minute thing. We had a big storm come through with lightening and I really was trying to put it off until tomorrow, but she had spit up a bit and it got in her hair. Dakota was mad about being in cool air, but as soon as I started to wash her off with the warm water she was happy.

Since Dakota is asleep I am going to go relax some. It sure was a good day!

04/12/11 Hello today! Dakota had a weight check yesterday and she is now 6lbs 9.5oz. She is growing like a weed, which is good. She has a lot of catching up to do…

She is doing well with breastfeeding and I am sore, but it is worth it. I just hope it still works out when I go back to work in two weeks. I am not ready to leave yet, but I don’t have a choice.

I was about to eat and orange and get the other two monsters in the bath tonight. Dakota is spared until tomorrow. It is too much to give all three a bath the same night :)

04/18/11 Woops, it has been a busy week and I had not gotten around to posting anything. Tomorrow Dakota will be seven weeks old! Yay! She is growing like a weed and eating as if she has hollow legs. I asked John where she puts it all and he said “in her toes.” Daddy likes to eat little girl toes, so I guess that is a good place to put all of the food.

One thing I was busy with this week was looking for a bigger vehicle. I discovered that the back seat of my car just was not big enough after Dakota came home. It was near impossible for the Mashley’s to buckle up in their booster seats with Dakota in the back too. I also couldn’t get a seat belt on in the middle of the back seat if I had a car seat on both sides of me. So… I ended up finally joining the “mini van mommies club” as my sister called it. At least Dawn is in it with me :)

Dakota goes in for a two month well baby check on May 2nd. I am bummed out that I might miss it. They are still working on extending my leave for a week or two to allow me extra time for physical therapy to kick in good. After I come home and give it a couple of hours, I hurt so bad for a couple of days. It is crazy since I don’t do too many things… Oh well… I just hope they make a final decision soon so I can let work know when I will be returning. I would hate to go back and then find out it was extended. Plus, it is going to be hard to leave Dakota. I can’t explain it, but it just feels so different than when I went back to work after Matthew and Ashley. Well, I need to get to bed soon. I will make sure to come back here in a couple of days.

Btw, we made it through Dakota’s first big storm! The storm that came through on Saturday was so scary! Living in the south is definitely different than California… Earthquakes just happen unannounced and you can prepare for those. Tornadoes pop up randomly in severe storms and it is a waiting game of “is it going to hit here or down the road” for a couple of hours.

04/25/11 Yesterday was Dakota’s first Easter. She didn’t get any candy, but she did get three toys, one of which goes on her car seat. Tomorrow at 11:15 am marks her 8 week birthday too :) I am hoping to get a good smile out of her soon. She is almost there! If you talk to her sweetly and smile, she is trying to bring that smile out.

We are taking Dakota, Matthew, Ashley, and Deanna to get pictures done on Saturday. I am excited about getting the pictures done with all four of them. I can’t wait to get newborn (two month…) pictures of Dakota done too. Because she was in NICU, we didn’t get certain things done at the hospital like newborn pictures or foot prints, but I am so glad to have her here. I can forget about missing out on those things…

I read a story today that made me cry. It was about a mom who went through a really bad experience while she was pregnant. She was told around three months that her baby would have no chance of survival and she should terminate the pregnancy. She continued with it until she almost died from becoming so ill. Her baby ended up passing on during her illness, just as she had finally decided it would be best to let the baby go. The baby had problems that could not be fully explained, but that was part of what was making the mom sick. It really hit me hard because of what all happened with Dakota and the fact that we almost lost her a couple of times. I know my wedding anniversary will forever carry that memory with it. I am so thankful that God or whatever superior being might be there saved my little girl. Well, really saved both of my youngest girls as Ash almost wasn’t as well because of an impatient doctor. Even now I still cry sometimes, but I think it is more of I am so glad that I have Dakota in my life, we have her in our lives.

I go back to work on May 2nd, the day she goes in for her two month check up. Yes! She will be two months this coming Sunday! She is doing really well, eating a ton, and just loves to cuddle. I am sad to have to go back to work because I am going to miss her so much. I will be away from her for ten hours a day five days a week. If I decide to start Karate with the rest of the brood, I will be gone an additional hour or more on one day. I am sure everything will be okay… mommy will just have more separation anxiety than Miss Dakota. I am also still trying to figure out how breast feeding is going to work when I go back to work. This time is different since I only really have my half hour lunch to pump.

I need to get moving for the night. I need to try and get some homework done (yeah right…) and maybe get some cleaning done. At least I don’t have to get up with an alarm for the rest of the week, unless you count Dakota when it is time for her to eat :)

I also wanted to let you all know that John and I are going to be working on getting all of this blog moved over to a different area so I can personalize it more and put pictures of Dakota up. This one only allows for a picture so often and they cannot be changed out unless you subscribe. I will post it as it gets updated.


5 Responses to “Welcome to our new page!”

  1. Cecilia Gordon

    Beautiful site. Looking forward to more of your input. Love, Grandma & Grandpa

  2. daigoumee

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  3. Jennifer

    I am glad you like it :) I am trying to get here at least on a weekly basis right now. I am still adjusting to being back at work. It is so overwhelming right now, even after almost a month. I am seriously thinking of looking for a new job too… Btw, once I get going on programming (will be a while) I am going to change up the site some, but it will still be here at this address. :)


  4. Jennifer

    I am glad that you are enjoying my website. I started it to keep friends and family posted about what was going on while I was in the hospital. Now it has evolved to keeping up with Miss Dakota and how I feel.

  5. Norberto Laser

    Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep ‘em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

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