Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome home Henry!

It's hard to believe but little Henry will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. Wow! It sounds so cliche but seriously where has the time gone? Well I guess driving to the hospital every day and now trying to figure out who is awake and who can nap eats up most of our time lately. But enough about me, let me share some pictures from the past few days and the homecoming of Henry.

Apparently our little guy likes to squirm around and loses his pacifier so they taped it to a burp cloth and he was as happy as can be.

Henry's uncle got in one last visit before he would be heading back home in Missouri. It was really great that he was able to get to see Henry twice while he was here visiting all things considered. Unforunately, I wasn't able to see Henry that day (or the next 2 days) because I had a wonderful case of Bronchitis... this was such a crazy emotional roller coaster ride. But thankfully The Wifey took some pictures when she visited.

Also, our good friend Monica was able to meet The Wifey at the hospital so she wasn't alone while she visited Henry.

She has been such an amazing friend to The Wifey during this whole crazy pregnancy and then the trip to the NICU.

Finally, on September 22nd we got the news we had been hoping for and were told that we would be able to bring Henry home the following day, making it a fun 10 days that we had been waiting to bring our little man home. Needless to say we were rather excited!

You can't hear it, but Heny is screaming Go Steelers!

I can't really describe how much I looked forward to finally being able to take the "taking home baby" picture. We were so close. Now all we had to do was get him in the car and he was actually ours!!

The Wifey is thinking to herself, "Hurry up before they say we can't take him!"

The rest of the pictures are of our little man at home with us. We were finally all together as a family in our house which was truly a home.

Troy Polamalu Jersey, Terrible Towel, Gray Sweatpants - definitely one of the family

P.S. I love swaddle blankets almost as much as Henry does.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let's play ketchup with H.J. Libert!

So needless to say things have been busy the past few days. Thankfully Henry is definitely where he needs to be. As The Wifey and I struggle to figure out exactly what is going on it helps to remind ourselves that as much as we wish where he needs to be was here with us we know that he is exactly where he needs to be to get healthy and strong. So this post will be mostly pictures because I know that's what you really want! I'll post them in chronological order and try to give some meaning to them and what we were going through as each day arrived.

So, on Wednesday I went and picked The Wifey up from the hospital and we went straight to the NICU where Henry was. And this is what we saw...

The Wifey was amazed to see that he slept just like me!

Thankfully, we were each able to hold the little guy! This made the scariness a little less scary.

He has "Special Hands" just like his cousin :)

We learned that he probably had pneumonia and they would continue to monitor him and we would just have to wait and see how things played out...

On Thursday we went back to the NICU, at times I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my son was in the ICU and I had to go visit him at the hospital. This was no where near anything we had planned or prepared for.

The little guy was still in his incubator and was beginning to breath a litte bit better. He now had a feeding tube and they were beginning to feed some formula to him and were also able to feed him some of what The Wifey had pumped. This was very encouraging. We were also able to hold him again all wrapped up like a Baby Burrito...

This is my absolute favorite picture so far!

Before we left we put the little guy back in his bed and told him we loved him and we would be back tomorrow...

On Friday we went back to the hospital and The Wifey's mom and brother came to visit as well. My brother-in-law flew in from out of state to visit the guy and it was actually only the second time we had gotten to really hang out with each other. Henry was great with both grandma and uncle!

I got to hold him again and it was truly a wonderful thing. As soon as he got in my arms he quited down almost immediately fell asleep. I felt like a champ!

The Wifey got to hold him again and even got to feed him! This was really unexpected and made the both of us incredibly happy and encouraged. Maybe the little guy would be able to come home sooner than we thought...

Later that night my mom, aka Gramzy, got to visit him as well. She didn't get to hold but she was their when he got cleaned up a little and weighed for the day. Henry lost 2 oz since he was born, but that is perfectly normaly for any newborn. We'll see you tomorrow Henry!

When we visited our little boy on Saturday I forgot to bring in my camera. Gramzy took some photos but I still have to get them off of her. We found out that they were hoping to put him in a "room air crib" if he kept improving like they thought he was. We would also find out on Sunday the results of his most recent Xray and whether or not the antibiotics were having the desired effect.

On Sunday The Wifey and I showed up decked out in our Steelers gear hoping that Henry would help cheer them on to a win. If you watched the game, you know our little man did his part! But even more exciting than that was seeing him in a different setting...

Our little Steelers Fan was in an open air crib and that was more exciting than any Steeler's game no matter how good! The Wifey was able to feed him again, and boy does he have an appetite. We also learned today that he is definitely improving! But, he definitely has pneumonia and will need at least another 5 days of antibiotics :-/ Not exactly the news we were looking for, but it helps to know that things are working out and there is a move home date in sight! I got to feed him today for the first time and he is still alive! Mission accomplished :) I'll hopefully have some pictures of me feeding him to post tomorrow but I hope for now you have gotten your fix of little Henry.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are you sure it broke?

On Monday September 12th The Wifey had a doctor's appointment to see if she was progressing towards delivery. Her appointment was for 3:30pm but didn't get seen until more like 4:30pm. The doctor told Sarah that the baby's head was very low and she had started to dilate and that she "tried to stir things up a little bit" to see if she could jump start things. Unfortunately, it seemed as if nothing had happened. As we were going home I asked The Wifey if we could have one last date night in case the baby came sooner than later, she said Yes! and we were off to Chuck E. Cheese's :)

After a delicious pizza dinner and winning 699 tickets we went back home. The Wifey was determined to try every idea for how to induce labor that she could find online. She got out the breast pump, bounced on the exerise ball for 15 minutes and nothing. She went into the nursery to relax in the rocking chair, saw a spider, bent down to kill it, and POP. "Hey Ben, my water broke." To which I unbelievingly said, "Are you serious? What do we do now?" The Wifey reassuringly said, "I don't know." You can prepare as much as you want but when the moment arrived I still felt like a deer in headlights.

On our way to the hospital we stopped and got 2 vanilla milkshakes (the nurses had urged her to only eat smooth food before she got to the hospital and said they would know if she didn't and would not be happy about. When we got to the hospital The Wifey went in to get registered and I parked the car and began carrying in all of the bags we had put together almost 6 weeks ago due to premature contractions that had us at the hospital 2 nights in a row at 33 weeks pregnant.

We went upstairs and got set up in our room. The doctor on call came in to give The Wifey her examination while I was getting the rest of the bags. When I walked back into the room I heard two things. 1) They had just finished delivering their 5th baby in 2 hours (it was a full moon that night) and 2) The test he did to determine if The Wifey had broken her water was negative and perhaps she had just peed herself. Needless to say we were both speechless. This can't be. We know that she broke her water.

They said they would hook her up to the machines and keep watching her to see if she really had broken her water. About 2 hours later The Wifey needed to use the restroom and when the nurse came in to unhook her from the machines and then reconnect her to the machines after she was done in the bathroom The Wifey said I think you should check again and wouldn't you know the test was positive this time! She had broken her water almost 3 hours ago (10pm) and we were finally officially being admitted to the hospital (1am) and the clock was on for her to deliver.

We were up almost the enter night with contractions about every 15 minutes. When The Wifey was checked again she was only dilated 2 centimeters. At abour 10am they decided that they needed to give her Pitocin, which would increase the frequency and intensity of her contractions to which The Wifey said, "Give me an epidural!!" Although this was not part of her birth plan it was clearly needed and before I knew the doctor came in asked me to leave and when I went back into the room The Wifey was a new woman. She was smiling, she was happy, and she was excited to be pregnant again! Since she was in good spirits I went and got breakfast.

When I got back to the hospital The Wifey's mom was on her way as well. The Wifey was in good spirits and joking around with the nurses and making friends with everyone as well as ordering her epidural for the next kiddo! At about noon The Wifey's mom showed up and I got to go get lunch.

When I got back from lunch I heard The Wifey calling me on my phone. When I opened the door to her room I saw the cart in the room and The Wifey laughed at the shocked look on my face and said they're getting ready for to start pushing. Apparently, while I was gone she had gone from 2 centimeters to fully dilated! I couldn't believe it was time. About a million different thoughts went through my head. I can't believe the baby is almost here!

The Wifey began pushing at 1:55pm and at 2:26pm our little baby was born. Perhaps the most exciting moment of my life happened when I saw the baby come out and I shouted, "It's a boy, oh my goodess it's a boy!"

Henry Joshua Libert was born at 2:26pm, weighing 7lbs 15oz and measuring 19 inches long. As they were cleaning up our little boy he was crying some but not that nice healthy wail that lets you know everything is as it should be. He also had pooped 3 times in the first 5 minutes of being born. Someone may have mentioned him being full of it just like his proud dad :). They continued to clean him up and drain fluid from his belly as well as put oxygen in front of his face. He quickly went from a bluish gray to a bright pink baby and was beginning to cry a little more, but still not as loud as they would like as well as you can see him laboring to breathe fully.

They told us that they were going to be taking him to the nursery to observe him and make sure his breathing evened out. Before they took him for observation we each got to hold him. And boy was it something!

Henry Joshua Libert

After taking Henry to the nursery for observation The Wifey and I stayed together and got ready for her to be transferred to another room for recovery. After we changed rooms the nurse practicioner came in and told us that his XRay was showing indications of fluid in his lungs as well as a small hole in one of his lungs. He was stable, but that was why he was working so hard to breathe. They would wait a little and do another XRay to see if the fluid as well as the air around his one lung was clearing up on its own. If it didn't then they would have to consider transferring him to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The second XRay showed nothing new, for good or for ill and so they decided to transfer him via helicopter. We were rather scared, stressed, and altogether emotional out of sorts. You can prepare as much as possible for delivery and bringing baby home, but you can never be prepared to be told that your less than 8 hour old son has to be flown to another hospital because he isn't breathing right. This is what they transported him in and the last thing The Wifey got to see him in before the next day...

Apparently our room was right next to the Helipad and we were actually able to watch the Helicopter carrying the most precious cargo in the world to another hospital.

The Wifey had to stay at the hospital to continue recovering and the healing process. (Thankfully they agreed to speed up her discharge and would release her the next morning so she wouldn't have to be away from Henry any longer than necessay) Since she had to stay at the hospital I had the horrible experience of leaving my wife at the hospital less than 9 hours after giving birth to drive an hour away to another hospital to make sure my son got set up alright at the NICU. It was, to put it simply, the most amazing, exciting, exhilerating, scary, terrifying, sad day of my life so far. Thankfully Henry got set up at the new Hospital (which is well known for its neonatal care!) and I was able to go home and get some sleep.

Would I be ready for whatever tomorrow would bring?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just the two of us...for now...

So in my last post I put up some pictures of me going "Nesting" crazy. I took the doors off of the cabinets in the kitchen and all of the hardware off of the drawers, went out and bought a sander, some wood filler, and was seriously getting ready to begin resurfacing our kitchen. The plan was to paint all of the cabinets white and get a new countertop (nothing fancy, but new). That was until my parents popped in for a visit last Saturday.

As I told them what our plans were for the kitchen, they went upstairs and began walking around the kitchen and before I knew it I was handing my dad a tape measure to see just what we could do with this kitchen to make it better. This is what my parents came up with:

We currently have only one wall of cabinets and approximately 3 feet of countertop space. We have a dishwasher on wheels that we use as a work surface and then move over to the sink whenever we need to wash dishes that will now go under the counter right next to the sink. Currently our refrigerator is where the stove is in the picture and the stove is where the corner cabinets are going to go. The big semi circle at the bottom of the picture is a really sweet table that my sister talked me into getting (thanks!) that cost $12, has drop down and add in leafs which allow it to go from about 18 inches across to about 7 feet. This will probably get moved over to the wall in front of the stove and window. All told, we will go from 3 feet of counter surface to about 10 linear feet of surface and go from 5 cabinets to 10. This is going to be awesome! (I think...)

Oh and we're going to repaint the kitchen, hallway, and living room! Vanilla Brandy, sounds yummy :)

Normally a project this large (the cabinets are already in the garage, no backing out now!) added on to the fact that The Wifey is going to have a baby in less than 2 weeks (guaranteed by the doctors) would kind of have me freaking out. But, one of the best things about my parents (other than their general awesomeness) is that they know what they are doing and have offered me their complete support, knowledge, and crazy tradesman skills.

I'm really looking forward to making our house a better place in which to raise a family as well as adding a little value to the house for whenever we take that next step in our life journey. But, as happy and excited as I am about our house we're sad and concerned for our cousin who is having her own house difficulties after moving to Alaska. You can follow her journey on her blog as well as find out more about some of her impressive home made soaps and other items. We're thinking about and praying for you Sarah!

The big work won't really start (at least this is the plan for now) until the second week after the little one is born. That way I will be off of work and my mom and dad will both be able to help with the demo and the install. Be sure to check back for pictures of the progress as well as pictures of the little one as soon as it decides to move out of mom and then move in to our home.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A beautiful mess

So I haven't posted in a very long time, almost five months it appears. A lot has happened in those 5 months. Primarily, the wifey is about to pop! Today she is officially 38 weeks pregnant, has a sinus infection, and early stages of bronchitis. She is literally ready to pop. Hopefully the meds she got will start to kick in today (being allergic to penicillin makes getting antibiotics an exciting adventure).
Remember kids, Mr. Yuk means it's not for you!

So why have I decided to start posting again? I finally realized how much I take for granted my sister's blog and how easy it is for me stay updated on what's happening in the life of her family even if they are like 2000 miles away. And considering the fact that I am about to add a new member to my family I think it's only fair that I try and return the favor and make it easier for my family to see what's happening. Let's be honest, I love seeing pictures of my nephew and I'm sure there are those who will love to see pictures of our new little one.

Before this gets too long and boring, here is what is currently happening in the Padre household. I have begun to nest. For those of you who don't know, nesting is a stage that almost all mothers go through in anticipation of the arrival of a baby. You find yourself wanting to paint, to move furniture, to buy just about everything a baby might ever need. Apparently dads-to-be can go through the same stage. I just waited until week 38 to start...

The wooden shelves in the left of the picture I took out shortly after moving in. However, this past week I decided it was as good a time as any to take out the shower stall in the center of the picture. Three long hours later we now have two big rooms in the basement and are speculating about the costs to put in a washroom...Then I decided it might be fun to take on another project: Hey honey, wouldn't it be fun to give our kitchen a face lift? Who knows why, but the wifey said "Go for it!"

And thus the absence of cabinet doors and hardware in our kitchen. I should be able to finish this in a jiff right? After all new babies don't take up that much time....