Kristen & Benton Brown

An Unexpected Start

An Unexpected Start
Parker Trimble Brown was born April 9, 2010.

I'm One Year Old

I'm One Year Old
Parker will be 14 months old on June 9th.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Has it been 3 weeks already?

Parker slept the whole way to Wichita Falls today. The car was loaded with his stroller, bouncer, boppy, nap nanny, dog Jack, my clothes, his clothes, diaper bag, etc. It's a good thing Benton brought his own car because we didn't have room in the car for him and his golf clubs. I guess we'll be bringing the Tahoe in town from now on.

I also made my first "I'm a paranoid new mother call" to the pediatrician this morning. Almost every night this last week Parker has gone mad munchkin on us between 5-8pm screaming and crying every 30 mins for no reason. Benton is paranoid that he has acid reflux like some other babies we know. I don't know any more than he does, but I would think if it's AR that he would be fussy and spit up all day and night. Nurse said it sounds like gas and to give him Mylicon drops before his evening feedings. He was a precious angel tonight, but I'm not sure if it was the drops or doting grandmothers that did the trick - I hope it continues to work.

Tomorrow we're taking Parker to meet his two great grandmothers for the first time and if I get my wish we'll also introduce him to Sevi's in the morning. I figure if I'm up before 8am on a Saturday in the Falls, then I at least ought to eat well!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mom's Photography

I dressed Parker up in the outfit he was supposed to wear home from the hospital (we chose a different outfit when he came home nine days later). It is a white sack made by Polo with long sleeves and an elastic bottom. Then I propped him up on his boppy covered in a white sheet. He was really patient and let me take pictures until he got sleepy and grumpy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

Remember when you were engaged and everyone wanted to tell you about their wedding or their tips on where you should take your honeymoon? Then after you got married, everyone wanted to tell you how great the first few years of marriage are before you really live your life together. When you're pregnant, its like you're wearing a billboard that says, "Please tell me how great having a baby is..." or "Please tell me why I should have waited to have a baby..." or "Please tell me I should enjoy life without kids now...".

I was naive when I thought the unsolicited advice would stop after having Parker. Yesterday at Dillard's, the saleswoman must have been bored because she followed me around for over 45 minutes trying to make chit chat with me and not taking my social cues that I didn't want to talk to her. I planned my trip so that Parker would be asleep while I was shopping, but the saleswoman was concerned that he had been asleep the whole time I was looking around. She felt the need to say, "I'm not sure how old your baby is, but I sure hope he doesn't have his nighttime and daytime mixed up." To which I replied, "No, I think he's got figured out." I mean seriously, he's 2 and half weeks old, so he's going to take afternoon naps! Do you really want him awake and hungry screaming in the middle of ladies fashions?

Second stupid comment from yesterday was from the checker at Target. She asked how old my baby was and I told her that it was his first trip to Target. She said he needed to wake up and I said you're crazy, he needs to stay asleep for another 20 minutes so we can make it home. Then she gave the best quote of all - "Well he needs to wake up so he'll remember his first trip here". I promise you she was serious. I told her that he'd be visiting Target alot so I'm sure he'll be awake for one visit or another.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy 2 Week Birthday!

We went to Southlake for our first shopping outing yesterday. Parker got some sunglasses and an outfit for our neighbor's crawfish party in a couple of weeks. Mom got a new dress and sandals - super exciting not to be so swollen since all I've been able to wear for the last six weeks are reef flip flops.

Parker still has his umbilical cord and is recovering from being circumsized, so we're not able to take a full bath yet. He did, however, have some super greasy hair since I rub on his head all the time to put him to sleep. This is a picture of his first mini bath on the kitchen counter - he was not a fan of having his hair washed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 5 at Home

Some have asked how our Westie, Jack, is doing with Parker at home. Jack didn't notice the first few days, but I think he's now realized that Parker may be sticking around for awhile. He's been quite clingy towards me and Benton, but he has been leaving Parker alone. Last night when I got up to feed Parker, Jack was sleeping on the floor in Parker's room, rather than in our bed. I hope he becomes a "Marley" and decides to love and protect his new little brother.

We took our first walk in the stroller yesterday afternoon around the ponds by our house. The sun was pretty bright and made Parker squint, so after we pulled the sun shade over him he went right to sleep. Parker also met our neighbors across the street and our next door neighbor.

We tried tummy time for the first time yesterday. He turned his head a couple of times and was passed out asleep in less than 10 minutes. I let him spend the rest of his nap there and he was perfectly content to sleep on the floor.

Parker's friend Olivia is not into her lamb swing yet, but he likes to rock in his and look at the mobile that moves on it. It looks so soft and fuzzy - why don't they make these for adults?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're Home!

We brought Parker home yesterday afternoon after our 2pm feeding. A different neonatologist was on call for the weekend, so we weren't sure if he would feel comfortable discharging Parker since he hadn't been there all week to see his progress. The nurses knew we were keeping our fingers crossed to get out of there and when we arrived at 1:45pm, we were disappointed to hear the doctor had not been by to see Parker yet. We fed him, they took his vitals, we spoke with the nurse practitioner, and then nervously waited. The doctor came in around 2:15pm and the nurses quickly told him that we had been waiting for him because we were hoping to bring Parker home.

He checked Parker's heartbeat, reviewed his chart, reviewed his monitors to check his oxygen saturation and breathing levels, and then had a hushed conversation with the nurse practitioner in another room. We tried our hardest to overhear their conversation and weren't convinced it was going to be good news when he came over to talk to us.

Thankfully, he said he felt confident that the water in Parker's lungs had been absorbed and that although he still has short periods of rapid breathing, this is normal for all infants. He does not have any restrictions such as delaying his vaccinations or keeping him out of public places - the doctor just said it would be a good idea to have everyone use hand sanitizer before holding him (duh). Parker's weight yesterday was 7 lbs, 15 oz and he's officially moved into size 1 diapers.

We had already decided that if we got to bring him home we would not tell our parents who were waiting for us at our house. We packed up all of his NICU gear and got some free diapers, wipes, vasoline, diaper rash ointment, etc. Then we had to figure out how to loosen the straps on the car seat. Hayley had warned me to try to loosen them before leaving the hospital and I should have taken her advice. We had to read the manual 4 times, the nurse wasn't any help, and the neonatologist was laughing at us. We finally got it figured out and got Parker locked and loaded to break out of baby jail.

It was great to walk in the front door of our house with Parker and surprise our parents - we took lots of pictures of him in his car seat and let him sleep in until he woke up for his next feeding. I sat in the backseat with Parker on the way home and Benton said he couldn't wait to his the Coppell city limits so we could be out of Irving. Parker quickly fell asleep and seemed completely content to be done with NICU.

We had a great night last night and things have gone well today. He's eating every four hours and staying awake about an hour each time. We are so grateful that he is home and healthy. We were in a wonderful hospital with caring doctors and nurses and they made our experience in NICU as positive as it could be. Sorry this was so long - I'll post pictures soon and I'm looking forward to settling in to a blah, blah, blah life as a mom!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy 1 Week Birthday Parker!

Parker was born one week ago at 10:14am, making this his 8th day in NICU. We went to visit him this morning at 10am, to find out that his feeding schedule has been shifted to 9am. Bummer that we didn't get to feed him
his morning, but good that we can now go visit at 9am, 1pm, 5pm, and 9pm. Before, we were only getting to visit 3 times a day because he was eating at 6pm which was during a shift change when no visitors are allowed.

The neonatologist was also there this morning so it was good to talk to him in person. Last night I nearly lost it when the nurse practioner said that if Parker had another episode that they would be ordering an echocardiogram to check the anatomy of his heart. I have been fine with fluid in the lungs that needs to be absorbed, but the thought that he could have a heart defect or a valve opening in his heart was too much to bear. I said lots of prayers last night and slept in this morning knowing I was reaching the point of emotional exhaustion.

Dr. T said there were no issues last night and no reason to do unwarranted tests on Parker. If all goes well today and tonight (all
of his episodes have been at night), then we can bring him home tomorrow. Grandparents are packing their bags and heading south as we speak! Our regular pediatrician asked us to meet her back up at the hospital at 1pm today to sign the consent forms for the circumscion. She plans to so the procedure at 1 today.

I'm so thankful for the prayers that have been going up on Parker's behalf - please keep them
coming so we can get him home. On a happy note - he's already outgrown the newborn size diapers and is in a size 1. His friend Olivia will
be getting his newborn diapers since she's still on the petite side!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Attack of the Lactoids

We just left the hospital - Parker had another panting episode last night and got oxygen for a few minutes. This resets the clock so we're looking at another 24 hours. On the brightside, he is well enough to be circumsized today and he now weighs more than his birthweight - he's 7lbs 13oz.

We have to be positive and look at the humor in our situation (I am the eternal optimist). I thought I would share the story of the Lactoids at the hosptial. Benton and I crack each other up talking about them and it literally makes me laugh so hard I almost bust my stitches.

Lactoids are the crazy Lactation Consultants at the hosptial that wear matching pink polos with khahi slacks. They first found me the day Parker was born and delivered a breast pump and pamplets to my room while I was still in an epidural-induced fog. Since then, they have been stalking me to make sure that I am pumping often enough, massaging my milk ducts, and helping my baby to feed "naturally". The La Leche League would be proud of their determination to get me breastfeeding as soon as possible - despite the fact that my baby is in NICU and it stresses him out to try and feed directly from my breast. I'll spare you the details of them demonstrating proper breastfeeding technique and grabbing all over me with five other people in the NICU room. Let's just say it's a good thing I'm not an overly modest person. For now, we have Parker back on bottled breastmilk and I'm pumping just fine, but please don't tell the Lactoids that we're waiting to breastfeed until we're in the comfort of our own home.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Pictures of Parker

Here are some pictures from yesterday. He now has his cheek bandaids removed, so he looks better and better each day. We just received a call from the NICU pediatrican and he said Parker needs more time to show regular breathing patterns. So we're looking at bring him home Thursday or Friday - please pray that it is sooner rather than later!

So far, he's not a big pacifier fan, but it does help trick him into thinking he's eating something while you get ready to feed him or put him back to sleep.

Milk overload!
I'm still hoping his eyes stay blue...
He makes the sweetest noises when he first falls asleep - like a grunting chipmunk.

Day 6 in NICU

We went up to visit Parker at 8:30 this morning to visit Parker to find out he's now on a four hour feeding schedule ance he's eating so much - not a bad problem to have. I breastfed him and he took a bottle for dessert, so we'll be back up there at 2:30 for his next visit. Hopefully by then, the pediatrician will make his rounds and decide if Parker comes home tonight or if we spend he night up there with him and bring him home tomorrow. While we waited this morning we went to Sam's and bought more diapers and wipes and some formula. Think he's going to go through all of them fairly quckly!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Brand New Day

We went down to visit Parker in NICU this morning for our 8:30am visit. We went down very cautious after going to bed with heavy prayers last night. Our favorite NICU nurse, Bosede, really cheered us up last night and said she thought Parker would be better soon. She thought he had been on a faulty machine that said Parker's oxygen levels were lower than they should be. She thought he would be much better after being moved into the main NICU room on a new machine.

Lo and behold, Bosede's prophecy came true! When we came into see Parker this morning the nurses were jumping for joy and bragging on how great Parker was doing. They had removed his nasal tube and the splint that was hold his IV line in. He still had band-aids on his cheeks, but we expect those to be gone this afternoon. So now he just has a heart rate and blood pressure monitor line taped to his foot and back.

He was happy, alert, and more vocal than he has been the last few days. We changed his diaper and put him back in a cute onesie, rather than his hospital issued tshirt. He gobbled down a 60mL bottle of breastmilk and 20mL of formula. We also saw the NICU Pediatrician and he said that Parker has turned a corner. We need him to keep breathing at a normal pace for 24 hours so he can go home to Coppell. For now, the plan is that we'll room-in with him tomorrow night so we can ask for help if we need anything with him on our first real night as his parents. Then he should be home with us on Thursday - we are beyond thrilled.

I've been discharged from the hospital today, so my mom and I are waiting to go down and feed him again at 3pm then I'll get to see my house for the first time in 6 days. Benton has taken all of our stuff home and is looking forward to going to the grocery store and cooking steaks for dinner tonight like "normal". He has been a great dad so far and I know it kills him to see Parker in NICU with monitors and tubes, etc. He's ready for us to be home and get in a routine - however much of routine you can be in with a one week old!

We took some more pictures today without the nasal tube and splint - I'll try to get them posted tonight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Parker's Birthday Pictures

An Expected Start...

I'll try to shorten the story as much as possible for simplicity sakes =). After spending the night at the hospital Thursday night, we had a couple of episodes when Parker's heart rate dropped when I was laying down flat on my back. They gave me oxygen in an effort to make sure he was getting enough and would make me change positions when they saw a drop in his heartbeat. It always came right back up, but it made the doctor nervous to give me anything that might strengthen contractions and send Parker into more stress. After getting my epidural, the doctor decided at 9:45am that the safest thing to do was a C-section. I was wheeled down the hall, Parker was delivered safe and healthy, and I was in a recovery room by 10:30am.

It seemed like an eternity until they brought Parker to our room for a visit at 3pm after running all the regular tests, shots, weights, etc. for a C-section baby. He got a bath and had his full head of brown hair combed too! We spent almost 2 hours with him trying to breastfeed and taking pictures with all of the family. I was exhausted after not sleeping for 30 something hours, so we sent him down to the nursery so Parker and I both could rest. Around 5:30 we learned that Parker had an "episode" in the nursery causing him to breathe really rapidly and then slow down too quickly. The decision was made to move him to NICU to be on the safe side. We have learned that he is perfectly healthy and free from any infections, but that this is typical of baby boys born via C-section. He likely has some fluid in his lungs that his body needs to absorb so he can breathe at a regular pace all of the time. He has received IV anitbiotics just in case anything develops, but otherwise he's breathing room air and taking formula well.

I was able to see him in NICU this afternoon and give him a bottle and I'll go back tonight and try to give him a bottle of breastmilk. He looks so pitiful with his IV and nasal tubes, plus he thinks he's a boxer and he keeps whacking himself in the face. I'm taking mittens down there tonight at 8:30 so hopefully his little face can heal. All in all, its not the first few days we had planned, but everyone is healthy and safe. We're excited to be parents and can't wait to get him home.