Monday, March 31, 2008


weighs THREE pounds??? The cutest baby in the Rose NICU ;) (by the way, that isn't just my biased opinion, all the nurses tell us that she is)

This is how Emma eats right now. It's not her favorite, but it requires NO work on her part :)

Our first family picture

And one with Grandma and Grandpa too

Look at those chubby cheeks!

Um, but it turns out they aren't so chubby if taken in context :)

Friday, March 28, 2008


One of my amazing friends has set up a team for us for the March of Dimes' March for Babies. It's a 10k walk here in Denver on 4/26 that supports the March of Dimes and their funding of research for preemies. I'm not entirely sure I can walk 6 miles, but I'm going to give it a try! If you click on the link below you can join our team or donate if you don't feel like walking you can donate some money to our cause (or you can just come out and laugh at the poor lady trying to walk that far) :)

2 weeks old!!

I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks, time is flying! Emma had a good week. The bili lights are still off, though I have a feeling they'll go back on tomorrow when they test her bili again. She's been doing better with spitting up, they decreased the amount that they are feeding her from 26ml to 23ml and that seems to be helping... it also helps when mommy or daddy hold her but we're not allowed to do that for every feeding :( She's still off oxygen and seems to be doing well. Last night she hit 1300g, which is about 2lbs 13.9oz. When she hits 1400g she gets to come out of the isolette. She gains about 15g a day, so maybe in a week or so??

This outfit is way too big on me!

Daddy thinks it's funny that I pick my nose ;)

This is what my area of the NICU looks like

The other day I came in and Emma was wide awake and a little upset that she was "tied" down.

So she kicked and kicked...

and fell asleep with her leg up in the air like this. Too cute!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lessons in being a mom.

Once again, I need a lesson in patience. It is so hard for me to just sit there and watch my baby learn to do new things like suck on a bottle. I had my first breakdown last night... the doctors are talking about putting her back on oxygen because she some times forgets to breathe (in the NICU it's called a "brady"), which is very normal since she's not supposed to know how to yet and since she's learning new things every day it might just make it "easier" on her to have a little bit of help. She also spit up a ton last night after her feeding and it just freaks me out. I know that every baby spits up, but I just feel so helpless when she does it and I hate to watch her struggle. Then I start feeling an immense amount of guilt because she shouldn't have to know how to do any of this stuff yet and as much as I know that there isn't anything I could have done to prevent it, I still wish it could be different :( And then I end up calling Jamie in tears because I feel so bad and he's very wise and reminds me that it isn't a race to see how soon we can get her home and we don't need to push her to do things like try a bottle or try breastfeeding because she's not supposed to know how to do them before 34-35 weeks and starting her sooner isn't going to make her learn faster, it's just going to burn calories and make it harder for her to gain weight. So then I settle down again and concentrate on the good things:
1. For now the bili lights are off, they could go back on tomorrow or friday if her number jumps up, but until then I get to dress her in cute little outfits.
2. She isn't on oxygen today.
3. She didn't spit up during her morning feeding. I would like to believe it was because she was kangarooing with me and that she's so calm when she's with her mom that why would she want to spit up.
4. She understands that the nipple goes in her mouth and she kind of gets sucking. So WHEN the time comes for her to know how to do this, she already has that down.
5. She is so flipping cute. Really she is :)

Emma's first outfit
Please excuse my messy face :)

I know that there is something to suck on around here somewhere!

Emma and the "soothie" for a little perspective on how small she is

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2 Birthdays!

Emma turned 31 weeks yesterday (when they are preemies you still count by gestational age) and today is Jamie's 34th birthday!!! Happy Birthday old man ;)
Yesterday was a huge day for Emma... her IV came out because she's on enough breast milk to not need IV fluids. AND...... she took her first bottle!!! At this stage they call it "nippling" because she doesn't have the suck/swallow/breathe coordination (that comes around 34 weeks), but she was accepting the nipple into her mouth and didn't choke or sputter and managed to swallow about 1/2 tsp over 10 minutes. It's a pretty big thing that they even let us try, so I was so proud of her!!!
The lights didn't get turned off, but they are checking her numbers again tomorrow and hopefully they will then. I have a whole wardrobe of cute little preemie clothes waiting for her ;)
Jamie took most of the pictures this weekend, so I still need to get them from him, but here are a couple to tide you over :)

My daughter, the non-conformist. I tried a couple times to straighten her out, but she kept moving back to the sideways sleeping position.

Emma's foot and Jamie's thumb

Head IV :(


Monday, March 24, 2008

It's official!!

Our daughter's name is Emma Naomi Schwaberow :)
Naomi is Jamie's Grandmother Schwaberow's first name and so we decided to honor her. It also means "beautiful" which we think is very fitting ;)
We had a good weekend, the exciting news is that Emma's IV may come out today or tomorrow and her lights may be turned off! I'm off to the hospital now, but will update everyone when I get back!

Friday, March 21, 2008

1 week old!!

I can't believe it's already been a week! Wow!! Emma is doing great... she started eating again yesterday and is doing fantastic! It's a very small amount, but they increase it every other feeling and hopefully by this time next week she'll be exclusively on breast milk! She got her belly button IV out today, but unfortunately she had another one put in her had. Mommy does NOT like seeing that, but it comes out as soon as she doesn't need fluids anymore (which happens when she's exclusively on breast milk). It still blows my mind how tiny she is, but she's such a fighter! Jamie and I are SO in love, it's amazing! I could just stare at her all day long. She makes the cutest little noises and when she's holding on to your finger she just squeezes and squeezes... it's so cute! Her weight is climbing back up. She was 2lbs 12oz at birth and had gotten down to 2lbs 6oz earlier this week, but now she's back up to 2lbs 10oz. We love to see her packing on the pounds! Her bilirubin # continues to go down (they'll check it again tomorrow morning) and we're hoping she'll be out under the lights by next week!
Today we had a couple visitors; my friends April and Miriam, both of whom are the moms (or in April's case soon to be mom) of what are sure to become Emma's best friends. Uncle Paul and Auntie Sam are flying in this weekend for a visit too, and Emma is so excited to meet them!

Emma's diaper

Hi there sweet pea :)

Daddy and Emma taking a nap

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More pictures :)

Grandpa and I got to spend some time with Emma while she was awake today!

Look how tiny her hand is!

Sleeping on Mommy's chest.

My new favorite thing in the world, "kangaroo care". There is NOTHING better than some skin to skin with your baby!

Daddy got in on the action too. At first he was a little scared, but he quickly realized how wonderful it is!

My 2 favorite people!

How Emma spends her day, chillin' under the lights :)
A close up :)

We need a middle name :)

Jamie and I still haven't come up with a middle name so I'm asking for help. Please post any and all ideas to help us get our minds working. Thank you!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Nitty Gritty :)

Some of you have been asking, so here are the details of Emma's birth... it's not too graphic, but you might not care to read :)

I had been bleeding most of the week and my contractions had gotten worse. I was getting shots of terbutaline about every 18-24 hours to help “calm” my uterus and it had been working. I’d been having some major back pain from being in the bed all the time and it was making my contractions that much worse. Friday my mom came down and I was able to shower and go outside. Sitting up helped a bit, but by the afternoon I was going downhill again. One of my nurses came to give me a massage and that felt wonderful.
At about 3 my contractions were killing me so I asked for a shot and they gave me one, it worked for a little while and by 4:30 I was really having to bite my tongue to keep from screaming. I called the nurses in again and one of my doctors was also right there so she decided to do an ultrasound to see what my cervix was doing. I guess there wasn’t any length to it and so she did an internal and I was 8 cm dilated, At this point I completely freaked out. I hadn’t really expected to go into labor and I wasn’t at all prepared for it. I called Jamie, who was in Vegas, and told him that I was in labor. I also called my parents and told them to get to the hospital as soon as possible (they live about an hour away). I was then wheeled over to L&D. When we got there my doctor asked if I wanted an epidural. I had been hoping (months ago) for a natural childbirth, but I was so scared and had been fighting these contractions for so long that I didn’t even know how to “embrace” them and work with them, so I decided to get one. The anesthesiologist came to administer iit and it wasn’t as bad as I had feared it would be. At this point the weekend doctor was on duty so she came in the room (I was lucky that it was my 2 favorite doctors that day) and I was checked again. I was 10cm and ready to go. The epidural helped calm me to the point that I could actually think, I wasn’t able to feel anything, which after days of pain was kind of nice.
My parents made it down and I spoke to Jamie at 6:15, he had gotten on the first flight out of Vegas and was on his way home, I told him we would try to wait as long as possible, but the baby’s heart rate was dipping with each contraction and so I didn’t know how long they would let me. At about 6:30 I started pushing. I was so lucky to have a great doctor and some of my favorite nurses in the room with me (along with my mom) because I really had NO idea what I was doing. With my first push my water broke ALL over the doctor. OMG, I felt so bad, since there had been so much bleeding she was a mess. But she took it in stride and went and changed after that contraction was over. Because of the epidural my contractions were between 7-10 minutes apart, so I had time to rest. After about 45 minutes of pushing, Emma was born at 7:43pm weighing 2 lbs, 12 oz and was 15.5” long. The NICU team had been in the room and they worked on her a little before letting me hold her once and then they took her.
For a 29.5 weeker, Emma is doing quite well. She only spent the first 12hours on oxygen before moving to room air. She is having trouble with her bilirubin (causes jaundice) and will be under the bili lights probably until the end of the week. She did start eating yesterday, but they’ve stopped that since her tummy is too upset from all the blood that was in my amniotic fluid. I’ve been pumping and feel pretty good physically, I think the 6 weeks of bed rest had more of an impact than the labor did, though I’m definitely still sore and I imagine I will be for a while. Emotionally, it’s a little harder. Leaving the hospital was incredibly hard, and although I know Emma is in great hands, it’s hard not being able to pick her up whenever she cries or provide her basic needs for her. They tell us to expect her to come home around her due date (end of May) but the doctor mentioned something about 7 weeks the other day, which would be the beginning of May :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

More pictures :)

I'll try to update the blog every other day or so, stay tuned :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Meet Emma :)

Emma (Middle Name still to be decided) Schwaberow was born 3/14/2008 at 7:43pm. She weighs 2lbs 12 oz and is 15.5 inches long. Emma is doing great! She is definitely small, but she came off oxygen entirely this morning and> is working on growing and staying warm in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). I feel pretty good, the birth went well and as scary as it was for her to come so early, we're really happy that she stayed inside as long as> she did and we're really happy with how she's doing so far. We obviously have a LONG road ahead of us, but we're hopeful that it will be a smooth one. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, we continue to appreciate them.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sunshine and Sushi

Today was a good day :) I got to spend about an hour outside with my mom, sitting in the sun (I'm actually a little pink) and I had sushi delivered for dinner tonight... is my new BFF. And yes, when my nurse walked in he did ask "you're not eating sushi are you?". You better believe I am, but don't worry, it's all cooked ;) Like I said, it's been a good day :)

I've made pretty good progress this week, my clots seem to be getting smaller and the baby continues to grow on track!

My father-in-law, Ed, is in town this week to help with the packing. Between him, my parents and Jamie I think that everything should be finished by Monday! How crazy is it that I'm never going to be in that house again?

Ed also was the bearer of some lovely presents from the Schwaberow side of the family. Lynne was generous enough to get us a breast pump (gotta love the lactation consultant supporting breast feeding!) and here is a picture of some other things that were sent too. I love everything!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

28 weeks!!!

In 4 hours I will have hit my first big bed rest goal... making it to 28 weeks :) It's a huge milestone for the baby's survival rate and the rate of long term health problems, so needless to say we're very excited :) Things are going okay here... the baby is doing great but I have a very large blood clot (the size of a "baby's head"... yikes!!) that they are a little worried about and I'm having contractions on a pretty regular basis that I'm taking medication for. So we're just taking things "day by day"... it's become my motto which is a little frustrating.

Jamie finally allowed me to stand up for long enough to take a picture last week, so here you go :)

In other news we start moving out of our house this week. The movers come on the 10th and then we are officially homeless until our house is finished. Keep your fingers cross that we actually have a house this summer :)