Mama’s Chispa-An Update

Life these past 5 days has been an absolute whirlwind! I’m not sure where the hours have gone, but here we are, 5 days after Austin Ryan’s birth and we’re FINALLY starting to get into the swing of things.  Well, as much as we can anyway.  It’s really been completely, utterly, and totally crazy!

There are so many things happening that I don’t even know where to start, but for one, my parents will be back from their 2 month trip to Colombia and I couldn’t be happier.  I have missed them so much.  The only thing I would change about my birth experience would be being able to have my mom there.  I never realized how much I miss her when she’s not here, and how much I rely on her to keep me grounded.  My sister spent most of my time in labor holding the phone up so Mami and I could FaceTime.  It was the next best thing to having her there.  Them being back means loads more help with our other 3 kids.  Callie’s mom works full time and her dad can’t really handle 3 kids on his own, especially two very mobile infants, so having my parents back will be such a helpful blessing.  My aunts have been a godsend, watching the kids until I was discharged.  But now, we’ve been trucking them back and forth to the hospital for the past 2 days taking turns staying with them in the NICU Family Room while the other visits with Austin Ryan.  What’s worse than having one sick kid? 3 sick kids! Noah has a double ear infection and is miserable, and Levi’s cough turned into pneumonia and he’s had a fever for the past couple of days.  Definitely not a good thing when you have a baby in the NICU! My hands are raw from washing and constantly stinging from the amounts of sanitizer I’ve been using.  The good thing is that they are always such happy babies, even when they are sick.

I have been, well, for the most part, a hot damn mess! I spend most of my day crying, and anxious and wanting to be at the hospital.  I wouldn’t say I’m depressed because I’m very aware of what that feels and looks like for me, but I will say that I have a lot going on and it’s quite overwhelming.  Take this week for example! 2 sick clingy kids, adjustment to new daycare routine, wife back at work, Mary with loads of half days at school and no care, Christmas, having a freaking baby 10 weeks early, baby in NICU, and life STILL goes on! Callie and I are still arguing about how to spend Christmas with BOTH families and all I wanna do is go be with my baby.  It’s just terrible, feeling so desperate to be with him, but knowing that life needs to happen.  I wish I had more words to eloquently describe this need and this urge to be with my son and how somehow I don’t care about anything else but at the same time have 3 other kids and a wife that consume my every thought.  Hopefully, these hormones will all smooth out and I can go a day sometime soon without shedding a tear…

Now my little Austin Ryan.  This kid is just, incredible! He’s doing so so well.  As of this morning his bilirubin levels went down so they have been able to take him off of the lights.  They removed both of the lines they had through his umbilical and now has an NG tube for feedings (he is tolerating the breastmilk very well and is having poops and pees consistently!) and a PICC line for the intralipids.  He’s lost the 9oz and is at an even 3lbs but the doctor says that’s good as he’s lost all of the retained water weight.  He still has the CPAP, but currently isn’t getting oxygen since he can do it all on his own! He hasn’t had any Apnea issues in over 24 hours.   His heart rate is great and he hasn’t Brady’d (when the heart rate drops) in over 24 hours.  His temperature was a little low yesterday, but today was good enough that we were able to hold him!  

 I got to hold him also but had forgotten my camera in the Family Room, which was a total bummer.  I also got to change his diaper, which was just so tiny!!!  I sang some songs to him, and he smiled at me when I sang “Beautiful Boy” which I’ve been singing to his brothers since the womb and to put them to bed, and now, this Beautiful Boy gets to hear it in person and not from the inside anymore.  It was the cutest thing.   

 The nurses keep saying how well he is doing, and that there are some babies that even at 32 weeks don’t weigh as much or are doing as well.  He’s such a little rockstar and the nurses are falling in love with his very feisty, very rambunctious personality.  We put up his Christmas stocking and have started getting a few little things to put in there for him.  

The only thing I’ll admit having a hard time with is going back and forth about what I could have possibly done differently to have kept him in a little longer. Should i have called the doctor when I thought I was having Braxton Hicks?  Maybe I shouldn’t have had that spicy beef patty.  Should I have called a cab to take the boys to the pediatrician instead of walking uphill?  Should I not have carried the boys so much?! There are so many things I ask myself constantly, even though I know that there really isn’t anything I could have done.  Even though I know that he was ready and that things are happening just as they should.  It’s a hard thing to let go of and to not feel guilty about.  A hard thing to not second guess every little decision that you’ve made up until the point where that baby is placed in your arms.  It’s so so hard. 

My milk has come in and I’ve been pumping A LOT!  The doctor is happy that he doesn’t have to supplement with formula because it’s much easier for the baby to breakdown the breastmilk. I was worried I wouldn’t get any milk because inducing lactation was uncuccesul but, I’m doing pretty well! I get about 10cc per pump, which I’m guessing isn’t terrible! It double from the 5cc’s from yesterday!  Something tells me I’ll get a lot of milk. 


  But that’s it for now. I’m hoping to update as often as can, but ya know, 4 kids. Wowzers! 4 kids…

22 thoughts on “Mama’s Chispa-An Update

  1. Oh sweetie! You’re really being thrown a ton to juggle at this challenging time! I’m happy to hear your mom will be back. I bet you’ll feel a ton better, for an extra set of hands too in addition to the moral support. I wish you and Callie the best in figuring out what works and what isn’t really worth fighting over right now. I wish you nothing but love and strength. Happy holidays. Xx

  2. I don’t know, I think it’s ok to spend more time at the hospital, even with the other kids. It’s important for both of you. Of course, it will be easier with your parents around. So no judgement, just thinking of all that you both went through and this transition.

    And don’t second guess your decisions because babies come when they choose to come. It’s entirely their decision, not ours. So there’s nothing you could have done.

    Must be so exciting to have him off so many tubes. Love hearing that he’s doing well!

  3. Hang in there!
    I’m glad your parents will be there soon, that will probably be a huge help.
    Your Chispa looks great! I bet he will be out of the incubator and home to his family faster than expected 🙂

  4. He is so precious… That little face!!! I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to have to wait for him to come home… But I’m sure he benefits a lot from the love he gets when you are by his side. I hope the others all feel better soon! What an intense time for all of you! Can’t wait for you to be able to take him home so you can love your big happy wild family under one roof.

  5. Awe I can’t even imagine. You’re doing a million times better with the situation than I would. I think I would just be a.mess. please let us know if there is some way cade and I can help even though I don’t know how we would!

  6. I think about all of you throughout the day! I can’t even fathom how insane things are right now. So glad your mom will be back to help soon. You’re doing so great managing things. Most people would probably be a pile of mush, but you’re pushing right on through! Lots of love to you and the little man.

  7. You are doing great, mama! I can’t even imagine how hectic your days are, but you must be one hellava multitasker! What full and joyful Christmases you’ll be having from this one on! I hope all of the kids get well soon, and that your little Austin keeps kickin’ ass like his mamas are!

  8. Mama! You are amazing and did everything right. The little man just had his own agenda. Put any doubts out of your mind this instant please. I am sending you all the best energy and wishes. 🙂

  9. He looks like he’s really doing great! And I would only add that if you feel like you want to be there with him 24/7, then do it. Follow your mother instinct. The rest of life, the Christmas gatherings, the happy healthy kids at home, they’re all going to get through this – it’s okay to focus on your baby for now!

  10. I’m so glad you got to hold him! I’m glad he’s doing well. He is so strong!

    And you know what I just realized? Are you gonna change your blog name? Being that you are a belly mama now!

  11. I know that feeling well. I had twins in different hospital NICU’s, and I just remember wanting to split myself in half so I could be 2 places at once. You can’t help but feel guilty no matter where you are. All the running around is just so insane too. Just remember that he’s in the best place, NICU nurses are amazing and they’ll give your baby great care while you’re gone. The guilt struggle is very real, but in the long run he won’t be any worse for having this time. Sounds like he’s doing really awesome and that it’s going to be really straight forward for you guys.

  12. I think about you multiple times a day, wondering how you’re holding up and how you’re managing everything. I’m so glad to hear your parents are coming back – having their hands on help will be a godsend!

    Austin is amazing – nothing short of a miracle. I’m glad to hear you’re pumping well and able to make enough milk to sustain him. I am sure that will continue.

    I’m sending continued prayers to your family. I hope the boys start feeling better soon, too. A sick baby is miserable. Two sick babies SUCKS!

  13. Keep it up Mama! Seriously you are such a warrior! I can’t believe how much you are handling right now. And that precious boy is just amazing. He has so much hair! Take care of all those cuties but don’t forget to take care of you too! You deserve it, you just had a baby!

  14. You’re pretty amazing at this mom thing. Just take care of yourself and know that everything will be ok. He’s such a trooper! And so are you and Callie! You have a lot going on and I’m impressed with how you’re handling it.

  15. I continue to pray for all of you! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to balance the needs of the three big kids with wanting to bed with your little fighter!

  16. Yikes! I’ve been following you on Facebook, so I know I haven’t been here to see the extended versions, but I’ve been thinking of you all! All of you! Hang in there and I hope you all have a great holiday!

  17. what great news that austin is doing so well. i can’t imagine the whirlwind this must be for all of you. you are doing an amazing job! i wish austin (and all of you) continued strength and good health. merry christmas 🙂

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