03 February 2010

Veda Katherine!

A very dear friend of mine commented that she had not heard an "Internet peep" from me in quite some time. Needless to say, this past week has been unbelievably busy and surprising!

When we last left off, I was scheduled for an amniocentesis Wednesday of this week to check the development of Lovebug's lungs and then schedule surgery for this Thursday or Friday. Obviously, you can see from the pictures that this did not happen! I went into labor last week Tuesday night. I hung around my parents' house for as long as I could, but by 1:00 a.m. I knew I couldn't last much longer: It was time to head for the hospital. My mom took me in, and Dave hopped out of bed to make his just over an hour long drive down.

Labor proved to be hard and fast, and despite how quickly I was in surgery, it still seemed to take too long. I was admitted at 1:30 and Veda Katherine was born at 3:09 a.m. Wednesday morning (27th of January). Dave barely made it to the hospital in time for the surgery!

Surgery was a wonderful experience this time around. A mirror was held up so that I could see the doctors remove Veda from me. While this may seem kind of weird to some, I thought it was absolutely beautiful and as tears rolled down my eyes the anesthesiologist was there with a tissue to wipe them off. The doctor also held Veda up over the sheet and announced "Happy Birthday!" to us. When Veda came out she began to cry! This was such a blessing to hear, as it meant that she was breathing on her own, despite being a month early. She even made more noise than her sister! Dave was able to hold her shortly after surgery and even placed her on the "bed" by me so that I could see her up close. He even got to walk her down to the nursery.

We did not have a camera with us in the operating room. Things happened so fast that there simply was not time. But my mom and Dave did get a couple of shots after she was placed in the Special Care Nursery (NICU).

Veda was 6 pounds, 1 ounce at birth-- a very healthy weight for her gestational age. She was 19" long, proving to be "tall" just like her sister (and daddy)!
This is Daddy feeding Veda her first bottle. I could not be there for this, as Lovebug was in the NICU and I was in my room recovering. Fortunately, my mom and Dave came back with pictures for me to look at.
In fact, I did not get to hold Veda until nearly noon the next day. Because she was in the NICU she couldn't be in my room with me, so I had to wait until I was strong enough to be able to take the wheelchair trip to the nursery to visit her.
This is the owl I made for Veda. This little lady bird received so many compliments from nurses and other hospital staff. I was routinely asked if someone made her for me, and I always took a little joy when I said that I had actually made her for Veda.
This birth experience was far better than what I had experienced with Sylvia just over a year earlier. I was so thankful for the fabulous staff at Holland Hospital.
We were told repeatedly that Veda was doing much better than what they would expect to see from someone at her gestational age. In the beginning she showed signs of minor respiratory distress. Within a few days this cleared up entirely. Because she was eating very well and her heart and lungs sounded good, she was released from the NICU Thursday morning! I was so very happy to have her in my room by me.
I love this picture of Daddy with his newest little girl. As a side note, it looks like I am surrounded by blondies in my house! My mom suggested I dye my hair so that people will believe my daughters belong to me.
On Friday Auntie Stephie came with Daxton. This was Daxton and Veda meeting for the very first time! These cousins are only one week apart in age.
While I look tired (and I was!), I actually felt pretty good. Obviously, I was in a decent amount of pain from surgery but overall I felt happy and excited and very blessed.
When I arrived in my room after surgery, the nurse told us that Veda would not be coming home with me when I was discharged from the hospital. Well, our little fighter proved her (and the doctors) wrong! On Saturday afternoon we were BOTH discharged! We returned to my parents' house, and because Dave had to work Monday, Sylvia, Veda and I stayed there until we could return home as a family on Tuesday.
So, how does Sylvia feel about being a Big Sister? So far she seems to kind of get a kick out of it. She knows who Veda is and has been able to point to her when we ask her where Veda/her little sister is. She offers Veda her "pipe" (what we call a pacifier), and is eager to take little breaks to check on her sister. There have been some moments of jealousy, but thus far, we have been very pleased with Sylvia's response.
This was Sylvia "checking in" on her sister while we were still at my folks' house. She would stand on a little step stool to peek in on Veda and would often wave at her. It was too cute!
Veda's first doctor's appointment was on Monday. Her discharge weight from the hospital was 5 pounds, 8 ounces. By Monday she was already back up to an even 6 pounds! The doctor was very impressed with Veda, so much so, that we don't need to return until her two week check (next Tuesday), just like a normal newborn! We did have to have her blood drawn to check her billirubin count, but I am assuming that came back okay as I haven't heard anything from the office.

And this was the day that we all returned home. The girls received these matching outfits from Grandma. I should really take a picture of the onesies side by side. Veda's is a preemie size and Sylvia's is 18 months. It is incredible the size difference!

We packed up and arrived home around 5:00 Tuesday. It was very strange and almost hard for me to return home after being gone for a month. It really settled in that, in a way, I missed a month of my life. I returned home and Christmas decorations (and movies and music and cards) were still out. Things that I had meant to do the Tuesday I went to the hospital for the first time, remained in their same spot, untouched. There were things that I had wanted to accomplish before Veda's arrival that just didn't happen. I had wanted to spend a few weeks having some quality time with Sylvia, just the two of us, before the new baby arrived. I had wanted to further "Sylvia proof" the living room area of the house. I guess . . . I had just wanted to be me and living my life before Veda's arrival. But sometimes things don't happen the way we plan. Or, in the case of Dave and me, things seem to rarely happen the way we've planned.

I am so thankful for my wonderful family. My mom especially has been amazing and I really miss her. One thing that I enjoyed very much living at my parents', was how often I got to see my sisters and the time I got to spend with my mom and dad. I am really going to miss them.

Dave's mom was also incredible. She came down several times to watch Sylvia while Mom took me to doctor appointments. She also came with pre-made dinners and food and diapers for Sylvia. She is one amazing woman.

Now we are home and Dave will be here until Wednesday next week, when he needs to return to work. We need assistance. Please, please, please if any of you have a day you can spare to come by us and play with Sylvia and attend to her needs let us know!!! PLEASE!


Sigrid said...

Veda is too cute! I can't stand it! I just love her! Congrats! I'm so glad that she's doing so well! And that you had such a good hospital experience! you deserved it!

Heather K. said...

You don't look tired at all in that photo! It is wonderful to see you glowing. I miss you very much and I'm glad we got an update as early as we have! Your posts mean a lot to Jonathan and me. All our love!

barb said...

Veta is BEAUTIFUL. What a blessing. I am thrilled that everything turned out perfect. Sylvia is little doll, too.
You take it easy, enjoy those sweet little girls.
The owl you knit, DARLING!

knitting thru the "itty bittys"

Stepher said...

For your sake, I am glad that you are home but I will honestly miss hanging out with you and Sylvia at Mom's. I think I will always cherish those memories of two very pregnant sister with my first niece chilling at mom's house eating sandwiches and watching Boston Legal. Glad Veda's doing so well. Give her kisses for me and kisses to Sylvia too. It will certainly be a change not seeing her every other day as I had grown accustomed.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Valerie! I love, love, love the photo of you with Miss Veda in her pink polka dots, stretching for the camera. You are radiant! What a relief to have such a smooth experience this time around. I am so happy for you all and wish we lived much closer!

Susan Maerz said...

How beautiful she is!! You have been blessed with two amazing little girls. We're so happy for you, and grateful for your health and happiness.

Ria said...

It is so wonderfull to see the pictures of you all beeing at home together again.
I wished I could be of any help to you. There is a small envelop coming to you by mail and I'm fixing a box so some presents will be on the way. I'll will spoiling them in May much more, because it also will be difficult to take presents with us when we'll coming to Grand Rapids. So prepare or beware.
Lots of love for all of you, Ria