Sunday, December 20, 2009

BF'ing getting better

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written December 20, 2007

Well, I've been praying a lot especially right before a feeding that I'll have patience and Autumn will learn to feed better. And she's doing so much better. Her problems are that she takes a long time to latch on but once she does she does great. But then I think she overeats and then spits up a lot afterwards. I think I'll try stopping her halfway through to try to burp her. She also is very sleepy all the time so I have to wake her up for feedings most of the time. It's very tempting to just let her sleep through but I know she needs to gain weight. It's also very tempting to just give her a bottle when she takes forever to latch on. We've been trying to breastfeed most of her day feedings and at night we mostly do bottles cause I just don't want to be up all night trying to get her to latch on. Hopefully she'll get strong enough (or smart enough?) to breastfeed all day long. Then K.J. won't have to wake up at night either to feed her a bottle while I pump. I can be the only one with sleepless nights for a while. I forget when Keaton started sleeping for long stretches but I think it was 4 or 5 months. But it was so much easier with him, he was a breastfeeding pro and he slept next to me and nursed on his own while I slept. Sometimes I had to adjust my body so he could get it, but then I'd go back to sleep while he nursed and he would let go when he was done. That was great! I do have Autumn in my bed but in a "snuggle nest" which keeps her safe from me and safe from rolling around. www.snugglenest.com Even though it can be beneficial to have her sleep next to me, she's just so little I'm scared to let her. She had her Dr appt Wed and her weight was exactly the same, but the Ped didn't seem concerned, he was just happy she didn't lose weight. She got 2 immunizations and she was a champ, cried for the shots but was content about 30 seconds later. Just like her big brother!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Autumn's home!

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written December 18, 2007

Autumn came home Thurs, Dec 13th. We're so happy!

She weighed 4 lb 6 oz as of Dec 12th. Took her to the pediatrician on the 14th and she weighed 4 lb 9 oz. Everything's going great except for breastfeeding, it's hard work for both of us! She has a Dr. Appt tomorrow so hopefully she's still gaining weight as I have increased her feedings at the breast. Sorry so long for an update, been a little busy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My baby's coming home next week!!!!!

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written December 6, 2007

Well the 3 criteria for Autumn to come home are:

1. Maintain Body Temperature in an open air crib

2. Take all 8 feedings over a 24 hr period by mouth

3. Gain weight steadily

She's doing all of these things right now except she hasn't gotten 8 feedings in a row yet, but she will by tomorrow if she doesn't get worn out and need her tube back in. She pulled it out again this morning. If all goes well she could be home as soon as Tuesday! Praise the Lord, I can't believe she's come so far. She now weights 4 lbs, 1 oz.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Christmas Present?

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written November 27, 2007

The nurses seem to think Autumn will be home sometime before Christmas! I was just telling KJ that I thought she might be home within two weeks. I hope I'm right, but before Christmas is awesome too. She's still breastfeeding well but only drinks half of a bottle (they give the rest through her NG tube), I hope she gets more from my breast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Breastfed

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written November 25, 2007

Don't have too much time but here's a quick update. I breastfed Autumn for the first time yesterday! It was sort of on a whim that the doctor let me. I breastfed her for 2 feedings at 3pm and again at 6pm. She hadn't even gotten a bottle yet. They're supposed to give her a bottle for the first time today. I'm going there tonight to give her a breastfeeding at 9pm. So hopefully once she gets up to 8 feedings a day by bottle or breast she can come home. They haven't said that is the only criteria but besides maintaining her body temperature well; which is what she is also currently working on, I don't know what else there is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The waters are calm once again

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written November 18, 2007

Autumn has been doing great the past few days. She is on vancomycin and completed 3 days of gentamicin for the Staph Aureus infection she had. They're not sure if it was MRSA or not so they treated as if it were MRSA. (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). I guess there are many different Staphylococcus Aurei but MRSA is the one that does not respond to antibiotics like penicillin and ampicillin, that is why they used vancomycin. The only other medication she is on is caffeine for heartrate drops which is typical in preemies.

We had a scare the other night as she had a hemapositive stool (meaning they found blood in her stool by testing it, not blood you could see). So they stopped her feeds immediately and did x-rays on her belly. Everything looks good so they started her back on breastmilk yesterday. She was up to 25mL but since they stopped, they're starting up again at only 5mL. She was also up to 3lb 6oz but as of yesterday lost an ounce and is now 3lb 5oz. Hope she tolerates her feeds well so they can increase them quickly so she can gain weight again. Friday afternoon when I was there I got some great video of her, she was awake and alert and sucking on her pacifier with great vigor. I think she's ready to breastfeed but their guideline is that it's too soon until she's 34 weeks. She's 33 weeks as of yesterday so one more week and we can start learning to breastfeed together. I just started a prescription called Reglan yesterday. A friend of a friend recommended it and lactation also told me about it. It seems to be working already. I was down to pumping an ounce at most from both but now am up to 2-3 ounces per pump session. In the last week I've also increased my pumping during the day to every 2 hours. I can't wait until she's exclusively breastfeeding so we can feel somewhat normal and I can say goodbye to my much loathed breastpump! You pumping moms know what I mean.

I guess the next goal is her weight and feeding and then she can come home? We will see how it goes. They still won't give us any sort of "estimation" as to how long she'll be there. They have a canned statement, "it's all up to her, she's the boss".

Originally written November 18, 2007

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bigger Paci

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Just wanted to share a picture of Autumn enjoying her bigger pacifier. Also attached an older pic of her with her teeny paci.

Originally written November 15, 2007

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blindsided.......

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Nov 14, 2007 09:27pm (EST)

So I've been thinking a lot about the "isolation" room that Autumn is in and how they will keep her there for the entire duration even if she eventually becomes MRSA negative. I asked the nurse what the results of her MRSA test were this week and she said, yesterday it was negative. So then I was working myself up to talk to the doctor about getting her out of there ASAP. I knew it was a long shot but the isolation room was full and if Autumn was now negative and there was a new baby that became positive, wouldn't they need the room?? I asked to talk to the doctor and started with some general questions about breastfeeding and her nasal canula. At some point, he indicated she was sick. I assumed he meant her UTI, but he went on to say she was "septic", and he said it like I knew what he was talking about. So I was like wait a minute, what do you mean septic? He said she had MRSA infection in her blood. I asked when they found this out and he looked in her chart and said it was Monday they found it. I told him that we didn't know that, and that we were only told she was MRSA colonized and not infected, and that the infection was a UTI. He said, well yes, it started as a UTI but the cultures came back that she was blood infected. He and the nurse showed no indication of surprise that I hadn't been informed of this and here it was Wednesday. On a good note, he said she was doing very well and seemed to be fighting off the infection. The last 3 days I've been holding her and she has seemed fine, I was ignorant to the fact that she was sick and I hadn't noticed anything except that she was having to be back on nasal canula and desatting a bit here and there.

How do you let the staff know that you're the "mom" without being a pain in the butt parent they don't want to deal with but letting them know that you want to be more involved and have some sense of control?

I'm still frustrated with the isolation room. One of the policies that goes along with being in this isolation room is that I cannot bring her anything from home. That means no blankies, no pacis, no hats, and no clothes for when she can start wearing clothes.

I know all these policies and actions of the nurses are in the best medical interest of Autumn but sometimes I think they forget that she's a baby who needs her mommy and I'm a mommy who needs her baby!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just a UTI

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Nov 13, 2007 12:06am (EST)

Turns out the infection they were looking for turned out to be a UTI. They're keeping her on the vancomycin for 10 days. Now that she's been "tagged" as positive for MRSA colonization, she has to be in isolation for the rest of her stay at the hospital even if she comes back negative for MRSA next week. Isolation means she's in a room with 5 other babies who are positive for MRSA colonization or even have MRSA infection. I sort of lost it tonight when we were there. I think I was just overwhelmed with stuff. When we went to her room, it was empty cause she had been moved. So then they show us to the "cooty" room as one of the nurses called it. I used to pump next to her isolette in our semi-private room but now I had to go pump in the pumping room which is in another area. So I left to do that while KJ visited with Autumn. My milk supply has been stressing me out cause it is dwindling and I only pumped about 3/4 of an ounce and as I was walking out of the pumping room I saw a nurse handle a baby pretty roughly as she changed his diaper, the baby was crying and red faced and the nurse seemed frustrated. So when I went back to see Autumn, I just started crying and KJ couldn't figure out what was wrong. I couldn't talk without crying harder and I didn't want the nurses to see me. I've been feeling real guilty about only being able to spend a couple hours a day with Autumn and now I was realizing she needs me more now. When she was in the semi private room, it was just her and one other baby with one nurse. Now she's in a room with 6 babies total and 2 nurses. It just made me realize that I'm her mom and she needs me. I know the nurses do a great job and take good care of her but they're not her mom. So I'm trying to figure out how to spend as much time as possible at the hospital but that means being away from my son who just turned 1. The guilt never ends.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back on CPAP, positive for MRSA, Spinal Tap for Meningitis. Can you say overwhelmed?

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Nov 08, 2007 02:50pm (EST)

Yesterday KJ and I were driving to see Autumn and we got a call from her nurse. She said "it's not an emergency just want to update you. Autumn's been having some A's and B's (apnea-when she stops breathing and bradycardia- when her heartrate drops) so we put her back on CPAP, she's probably getting tired out." Ok, no problem we thought, we were kind of prepared for that possibly happening. At least she gave her lungs some exercise. So then when we get to the hospital after almost an hour drive, the nurse tells us I'm sorry but after we talked the Dr. came and told me she tested positive for MRSA. She's only positive for being colonized, not infected. So she's on contact isolation. The nurses/doctors have to wear a gown/gloves when they touch her. Ok, so we think still not a huge deal, MRSA colonization is very common, this doesn't mean she's infected. The Dr. spoke with us and said if she does become symptomatic of an infection, they're going to start her on heavy antibiotics right away. Apparently, as many of you have seen in the news, MRSA doesn't respond to penicillin so they would have to give her vancomycin, a very strong antibiotic. Then about an hour after we get home from the hospital the Dr. calls and says her CBC (complete blood count) came back and she had some elevated C-reactive proteins which is indicative of some sort of infection going on. They started her on the vancomycin right away in case it is MRSA. They said they'll know for sure if she has a blood infection on Fri morning. She also got a blood transfusion yesterday cause she was looking pretty pale and because of the A's and B's. This time, her transfusion was from my brother's donated blood. Pretty neat. I went to visit her again last night and she looked better but they didn't want me to hold her cause of all the poking and prodding all day. That was fine, I just put my hand on her back and read a book next to her isolette for 1 1/2 hrs.

Today we went to visit her and she looked about the same. We talked to the Dr. and he said most of the cultures came back negative for infections but he hasn't gotten them all back. He says even if there's nothing related to MRSA, she seems to have something going on. So she's going to get a spinal tap today to rule out meningitis. They also took an x-ray of her stomach to make sure everything's ok in there, I assume to rule out suspicion of NEC? The x-ray looked good but they're going to do another one today or tomorrow. Not sure why. I never think to ask the right questions when I'm in front of the Dr., probably cause I was a little overloaded. They also did an echocardiogram but the results of that aren't in yet. The nurse said the unofficial word from the ultrasound tech was that everything looked ok but we'll know for sure later today or tomorrow. The Dr. said if he finds no bacteria to treat, he's going to keep her on antibiotics for 10 days to be sure he rids her of whatever is bothering her. I guess we will be keeping our private room for a while longer, and after everything was looking so good. I'm sure she'll still be fine, but it is not fun that she has to have all these tests. And I can't be there a lot. I usually only get to go to the NICU about 2 hrs a day. I keep telling myself when I can breastfeed her, I'll figure out how I can stay there all day long. Between the hour drive to and from the hospital, gas money and Keaton (my 1 yr old son) at home, it's really hard to even get to the hospital every day.

Anyway, I think I covered everything, will keep you all updated. Please pray for her, she's such a tough little precious girl. I know the Lord is still watching over her, I guess we couldn't expect a completely uneventful stay in the NICU.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No respiratory support........

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Nov 05, 2007 09:43am (EST)

On Nov 3rd, they put Autumn on Nasal Canula. Not because they thought she was ready but because the CPAP apparatus was irritating her nose, it was all swollen and a little bloody. My poor baby. So they put her on nasal canula to give her nose a break and she stayed on that for the 3rd & 4th. Today, she was doing so well, they took out the nasal canula at 7:30 am. They're going to see how she does but if she gets worn out, they'll put her back on nasal canula or even CPAP. But gosh, we just keep getting surprised by her quick progression! The only medication she is currently on is caffeine for apnea and/or bradycardia spells. Last night, the charge nurse told us that Autumn may be moved out to the large area where there are more babies, she's currently in a semi private room with only one other baby. The nurse said she may be moved because she's doing so well and they like to reserve the semi private rooms for more unstable babies coming in. That's exciting except we will miss the privacy we have now. They still won't say how long she will need to be there but I'm beginning to think she's going to be home sooner than we thought! Praise the Lord.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smooth sailing so far

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Nov 02, 2007 01:13pm (EST)

Well, Autumn has been doing great. Everyday she progresses along with no bumps in the road so far. She had a Patent Ductus Arteriosis or PDA. They treated it with one course of Indocin/Indomethacin. And it is now as good as closed, not completely but they said good enough? We've been praying specifically for her PDA and I knew it would be taken care of with the first course of medication, they were talking about doing 3 courses but stopped after the first. She came off the ventilator after 10 days and is now on CPAP. I got to hold her for the first time on Halloween and that evening they weaned her down to room air oxygen (21%) and she's been on that since. I held her for 2 1/2 hours Wed and an hour last night, it was awesome and she loved it. She is getting my breastmilk through an OG tube in her mouth. She started at .5cc and is now taking 1.5cc every 3 hours and they will keep increasing the amount daily I think or every 6 feeds or something like that. She likes her pacifier and she also sucks on her knuckles. Things have been going way better than I expected and I am so thankful to the Lord for that. He is so awesome and just showing us the miracles He can do if we just ask and believe. I know there may still be some bumps here and there but I still feel content that overall Autumn will be just fine. She has been staying around her birth weight and has gained an ounce yesterday, 2 lb 12 oz.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some details about Autumn's birth

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Oct 27, 2007 06:44pm (EST)

This is the email I sent to my friends and family, I copied and pasted it here for my convenience.
Autumn Elizabeth Tottle
was born via cesarean section
October 21st, 2007 at 11:57am
11 weeks early
2 lbs, 11 oz
15 1/4 in

Here's the quick details of what happened before Autumn's birth.
On Friday, I started bleeding and having very small contractions I couldn't feel but they were registering on the monitors. Baptist hospital transferred me to Sacred Heart just so I would be there if I went into full labor. I stayed in Labor and Delivery at Sacred Heart all weekend, the contractions mostly stopped but the bleeding increased. By Sunday morning, the doctor suggested we have a cesarean as the bleeding might mean that my placenta was tearing away from the uterine wall. We went ahead and agreed to the section since we did not want to take the chance of a full placental abruption. Once they delivered her, they found that my placenta was almost 50% abrupted so it was a good thing we got her out then. She came out crying and looked good to me. She was born at 11:57 and they told us KJ could go see her at 2pm. We thought things went pretty well.

They ended up not letting KJ come see her until about 4:30. It was not good news. The neonatalogist took KJ aside to talk to him before he saw her. They said they had been working with her all day since she was born and that they really didn't expect they could do anything else. Then KJ went to see her and came back to the room where I was "paralyzed". I was still numb from the waist down and couldn't get out of bed. The neonatalogist came to talk to both of us then. He said there was one thing they could try as a last resort and that it wasn't used often in preemies and that it didn't have a very good success rate. We gave consent for them to give her nitric oxide. Then we prayed and cried a lot. I just kept saying I didn't care what they said, I knew she was going to be okay. We prayed for a miracle and we got it! By the next day, she had SHOCKED everyone and was doing way better than they expected and she's just been slowly progressing from there. They're still taking it day by day but their attitude is way different now. Sunday night when I asked the neonatalogist about pumping my breastmilk, the way he responded was sort of like don't bother. And now they talk about her future in days and weeks.

I am successfully producing breastmilk for her and freezing it which I am really happy about. She won't eat it yet for a few more days but I'm so happy I did not have problems with expressing as many moms of preemies do. She is currently getting IV fluids for nutrition right now. They won't feed her milk until she's a bit more stable.

Her lungs are premature for her gestational age. She is not like a normal 29 weeker because I had been ruptured for so long. The low fluid has a significant impact on lung development. The first day they did a chest x-ray which showed her lungs down to her 7th rib, they are supposed to be down to her 10th rib. The next day her lungs were down to her 8th rib and that's where they are currently. So they did expand some which is great. Hopefully they just continue to mature. Please continue to pray for her growth and development. She is in the 50th percentile for weight at gestational age.

As far as me, I am recovering without complication. Just LOTS of pain. This recovery is much worse than my recovery with Keaton's c-section. It could be cause I was on bedrest for 2 months before and because my c-sections were so close together, I'm not sure, probably a combination. But I am much more handicapped this time than last time, it sort of surprised me. My mom is still in town and is staying indefinitely so I am doing fine with help at home.

Keaton is soooooo happy I'm home. I didn't think he even missed me but now that I'm home we can definitely tell he's glad mommy's back. He is such a doll and such a blessing.

I've attached some pics, Autumn looks like her daddy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumn has arrived

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Oct 24, 2007 05:08pm (EST)

Autumn Elizabeth Tottle was born via c-section October 21st, 2007 at 11:57 a.m.

I started bleeding on Friday and was transferred to the hospital where they have the Level III NICU. I was held in L&D until Sunday morning when the doctors and nurses suggested we get Autumn out while she was still doing well since the bleeding may be a sign of partial placental abruption. They were right, my placenta was almost 50% abrupted when they did the section. She had a very rough start but is currently doing well. It's still day by day but I just know she's going to be alright. I was discharged today and am now home. It feels so unnatural to leave the hospital without her. Will update more when I have time. This is the most surreal experience I have ever had. I don't wish this on anyone. I am so thankful that Autumn has continued to prove the doctors wrong. The neonatalogist did not think she would make it the first night but then Mon and Tues she showed significant improvements, they were shocked!! God is with her in the NICU now.

April

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The ultrasound appt and other excitement

Originally written Oct 18, 2007 03:17pm (EST)

While I was writing my previous post about the second steroid shot, they came in to take me over to the perinatologist's office which is in a separate building of the hospital but still connected by a hallway somehow. So I didn't get a chance to post it until just now. So I finished that post and am writing this one to tell you how my appointment went.

Talk about drama. I'm in Pensacola, FL as some of you know and we had some bad thunderstorms here today and just before we were getting on the elevator there were all kinds of people in the hallways and stairwells saying there was a tornado circling the hospital. So we had to stay put in the hallway for a little while, I guess there ended up being 3 tornadoes nearby and eventually a 4th that really did some bad damage in downtown Pensacola. I don't doubt it wasn't on CNN. Luckily, my hospital (Baptist), did not get hit. They took me to my ultrasound appt around 10:30 and we didn't get back to my room until about 2pm with all the delays and what not. I have to admit, I didn't mind at all, it was kind of a thrill for me. I have only been out of my room once before in the last 7 weeks and that was just to go down the hall to another room.

So I talked to the peri about the slimy leakage and if it could be infection. He wasn't real concerned and said he would do a sterile speculum exam and look at some things under the microscope and send some stuff off to the lab. But my cervix is still 4 cm long, tightly closed and my uterus does not feel tender and my temperature has been a steady 98 point something. According to all this, he doesn't feel we should be concerned. He looked at some of the swabs under the microscope and couldn't find any signs of infection, he's going to get back to me after the labs come back. But he seemed really happy with everything and pretty confident that things don't seem to be starting anytime soon. I was sort of prepared for him to say we were going to have to have a c-section soon if I had an infection so I was a little excited to see my little Autumn but at the same time very scared. Though I'm really glad that everything is going as well as it possibly can be and that we can hold her in longer. Although many Dr's like to induce at 32 or 34 weeks he told me if things stay like they are, he'll hold off until 36 to get the baby but doesn't want to wait past then. I really want to have a VBAC but I assume they would have to induce me by 36 if I wasn't in labor on my own and using pitocin increases the risk of uterine rupture which I am already a slightly higher risk for since my c-section was done so recently. Just less than a year ago Halloween '06. But maybe they have some other way of inducing that doesn't increase the risk of your uterus blowing up. Of course, if she's not head down by the time they want to take her, it's pretty much an automatic c-section and I'm fine with that as long as she's healthy. But if there's a chance I can delivery her vaginally and healthy I would really prefer it. I'll have to talk to my Ob about all this cause he's going to be delivering Autumn.

I guess I didn't really say much about the actual ultrasound. An ultrasound technician did it before we saw the Dr for the speculum exam. She said everything looked really good, she's measuring right about 28 weeks and some odd days except the one thing she said was that her abdomen was measuring a week behind but that isn't anything to worry about?

The peri said not to worry about the abdomen either and that what he really likes to look for in pPROM babies is if the chest wall is really narrow in comparison to the rest of the torso, the "bell" shape. He said the bell shape is not good cause that usually means the lung development hadn't occured as good as it should have. But Autumn's chest looks normal for a baby her size so that is a good thing. Although he still mentioned we really won't know if that lung development did occur until she's born. I'm sure he has to say that cause he can't guarantee me anything but I think he has high hopes and I definitely feel like she's going to be ok. Oh yeah, and her estimated weight is 2.8 lbs.

I just can't believe how I keep getting scared and doubting that we'll get any further, and God just keeps holding our hands and dragging us along. He's so good. I should not be surprised but just the mere fact that God loves and cares for us all as individuals is really amazing to me, especially when you feel so undeserving.

April

OK, so the second steroid shot hurt a little.

Originally written Oct 18, 2007 02:54pm (EST)

I had the second steroid shot last night and a different nurse gave it to me. Unlike the first shot which was fast and painless, this one was longer and a little painful but still not as bad as I expected. My husband was watching during this shot and he said instead of jabbing the needle in she sort of pushed it in until it sank in to my skin. No wonder it was more painful and longer. No biggie though. I'm just happy I got them now, makes me feel better if I go into labor soon.

Last night before the shot my leakage had gone from pink to pinkish yellow and was a little slimier rather than liquidy. This morning it was a bit slimy too. I asked my Ob to take my white blood cell count again but he said we just had it yesterday morning and it was normal. I asked him to compare it to previous counts and he said it crept up a little. He said he would talk to the perinatologist and see what he wants to do. I was already scheduled to go to the peri's office today for a more in depth ultrasound so we'll see what he says then.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Steroid shot didn't hurt....

Originally written Oct 16, 2007 10:49pm (EST)

Well, my perinatologist finally came to see me tonight after he had been gone to a conference since the middle of last week. Considering all the pink fluid I've been leaking, he wanted to go ahead and give me the steroids in case things start happening soon. So I got the first one tonight and will get a second one tomorrow night. Then when it's clear that labor is imminent, and more than 2 weeks has passed, I'll probably get another shot. If I go into labor in the next week or two then at least Autumn will have some accelerated lung development.

The shot did not hurt like I thought, I guess it's different for everyone. And it was really fast too, I thought it would take a while to push the stuff in but it was quick. I've gotten anthrax shots in my arm and those hurt a whole lot worse. (I'm in the Air Force Reserves). My peri doesn't necessarily think the pink fluid signifies labor is coming but he wanted me to have the steroids just in case. He called the steroids "betamethasone". So now it's just more waiting. I'm excited to meet my little girl but really want her to stay in there for much longer. I'm going to get an ultrasound Thursday at the peri's office instead of bedside and he said we can look at more stuff in his office cause the equipment is better. I'll keep you posted.

April

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I need a new goal.

Originally written Oct 15, 2007 09:23pm (EST)

So we are now at 28 weeks, 1 day. I think this whole time my goal has been 28 weeks since the perinatologist kept stressing that most ruptured women go into labor by 28 weeks. So now that I'm here, I'm completely antsy! I just want to be done. I want to get started parenting my preemie and be done with this bedrest stuff. Of course, that's not what I really want. I want to carry Autumn as long as possible, which seems like we may only be halfway there as far as the bedrest part. I've been here 6 1/2 weeks and another 5 1/2 I'll be 34 weeks. So 34 weeks will be my long term goal in my head but my son's birthday (Halloween) is my next short term goal. If I can focus on that and staying in the hospital that long so we can have his cupcakes here and watch him open a couple presents, that will be good. I don't want to completely miss his birthday because stuff starts happening. I'm also really wanting to get things done in preparation for the birth. But of course, I can't do anything. I'm stuck here, in this room with crafts and reading and the things I look forward to are picking out my meals and going to bed at night so another day can be over.

On another note, things are going good I think. My perinatologist has been out of town since the middle of last week and I think I might see him tomorrow, and hopefully an ultrasound. I did have some pink leakage on Saturday evening and Sunday morning but the nurses and on-call Doctors don't think it's anything to be concerned about since I'm not having any contractions. I was worried for a bit but now the leakage is back to clear so I feel better.

I just want someone to tell me, you're going to go into labor at this time ..... or you're going to be on bedrest for 6 more weeks...... I just want some sort of definitive. The whole take it day by day attitude has left me, and I'm having a hard time getting it back.

I am so grateful to have gotten this far, I feel selfish for being frustrated with all this, I know this is the best thing for Autumn and many parents were not as lucky as we are to have gotten this far. It's just a lot harder lately than it has been.

Thanks to all who comment, it's really nice to hear your thoughts and feel your support. Keep praying for us, it's working better than I thought.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

27 weeks, 3 days

Originally written Oct 10, 2007 07:56pm (EST)

I'm really happy to be at 27 weeks! I had an ultrasound last night and Autumn's estimated weight was 2.08 lbs. The perinatologist was real happy to get to the 2lb mark. I so so so hope and pray we'll make it to 30 weeks. But hopefully 32, and then of course we'll hope for 34! I haven't had any bleeding since I've been in the hospital except for some pink fluid once but yesterday I had two different instances of a tiny bit of blood when I went to the bathroom. I showed the nurse and they aren't too concerned. They just want to know if it keeps happening. I have not seen any blood today. The ultrasound showed that my cervix was still at least 3cm long and I had an AFI of about 6. My uterus also feels soft still and I have not felt any contractions. Although they don't monitor me on a machine so I may have some that I don't feel but I'm not worried about those. I will probably get steroids next week, I've heard they hurt. Does the injection itself just hurt, or does it hurt for a while after you get them? Where do they inject you? Thigh, butt, arm? The peri said I'll get one and then 24 hours later get a second shot.

My son is getting so big! He'll turn 1 on Halloween. We will probably have cupcakes and a couple friends at my hospital room to celebrate and then when I get out of the hospital, hopefully we'll be able to set up a nice party at home for all our friends. I'm sure Keaton doesn't care either way but I know a lot of my friends don't want to miss it and it's always fun to get together with a bunch of people and their kids.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct 2, 2007

Well, here we are at 26 weeks. The Doc is really surprised we got this far, praise the Lord! Everything has been pretty quiet except yesterday I had a bit of a scare. I had a huge gush of fluid in the afternoon which frustrated me but didn't concern me until I went to the bathroom and saw that the fluid was no longer clear but faint pink. When there's blood involved, that could mean my cervix is starting to open or a number of other things we don't want to happen. So I was really upset all day. The perinatologist came in around 9pm and did an ultrasound and checked my cervix. My cervix was still closed and 4-5cm long which is very good, if it starts getting short, that means it's effacing which means labor is coming. I was happy about that but was prepared for him to tell me the fluid was very low, I thought I could live with that considering the big gush and that it would probably go up in a week or so. To our amazement, the fluid was exactly the same as it was a week ago, even with the fluid I had lost in the afternoon!! (AFI=5). I am so thankful to the Lord, He is certainly taking care of Autumn. After the ultrasound, the perinatologist said he felt much better too. This morning he said typically he starts to see the early signs of labor in women at 26 weeks, like mild cramping and such. He has been planning to give me steroids at 27 weeks but mentioned today that he would be ok with waiting til 28 weeks for the steroids since I'm showing no signs of labor coming soon. The longer we wait the better and I just hope each week he pushes it back another week. I don't think Autumn is ready to come out until Christmastime or at least Thanksgiving! I know God's power is awesome and we can't put our minds around it but I have to admit I am a little surprised myself that we have made it this far. Even in spite of my human doubt, God continues to remain faithful. I can only thank Him for every day and pray for many more!

Once again, thank you so so so much for all your prayers and please continue to pray for us! I think we are all seeing the miracle of God's power here and it's awesome that so many people get to see this.

April

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sept 28, 2007

Sorry I didn't send an email sooner, I know some of you are worried
but I'm still here and everything is still the same. Had an
ultrasound yesterday and the fluid hasn't increased or decreased since
the last ultrasound 5 days before. That's a good thing. The Doctor
plans on giving me steroids at 26 or 27 weeks. He still thinks I
won't get past 28 weeks without going into labor but he did admit he
was surprised I made it this far. Only because of your prayers and
God's power. Thank you all who are concerned for us and continually
praying for me and my family. Please keep it up. If you could
specifically pray that there is enough fluid for Autumn's lungs to be
developing properly and that I will carry way past 28 weeks. I told
God this morning that if He'll allow me to, I can handle 3 more months
here in the hospital. It's going to be tough because of Keaton but it
will be well worth it for Autumn. The more time I'm here at the
hospital, the less time she will spend in the NICU. As uncomfortable
and inconvenient as this is for me, it's not as bad as the NICU will
be for her. That's what keeps me sane if ya'll were wondering. I
know some of you think I must be going nuts in the hospital and I do
sometimes but Autumn's health is what keeps it tolerable.

I had a dream last night that I delivered Autumn and they told me she
was 4 lbs but she looked like a normal newborn and she wasn't hooked
up to anything or in the NICU and I was walking around the hospital
with her and working on breastfeeding. I hope my dream comes true.

Thanks again to all, April and family

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sept 17, 2007

Autumn and I have reached the milestone of 24 weeks yesterday. Here's
a little rundown of the last week:

12 Sept - had an ultrasound
The perinatologist found a pocket of fluid in front of Autumn's face
about 2cm. While that is extremely low, it's still fluid. She is
head down. She looks to be showing good breathing, a functioning
bladder and he estimated her weight at 1lb, 3 oz.

14 Sept - A friend of a friend is married to an Obstetrician and asked
his opinion on my situation. He said based on his experience with
PROM*, he expected I would go into labor in the next 1-2 weeks and the
baby would not survive due to lack of lung development.

The perinatologist came back that evening and dicussed the ultrasound
again. He said he was actually surprised to find as much fluid as he
did. She had her arms up near her face which is good cause it allowed
the pocket of fluid to be around her head. The doc said we have
reason to be "cautiously optimistic" that lung development is
occurring.

15 Sept - Approximately 3am, I was awakened to a substantially larger
gush of fluid than has been normal. I would estimate about 1/2 a cup.
I was very disheartened considering I had just had some reasonably
good news. At 6am that morning I woke up and couldn't get back to
sleep so I started reading my Bible and the Lord led me to this verse:

1 Corinthians 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

I let the nurse know about the increased leakage who in turn let the
perinatologist know and he came back that night to give me another
ultrasound just to see where we're at. Once again, better than
expected! He now found 2 pockets of fluid, one measured 2 cm and one
measured 3.2 cm. She was now lying diagonally with her head higher
than her feet which the doc said could explain the big gush early that
morning, she was changing positions and probably pushed some out. He
said that things are going as well as they could in my situation and
that he doesn't expect me to get past 29 weeks. Something about the
27-29 week timeframe of the growing baby inside a uterus that is
already ready to go into labor just makes women go into labor if they
haven't already. He said that's what happens most of the time but if
my body waits longer, that's even better. Considering the verse God
gave me that day, I immediately took it to mean, don't listen to any
bad news the Drs have cause they know nothing compared with God's
power. Last night and this morning as I was thinking about the verse,
I thought I should be praying for God to seal up my amniotic sac and
allow me to carry Autumn to term. All this time, I'm hoping for the
best possible scenario which seems to be an early preemie with a
decent chance of survival. Well God can do better than that even if
it is considererd "impossible" in my situation. So please pray with
me that God will reseal my sac and that Autumn will be safe and
healthy developing in there until at least Christmas!! (my due date
is 6 Jan).

John 14:13
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the
Father may be glorified in teh Son.

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine
heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

17 Sept - I talked with the perinatologist today about steroid shots
as previously he had stated we would wait until I got to 24 weeks to
talk about steroids. He said since I show no signs of labor, he would
like to wait until 26 weeks to administer the shots as it is more
beneficial at that time or later. He said it would be optimal to give
the shots 3-4 days before delivery but as that cannot be predicted, we
must juggle the approximate "right" time to do it. If I show signs of
labor sooner, then of course I will get the shots soonest and try to
delay delivery as long as possible so the steroids might do their
thing.


Premature Rupture Of Membranes - if you want to learn more about my condition, I found a very informative website about it
www.kanalen.org/prom

April

Keep the prayers going, I know it's only the Lord who got us this far.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sept 10, 2007

Well I'm 23 weeks, 1 day as of today. By Sunday, I will be 24 weeks!
That's the magic number. The very minimum that I need to get to for
any chance of survival. God has been such a comfort in this time
along with His word. God can do anything, even the impossible and my
situation is not even impossible. I feel in my heart that Autumn is
in God's hands and is there any better place to be? Thanks to all who
are praying for Autumn and our family, I truly believe in the power of
prayer and I do feel it. It's very encouraging to hear about or from
people I don't even know who are praying for us. Thanks again to all.
Just wanted to update you guys so you didn't fear the worst.

April (and K.J. and Keaton and Autumn)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sept 3, 2007

REMINDER: This was an email I sent out 2 years ago today.

So I thought I'd just write an email so some of you I haven't talked
to weren't wondering. I'm still at the hospital, everything is still
the same. I'm leaking very slowly, hopefully slowly enough that
enough fluid is being regenerated each day to keep up with the leak.
Like the doctor said it's like filling up a bucket that has a hole in
it.

I'm on 2 antibiotics given by IV, Unasyn is given 3 times a day and
Zithromax is given once a day. The antibiotics are to prevent
infection which I'm very susceptible to since I'm ruptured. I am also
given Indomethacin by pill twice a day. That is to prevent
contractions/labor. Autumn's heartbeat is in the 150's, normal range
is 120-170. I also still feel her kick and move.

I'm not counting statistics cause God can really do anything, but this
is what I found surfing the net.
______________________________________________________

http://www.meriter.com/living/preemie/survivalnew/survival.htm

Completed Weeks of Gestation at Birth
(Using last menstrual period) Survival
21 weeks and less 0%
22 weeks 0-10%*
23 weeks 10-40%
24 weeks 40-70%
25 weeks 50-80%
26 weeks 80-90%
27 weeks >90%
30 weeks >95%
34 weeks >98%


Most babies at 22 weeks are not recuscitated because survival without major disability is so rare.

A baby's chances for survival increases 3-4% per day between 23 and 24
weeks of gestation and about 2-3% per day between 24 and 26 weeks of
gestation. After 26 weeks the rate of survival increases at a much
slower rate because survival is high already.
__________________________________________________________

So as you can see, the longer we can keep from delivering, the better
so No News is Good News.

April

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ruptured at 21 weeks, 4 days on August 30th, 2007

written Aug 31st

This is not good news so it's easier for me to write this to inform
everyone of what's going on rather than calling you all individually
and repeating the same story and answering the same questions over and over. I went to the ER yesterday because I was leaking amniotic fluid. I was admitted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola and have been here since. I will be 22 weeks on Sunday so this is not good but it's not hopeless. All we know is that I'm ruptured (my water broke) and they don't expect the hole to heal itself. I have had no contractions
and am not in labor so that is good. Usually, once your membranes
rupture, you go into labor within 10-14 days. If that were to happen,
Autumn would most likely be too young to survive. The doctor is
hoping for me to keep the baby in for 4 more weeks. At 24 weeks, babies
have a chance of survival. Autumn's heartrate is perfect and I feel
her kick and move. They say she is fine as long as she stays inside.
I guess babies can live on a low amount of amniotic fluid as long as
it doesn't get too low. I am on strict bedrest at the hospital and
will be here a while. When I do go into labor, which is hopefully
later than sooner, I will be transferred to Sacred Heart where they
have a fantastic NICU.

Of course this is very emotional for K.J. and I but we put our trust
in the Lord. There isn't anything we can do or even that the doctors
and nurses can do at this point, it's just a waiting game. Even
though we don't know, God knows whether Autumn will survive or not so
we're just leaving it up to Him and doing all we can to be strong
while we wait.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Please pray for Autumn's health and development and for K.J. and I to
be strong as this is a very trying time.

Email is welcome, I expect to have lots of time to read it being stuck
in bed at the hospital.

Thanks, April

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby guessing game.

If you know me personally, you may also know my friend Keli. She is due October 23rd with her 3rd child, FIRST Boy! His name is Ryker Adair. I set up a little online baby pool to guess the details of Ryker's birth. Come join in the fun and make your best guess.

Good luck :) Ryker's guessing game

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Autumn's story

Many of you who know me know my second child, my first and only (so far) daughter, was born 11 weeks premature at 29 weeks gestation. There's also some who know me who didn't know that. There's also some who know Autumn was a preemie but really don't know the details of what happened. And then there's those of you who only know me by acquaintance or even only through the internet as a reader of my blog. I feel Autumn's story is worth sharing on my blog, something I didn't have two years ago, though I wish I had. I am also reproducing it here so I can have it here to save for future reference. Over the next few months I'm going to re-post communications I sent out 2 years ago while I was on hospital bedrest pregnant with Autumn and while she was in the NICU. Please join me over the next few months as I post Autumn's story. I'm going to make each post match up to the date I wrote it but 2 years earlier. Maybe I'll add additional details and feelings here and there but for the most part I think it will just be copy and paste from what I was sending out in emails at that time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Guinea Pigs

We got 2 female guinea pigs! The kids love 'em.

mcxbzdire6

Friday, May 29, 2009

What's a homemaker?

Ok, so this post is not going to be all in depth and praiseworthy of the definition of a homemaker because seriously I still have not fulfilled my calling to even a quarter of it's potential. I simply wanted to share something with you all I found funny, yet interesting and thought provoking.

KJ's little brother, who's 20, is living with us for the summer break from college. He attends UWF in Pensacola but was having some financial issues so we suggested he stay with us while we help him sort through and learn some financial wisdom ;)

Anyway, his first task was to find a job here since his old job was almost an hour away now. As he was filling out applications, he put me as a reference and asked me what my job was. I told him "homemaker" (I assumed he simply did not know what to choose between SAHM, Housewife, Homemaker, etc.) He said "No, what's your job title? You know, your computer job?" As most of you know, I held a full time job before I had children and it was in the Technology Industry. I laughed and said "my job is now homemaker, my job was a Network Support Technician but I am not one anymore". "He said, I know but I thought that was your career?" I said "yes, it was my career but it's not anymore."

It seems he thinks at some point I will return to my career, after all, isn't that what's most important? Why am I wasting my hard earned skills here at home? << insert sarcasm here

Later on, Kyle came back and told me this story: He was filling out more applications online at his friend Daniel's house and one of the options to choose for a past job was "homemaker", he called his friend over and asked him "Hey Daniel, what's a homemaker?". He obviously had recently learned the meaning of the word but was curious what Daniel's response would be. Daniel said "I don't know, I guess like a construction worker or someone who builds houses." I thought that was pretty funny.

As I'm writing this I realize if I looked at my job as a homemaker the same way I regarded my "career", I'd be much happier. If I considered my job of training children, cooking food, mopping floors, folding laundry, changing sheets, washing dishes, vacuuming, etc, a Career, I would be much better at it. If I could apply the same drive, motivation, hard work, perseverance that I once applied to the paid job I held before, my whole family would benefit so much more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Walgreens trip 5/24

bottle of Calcium $8.99 ($9 RR)
Reach Ultraclean Toothbrushes 2 for $5.00 ($3 RR)
1/2 gallon Tropicana Orange Juice $2.99 ($1 RR)
Colgate Total toothpaste $2.49 ($1.50 RR)
total $19.47
-$1 Colgate Q
-$6 RR
-$6 RR
-$6 RR
subtotal $.47
tax $.45
Total $.92

received $14.50 in RR's


1/2 gallon Tropicana Orange Juice $2.99 ($1 RR)
Colgate Total toothpaste $2.49 ($1.50 RR)
CD Visor $1.00

Men's Zone Shave Gel $.87
total $7.35
-$2.50 RR
-$2.00 RR
-$2.00 RR
subtotal $.85
tax $.27
Total $1.12

received $2.50 in RR's

# of items purchased: 9
TOTAL spent: $2.04 (on giftcard)
Total Register Rewards received $17.00

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Man.

He's been away since April 19th, came home for a short visit Mother's Day weekend and will be home for good June 1st. We miss You K.J.!!!
My Man, their Daddy:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Look what I got at Walgreens for $1.75 and got back $10.50

Oil Moisturizer $6 (produced $6 RR*)
Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste $2.99 (produced $2 RR)
Bayer $2.49 (produced $2.50 RR)
$1 clearance item
$1 clearance item
$.99 trial size item
Subtotal $14.47
-$1 Q** (Oil Moisturizer)
-$1 Q (Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste)
-$1.50 Q (Bayer)
after Q's $10.97
-$5 RR
-$5 RR
final subtotal $.97
tax on $11.98 = $.78 (there was no tax on the Bayer)

TOTAL OOP*** = $1.75 (It wasn't even really out of pocket cause I have a Walgreens gift card with $30 on it from some rebates last month! I think this GC may last a while if I can keep this up!)

Received $10.50 in RR's to use next time!

check out other Walgreens deals here

*RR = Register Reward
**Q = coupon
***OOP = Out Of Pocket

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

March for Babies

http://www.marchforbabies.org/autumntottle

I signed up for this fundraising event over 6 months ago and I just now am realizing that it is THIS Saturday! I had all these plans of really going all out and collecting money for the March of Dimes but obviously I failed miserably. I really want to go do the 3 mile walk with the double stroller and both my kids but I feel pretty embarassed going without having raised any money. Do you think that's seriously rude? I mean I'd like to get out there and see what the event is like and hopefully it will inspire me to raise money for next year, plus I'll get a workout in on Saturday. Also, registration is at 7am, which means I need to seriously hustle to get me and the kids up, fed and out of the house by 6:30 at the latest! We don't even wake up that early, well Keaton does but me and Autumn don't!!! Lol. He comes in and watches cartoons on my bed til I get up around 7. So I'm going back and forth on whether or not I'm going to go. I still really want to go except for the aforementioned reasons, so what do YOU think?

Should I just go or is it really awkward that I've raised no money and therefore I should stay home in shame?

Stellan Post-Surgery


Is this not the cutest patient, or what?
Go here to read what his mom had to say.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet Stellan's Serious Surgery

Praying for Stellan as he may still be in surgery, check out MckMama's Twitter account for updates.

Check out everyone who's wearing ORANGE today to show their Stellan support!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This had me literally laughing out loud!

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall.By Shannon PopkinMy little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we are in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:''Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?''At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.Cade continued: ''Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh...Mommy! I'm trying to see In dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!''I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, ''Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!''''No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies...Oh! Mommy!''He started to gag at this point.''Uh - oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!''As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall.. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing thesubject.. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.''Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!''He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. ''Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?''More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.''Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.'' He started pounding on the door. ''Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!''I saw that my wait 'em out' plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud.My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three She lives with her family in Grand Rapids , Michigan , where she no longer uses public restrooms)

Monday, April 6, 2009

CVS Deals 4/5-4/11

What I got at CVS this week for $2.75

2 Easter baskets
2 bags of Easter grass
2 cans Pringles
2 Revlon Matte Eyeshadows
1 Skintimate Shave Cream

How I did it:
Easter baskets $1.99 ea, you get $1.99 Extra Care Buck, limit 2 --$3.98 oop, $3.98 ECBs

Easter grass $0.79 ea, you get $0.79 ECB, limit 2 -- $1.58 oop, $1.58 ECBs

Pringles on sale $0.88 ea, mfcg Q save $1 on 2, $0.38 ea, $0.76 for 2 cans

Revlon cosmetics on sale B1G1 FREE, Eyeshadow $4.99, second eyeshadow FREE, mfcg Q $2.00, mfcg $1.00, total for 2 eyeshadows $1.99

Skintimate shave cream $3.49, you get $3.49 ECB

$11.80 oop, $9.05 ECBs
To get more deals, visit Money Saving Mom

Walgreens Deals 4/5-4/11

All this for $7.43

This is how I snagged these deals at Walgreens:

3 Puffs Tissue boxes for $2.72
>regular price $1.49 ea
-- WAGS coupon $0.99 ea, limit 3
-- mfgc $0.25/3

Palmolive 10 oz for $0.74
>regular price $1.99
-- WAGS coupon $0.99 ea
-- mfgc $0.25

Colgate Total 4 oz for $3.49
-- received $3.50 in RR's (Register Rewards)

Betty Crocker Frosting 2/$3.00
--mfgc $0.55
--mfgc $0.50
--received $1.00 RR's

2 Glade Lasting Impressions kits $5.98
>on sale $5.99 ea
-- mfgc $3.00
-- mfgc $3.00
-- $2.00 Easy Saver Rebate

Total $15.93

I also used a --$2 RR that I had received from a previous trip making my total oop $13.93

$7.43 after $4.50 RR's and $2 Easy Saver Rebate

To get more deals, visit Money Saving Mom

The deals I plan to go back for spending $4.73 oop (out of pocket)

Colgate Total 4 0z $3.49, earn $3.50 RR's (you can pick up one of these on each trip)

3 boxes Multi Grain Cheerios for $4.75 ($1.58 per box)
GM cereal is on sale 3/$7
--three mfcg $0.75 off Multi Grain Cheerios

Gillette Series Shave Cream $0.99
>price $1.99
-- mfcg $1.00

Total - $9.23 (use $4.50 in RR's) making total oop $4.73

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MckMama's Stellan

MckMama's little tough guy Stellan is still not doing well but I know there are many out there in blogosphere praying for him and the MckFamily. If you are unfamiliar with MckMama and her charming kids, click here: my charming kids
And go here if you want to read Stellan's story:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pray for Stellan "MckMuffin"


If you read MckMama and if you feel so inclined, please pray for her baby boy Stellan. You can read about what's happening to him here. I hope she gives us a good update soon!
(the picture of Stellan is from MckMama's website, do you think it's ok I grabbed it off of there?)

Friday, March 13, 2009

I REORGANIZED (most of) MY CLOSET!

This is probably not the best thing to show you as I'm rather embarassed of the inside of my closet but I thought it would be a good thing to document!
I have really been needing to sort through my clothes and since I'm having a yard sale on Saturday, I got motivated to finally do it. Although, I'm not actually selling the clothes in the yard sale, I'll be donating them but for some reason getting ready for my yard sale motivated me to get in my closet and CLEAN HOUSE!!! Talking to my friend Keli was also motivation, she's one of those people who's super organized and every season, stores clothes away and brings out clothes from storage and organizes all her kids' clothes by size and is constantly ridding her home of excess extraneous things. I'm nothing like her.
These first 3 pictures are supposed to be the "BEFORE" pics but they were actually taken after I was just a little bit into clearing it out. You see that space to the left, that did not exist in the "BEFORE" state.
Here's the beginning of my "piles". I'm so organized aren't I? Ha ha. The two piles closest are "donate" piles and the pile slightly to the rear with the brown sweater on top is my "keep and put in storage" pile. Some things I'm storing away because they are winter items and some because I do not fit in them right now but I really love them and hope to fit in them eventually. I know, I know, that's sort of against some rules or something but I did get rid of most of my "too skinny" clothes, I only kept the few things I REALLY LOVED! After all, I've got 5 different sizes of clothes throughout my closet, drawers and in bins under my bed so I'm bound to fit in something from each size over time, right? Say the sizes I have are 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 (I wish). Let's just say I'm wearing an 8 right now and I hope to get down to
a 2, respectively.
This is my "throw away" pile, conveniently on the floor. It's mostly lingerie, I would not donate or sell lingerie, that's just gross. Although I don't think I've worn any of it longer than a few minutes anyway ;)
Here's my closet after ridding it of all unecessary stuff, I only left in there what I have worn in the last month. I still need to work on the top shelf and the floor of my closet but for now I'm very proud of what I accomplished.
Look at how much space! I should fill it quickly, shouldn't I??
I have a mild obsession with totes and small handbags if you hadn't noticed the top shelf there! More than half of my little bags I have never used, I just really love buying them.
Here's the floor of my closet, I actually organized it a couple months ago and it was looking pretty good until I decided to store my crochet stuff in there! The American Eagle box contains my crochet hooks, patterns, scissors and misc. things while the basket it's sitting in holds some yarn. There's also some more yarn off to the left in a plastic shopping bag that I recently purchased.
Most of my friends know that I served in the Air Force Reserves for 10 years. This is what's left of my BDU's (Battle Dress Uniforms for you civilians), I have two sets and two sets of maternity. I've listed them on craigslist and will probably put them out in my yard sale this weekend. I've been discharged from the Air Force for nearly a year but have been holding on to them since. Sentimental, not really, but maybe. It will be officially one year March 31st, which coincidentally is also my birthday!
And I've also got my blues! All pressed and ready to wear! Hope someone else can use them, they're actually pretty expensive.
Here are the final piles, as you can see, the 2 "donate" piles turned into 3 and the "keep for storage" pile is rather small.
I ran out of room on the bed for "donate" items so here are some more!
Another view of the piles, I've got some bikinis sitting there for donation, I know I'll never wear those EVER again! Not with the stretch marks my darling Keaton tore into me.
And this is funny cause I'm always complaining that we don't have enough hangers and my husband always says I'm hoarding them in my closet. He was right. Now I've got loads of extra hangers!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Not me!" Monday



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week.
Keaton and Autumn were playing together very well while I was NOT on the internet for an unsubstantiated amount of time the other day. I did NOT end up on facebook chatting with an old friend that I hadn't seen or talked to in over 15 years so when the kids got unnervingly quiet (you know what I mean, when they're so quiet, you just know they're getting in to trouble?) I did NOT ignore them and did NOT keep on chatting figuring whatever they're getting into can't be that bad. Suddenly I was NOT overcome with a strong scent of laundry soap. Knowing that Keaton sometimes likes to scoop the powder, I figured he was scooping it onto the floor and I'd just need to sweep it up and do some training with him. What I found however, was Keaton scooping laundry powder from the box and pouring it over Autumn's head!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More "sick Autumn" pics

Is it cruel that I keep posting pics of my ill child?
I just think she's so adorable when she's sick. That could partly be due to the fact that she's extremely cuddly when she's not feeling well. And Daddy and I take full advantage of that fact.
She loves to play with phones, she'll even pick anything up that looks remotely familiar to a phone and hold it to her ear and say some random gibberish.
Here she is "talking" on my cell phone.




KJ and I just thought this was too cute. She was watching Shrek and seeing her little head focused upward towards the TV was just really cute.
Here she's saying,
"hey, leave me alone, I'm trying to watch a movie here."















Thursday, March 5, 2009

Every last one of the Tottles has a cold!!!


This is how Daddy and Autumn spent most of this past weekend. These pics are from Saturday. Autumn looks so pathetic, I think it's adorable.



Autumn started with some congestion on Friday and then Saturday had a fever of 103 which we quickly brought down to 101 with a lukewarm bath and Tylenol, and then she's had low fevers on and off the whole weekend. She's still sick but the last two days has been mostly coughing and a runny nose.


Hopefully this is over soon, being sick really wears Autumn out. Then of course I started feeling sick on Mon and then Tues & Wed it was really kicking my butt but today I am feeling much better but not yet back to normal. Tue K.J. & Keaton also started getting sick. So now we all have colds!!
Autumn is a little irritable today but nothing compared to what it's been like the last week but Keaton is especially grumpy today. They both slept late, Autumn til 8 and Keaton til 9 and then both took a nap at 10:30. They both usually wake up between 7 and 7:30 when they're not sick.








Here's Autumn on Thursday, the day before she started getting sick.
She's bringing laundry to the laundry room.
We used to have cats, and we would keep the litter boxes in our laundry room, hence the hole.
I taught Keaton to put laundry through the kitty door last year and he loves doing it.
So I figured why not try out Autumn.
I showed her how to do it once and she's hooked!
Now when we get them changed, we just say bring this to the laundry and voila!, she toddles off with clothing in her arms and pushes it through the hole.
We say "thank you" and the kids are so proud of themselves.

Child Slavery? Nah. Good work ethic, yeah!