Part 3: The Power of the Purple Bracelet

14 weeks post partum. this is the final installment i promise

Aliana, she might as well had been at the beach, and not under photo therapy lights

When we finally made it to the NICU, I was the only one allowed in the nursery with her. While they hooked her up to the monitors, they took me out to the desk to get my purple bracelet. This wrist band gave Andrew and I 24 hour access to our baby. Only Andrew and I were authorized in her nursery at all times, the only exception was if there was an emergency or if the yellow chain was strung across the door. On Wednesday night, we came back to the nursery after going home to have dinner. It was after visiting hours, and there were some people arguing with the security guard to be let in. We just held our arms up, flashed our wrist bands, and walked past. Pure VIP style – the only exception was this wasn’t a concert or exclusive club. We were heading up to see our precious baby.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our first week with Aliana. The story continues (and ends!) with pictures after the jump.

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Part 2: Home birth to NICU

At the Kahrs family reunion. A rare photo of the three of us together.

(11 weeks post partum)

Sorry for taking so long with part two. I believe you are aware that my life got busier since the first part way back in June, haha.

Anyway, to continue. Aliana was born early but safely, and most importantly healthy that Sunday. Two days later, she finally began to open her eyes more, and start to look around. That morning we made an appointment to see the pediatrician for her to get a complete check up and to get into the system. We thought we were doing what any parents should do when they first have a baby. Now I don’t want to speculate too much about what happened next but, we can’t help but think that this trip to the doctor is what sent her over the edge we didnt even know she may have been tettering on.

This is probably the most painful part to our story to recall. So much happened in so little time. It feels like things happened in slow motion; time was really unnoticeable… it made me realize exactly how much could happen in only 24 hours. Stay tuned for part three…

Tangent: Andrew, I really hope that I do not emasculate you with this post. I’m only trying to record these events elsewhere than my mind. Please forgive me for telling folks you cried.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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One word never used to describe being pregnant: miserable

Week 26, day 6

Okay, quick topic here. The last few weeks has brought on new aches and pains, particularly, in the ribs. I don’t feel much bigger than I was a month ago, but she’s definitely growing herself. I feel her more and more each day as she grows. She’s quite the little punk too, especially now that she can reach my ribs with her feet. She kicks, she prods, she pushes up against my belly and it feels like she’s a chest burster trying to bust out. She’s made me cry a few times with how much her pushing and shoving has hurt. But, that’s all in adjustment. It’s not so bad now but I’m sure I’ll be listing new pains as she gets a little larger.

What is bad are the mood swings. How one minute I can be absolutely ready to bawl or scream at everyone and the next I’m all ladeedah and laughing. One thing I wasn’t ready for, nor warned about, were the days of absolute misery and utter loneliness.

There are some days where I don’t even want to wake up. And when I get home from work, I just lay on the couch and either whine or cry in complete silence. Being pregnant is hard work! There is so much going on inside your body that just zaps all your energy and leaves you feeling so empty and alone.

I know I shouldn’t complain, God has given me quite a gift here, but one thing I wish is that I was warned there would be bad days when you just want it to be over, just to feel some sort of control over your life again. Knowing this might not have helped me prepare for the actual feeling of it, but at least I would know that I’m not alone. To know that I’m not the only one that has felt this way while pregnant would have been comfort enough.

For now, I don’t really have many people I can really talk to about it (in terms of those who have experienced this). Andrew has been a great supporter throughout all of these ups and downs. I’m sure he’s had whiplash from the sudden (mean) outbursts  and the rebounding laughter two minutes later. But when all I’ve really needed is someone to hold me or rub my head while I try to fall asleep he’s always right there next to me comforting me and trying his best to make me feel better. I think he’s figured out that there really are no words necessary.

A true ally. I am soooo thankful to have such an understanding partner in all of this. I don’t know where I would be at this point if he wasn’t how and who he is.

Why do we cultivate a fear-based culture in the US?

23 weeks, 2 days

this week’s belly photo

Note to self: what you say today may come back and bite you in the ass.

The reaction that really struck me the most when we began to tell people that we were pregnant or (to the few we shared this with) were planning to get pregnant within the year (boy did it happen fast) came from mothers:
“Whatever you do, get the epidural! Don’t even try to put up with it.”
“Get ready for the most painful experience in the entire world.”
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

Then, I would place the reactions of the ignorant and insensitive (and by ignorant, I mean those that have never experienced birth and have only witnessed it from movies and television, not actual birthing videos or documentaries):
“Are you scheduling your c-section?”
“You’re gonna be a screamer! I bet I’ll hear you all the way from here!”
“You better warn your neighbors, they’re gonna think you’re Linda Blair with all that screaming!”

I kept asking myself, Seriously?!?!

First, I’m sorry, I don’t really understand why the need for hazing from experienced mothers. Is that really necessary? Are we pledging a fraternity here?

You’re gonna have to click more to continue reading. This will be a very long post.

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In Case You Missed It

If you didn’t make it into our address book this year (I supposed last year at this point), here’s what you missed…

Our extremely well thought out, very precisely planned announcement of our pregnancy is displayed below. Through blood, sweat (mine), and tears we produced this quality piece of Christmas cheer and managed to mail it before the 25th! If you’d like to receive one next year, just send us your address! It’s always nice to keep in touch via snail mail!

Merry Christmas!

We kept the pregnancy a complete secret from ALL extended family and many of you on Facebook (sorry guys!) until we hit the 3 month mark. We did however spills a few of the beans and told people at work and other friends we see on a regular basis. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to not tell the whole world. But, now it’s out in the open, we’re at 20 weeks I believe, and Lilly is definitely feeling the pressure of our growing baby.

Speaking of which, we are a little nervous at the moment because she’s been experiencing lower abdominal pain (but it’s not the abdominal muscles) since her car accident. From what I’ve gathered is there are two tendons that hold the uterus “in place.” Before pregnancy they are very small, 1-3 inches long; however, during pregnancy they are 5-7 inches long, stretching as the baby grows. They may even get longer but I’m just the husband, I really have no idea. Anyway, the pain Lilly is experiencing to a point is normal, but we’re being cautious and keeping a very close eye on it in the event it’s not so normal. My assumption is that because these tendons are stretching, they are already sore. Throw a jolt from a minor T-bone car accident, and you possibly hyper-extend these already strained tendons. Maybe they’re ligament, I don’t remember, but I know there are two of them. In any event, I hope my wife and baby girl are doing okay and that the soreness will soon subside. As always, we’ll keep you posted and ask to be included in your prayers for a healthy mommy and baby.