Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tracker Jackers

**Here's the part where if you are a boy or if you're weirded out by breastfeeding, you should skip down a bit.

I am completely convinced, after the last 48 hours, that when writing The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins dreamt up the effects of tracker jacker stings after dealing with mastitis.  Fever.  Dizziness.  Comatose sleep.  Intense pain.  Angry red splotches.  Covering oneself in leaves to draw out the poison.
After spiking a 103 fever early Monday, being unable to hold up my own head, sobbing uncontrollably, and creating a human salad bar with cabbage leaves, I finally gave in and got some antibiotics.  I took a day off from seeing Parker, which was terrible.  I missed sweet Avery's birthday party and had to send Jeremiah with my sister, which was terrible.  I slept for 22 out of 24 hours.  That was not so terrible, except for when my fever broke and I woke up in a pile of sweaty sheets.

Worst I have ever felt in my whole life.  Bless you, antibiotics.  Curse you, mastitis.  You are no longer welcome here.**

In other happier news, Parker has moved out of the critcal NICU and into the "swing beds."  This is a temporary stop on the way to our own private room on the B-side (step-down).  Honestly, though, his new room might as well be a suite at the Plaza.  It is giant!  It was originally designed for 2 babies, but they seldom use the second space and just keep it open as one.
Seriously, not even half of our room.  We have our own sink! And a cabinet! Woot!!

They moved Parker on the day I was so sick, and I was sad to leave NICU A without saying goodbye.  We have been parked there for 5 and a half weeks, and they are our friends.  They have seen us at our worst.  They have laughed with us and hugged us and held our hands through scary days.  Although I am pleased as punch for Parker to be progressing (say that 5 times fast), I will miss the A side terribly.

Today was my first taste of life in the swing beds... and it's really quite lovely.  We have that giant space all to ourselves (which is NOT the norm, just luck of the draw), and though it lacks windows, it has closeable doors.  It is nice and quiet and private.  The lactation specialist brought me my own hospital pump to keep bedside, so I don't have to leave to pump anymore.  I can wash and store my pump parts in the handy sink and cabinet.  We have enough space to bring in a bouncy and swing (will be trying that tomorrow!) and life is good.  The staff on that side is every bit as kind as the A side folks are.  The happiest surprise has been that our beloved Dr.Williams, from Parker's first 3 weeks of life, is over there for this week. I think it is only temporary, which is stinky.  Perhaps I can convince her there is room to stay in Parker's gigantor room.

Parker progresses nicely-- he's down to a 3 liter/hour flow at 30% oxygen.  There approaches a day, hopefully not too far off, that he can attempt oral feeds (he needs to get below a 2 liter flow first).  Penny the Feeding Lady met with us today, and gave us lots of good tips to help him get ready.  Parker got his first tastes of breastmilk on a binky, and he was most pleased. delicious.....zzzzzzzzzzz....

We are supposed to repeat this dipping of the binky exercise at least once a day, preferably several, right before one of his feeds.  Mike and I are task-oriented people, thus we are happy to have assignments that make us feel useful.  It's so funny how doing something so small becomes so gigantically important as a NICU parent.  Still, we've come a long way from the day I got to wipe his eyes and nearly fell on the floor.
And that was just a month ago!

 5 Week Birthday Picture with Mickey (from Friday)

 My view for most of each day-- we have some good talks during our snuggles.

And lest I forget-- Jeremiah spent last weekend up at our lakehouse with my dad, Anda, and some of their friends.  He had a ball, as only he can do as the only 3 year old with 6 grownups.  I saw some of the pictures taken during his boating adventures, and they are just beautiful.  I'm still working on getting the actual files, so all I have is this tiny preview, but you get the idea.
As much as my time is eaten up by my P-nut, my Bullfrog will always be my first baby boy.  I love that little man!

06-23 Lake Rabun-2


  1. The fact that you compared Tracker Jackers to breastfeeding still has me laughing...........glad you a feeling better and Parker got moved to a lower level care area! All good news and steps in the right direction.

    Mom to Garrett ~LCDH

  2. I love to see Parker doing so well! Such a true Blessing! I hope you are feeling all better now. My daughter was 8 weeks premature and spent about a month in the nicu. I had to pump for her and she never did take to nursing. Its so exciting that Parker is already excited about taste and his paci!

  3. So excited for Parker's progress! And I love the new pictures--he's changed so much already. So glad you get to hold him and love on him :) (And glad the mastitis adventure is over, that sounds atrocious.)

  4. Abby...I am so happy to hear all the good news about Parker! What a sweet little guy he is. someone who once stole your coffee at Starbucks...I feel close enough to your share some potentially useful (or not) information about mastitis. I got it with my first daughter and, like you, I turned myself into human cole slaw in an effort to combat. I got it 3 times in a row and ended up in the hospital on IV antibiotics. While Parker has that swank huge room, I can't imagine you want to share it in that capacity. So turned out I was allergic to one of the synthetic materials in my nursing bra. When I switched to all cotton, I never had another problem. Unfortunately I made this realization during my second pregnancy, but that is another story. There is my plug for cotton...the fabric of our lives...and hopes that you never again experience the nightmare that is mastitis!

    Take care, Kristen

  5. Abby, so good to see this news about Parker! Love that you are snuggling that little man so much and that he is getting close to oral feeds. Love that he has been able to take a step down - all closer to coming home. I understand your feelings about leaving your NICU A people. I see them as the people who saved our baby and held us up during the darkest days and they hold a special place for me forever.

    Much less glad to see news about mastitis. Horrible! Glad that you are feeling better. Keep on, keepin' on, mama! :)

    Corinne & Samuel

  6. I LOVE your spirit and upbeat attitude .. even with ALL you have and ARE going through!!! I have always believed that being upbeat was the way to win the battle ... and you and P-nut ARE winning!!!! Keep expecting GOD to answer your prayers ... He is good!!!!!!!