Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Growing Girl

Madison saw the pediatrician again today. She now weighs 6 pounds 3.5 ounces and is 20 inches long. I'm so proud of her...and of us for helping her grow. The pediatrician also said that we can stop waking her during the night for feedings and just let her signal to feed. So our plan is to do her 11 PM feeding and then just see how she does. Then we'll make sure she gets her 8 AM feeding.

After the appointment, we headed to Olive Garden for lunch. The food was so yummy and it was nice to go out to eat. I don't remember the last time we did!

Madi had her first real bath a few days ago. She seemed to really enjoy it! She wasn't quite sure about it at first; but just like with everything else, she calmed herself pretty quickly and just took it all in. She's so easygoing!

In other news...

I wore my wedding rings today for the first time in awhile. I was so happy that I could finally get them on my fingers again! I've lost 27 pounds of my pregnancy weight. I still want to lose the rest plus some more! I'm anxious to start exercising again.

I think I am enjoying maternity leave waaaaaaaaaay too much. I seriously dread going back to work! I never thought I'd say this, but I wish I could be a stay at home mom. I'm going to miss her so much. I can't imagine not spending the whole day with her. But I know I have to go back...and I'm okay with it...just wish I didn't have to.

It's been so nice spending this time together as a family. When Matt lost his job back in January, it seemed like such terrible news. We were both terrified and devastated...but now it seems like such a blessing. Matt was able to be there for me throughout the pregnancy in a way that he wouldn't have been able to if he had been working. Also, he's been able to develop an extra special bond with Madison. And now we're hoping he'll get some great news next month...that he gets accepted into the LPN Program he applied to. Nursing has been something he's been interested in for awhile now, and I hope that he gets a chance to pursue his dream.

Visiting with Great Aunt Patty and Great Uncle Charles

Gotta go feed the tiny munchkin now.

Much love,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Though our Madison only spent 36 hours in NICU after she was born, those hours were some of the toughest Matt and I have ever experienced. However, Madison's time in NICU also inspired us.

At Cabell Huntington, the nurses clothe the babies while they are in NICU. I remember how excited we were the first time they put a little sleeper on beautiful she healthy she looked. We later talked to Madison's nurse and found out that all of the clothing they receive has been donated. Matt and I are so excited aboout donating Madi's clothes once she outgrows them.

I'm hoping that those who read this will also do the same. If you have baby clothing in preemie, newborn, or even 0-3 months (sometimes bigger babies have to be in NICU), please ask your local hospital if they accept donations.

Also, please pray for Madison's NICU roomie Tristan and his mommy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Madison's First Week

Madison is now a little over a week old. We are still just so proud of her. She is just the strongest little thing.
Our greatest struggle has been feeding Little Miss Madi. Because she was born so early, she is still learning how to suck. Also, due to her size, she is on a very strict feeding schedule. We have to make sure that she eats at least 1 ounce every 3 hours. We can feed her up to 2 ounces if she will take it...and we are just so happy when she does.
Madison has already had 2 visits with her pediatrician...whom we just adore! At her first visit on Tuesday, Madison was down 7 ounces from her birth weight but by her visit on Friday she had already gained 3.5 ounces of it back. Madison also had to have an ECHO and EKG at the hospital on Wednesday morning. The opening in her heart in the upper right chamber (all babies have 3 openings in their heart while in the womb) has not completely closed. There is still a 2 mm thick opening. Madi's pediatrician told us that there is a 96% chance that the hole will completely heal itself by the time she is 6 months old. We will repeat the testing again at that time. She also assured us that this is nothing to be concerned about. The pediatrician also told us that Madison's disposition will probably stay just as it is now. She rarely cries, and even when she does she calms herself very quickly. The doctor explained to us that most babies stay the way they are from the very beginning and that she believed Madi would stay just as sweet and easygoing as she is now. Matt asked if we could get that in writing. haha!

Matt and I also took Madison for her first walk. It felt so nice to get out and walk around our subdivision. We've also had many has been so great seeing everyone!
In her first week, Madi seemed to enjoy car rides and people talking to her. She loves to make faces and play with her tongue. She grins at us so much! She didn't really care for her sponge baths or some of her diaper changes. She also doesn't really like it when we have to put her clothes on over her head! Madison has the most funny little sneezes and she burps so loudly! She also does this funny thing where she moans when we sit her up to burp her.

We love giving her nicknames. We've called her Squeaks, Spike, Tiny Munchkin, Sweet Girl, Little Lady, Sissy, Little Teapot, MadiMax, and MadMax.
My momma has stayed with us all week, and she's been a huge help! My mom, dad, and brother all stayed here last night and will be spending the rest of the weekend with us. Peggy and Jennifer are coming to see us on Monday.
Right now, Matt and Brother Matt are out golfing. I hope Matt is having a great time...he deserves it. He's been so wonderful with Madi and with me! We love him so much!!!
Matt and I are just so in love with our daughter. My mom once told me that having children gave her a whole new understanding of love...that the feeling just took on a brand new meaning....that the love you have for your children is just so different that any other love you've ever felt. I now know exactly what she meant.
I had a conversation with one of my nurses in the hospital. She does not have children and she asked me if it was overwhelming meeting this new little person...if it was scary to me that I'd have to get to know her. I explained to her that I felt like I already knew her. She's exactly the way I thought she would be. She always had the hiccups when she was in my belly...and she still does. And that funny little thing that always had her hands up around her face during every ultrasound still loves her little face!


Madison Maxine Smith. Born Thursday, April 9th at 11:30 pm. 5 lbs. 10 oz. 18.75 inches.

Our Adventure

I went to the hypertension clinic on April 6th. My blood pressure was extremely high. The doctor said there wasn't much more they could do. They did increase my dosage of blood pressure medication, but he said that if that didn't work, delivery would be the only other option. I thought for sure the medication would work. However, I began monitoring my blood pressure and it didn't seem to be coming down.

On Wednesday, I saw the ob/gyn. My blood pressure was still extremely high. I was very swollen and showed symptoms of preeclampsia. They sent me to the Lab for some blood tests and then to Labor & Delivery Triage for observation but said that I'd probably get to go home after a few hours. I was having mild contractions and was dilated to 1cm. Later they told us it'd be best to keep me overnight (but still just for observation). At about 11, the doctor had decided to induce me. She believed that at that point, it was much better for our little girl to come out than to stay in. I just kept asking if Madison would be okay...I was so worried about our lil girl. At midnight, they hooked me up to a drip of magnesium sulfate in order to keep my blood pressure down. At 2:00 am, they started the actual induction. Matt and Momma both stayed with me in my room.

After the IV, my blood pressure plummeted. The nurses/doctors were very alarmed and began discussing a C-section. I explained my issues with blood/needles and asked if we could just give it a little bit of time to see if my blood pressure would come back up. It did! I was supposed to spend the rest of the night resting...but I really don't think any of us got much sleep. The doctors and nurses starting coming in fairly early on Thursday morning to check me. That afternoon, they gave me the epidural. Once again, my blood pressure plummeted. I think it dropped to like 61/28. They had to give me ephedrine in order to get my blood pressure to come back up. The only problem was that it raised Madison heart rate drastically too. We had to wait for her heart rate to come back down before we could go any further. They gave me oxygen...I hated it! But I knew it was best for her, so I tried my best to breathe through that awful mask.

It took a few hours, but Madi's heart rate finally dropped back down to normal. The doctor started the Pitocin in the IV in order to speed things along a little. From that point, things went very quickly. I kept telling Momma that I felt like Madison was going to fall out...haha! They came in to check me again and said that it was time. That was probably at about 11:15 pm. I pushed through 4 contractions and Madison arrived at 11:30! It was so amazing hearing her was such a relief. The NICU staff was already there on hand and they brought Madi over and let me kiss her before they took her up to NICU. Matt was allowed to go up and see her and a lot of our family went up with him to see her too. It was so tough knowing that I wouldn't get to see her again until I was allowed to go off of the magnesium. They said it could possibly be 24 hours. Matt and Momma came back and told me that Madison was breathing on her own but that she was having to work a little too hard to do so. The doctors hooked her up to a C-Pap in order to help her.

The next morning, I called up to the NICU in order to check on Madi. They said she was breathing a little better. My doctor came in at about 8:00 and said that I was doing so well and that she didn't feel that there was any need to continue the magnesium. I would be moving out of the Labor & Delivery room and into a regular room. I was going to get to see Madison!!! Mom and I made it up to the NICU a little before 11. The nurse said that she was just about to feed Madison for the first time from a bottle...I was so happy because I got to do her very first feeding. Also, Madison was able to go off of her C-Pap! I was so proud of her. She ended up only having to stay in NICU for 36 hours. On Saturday, they brought her down to my room. I just cannot believe how strong our baby girl is! On Sunday, we all went home!

Overall, everything went so well....well, according to me anyway. There were some scary times...and we definitely had a hard time regulating my blood pressure. But I cannot say enough good things about the doctors/nurses at Cabell Huntington. They were just so prepared and handled every setback so quickly.

Also, Matt and I are so thankful for everyone's love and prayers. So many people were supporting us...and we know that it was their prayers that made all the difference.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Madison Maxine!

It's Aimee, blogging for Mandi.

Madison Maxine was born on April 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm. She weighed 5 lbs, 10 oz and was 18 3/4 inches long. Both Mom and Baby Madison are doing extremely well...we're hopeful the little fighter will get to come home tomorrow when Momma does. She's been in NICU, but there's a chance she'll be spending the night with her Mom and Dad in Mandi's hospital room.

Thanks to everyone for their love and prayers! Here's a pic of Madison, with many more to come when Mandi is up to getting on the computer.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blogger Award

Aimee gave me a blogger award.
With this award, you're supposed to name 7 things you LOVE, and then pass it along to 7 others.

1. I love my husband with all of my heart!
2. I love our baby girl!
3. I love our families (including June and Adele).
4. I love summer rain.
5. I love Smith Mountain Lake.
6. I love weekend trips.
7. I love Dave Matthews Band.
I don't know 7 other bloggers, so I choose Jennifer and Mandi!

Rough Week

It's kind of been a rough week for me...

Both of my hands/wrists have been a little tender for a few weeks, but on Tuesday my right hand/wrist began to hurt pretty badly. On Wednesday morning, I woke up and could not move it at all. It was so swollen and the swelling just got worse and worse as the day progressed. My face was really swollen too. Matt insisted that I call the doctor. The nurse suggested Tylenol and a brace...neither of which helped. After my hand was about double its normal size, I called the nurse back to let her know that it seemed to just be getting worse. The nurse was able to work me in for an appointment on Thursday with another doctor.

On Thursday morning, we went for the non-stress test. Madison was a lot more active this time. She got the hiccups during the test. It was so cute! After the non-stress test, we went over to the hospital for my appointment with the doctor. He said that due to the swelling, I have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. He sent me over to a pharmacy for a different brace. My hand/wrist seems to be a little better now, but it's still very painful if I move my thumb a lot or move my hand too far to the left. Matt's been great about helping me when I need it though!

Also, my blood pressure was elevated at the appointment. I've been checking it periodically since then and it doesn't seem to be getting any lower. At times, it's even been higher. :-( It's just so strange because at my appointment on Monday, it was perfect. I'm just glad I have an appointment at the hypertension clinic on Monday.

I've been so very swollen too. Today, my ankles and feet were huge!!! I'm sure the swelling is linked to the elevated blood pressure. I'm hoping that if they can get my blood pressure back under control on Monday, the swelling will go down some too!

I hate that the focus of this blog is negative. I mean, yeah, the pregnancy is starting to get a little harder on me. But overall, I've been so lucky. I still love being pregnant and it's still one of the greatest experiences of my life. When I start feeling a little miserable because my wrist hurts or my feet feel like they're going to fall off, Madison will wiggle a bit or push her butt against me as hard as she can and I'm reminded that it's so worth it! It's more than worth it! A girl I work with asked me if I still want to have more children after the problems I've had and the precautions we've had to take. My answer was "Of course...definitely!"