Well, today was my first day home alone with Hannah and things have gone remarkably well, much better than I expected actually. Hannah helped me/allowed me to fold and put away 3 loads of laundry, empty the dishwasher, eat lunch, and do some bills! Not a lot for an entire day, but it was more than I expected to get done. Hopefully later tonight I can manage to do some more decluttering and maybe even vacuum. After 1 week of a brand new baby home and 2 week s of using the house as a dumping ground while Hannah was in the hospital the house is a garbage dump. This wouldn't be much of a problem except our first post placement home visit from the agency is tomorrow night! They say the house doesn't have to be clean, but I wonder if they would have a problem with 3 weeks worth of pet hair coating every available surface in the house except Hannah's room!
Well, it's Wednesday now and we survived our first post placement visit. Mom came up yesterday and played with Hannah while I finished cleaning up the house. Things don't look too bad now and mom finally got to see Hannah awake! Today Hannah and I will make our first outing alone together. I'm already a nervous wreck about having her alone in the back seat. So far every time we've gone anywhere Kyle has drove and I've sat in the back seat with Hannah.
Hannah is home now and of course so are we. We are so thankful to be back and able to get our lives back in order. I finally get to use my comfy chair again for feedings! :) Thanks for all the prayers, cards, and emails of encouragement. We really appreciate it! Keep your eyes posted for more baby Hannah updates as Mommy and Daddy get back into the swing of things.
The last few days have been quite busy. Yesterday Hannah had 7 visitors! At one point there were 11 people in her hospital room counting us, Hannah and 2 nurses. We had quite the party going on! Tiffany and Mike came to visit Hannah and brought Tiffany's twins. Jennifer and Jorge also came to visit and brought us dinner. We had a bit of a picnic! It was actually fun. Didn't think I'd ever say that about the hospital! Speaking of food, we have been well fed the past week. In fact we have more food than I think we will ever be able to finish before it goes bad. So, we have begun sharing it with families of other patients and the nurses. Everyone has been so kind to us and taken great care of us. Our friends and church family are awesome! We feel so blessed.
Yesterday Hannah got a big girl bed. The day nurse decided she was too big for the bassinet she was in and didn't like the other nurse's job of jimmy rigging the mobile onto it so she brought Hannah in a baby cage! It's quite intimidating, but the mobile does fit on there better and Hannah certainly does have more room. She is getting bigger though. The nurse was right about that. She now weighs over a pound more than she did when she was born. Last night she weighed in at 9 lbs 15.2 oz. I'm sure tonight when they weigh her she'll be 10 lbs! That's my big girl! :)
Today I actually had a good experience with a nursing student. I must admit I was getting a bit fed up with the whole system, but today Hannah's student was great. This is the first time she has had a more traditional aged student. This girl was 24 and a mother of an 8 year old. Let me tell you, she knew her stuff. She asked if she could do Hannah's feedings while she was there and give her a bath. I was a bit reluctant, but I tried not to make her pay for the mistakes of others so I said ok. I figured if I didn't like how she handled Hannah when she fed her breakfast then I could say no to future feedings and the bath. I was pleasantly surprised. She was definitely better at bathing a baby than I am so I took some mental notes. The whole time I was thinking, "This is how it's supposed to be. If this is your chosen career, you need to have some skills by the time you are a semester away from graduating." I am no longer fearful of the downfall of pediatric nursing once this current class of students hits the job market!
The doctor wrote Hannah's discharge instructions this morning. She has to finish up her round of antibiotics, but as soon as her last dose is finished Friday evening we are free to go! The paperwork is already done. YEAH! Thank heavens for Dr. Hendrick. We just love him. He definitely knows how much we want to be back home with Hannah and how much we want to get into a routine again.
Today officially marks the half way point Hannah's stay at the hospital. It's seems like we've been there FOREVER already. I can't believe we have 7 more days to go! Just as a point of interest, if anyone is trying to contact us at the hospital by phone or to come visit, Hannah is listed under her own name not ours. So, to find us you have to either ask for Hannah Catherson (her legal name until the adoption is finalized in 60 days) or just go on up or get connected to the pediatric wing. From there you can just ask for baby Hannah and they hook you up with us right away. Everyone in peds knows who we are since we've been there so long. If you ask for either Kyle or I or Hannah Spontak they will tell you that they have no record of us being there.
Hannah got her picc line in yesterday so now she is permanently attached to an IV pole 24/7 instead of just one hour out of every eight. Before they managed to get the pick line in they had to start a 5th IV site! UGH! The poor thing is turning into a human pin cushion! While the pick line will probably prevent them from having to stick her anymore, it's a pain for us b/c now we have to drag an IV pole around everywhere when we hold her, feed, her, and change her. We had just been given the ok to walk the halls with her and now we are back to being tied to the room. We can technically still go out in the hall, but it's not that feasible because it's hard to hold Hannah, keep the IV line out of the wheels of the pole, and pull the pole along, while also trying to manage a paci if needed!
Yesterday was another interesting day as far as nursing students were concerned. Hannah had a student that was absolutely obessive. She was in our room every 5 minutes correcting me and telling me how to do this and do that and checking her vitals every half hour instead of every 3 hours! At one point I was sitting on the bed with Hannah sitting on my belly with her back and head supported by my bent knees and the student freaked out, ran in the room and pulled both the bed rails up on the bed b/c I might fall asleep with Hannah and drop her! That woman wore me out! I had all sorts of plans of things Hannah and I were going to do, but we spent the day fighting off the crazy student! Thankfully today there were NO students on the floor. In fact, our normal nurses were all three gone today. We recognized the new nurses, but they had never been assigned to Hannah before. It cracks me up how all the nurses just fawn over her all the time. She really does have them all under her spell. It's nice to know that it's not just us being biased when we get to thinking that we have the best baby ever. We have several educated nurses who think the very same thing! :)
Today has been a sleepy day. All three of us have dozed most of the day away. Finally we had a day with no procedures and no test results that we were waiting to come back. It was nice to be able to relax a bit. Sue, a woman from our church, brought us a wonderful meal of stuffed shells. It was a welcome change from take out and hospital cafeteria food. The people at Calvary sure do take care of you. We are very blessed to be a part of such a great church! I have some more pictures of Hannah that we've taken since she's been born. Most of them don't have anything to do with her hospital stay, but she's just so darn cute that I have to post them! Thanks for all your prayers, calls, and visits. We appareiate everything everyone is doing to make us more comfortable.
We got the results of the culture on Hannah's spot on her arm and it is NOT a herpes leision. They think it was probably just an irritation from her IV. That is really good news. That,combined with the negative result from the spinal tap means that she is now out of isolation! YEAH! Now we can walk the halls with her when she gets fussy instead of making ourselves dizzy pacing around her room. She still can't go off the wing, but out in the hall is better than nothing. Visitors also no longer have to gown up to come into the room. Now they only have to gown up if they are going to hold her. This is also good news. The only not so good news we have is that Hannah's poor little veins are not tolerating the IVs very well. She's on her fourth site since 3:00 am Saturday morning. She's had one in both hands, her right foot, and now her head! The one in her head is already causing problems and it's only been in since 2:00am this morning. So, either tonight or tomorrow morning they are going to run a central picc line in her because they are running out of sites to stick. The only other issue she seems to be having is that the medicine upsets her tummy a bit we think. It's very strong stuff and she's been having more problems than normal with spit up and general fussiness.
Yesterday Kyle and were looking at Hannah and we thought, "Wow, she looks longer. I wonder if she has grown?" So we asked the nurses to borrow a tape measure and we did our best to scientifically measure our squirming, wiggling, ball of fire of a daughter! According to our calculations, she has grown a half inch and is now 22 inches long! They weigh her every day and the nurses report that she is gaining over an ounce a day which is really good. Today she weighed in at 9 lbs 8 oz! She's taking 3 oz of formula at each feeding which they say is really good and we've even been given the ok to let her sleep 5 hours at a time at night without waking her up for a feeding! A bottle every 5 hours at night sure is a lot better than every 3 hours!
So, Hannah is really doing pretty well. Kyle and I on the otherhand are exhausted. Spending all day in one room really wears us out and the general atomosphere on the wing is understandably depressing since it's filled with sick or hurt kids. I don't know how the nursing staff manages. Already I'm emotionally drained from being around it so much. No matter how comfortable they try to make the wing or how happy they try to be sick kids are sick kids and that's no fun. We are each taking turns going home for a few hours each day to take care of the pets, get a shower, and just generally be away from the hospital. I'd say the biggest inconvenience is eating. I'm already sick of take out and it's really not feasible to buy groceries and make food. The cafeteria is expensive and not all that great. So, meals are really a pain in the butt. It's too bad we HAVE to eat something otherwise I think I just wouldn't even bother!
Today a nursing student had Hannah as her patient and it was her job to give Hannah a bath (I usually do that myself, but they talked me into letting the student do it for the experience) and take her vital signs every 3 hours. Well, the student was not a typical student age. She was a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 1 so I figured she would be really good at the bath at least. Boy was I wrong! I can't tell you how hard it was for me to not to run over and push her away from Hannah! Now I don't claim to be a baby expert and I'm definitely not the best at bathing, but I do ok and Hannah doesn't put up much of a fuss at all. BUT, when this student bathed her she screamed bloody murder the whole time. The lady was jerking her around, forcing her to straighten her limbs, letting her head flop around, not rinsing well, getting water and soap into Hannah's eyes, not drying her betweeen each body part, and not covering her up when she moved elsewhere so she would stay warm. It broke my heart to see my little one in such needless distress. Afterwords I told the student supervisor that I would rather she not bathe Hannah again tomorrow or if she did if that I would like the supervisor to actually supervise her while she did it. I'm was not about to let Hannah go through that again. She's had enough trauma that last few days. Bath time doesn't need to be another one!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and well wishes. Kyle and I really appreciate it and I'm sure Hannah will too when she's old enough to know better.
Poor Hannah has had more tests done on her than any baby should, especially considering she doesn't look, act, or even feel sick. :( The good news is that the doctors are working hard on her case and slowly unraveling the mysteries behind it. The results of her spinal tap came back negative so that is a good sign. Although, Dr. Hendrick is going to call and talk to the lab people who interpert the test to see exactly how acurate it is and determine it's margin of error. He doesn't want to take ANY chances with her treatment. On Sunday night we found a spot on Hannah's arm that looked suspicious. Yesterday they burst the leision and took a sample of the fluid inside to run cultures on to see if it is indeed a herpes leision. Hopefully it's just some random scrape or something. Eevn if it does come back as positive it really doesn't change her treatment though. Right now she's still only slated to be in the Hospital for 14 days of IV meds unless we find out that the spinal tap test is not reliable and they have to run a second one. I sure hope not because I don't think I could stand to watch her get another one of those! Dr. Hendrick is also consulting with the children's infectious disease experts at Riley to see if there is anything else possible that they could be doing for Hannah to ensure that everything turns out well. We really appreciate the concern that all the doctors and staff at Home Hospital show for Hannah. They all just love her. She has every single staff member on the pediatric unit (nurses, housekeeping staff, doctors, volunteers, and nursing students) wrapped around her tiny finger! She's already learned how to bat those long eye lashes of hers and get absolutely anything she wants! She's even managed to weasel a swing out of them for her room and boy does she like that swing! We may just have to get one of those when we return home! Tiffany is beside herself with grief over Hannah's infection and completely blames herself. She came to see her on Sunday and I think it put her a little more at ease when she was able to see that Hannah really isn't in any distress and that everything was caught soon enough that she shouldn't ever really be in distress unless they have to do any more tests. The tests are really the only things that bother her. Other than that, she is happy as a clam. :) She is finally allowed visitors, visiting hours are from 11am-8pm, but everyone (evn doctors and nurses) except Kyle and I must suit up in a gown and gloves in order to get within 3 feet of her. It's so weird that the people at infectious diseases require that, but they do even though it has been determined that Hannah really has no chance of spreading the virus to anyone unless they are severely immune compromised and even then the chances would be slim. Thank heavens Kyle and I don't have to don all that gear. It would really be a pain. We just have to scrub down every time we leave the room and make sure that we don't ever take Hannah out of the room unless they have to run a procedure on her. Well, that's all the updates I have for now. Continued prayer support would be appreciated.
Before everyone freaks out any more than they need to, just know that Hannah will be fine. But we had to take her to the emergency room last night because we got a call from Wishard Hospital (where she was delivered) telling us that Hannah had tested positive for the herpes virus and needed to start IV medication right away to treat it before it became a serious problem. So, we took her immediately to the hospital and spent from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am in the emergency room until they finally admitted us and gave us a room on the pediatric wing. They've done several tests on Hannah, including lots of x-rays and a spinal tap, and we are awaiting the results of most of them over the next few days. The minimum amount of time she will have to stay at the hospital is 2 weeks and the most is probably not more than 3 weeks. Kyle and I are very nervous for Hannah, but the doctors have assured us that because she is showing no symptoms and we have begun treatment this early that she should recover completely with no lasting effects. We would appreciate everyone's prayers for Hannah and for Tiffany (she's beating herself up about this pretty badly) and want to let you know that we will be spending most of our time at the hospital the next few weeks so please do not be offended if you don't get a call or an email returned as we will only be using the house as a dumping point for awhile.
Hello there! Please forgive any type-o's in this post as I am typing one handed since Hannah is in my arms. Things are going wonderfully, but who would expect anything less since she is the perfect baby! She did give Daddy a bit of a sleepless night last night though. She ate well and went right back to sleep after both of my night feedings, but decided she wasn't hungry and didn't feel like sleeping for both of Kyle's! :) We've managed to get a pretty good schedule set up of feedings at 9:00 am, noon, 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 9:00pm, midnight, 3:00 am, and 6:00 am. It works well b/c we alternate feedings and whoever does the feeding has Hannah duty until the next feeding if she gets fussy. I feel a little guilty that I had such an easy night and Kyle had such a rough one!
Hannah continues to amaze us. She can hold her head up fairly well for several seconds and can already roll onto her side and stay there. This seems to be her preferred position as it's how we find her everytime we go to pick her up after laying down. The doctors were pretty emphatic about putting her to sleep on her back every time and we do lay her down that way, it's just that she has other ideas about how she wants to sleep! She likes laying on her back when she is awake however. She kicks and flails her arms around like crazy trying out all her new moves. She's quite the gymnast already! Today she gets to have her picture taken at JC Pennys. Hopefully we will get something good that we can send out in our birth announcements so everyone keep your fingers crossed. Well, Kyle needs the computer so I should wrap this up. I'll try to post one more picture on here before I get off since more pictures have been frequently requested already!
Much has happened since July 5th when I last posted, but really the only important thing to mention is that we are now the proud parents of a healthy little girl! :)
Hannah Rose Spontak was born on July 6, 2006 at 5:14 am. She weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and is 21 1/2 inches long! She's so big she can't wear newborn diapers and doesn't fit into many of the newborn clothes we bought for her! We are all home and settling in nicely. Ok, now that we've got the important stuff out of the way I can give you the details.
On Wednesday, the day before Hannah's scheduled arrival, I spoke with Tiffany about the game plan for the next morning. We ironed out all the kinks and both felt quite comfortable with what we had decided. Then, at around 11:00 pm on that same night we got a phone call from Mike saying that Tiffany's contractions had started speeding up and she was in the hospital already and just might have the baby that night! So, we changed out of our pj's, loaded a few last minute items into the car and headed off to the hospital. Right about the time we were pulling into the hospital parking garage we got a call from Tiffany saying that Mike had it all wrong. She was in the hospital, but they had given her medicine to stop her contractions and were still planning on having the cesarean Thursday at 8:00 am just like we had discussed earlier that day. Since we were already there, we went up to the room and visited with her for awhile. We left around 3:00 am for the hotel and planned to be back at the hospital at 8:00 the next morning.
Thursday we arrived at the hospital at 8:05 am to find Tiffany just coming out of anethesia. Apparently an over eager intern had jumped the gun and thought that Tiffany's water was about to break so they rushed her into the OR around 5 am and Miss Hannah was delivered at 5:14 am. Tiffany had still not got to meet Hannah when we arrived as she was just coming out of her anethesia. At around 9:00 am they rolled Hannah in and we got a brief glimpse of her as we were shuffled out of the room. The following 6 hours took quite a toll on us as we waited and waited to be allowed to visit with Hannah and Tiffany. A steady stream of Tiffany's family members (she's from a large Clodfelter-esk type of family!) paraded in and out of the room all day and each time the door opened we would crane our necks to catch a peek at our little one. Finally at 3:00 pm Tiffany's mother came out sniffling and thanked us profusely for being so patient and for giving Tiffany and the family the time they needed to spend with Hannah alone. She said she knew how hard it must be for us waiting, but that they were exceptionally thankful. She brought us back into the room and we finally got to see our little one for the first time. She was absolutely perfect! She had a cute pudgy face and a full head of long, dark brown hair. We visited with Tiffany, Hannah, Mike, and Tiffany's family and friends for the rest of the day and shared in taking care of Hannah with Tiffany in between the times when the doctors and nurses came to take her away for tests. We finally headed back to our hotel around 1:00 am since we were not allowed to stay at the hospital.
On Friday we arrived at the hospital around 9:00 am. We gave Tiffany time to get her doctors' visits in, sleep in, and get a much needed shower and some breakfast. We spent all day with Hannah and again shared in taking care of her with Tiffany. Tiffany told us that she wanted us to be able to invite our family to come and visit at the hospital, so Heather and Tina came to visit as well as Mom and Tom. Everyone held Hannah except for Auntie Heather, but we'll break her in soon enough! Friday night was Mike's last time to spend with Hannah and he asked to be able to spend the majority of the night with her, so we headed for the hotel at about 10:30 pm to give he and Tiffany their final night together with Hannah.
Saturday morning we arrived at the hospital at around 8:00 am. Hannah had her pictures taken professionally by a friend of Tiffany's family who offered to give us free 8 x 10's of our favorite and also gave us permission to copy and print as many as we wanted for friends and family. She waived all copyrights to the pictures. We can't wait to see them! At around 11:00 Kyle and I went to lunch to give Tiffany time to spend with Hannah again. At 12:00 our adoption counselor met with us and we signed our portion of the paperwork. Then she went to see Tiffany for her to sign the papers. We had no idea how long to expect it to take for her to sign and were still a bit nervous thinking, "What if she changes her mind?" While we waited, we met with the pediatrician and the nurses to get final instructions for taking Hannah home. Then we just hung out and waited anxiously for our counselor to return to tell us that she had signed and to tell us when we could go back to the room. At about 1:30, our counselor appeared to say that Tiffany had signed all of her papers and that she still wanted a few minutes alone with Hannah to say goodbye before she was discharged. A nurse would come and tell us when we could return to the room. At around 2:15, Tiffany sent for us and we were able to see her one last time before we all left the hospital. Both Tiffany and I (and Tiffany's mom) cried when we said good-bye, but in the end Tiffany was smiling when the nurse wheeled her out because she was confident that she had made the right decision. After Tiffany was discharged the nurse came back to discharge Hannah. She did a car seat check and then we were free to go. It was hard to believe that they were actually going to let us drive away with her! Everything felt like a dream. I rode in the back seat with Hannah and Kyle drove about 5 miles under the speed limit the entire way home!
Now after spending our first 24 hours alone with Hannah it still feels as if we are living in a dream world. It will take some time to get used to this parenting thing, but we are definitely enjoying ourselves and our precious new addition.
PS, for those who are curious about the significance of Hannah's name, read 1 Samuel ch 1-2 about Hannah's infertility and her willingness to place her first born son Samuel in an open adoption with the priest Eli.
More updates will be forth coming as we settle into a routine and have some more time to breath! Thank you all for your prayers and support. We truly appreciate everything!
That's right, you read correctly, we really do only have 23 hours left until we meet our new little one! I can hardly believe that the time is here. Tiffany called last night to tell us that her surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am tomorrow (July 6th). Her mom will go with her into the delivery room so we won't actually get to see the delivery, but we should see the little one shortly after. The doctor has told her that the whole procedure, start to finish, should only take about 45 minutes if there are no complications. If all goes well, the next post you will see will have a picture of a beautiful healthy baby girl and you will all finally learn what her name is. I bet the suspense is killing you! :p I sure know it's driving me crazy.