Thursday, November 26, 2009

We are thankful...

We are thankful for many, many things. But this Thanksgiving we are especially thankful that we were able to bring home a healthy Baby Girl on Saturday! Here are a few pictures from her first week at home....
First, I made gifts for our NICU nurses (who we are VERY thankful for)! These ladies were a big part of our life for the past 2 weeks. We trusted them with our little Channing every day and night and they were wonderful! I made them these gift boxes with puppy chow inside and then attached new monogrammed badge retracters for their hospital ids.

Here I am at the hospital taking off her final monitor wire. No more machines for this girl!!

Here we are right before taking her out the door of the hospital. She's saying, "get me out of this place!"

Later, at home, here is big brother getting his first look at little sister.

Thankfully, she loves her swing. Cohen never stayed in the swing more than 5 minutes in his whole life, so this is a big bonus!

We are also very thankful for our wonderful family who has given us so much help with Cohen and Channing while she was in the hospital and since we've been home. Everyone came to our house for Thanksgiving. Here we are with all the Stouts and the Legans.

My side of the fam....

And Chad's side of the fam....

Love this pic. My Dad cuddled up with her this morning in bed.

We fit 14 people at my dining table. It was a little tight, but we did it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making an Entrance

I'm sitting here in the NICU watching my baby girl nap, so I thought I'd pull out the laptop and jot down her birth story before i forget it. This will be a lot of text and the purpose is for me to have it on record. Please don't feel obligated to read... Also, please DON'T read if you get grossed out easily!

Late afternoon on Thursday , November 5th, Cohen and I left the office around 5:00. As soon as I got in the car I started noticing some contractions that were 5-6 minutes apart. Instead of driving home, I drove down to Chad's school. He was a little concerned to see Cohen and I walking into the gym in the middle of his practice. I told him I was having some consistent contractions and that it probably wasn't a big deal but I just didn't want to be at home by myself. Since my Aunt Sheila lives right down the street from his school, he told me to go over to her house and relax while he took Cohen to get some dinner. So I did. By the time he got back to Sheila's house with Cohen the contractions were about 3 1/2 minutes apart. We called Dr Fong and he said to go ahead and come in to see if they were "doing anything." We left Cohen at Sheila's house to spend the night with them and we headed to the house to get our bag and then to the hospital. We got there around 8:00. After we got all settled in the nurse checked me and I was dialated to a 4! So, these contractions were doing something. Since i was only 36 weeks they gave me a shot to try and stop the labor. After 2 of the shots, the contractions slowed down and weren't nearly as intense. Around 11:30, dialated at a 4 1/2, they sent us home.
Friday and Saturday I took it easy. Then Sunday came and I tried to take it easy, but that's not so simple when you have 400 kids to manage on a Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon I went home and relaxed, but "lost my plug" later that afternoon. I went ahead and went to work Monday because I knew this baby was coming sooner rather than later and I had several loose ends to tie up at work before I could start my maternity leave. Monday afternoon Cohen and I left the office and went home. Sheila met us at the house because Chad had his first game of the season on Monday night in Denton and once again I didn't want to be by myself if I went into full blown labor. Sure enough, it happened....
I was in the mood for soup and Cohen wanted some chicken. So Cohen, Sheila and I went down the street to Mimi's Cafe. We had just ordered when I started having regular contrations. Since I knew that I had been walking around at a 4 1/2 for 4 days, I was nervous that my water would break right there in the restaurant. So Sheila asked the waiter to make our order to go. We got it all boxed up and left the restaurant. We dropped off Cohen (with his chicken in tow) at our friend Lyn's house, who lives down the street. Sheila and I went back to the house to continue timing the contractions. After about an hour and a half of contractions, I called Dr Fong. By this time it was about 7:00. Dr Fong told me to go ahead and come in and that if i was dialated even more they would just keep me there and not try and stop labor anymore. I called Chad as soon as I got off the phone with the doctor. Remember, he was in the middle of a game. He picked up immediately, to my surprise. I said, "We're going to the hospital. Meet us there!" Luckily, he had driven his own car to the game instead of riding with the team in anticipation that this very thing might happen. Sheila and I proceeded to pack up and she drove me to the hospital. Chad ended up getting there about 10 minutes after us. When the nurse checked me I was at a 5 1/2 and she said, "I think we're gonna have this baby tonight." Chad called our parents and told them the news. My parents jumped in the car immediately and made the 3 hour drive... FAST! Little did they know that they had some time....
I ended up stalling out at a 7, when I got my epidural. Which was fine with me. I got some rest for a couple of hours. When the nurse checked me at 6:45 am i was at an 8 and my water still hadn't broken. She said, "You have one of the strongest bags of water that I've ever seen. You must have eaten a lot of protein when you were pregnant." Now there's a fact I didn't know. Note to self... eat a lot of protein for a strong bag of water... Anyway, since shift change happens at 7:00 at I was still at an 8, Melissa, the nurse who had labored with me all night, said, "I guess I'm gonna go. You still have a little bit. I'll come back and see this baby in the nursery tonight. Dr. Fong is going to come in a little after 7:00 and break your water." BUT... I kidd not... the minute she left I started laboring hard! I told Chad, "I feel like I have to go to the bathroom." Then about 1 minute later I started throwing up. "Where is my new nurse? This baby is coming!" A few minutes later she walks in and checks me again and calmly says, "Ok Cassy, we're at a 10 so we're going to break your water and this baby is coming." I didn't even have time to respond to that before I started throwing up again. And with that "heave" (I'll leave out the gross details), I felt my water pop! I looked up to tell my nurse that it had popped and I saw Dr Fong walking thru the door. "Perfect timing," I said. He started getting all his delivery gear on and the nurse told me that I could start pushing. Well, I did... 3 times, and then she said, "Stop! Let's wait for Dr Fong to get over here." As Dr Fong sat down he said, "Ok, don't push." "And I said, I'm not she's just sliding out!" Sure enough, she slid right out about 5 seconds later, at 7:41 am, weighing in at 6 lbs. 7 oz.
As soon as they put her up on my tummy I knew something wasn't right. I asked them to take her right back and suction her some more. While Dr Fong took care of me I watched the other side of the room as it quickly filled with doctors and nurses surrounding Channing. I could also tell by the look on Chad's face that she wasn't doing good. They took her away quickly to the NICU. Later, on my way from labor and delivery to post partum, they wheeled me down to the NICU so that I could see her. The doctor explained to me that there was a combination of things that were leading to a rough start for her. Not only were her lungs not fully developed, but she had come thru the birth canal so quickly that she didn't get a good squeeze on the way out and she had aspirated some of the fluid.
So... here I sit in the NICU, 9 days later. The first few days were hard because she was so unstable that they didn't want us to hold her. On day 4 she got her CPAP off and they let me start nursing her twice a day. Today she is on all 8 nipple feeds and they say if she continues to do well, she will be coming home Saturday morning! Yay! God has been SO good to us thru all of this and not only kept our little baby girl protected in His hands, but He has also surrounded us with an incredible group of family and friends to support us and help us during this time. We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1 week ago today...

It's been 1 week since Miss Channing entered the world. It's been a whirlwind so I've been very neglectful in communicating. The little miss decided to come 3 1/2 weeks early so she has had a rough start. She's still in the NICU but is getting better everyday. We're hoping to bring her home by the end of the week

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get a chance to write out her birth story before I forget some of the details.

Since it's flu season, they don't let anyone in the nicu except mom and dad. So, no one but Chad and I have ever seen her or held her. It's killing the grandparents and has proved to be a little bit confusing to Cohen. It's not the easiest thing to explain to a 2 year old.

Here are a few pictures. You can see that she progressively looks better in each picture. She now has all her breathing tubes out and we're weaning her off the feeding tube.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Cohen had his first trick-or-treat experience this year. Some of our friends from our small group came over and met at our house to let the kids trick-or-treat together. My parents were also in town for the weekend so they got to observe some of the action. We did early trick-or-treating because the OSU-Texas game started at 7:00... sadly, that game ended up NOT being the highlight of our night!

Cohen had to get a quick pic with Grammy!

Family picture

We had to get at least one picture of Baby Channing... she went as a pumpkin this year :)! Chad went as Dirk (in case you couldn't tell).

Here is Cohen with some of his friends. He loves hanging out with the older boys... It makes him feel big!

Daddy and Cohen

Checking out the loot...