Meet a Mama: Interview with Sunshinepod22

I met Denise via twitter when I went on bedrest with baby girl and was mentally preparing myself for a premie. Denise has a big heart and is a brave and strong women that I look up to and admire. Though we may never meet in real life, I appreciate her blog and sharing her story. Follow her on twitter and read her blog.

Here is her story in her own words:

My name is Denise and I am a mom of 2 beautiful boys. Andre 12 and Johnny 2. Both of my boys are special needs children but Johnny has the most needs and difficulties. They both require my undivided attention.

These last 5 years have been very difficult for me. In 2007 my arm was smashed in a freight elevator at work. I had to have 3 surgeries to repair what could be repaired. By 2008 I was finishing up my extensive therapy.

During those years I had no job. I was becoming more and more in debt month by month. I relied on faith. In 2009 I gave birth to my youngest son Johnny who was born at 30 weeks gestation. He stayed in the NICU for 2.5 months.

I started a blog during our stay in the hospital. I started www.sunshinepod22.blogspot.com I started this blog because I didn’t know how to deal with watching my baby stop breathing and having tubes and An Iv inserted in his foot and hand. Thisis really when I became a part the social networking world. I wrote so much on my blog and talked to a lot of friendly people on Twitter.

Since having Johnny I was able to take the couple of classes I needed to become a Certified Medical Assistant. I can only work part time because of Johnny special needs. Living is very hard with rent, utilities, growing kids and medical things, but I still rely on my faith. Johnny attends OT. pT and SpT.

He has a number of medical issues that include Sensory Processing Disorder, GERD, developmental delays. gross and Fine Motor delays. He is being tested for a lot of symptoms he is having that require him to go to a genetist. Andre has ADHD, Expressive/Written language disorder and anxiety disorder. These disorders require for me to give him a lot of attention for school work and everyday expression.

For both children there are things that require my attention at the same time. I feel like I have to try and be Super Woman, but even she has a weakness. If you’d like to contact me, you can reach me on

Twitter: @dmocha1223
Email: medicaldb11@yahoo.com
Blog: www.sunshinepod22.blogspot.com
Facebook: denise.brown.7758@facebook.com

 

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Baby Girl Wish: To take you home

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my wish to hold baby girl when she comes. It was a very therapeutic experience to write about and want to share another wish that I’ve been holding in my heart.

My dream: When we were expecting our son we had visions of the hospital experience and taking our baby home two days after delivering, like most families do.

My reality: When our son came at 34 weeks, we weren’t prepared for what was to come. We couldn’t take our son home from the hospital.

Our son was born in January 2008. It was freezing outside. I mean the kind of cold that gets to your bones. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to leave the hospital without our baby boy.

It was a hard day. I was discharged. All day we spent in his “area” of the NICU and stayed late that night for his feeding. I just couldn’t leave him. That little boy laying in his NICU bed was ours and he was suppose to come home with us, not stay there. We bravely said, “Goodnight” to our little sweet heart and walked out the door with empty arms.

I have this strong picture of us in front of LDS Hospital at 10:30 at night, me in my big purple puff coat, hair pulled back in a bun with Jon’s arm around me and no baby to take home. We walked to the car, our old red Jeep. It was so freezing. I shivered and shivered and just could not regain warmth. We hadn’t even left the parking garage when my brave exterior gave out. The sobs started quiet but soon shook my body. I was starting to fall apart. But Jon stopped me. He had his arm around me and said, “Honey, our son is in the best possible place. He has the care of expert nurses and doctors there to care for him. He is in the best place possible for him right now.” That put things into perspective for me.

We drove home and when we arrived, our dog Banjo met us at the door. Something had shifted, something had changed. Our super Alpha dog could sense the change. As I walked into the super clean house, I was humbled by the love and care that had gone into “getting ready” for baby boy. Our family had cleaned the house, done our laundry and made our bed. I walked into the nursery and the little crib was all set up, linens had been purchased and it was perfect. It helped to picture us taking our baby boy home and placing him in that nursery.

The following morning, I went back to the hospital. We were able to “rent” the hospital room that I had stayed in for the duration of the time our son was in the hospital. It became my home away from home. But I didn’t have the heart to sleep there at night, I wanted to be home. As hard as it was to leave the hospital each night, it felt good to be home with my hubby and dog. It also helped to get sleep (though getting up to pump every three hours) and I couldn’t sleep at the hospital with all the babies crying. It was too much of a reminder that mine was down the hall in the NICU.

We did get to take our baby boy home, after a good couple of weeks. I realize that there are moms and dad’s out there that don’t ever get to take their babies home. That they get to spend their moments with their baby in the hospital, but never at home. So, please know that my wish to take my baby home from the hospital is not insensitive.

My wish for baby girl is to take her home.

An appreciation for Agency: Bed Rest vs. House Arrest

Somedays being on bed rest feels like house arrest.

Here is what Wiki defines “Bed Rest” and “House Arrest” as:

Bed rest is a medical treatment involving a period of consistent (day and night) recumbence in bed. It is used as a treatment for an illness or medical condition, especially when prescribed or chosen rather than resulting from severe prostration or imminent death. Even though most patients in hospitals spend most of their time in the hospital beds, bed rest more often refers to an extended period of recumbence at home. Some clinicians now regard bed rest as being at best neutral to outcome, and in some cases potentially harmful to patients.[1]

House Arrest: In justice and lawhouse arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residenceTravel is usually restricted, if allowed at all. House arrest is a lenient alternative to prison time or juvenile-detention time.

While house arrest can be applied to common criminal cases when prison does not seem an appropriate measure, the term is often applied to the use of house confinement as a measure of repression by authoritarian governments against political dissidents. In that case, typically, the person under house arrest does not have access to means of communication. If electronic communication is allowed, conversations will most likely be monitored. With certain units, the conversations of criminals can be directly monitored via the unit itself.

They sound pretty similar to me. One is medical and one is judicial. Bed rest might not be jail, but it’s very confining. No electronic motoring just the life or death of your child.

But what it really comes down to is agency and that it’s being taken away from you. It’s hard when a doctor tells you that you need to be on bedrest. I wasn’t sure what to expect when put on bed rest five weeks ago.

Now let’s be honest here, I’m 33 weeks pregnant there is two feet of snow outside and I really wouldn’t be out and about doing a whole lot. But it’s more the fact that the choice isn’t mine, that that choice has been made for me.

The concept of agency or free will has been to topic of my research today. I’m LDS and believe that “In the premortal life, Heavenly Father presented His plan, which included the principle of agency. Lucifer rebelled and “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3).”

I like what Thomas S. Monson says about agency being a gift from God “We brought with us that great gift from God—our agency. Said the prophet Wilford Woodruff: “God has given unto all of His children … individual agency.”

The last weeks on bed rest have made me appreciate that we do have agency. I have a new appreciation for agency and making my own choices. Funny how in life things have to be taken away from us to appreciate them, doesn’t it?

It’s also made me ralize that even though I need to be resting with my feet up that I DO STILL HAVE AGENCY. I have a choice to make every. I can choose how I respond to bed rest. Am I bitter about it or do I feel blessed? Some moments I get blue and feel like I’m missing out on adventures, like on Friday when Jon took our son to see Santa. But 90% of the time I feel blessed that we have great doctors that are monitoring us and have plan in place.

I will gladly be on bed rest for another 7 weeks if it means the health of our daughter. Plus, I bet people on house arrest don’t get to snuggle with their 3 year old son and watch cartoons on a daily basis :)

What are your thoughts on agency? Am I way off?

Twitter Therapy #preemie #bedrest and #pregnancy

Over the last 5 weeks I’ve made some new friends. These are friends that I probably wouldn’t have connected with if it weren’t for twitter.

Denise Brown aka @dmocha1223. She also writes a blog about her experience having a baby 10 weeks early Sunshine Pod 22

Ava Baby’s is a darling online store that saw my preemie clothes post and responded with her website Ava Baby\’s This darling Grandmother started the store as her way to give back.

TodaysPreemie provides information about preemies and micro preemies http://www.todayspreemie.com/blog also runs a store at http://www.ecobabychicorganics.com/servlet/StoreFront

Other great support has come from @TheMandalyn, TheBabyGuyNYC, , amommyinthecity among others.

When I wanted some reading material for preemies I tweeted what people would recommend and was put in contact with:

Keep ‘Em Kooking great information on their website http://www.KeepEmCookin.com/

and DrJenGunter author of the Preemie Primer.

There are dozens of others that have send out positive vibes and provided emotional support over these last 5 weeks. Thank you everyone for helping us get to 33 weeks!

Thank you for blessing my life with your kind words of encouragement.

Totsy

With baby number two on the way, we are looking for ways to save more than ever.

I found a great new website for good deals on baby clothes.  Totsy has deals on my favorite clothing lines like ZUTANO (one of my Where to Buy Preemie Clothes picks)

I was able to save 40%-60% on my Zutano order. It’s a membership based website and creating a membership is easy. All you need to do is provide your email address.

Join today and start saving!

Here is an example of todays deals:

Baby Girl Update

Dear family and friends,

Thank you for all your prayers, meals, books and support this past week. The outpouring of love has been a strength that has carried us out of doubt and fear to a place where we feel calm and comforted.

Our son has been giving his sister strong instructions, “Baby girl, stay inside and keep cooking”. Looks like she’s listening.

Good news – Our doctor visit yesterday with the Maternal Fetal Medicine went well. Baby girl is stable and the cervical length is unchanged. Wahoo! She looked very cozy during our ultrasound and we even got to see her in 3-D, her little arm is resting under her chin just like how her mama sleeps (attached). We think she looks like her big brother.

After the ultrasound we were then admitted to the hospital for monitoring: to check for contractions and be given a steriod shot for her lungs. Besides a sudden need to play baseball, both the baby and I are fine. There were no contractions. We had originally thought I’d have to stay there for 48 hours for monitoring while they administered the shots, but we were there for about 2 hours and then I will go back this afternoon.

Moving forward – We will go back in two weeks for another check and continue with doctor visits every one to two weeks. The doctors have been very helpful and informative this time and we feel they are communicating and working with us on a game plan.

It looks like she will very likely come early. So at least Jonah will be happy to not have to share his birthday. We would like to get to 36 weeks but are shooting for 34 weeks, which is 5 weeks away. I will continue on bed rest for the next 5-11 weeks.

Please continue to pray for our family and keep us in your thoughts.

Thank you for your love and support,

Jon, Kathy, J and Baby Girl
Baby Girl Dalon 3-D

Bed Rest Must Haves

Hi Friends, I’m starting two lists of must haves:
1. Bed Rest Must Haves and 2. Preparing for Preemie.

I’d love any feedback on things that helped you survive bed rest and how you prepared for a preemie.

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