Mama Dramarama

For those of you keeping track of the Mama Drama… the answer to the question, “How did it go Saturday night?” is that I just spent five hours in the ER this afternoon/evening after spending all of yesterday feeling like I drank acid and after being sick most of last night. The surgeon did say it could take a few weeks to see a difference since I’m still healing from surgery, so I’m not writing this off as a failure – I just think maybe Saturday was a leeeettle too early. Will keep you posted, as always.

Leah had a pretty uneventful day, which I guess is the best kind of day when you’re in the ICU. She had her blood drawn this morning (boo!) and her 6PM feeding was late (hiss!). She had a visit from her cousin Beth, who came bearing awesome gifts from various family members (pics when I upload a new set!). The little Bug wore herself out with crankiness (due to the late feeding) and now she’s totally knocked out in her vibrating throne. I think Mama will follow her lead and get some early sleep tonight. Maybe.

Our sleepy girl and her piiiiiinchy cheekies

Ready to report for work duty!

When we first got to the NICU, we talked to various parents who had been there for several days, several weeks, and several months. I remember being in total awe of the parents who had been there for months and were still hanging on. It seemed like such a looooooong time – like something impossible. These days, we meet parents in Peds or newcomers to the PICU and they ask us how long we’ve been here… and we tell them and watch that same shock spread across their faces. That’s us now.

On a lighter note, my surgeon said I could try solid foods today (slowly and nothing too heavy), so Mandy and I took the opportunity to have a dinner-date night. We were back in the PICU before 8:30PM! Short date, but still nice.

Leah wore the most ridiculously cute outfit today. It killed me with cute. Have some pictures.

And Mommy Mandy rolls her eyes at ME?

“Guuyyyyyss! Come ooonnnnn.”

“Thank goodness that flower is gone!!”

“What do you meeeean I can’t go outside to play? I’m dressed for fun!”

Staring at our nurse and willing her to stop trying to take our blood pressure.

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“Mmmmm, purple.”

“Mmmm, Mommy shoulder.”

“Mommy is so silly! Silly Mommy!”

“Oh no! It’s the Mamarazzi!”

Photos photos photos!

I am SO EXHAUSTED so I’m going to keep this short. BabyBug had a couple of OT sessions this week and they are working on some new skills, including cause and effect. They linked her little plastic rings to hang off the mobile and then let her pull on them so she can see that when she pulls, the mobile moves. We need to get her some more toys that react when she does something to them. She is so fascinated by it. She is playing more with the rings while she is in her vibrating seat. She still manages to get them onto her wrists but now she is trying to put them in her mouth as well. And those tiny fingers are days away from being nommed by tiny baby lips.

Not much else to update. Mama is still a bit of a zombie. Tomorrow I will try solid food for the first time since surgery. Yikes.

Sweet face


Sillie Jo!

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Hi Cathy!

EmoBaby drifts off to sleep. Check out her bangles.

She loves her Mommy!

BabyBug’s first Shabbat candles! (LED FTW!)

Loopy Mama

Let me just get the Mama update out of the way: Surgery seemed to go well. It will still be a little while before we know whether or not it actually worked; I need to heal first and can’t just dive face-first into a giant plate of chocolate cake (as fun as that sounds). My surgery was Monday morning, and by about noon today I was ready to head out. If I didn’t have a baby to get back to I probably would have stayed one more day, but I do, so I didn’t. In case you were wondering, my meals in the hospital consisted of heavily-salted broth, decaf coffee, generic Jell-O, and vanilla soy milk. Cream of Wheat for breakfast. Very exciting. The surgeon said I can experiment with solid foods starting over the weekend but not before then. Here’s hoping for some sort of positive change!! In the mean time, let’s just scrape by with as little pain as possible so I don’t completely lose the next few days in a Percocet haze.

Not too much on the LeahBug update front. The dietitian wants to start fortifying the breast milk again, but this time it would just be pure whey protein powder and not baby formula with unpronounceable mystery ingredients. We’ll have to decide on that in the next couple of days but I think pure protein powder is better than formula, at least. Speaking of nummy protein… Leah has fiiiiinally discovered that fingers can go in mouths. She’s still working on the whole thumb-sucking arrangement, but she’s managed to nom on her fingers a few times. I knew she would catch on eventually!

I had a lot of spare time in the car today (thanks again for shlepping me around, Dad!!!) so I started tweeting at some of my favorite folks on Twitter in the hope that they would retweet and get the word out about Leah’s story and our GoFundMe page. Look who answered our call:


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How freaking cool is that? Thank you, Jane Espenson and Amber Benson!!!

If you are on Twitter, will you please retweet their posts?

And finally, I certainly can’t post pictures on the blog without posting BabyBug’s sweet little face, so here you go:

We are SO CLOSE!

Almost a smile…

Sweet baby-doll! Look at that tiny tongue! We need to figure out a way to keep it inside that tiny mouth. Any suggestions, speech-path posse?

Now it is time for me to sleep. Forgive me if I don’t remember any of this in the morning. :-/

Woooooo, drug-induced post

Well, I didn’t die on the operating table, so that’s a start. Still totally out of it. Keep drifting off as I’m typing and making lots of errors that autocorrect can’t fix. Taking me FOREVER to write this. Oy vey. Hard to breathe, too. But I’ve heard that Leah has one of her nursie friends taking care of her, so yay.

Tick tock tick tock

We had a nice day today. Aunti Staci and cousin Jenna came by in the afternoon, and Uncle Ralph visited in the evening and then brought me back to RMH. Leah’s big project right now is trying to figure out how to suck her thumb. She’s getting closer and closer every day but refuses to let us show her. She wants to figure it out herself. She has also been doing extremely high leg-kicks lately. She gave her cousin Jenna a nice kick in the chin this afternoon.

I have to be up at 8AM to get ready for my surgery, which of course explains why I am up at 1:30AM making updates to the blog. Who can sleep knowing they’re going in for surgery in the morning? So I added two new “pages” to the main menu.

Is it weird that I’m more nervous for Leah than I am for myself? I’m usually there during the day and often at night to make sure the repogle behaves itself, and often I have to call the nurse in to manage a “tube incident.” I’m hoping the next few days will run smoothly for LeahBug. Gran will be there to keep her company and make sure she doesn’t pull the thing out or hack it up, both of which she does on a regular basis. We asked the charge nurse to please assign familiar faces to Leah for the next few days and nights, so hopefully that will happen. It’s not that Leah’s care is so complex right now while she’s awaiting surgery, but it is extremely particular and the consequences of messing up are pretty freaking awful. In general, but especially when we’re not there, it’s important that whoever is taking care of her knows her peculiarities and is comfortable monitoring the suction tube and recognizing when it’s clogged or stuck. BabyBug hasn’t quite learned to use her words yet. :-/

Okay. I guess I should sleep so I can wake up. Wish me luck!!

Family reunion!

BabyBug had a big day today! Aunti Staci and Grandpa Mannie came over in the morning, and Aunti Staci proved that she can’t be left alone with Mama Lisa’s phone. I really should have known better – any phone that winds up in her little hands generally returns to its owner with a background picture of Aunti Staci. Oy vey. Sneaki Aunti!!!

A little while after Staci and Grandpa arrived, Leah got to meet her cousins Phyllis and Roy and one of their daughters, Marci. It was a nice little reunion; Phyllis is my grandpa’s niece and they hadn’t seen each other in years and years. If you’re reading, it was absolutely awesome to see you guys and I hope you had a nice visit. Please definitely let us know next time you’ll be in our neck of the woods. And Marci, there’s a pair of bitty babyfeet waiting for you in the PICU whenever you want to come visit again. 🙂

After our cousins left, my sister and grandpa stayed to visit for a bit and then headed home as well. Shortly thereafter began another round of visits; Gran came over, followed by friends Cheryl and Gary. After they left, Gran chilled with LeahBug while Mommy graded some papers and Mama got some stuff done on the computer. Eventually things settled down and we got back to Mommy+Mama+Baby time, which is a fancy way of saying that Mama and Mommy spent a couple of hours dancing and singing and bouncing and rocking and patting and petting (and Lasix-diaper-changing) to get a BabyBug to sleep. She would fall asleep in our arms and then morph into Ms. ScrunchyFace the minute we put her down. We were finally able to get her to sleep in her bed a little earlier this evening and managed to get in one episode of “Breaking Bad.” We are trying to catch up on the current season before somebody goes and spoils it for us on Facebook like they did with the season finale of “True Blood.” Not cool!!!! We’re watching it with headphones so that our child doesn’t come out of the PICU with a little bit too much knowledge for her own good. Just finished the second episode.

Other than that, there’s not too much to report. Leah’s still hovering around 9.5 lbs and her g-tube site is looking good, though they’re still doing silver nitrate every few days, as needed, to keep the granulation tissue under control. She just needs to grow grow grow, and keep from aspirating! Mama Lisa has her surgery on Monday and will be in the hospital for a few days. I had my pre-op appointment on Friday and at some point I remarked that I had never spent a night in the hospital. Then I had to pause for a moment, think about how silly that sounded, and clarify that I had never spent a night in the hospital as a patient. Oy vey.

In other news, Leah’s nurse tonight is a Buffy fan and loves Dar Williams AND Raining Jane. Coooooooool.

And now, what you’ve really been waiting for: Pictures!

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Yes, this happened.

Supah-Stah says, “Fan me with palm fronds!”

This face!

No, wait – THIS face!

THIS FOOT! We’re practicing for our debut as a Rockette.


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Mama and Baby and Grandpa, oh my!


Grandpa can’t take his eyes off BabyPie!

She was so comfy on his lap!

Staci goes for cutesie, Leah goes for emo

Leah is making plans

“Aunti Staci, do you see what these people put on me today? So humiliating.” And yet SO CUTE.

Cousins Phyllis and Marci and Aunti Staci and Grandpa Mannie. I think cousin Marci might be about to abscond with a babyfoot.

Cousin Phyllis snuggling a baby!

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“Oh hai, Cheryl! I like your dress! Does it come in size 3 mo?”

Random pix

Leah had some very special visitors today so there are more pics coming later, but here are pics from the past few days!

“Gran, what did you just do to my hair??? OMG, now you’re taking a picture?”

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“Oh come on. You can’t be serious about these socks.”

Does it get any sweeter than this?

Oh. Maybe it does.

Aunti Staci, did we do it right? I threw in duck-lips and everything!

Um, hey, Leah? We’re taking a selfie here! Yawn on your own time!

“Mommy, let me just tell you…”

Always her favorite spot.

Be careful what you joke about…

Sorry for the delay! LeahBug has been a little bit fussy the past couple of days as it is time for her four-month vaccines. We had them spread out over a few days so as not to slam her little body with so much in one huge shot, but that didn’t stop her from spiking a little fever yesterday. It was only 99.5 degrees, but I could tell she was working up a fever even when her temp was reading at 98.3 and then 98.7. Isn’t that weird? I was saying all afternoon that she felt warmer than usual. Maybe she takes after her mama and runs a low body temperature. She was fine today though, fever-wise, though she slept through most of the day. She did cough out her tube 3 different times and also yanked it off once, tape and all. Baby: 4. Repogle: 0.

In the afternoon. Leah woke up to visit with her Mama’s bestie, Auntie Z, while Mama played outside with Z’s baby RyRy. The plan had been for Gran to watch RyRy while Z visited with Leah and me, but I got a phone call this morning from the ER downstairs informing me that Ms. Gran had fallen and potentially broken her wrist. Oh no! As it turns out, yes, Gran has an impacted fracture in her wrist. They had to put her arm in some sort of torture device to straighten it out for splinting. Owwwwww.

There is a really long hallway on the way upstairs to PICU, and I always joke that I really want to roller-skate down that hallway. Many folks respond that they would probably break a bone if they tried, and I point out that if you have to fall, what better place than a hospital hallway where you’re already 50 feet from the emergency room? But dear Gran, I didn’t ask for a volunteer demonstration!! We are very glad it was just the wrist and not something bigger and more serious, but it still completely sucks and we hope it heals quickly and that they don’t need to operate. Feel better soon!!!

Auntie Z holds BabyBug for the first time!

And Apes

In case you’re still wondering about weight, Leah is 9 lbs and just over 4 oz. They have returned to weighing her every day (up from every week), probably because we stopped fortifying her milk.

This afternoon Grandpa Bill and Grandma Barbie came to visit. They started joke-squabbling over who got to hold her first, and I jumped in and said, “Okay guys – Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.”  Good times. In the end I made them pick a number between 1 and 100, because I couldn’t remember the order of operations for the other one. For the record, the number was 77. Grandma Barbie won with her guess of 66. Grandpa Bill’s guess was 12. I know you wanted to know.

BabyBug had a long road to SleepyTown tonight. We replaced her repogle, changed about 10 diapers (not sure that’s an exaggeration – the kid is on Lasix so she pees SO MUCH), cleaned out some cloggy tubes, sang, danced, nommed on tiny toes, snuggled, bounced, vibrated, rocked… she finally seemed ready for some real sleep after the midnight feed, so I picked her up and bounced and rocked her to sleep with a medley of songs including, “Somewhere That’s Green” and “Don’t Feed the Plants” from Little Shop of Horrors, “It’s a Small World,” “Tum Balalaika” (in Yiddish), and “This is Very Good,” a Jewish camp song alternatively known as “When God Made the World.” Those of you in the know about our history with Jewish summer camp may appreciate that when I got to the line, “AND APES,” her sleepy little face broke out into a big grin. That’s my girl!

In other news, tonight our child will likely dream about an apocalyptic battle between apes and giant man-eating flytraps that takes place somewhere in suburbia.

The prettiest little Mickey you ever did see.